Manage Project Schedule

There are two commonly used tools to manage project schedule :

  1. Project management tools. Commonly used is microsoft project and primavera. We can do many activity using this tools from, estimating balancing resources by time frame, Earn value management, tracking progress, identify critical activities to avoid delay.
  2. S-curve using spreadsheet program. Commonly used is microsoft excel by spread the weighting progress in the durations and add cummulative progress chart. We can add schedule chart and actual chart to identify variance schedule that we need to control.

Manage Project Payment

Project Payment is finance department matter?

No, thats on project dept scope. If you know project management by PMI, payment included in cost area from 10 area project management. Project person should monitor and controling payment for smooth projects progress. Contractors will chase you if they have not getting payment as scheduled, and can affect on delaying project progress.

How to monitor payment?

You must know step-by step of invoicing process from site progress report untill money transfered to venddors bank account. From each process you can addressed some issue and try to fix that.

Today we have many technology to help us to do this in easiest way. There are SAP, shared outstanding payment file, and customizeed android app that we can check every time. We can put standard operation rocedure for payment on that tools. If we delay in one step of payment process more than time frame we can push to the responsible person to them by automatic notification, if no response the ntification will send to their superior. If ther a problem with invoice document, all the document should send back to contractors with required informations to fix that.



Man Power Planning Civil Asistant

When you plan to put a civil asistant in the site, there is a guide to know you have enough civil asistant or not.

1.Covered area

Area covered by civil asistant idealy is every 5 000 ha, there is a civil asistant. You can put civil asistant to cover more than one estates.

2. New Project value covered

How much building and infrastructur project will you build there? If you will build 200 houses  and 200 bridges for 10 years. If your house value  Rp. 300 mio each and bridge Rp 200 mio each. Total in 10 years you will spent RP. 100 bio. That means every year you spent about 10 mio. If you only put one civil asistant, he will overwhelmed. Ideally one asistant handle Rp 5 bio every year.

You can add more asistant to supervising, or spread the project timeline, or add more foreman.

3. Maximum distance

Civil asistant facilitated with motorcycle as operational vehicle. If distance from one project site to other site more than 3 hours, what can you expect for works quality will as good as project with full supervision?

4. Maintenance works

How many maintenance work need civil asistant there? road maintenance, building maintenance? if there is no new project, we still need small number of asistant to do maintenance works. It is why in some plantation company, the call civil assistant as resident engineer.


Tender process should handle by special departments, in my company it is procurement and constracts. But for the process they will involve small team (tender committeee) to negosiate and decide which best vendor they choose for do the works (tender winner).

Here is the stage :

1. Request for quotations from contractors. If they want to participate, contractorss must do site visit.

2. Internal meeting to see how to process the tender

3. Technical Clarification to ask contractors how they calculate, if find mistake ask them to revise

4. final negosiation and awarding contract to the right candidate. Score based on the cost, experience, finance capacity, technical ability etc.

Monitoring & Control : Realtime Report for fast actions

What project report do you have?

  • Monthly report
  • Annual report
  • Audit Report

We need that as our monitoring and evaluation.

How to control the project while the site thousands kilometers away from us, in many seperate area that cellphone have no signal? yes, thats plantations company project challenge.

If we using monthly or weekly report project thats was not enugh to control project activity in the site. We need daily activities in real time.

The solutions is technology. Now we can use whatsapp group, bbm group or line group to monitor our project. as simple as we chat to our family member. No signal? you can use wifi in estates to send messages, picture even call or video call using it as free. Why we protect our wifi for such useful things.

I have group to monitor my civil asistant activity daily, track project and do control actions. Do you?


Bulking Construction

Why need bulking?

To unloading CPO and kernel to the barge. We know, barge is the cheapest way to transport thing. We can sell CPO and kernel and send that using our bulking. How many trucks to transport lets says 3000 Ton CPO? how many days need?

CPO bulking in Indonesia clasify as Tersus (terminal Khusus), need operational license from Ministry of Transportation.


The facility in bulking depend on design criteria, what we will do in bulking?

Here is general facility for bulking

  • CPO tank
  • Boiler house
  • WTP
  • Office
  • Jetty, trestle, dolphin
  • Breakwater
  • Housing
  • Powerhouse
  • Kernel Crushing Plant (for kernel processing)
  • Refinery (for refinery unit)
  • Bea Cukai Office (for export material)
  • Packaging (for package product)

Housing : Time to Change

We can not deny that palm plantations company always use tipycal housing in their site. In my opinion it like a standar housing for plantations. Its happen because our agribussiness growing from small number of company to so many number. Engineer always use their design in previous company.

Is it good enough to use “standard housing”?


Reason :

  1.  Old design for housing was too big. As sample, for G2 housing, floor area is about 90 m2 for 2 family. I am always think that 36 m2 for employee family (harvester) is enough. It will cut much cost.
  2. Need long durations to constructed. Construction of conventional building need more time to completed the works. As options we can consider prefab housing, template wood housing or container housing to speed up the project completions.
  3. Not green enough. Reuse-Reduce-Recycle. Can we optimize this for plantations housing? offcourse. Please you think about this: can we catch the rainwater for washing, can we use boiler ash as material to build house, can we replace wood with steel/alumunium/PVC, can we put enough window to reduce electricity, can we use heat resistance material like alumunium foil to reduce heat transfer to house so we do not need air conditioning. I bet you this not to complicated or expensive if you have good calculations (life cycles cost).
  4. Old design not eye catching.

So, I am prefer to redesign all old housing design if you still using it.

Palm Oil Mill : Process Building

Mill process building ussualy constructed from steel structure, cover with roof and cladding. Floor using concrete finish and heavy duty ceramics for some part like clarifications stations and power house. In some mill whole area finish by ceramics.

Dimension for process building depend on the mill capacity and machinery arrangement.


Soil test will shown you the soil bearing capacity. With the calculation we can decide are we need use piling foundation or just square shalow foundations. You must considering output force and momen reactions for each footings from structure analysis program (SAP2000).

Steel Structure

Design for column and rafter structure can be calculated using structure analysis program to define what profile we must used. Also for the connection, bolt and nut, stiffner, base plate etc.


  1. Prepare the site
  2. Foundations works
  3. Sloof construction
  4. Column erections
  5. Rafter erections
  6. Tiebeam connections
  7. Caldding frame
  8. Roof
  9. Cladding
  10. Machinery foundations
  11. Flooring

Land Application

Land application used to convey POME from palm oil mill to land (block). POME BOD  value that can used for LA maximum 5.000. Capacity for LA area/years is 750 Ton. If the rainfall and soil absorbtion condition is normal, my calculation show the land needed is 5 Ha/TPH mill capacity.

Design needed :

  1. Flatbed dimeension and overflow gutter, depend on the countour and soil conditions.
  2. Pumps capacity and head, calculate using distance and volume
  3. Piping selection diameter and materials.