5. Industry introduction and project brief

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As our Civil Construction Cadet, you’ll be working on Inland Rail’s Toowoomba tunnelling project. This tunnel will be 6.5km long and travel through one of the most difficult geological formations of the entire Inland Rail project: the mountainous terrain and floodplains of the Toowoomba ranges.

For our next task, we want you to head to the community feed here and make a post answering the following ponder prompts:
  • Why is Civil Construction needed?
  • What could happen if we didn’t have Civil Construction?
  • What other fields could Civil Construction be important for?

Alright, now that you've done that, let's consider: how does a project like this even begin to be pulled together? 🤔

A lot goes into executing such a large scale project, and it requires you to be able to look at what’s coming next. Being able to look at a task, and plan all the steps you need to take to tackle it is an important skill that can be learnt through understanding project management techniques.

What is project management?

Coined as the science and art of organisation, project management can be characterised as a series of connected efforts designed to achieve a desired outcome. 

A project involves 5 stages. Watch this video about the stages of a project to get a better understanding of what's involved. 

This program will be concentrating on Stage 4 of the project management process: monitoring and adjusting your progress, based on challenges thrown your way. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be asked to incorporate  information delivered to you by geotechnical investigators and site surveyors. 

To begin with, though, we’ll need a basic plan to work with. And so we come to our first task!

Task 1:  Watch the video below, which outlines the basic process and timeline of designing and delivering the Toowoomba tunnel.

Here’s an accompanying 3D model of the proposed tunnel that was created by the Inland Rail team. Spend a couple of minutes navigating the model to visualise what it will look like and what additional safety features it has.

Task 2: In a separate document, draft a timeline or list of the key stages mentioned that will act as a template for your project plan. Hint: feel free to structure it as a flowchart or mind map - something that you can add to and annotate later!

Before we get stuck into refining our plan, though, let’s consider the most important step of all …