There are two prevailing opinions that exist in the industry around Advanced Work Packaging, those who see that it is the system the industry needs to course correct and those that are reluctant because they believe it's just the "next big thing." Either way there is no denying that there are some myths swirling around AWP and this article will help clarify common misconceptions. Read this article to learn what AWP is really all about.
One common misconception about Advanced Work Packaging is that it can only be applied effectively in large multi-billion dollar projects, and is not as easily applied to small or site-based projects. The linked article breaks down how AWP works no matter the size of your project. Click ahead to see what factors make this possible.
A key question typically asked by Owners in AWP structured request for proposals is: "How do you ensure that timing of engineering deliverables supports path of construction?"
First, answering this question requires the existence of the POC prior to the development of the engineering schedule. In other words, if the EPC team is not staffed with a construction management representation during definition and/or detailed engineering, that can be considered an indicator of a weak AWP implementation and may even be considered a disqualifying factor in the future. A weak Path of Construction opens the door for late changes occurring during construction, engineering rework and misalignment with the field requirements. With a weak POC, WorkFace Planning (WFP) as the default process of delivering, executing and managing Installation Work Packages (IWPs) would suffer.
At any time during and between phases, work packages provide supervisors with the information necessary to make the most effective decisions to keep a project on the best track. For example, before the beginning of construction, supervisors are able to evaluate what materials should be ordered, in what format, and when these should be ordered depending on the ordering of work packages. This ensures that no package starts before materials are ready and no materials are sitting unused.
Every industry is somehow governed by a set of unspoken rules and assumptions defining what makes that industry different and unique; a set of ideas that are accepted as general truth by the professionals of the industry at large.
In the capital projects industry, that assumption currently manifests itself through a wide acceptance of the "insurmountable" unique complexities that characterize construction projects along with a dramatic shift toward the belief that successful project management depends primarily on software tools and practices rather than on people's skills and competencies.
When I first started in the capital projects management field, I was repeatedly told: "every construction project is unique, construction heavily depends on people and people are unpredictable; that is why most efforts of standardization are somehow inherently doomed to fail and that is why, low office and field productivity in the world of capital projects will continue to characterize our industry f...
Work packaging is not a new concept. In various forms, construction projects have always divided the work to be performed into smaller portions planned to achieve main objectives including meeting the schedule and budget. Historically, planners have been distant from the workface and lack this proactive process that enables craft workers to perform their work safely, effectively, and efficiently.
This is accomplished by breaking construction work down (by trade) into discrete work packages that completely describe and cover the scope of work for a given project.
This process theoretically promotes the efficient use of available resources and permits the tracking of progress. It is then important to mention that work packaging differs from traditional practice. In fact, work packaging is a more structured and disciplined process for the planning and execution of the work to be performed in the field by preparing for a constraint-free execution as early as project definition.
For decades, the capital projects industry has evolved mostly "offline".
Collaborative research within parties involved have provided a limited basis for knowledge creation in the wide field of project management for industrial capital projects.
With a limited access to a more comprehensive and open literature on the subject of capital project management that has been going on for years, certainly, innovation opportunities have been missed along the way.
The demand for bringing new and young talent to the industry, who can contribute to creating a framework, where people from various backgrounds can participate in the various developments in our industry, has become a necessity.
Advanced Work Packaging (AWP), as other similar themes within the capital projects industry (front-end definition, contracting, safety, materials management, etc.) , is another opportunity to revive our industry work practices and bring it up to speed comparing to other industries.