Ken Le Griffon is the principal resource at RISKDOWN, supported by a local network of trusted associates, contractors and suppliers delivering small builds to complex construction, plant relocation and demolition projects. 

"Predictable projects -Understand the end at the start." 

    Career summary

2010-2020 Sibelco

- Snr Project Manager -

Total lifeycle management of EPCM projects in a wet and dry mining and minerals processing environment ranging in value from $1M to $13M and programs ranging from 3 months to 2 years  . . . more


2007-2010 Tuthill

- Engineering Manager - 

Run day to day engineering operations in a diversified enterprise manufacturing packaged PD blowers and specialised cable assemblies as well as a bearings and rod ends warehouse  . . . more


2000-2007 Westinghouse Rail

- Design Engineer -

Design, construction and installation of trackside equipment and control centre assets Australia wide    . . . more


1988-2000 Monash Enginering

- Managing Partner - 

Lead a three way partnership providing design and construction management services to contractors and manufacturers throughout Australia   . . . more


1983-1988 Working Drawings

- Contract Fitter/Drafter -

Sole trader providing design and construction support to contractors and manufacturers throughout Victoria   . . . more


1980-1983 Adel Engineering

- Drafter/Estimator -

Estimator and drafter for a general engineering and sheet metal fabrication workshop.


1977-1980 Lockwood Industries

- Maintenance Technician -

Provide support to the engineering and maintenance departments post apprenticeship.


1973-1977 Lockwood Industries

- Apprentice -

Fitting and machining indentures under a 4 year apprenticeship at the Lockwood Huntingdale complex.

    Education and qualifications

    Graphical work history

    Innovative engineering examples

Sibelco Sand Mine Lang Lang Vic
Original plan    $1M x 8 months
Purchase, install and maintain an extra 800kW x 1300 TPH diesel dredge booster pump to supplement an existing booster pump in order to maintain a 5 year mine plan with a maximum 1.2 KM pipe run.

Revised plan $40K x 8 weeks
Characterise the 1.2 km dredge delivery circuit using first principles and relocate an existing booster pump to a position that satisfies all stages of the mine plan.

Hume Bros Vertech, Werribee Vic
Original plan $350K x 9 months
Deploy 60 miniature hydraulic cylinders to articulate plates which expand and contract to allow welded steel reinforcing cages for Vertech concrete poles to be removed safely from a 25m long tapered mandrel.

Revised plan $45K x 3 months 
Install twelve water filled flexible rubber tubes to acheive the same result.

Unimin Glass Sand Plant Glenshera SA
Original Proposal - Estimate $350K@ 6 months
Engage finite element analysis followed by structural remediation on a multi deck vibrtatory screen installation, to reduce damaging low frequency vibrations detected by neighbours up to 3Km away from the site.

Adopted solution - Cost $40K@ 2 weeks
Sequentially apply variable frequency drives to screen deck motors, reduce motor RPM while validating product output. Set and lock VDF's.

Sibelco Limestone Plant Traralgon Vic
Original Proposal - Estimate $2.5M@ 2 years
Divert the Traralgon Creek and apply gabian walls to prevent a catastrophic collapse of an embankment adjacent to heavy plant and buildings. 

Adopted solution - Cost $60K@ 5 weeks
Divert heavy traffic away from the area and revise the site traffic management plan.


The following challenges represent situations commonly encountered by a project team. Try it and test your own reactions. Press the arrow button to reveal the adopted solution.

3. Tell him to report the issue to his supervisor
The fitter and welder may have known each other for years and have a history of antagonism working together. The fitter's supervisor will escalate the issue to his manager off site and the matter will be dealt with internally or between the two contractors involved. If the issue is deemed serious enough the contracting crews may decide to deploy one of the individuals elsewhwere to keep the peace. A project manager should be able to deal with these situations at arms length without becoming involved in what could become an uncontrollable situation, unless of course there is a potential safety hazard evident.

2. Report this issue to the project owner
In this situation it is best to tell this contractor to move onto something else while you advise the project owner that you need an immediate, thorough and independent check carried out on all construction drawings, firstly making sure that the contractor is using the current drawing set for fabrication and installation.
The errors just advised could be a sign of things to come. To avoid further delays, now is the time to identify any further drawing issues and rectify fabrications, while the contractor progresses in other areas. Undetected design errors lead to unpredictable projects.

2. Request a plant condition report
Reporting a budget confined specifically within a prescribed battery limit can lead to disappointment later if the existing upstream and downstream plant items are no longer fit for purpose or need attention.
The only sure way to prepare a predictable budget is to support it with a detailed program and the only sure way to a predictable program is to understand everything that might need to be included in the scope of works, which should always include existing plant liabilities. The owner can then decide how to proceed.

4. Analyse both quotes before proceeding
There can be many reasons why quotation values vary but as a project manager the only elements you can really control are scoping documents and bid packages. Your RFQ's need to be structured in such a way that variations as demonstrated here are readily scrutinised, which is accomplished by requesting a detailed pricing and timeline breakdown in the bid packages that includes the major items such as materials, shop labour, site labour, heavy lifts, hired equipment and mobilisation-demobilisation costs. The numbers from both quotations can then be compared with the bidder project schedules to find where the gaps are, enabling further discussions with both bidders. Maybe both quotes need work.

4. Sit down with this contractor
Before upwardly reporting potential issues to the project owner it is important to understand the issues first and this can only be achieved by meeting with the contractor leadership team and supervisor as soon as possible. Quite often the contractor management team will be aware of any slippage and will be dealing with it by planning to increase resources or providing other solutions.
In any event the crew supervisor must be reminded that site based personnel are not to be concerned with commercial matters as this only leads to dangerous attitude changes and shortcuts. Verify once more that all contractor documentation aligns with the project documentation.
If the issue persists the time is now right to report any proposed solutions to the project owner.

4. Sit down with this contractor
This is a typical project recovery situation that needs to be totally understood before reporting to the project owner. This contractor will already understand how long the remaining work will take and how much it is going to cost them. The project manager needs to put together a few alternatives, one being the gazetted end date being the driver, another where the least cost option is the driver. Once all practical options are developed it is time to report possible solutions to the project owner for a final decision. It doesn't take long to action this process and it is best practice the approach the owner with workable solutions to enable a decisive direction without undue pressure on those involved. 





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