Findings cost management dike enforcement projects


At this moment the preparation phase of most of the projects from the Tweede Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma (HWBP-2) has been finished. However, recently the size of the preparation costs turned out to be more than estimated, in relative sense as well as absolute sense.

Triple Bridge has identified lessons from the HWBP concerning the cost management of dike enforcement projects in the HWBP during the preparation phase. The study is aimed at the preparation costs of HWBP-2 projects with a calculated realisation cost of €5 million and more.

Some conclusions

The HWBP-2 projects received a limitation that the preparation costs must be a maximum of 15% of the calculated realisation costs. With one exception all the projects easily complied. This is positive in itself, but at the same time raises the question if the system of subsidies of the HWBP-2 was challenging enough to keep the preparation costs to a minimum.

The focus of the research lies on the rational establishing of the organizational processes during the preparation, in which clearly should be avoided that cost reduction of preparation costs are at the expense of risk and cost management during later project phases.

For the HWBP therefore is advised to determine a clear starting point (scope, costs, time), in which implicit risk reservations in the planning and calculation are as much as possible avoided and uncertainties are identified. With such a reference framework one will be better able to control the planning and the costs during the preparation phase.


We therefore advise the project organisations as well as the program management of the HWBP to pay attention at the start of each phase to the deliberation of the projects in order to: 1) anticipate the obstacles, risks and needs of the project in time; 2) possible gain of time can be realised through synchronization; and 3) a conscious decision on cooperation forms and contract forms can be made, so the preparation phase runs smoothly.

This requires a project targeted organisation and a fitting occupation in which the capacity and competences per phase are fine-tuned.

More information

For further information, please contact Jeroen Rijke or Mirjam Cauvern.