J.CAC VOLUME 25 (2000)

A Paintings Conservation Project in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa – Project Management at Work

Anita Henry

Government institutions are increasingly out-sourcing large, on-site conservation projects to the private sector. Conservators interested in competing for such projects are expected to prepare a bid according to the specifications found in a document called a Request for Proposal (RFP). Since an RFP is most often written by a manager or a group of managers, it is no longer enough to simply prepare the technical and cost components of a proposal. The conservator must also demonstrate an ability to plan in advance all aspects of an on-site project. An understanding of basic concepts of project management is necessary for the preparation of the technical proposal and for eventual project implementation. The conservation project of the eight World War I Memorial paintings hanging in the Senate Chamber of the Canadian Parliament Buildings was one such project where an RFP was used in the tender process. The following article will describe the RFP as well as the author’s subsequent response. The article will also describe the site, how it affected the design of the on-site conservation studio, issues of scheduling, and work activity planning and constraints. The author hopes that it will be useful to conservators—whether private or institutional—who must plan for on-site projects.

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