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(Update) History of AWP and WFP Research

-> Published in 2014

This article is an excerpt of the first published academic thesis on Advanced Work Packaging

"Advanced Work Packaging from Project Definition through Site Execution: Driving Successful Implementation of WorkFace Planning", by Olfa Hamdi, The University of Texas at Austin, August 2013

Link to the complete work using the following link:

WorkFace Planning (WFP) is “about getting the right things to the right people at the right time to save money and improve productivity in large-scale construction projects.” (Construction Owners Association of Alberta, 2005). The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) recognized it as a best practice in 2005. The purpose of the development of WorkFace Planning (WFP) was to overcome the challenges that the Alberta region is facing in executing and construction its Oil Sands projects. Those challenges are manifesting in cost overruns including in front end planning, design, procurement, organization processes, construction, etc.

In 2009, the Construction Industry Institute (CII), an American non-profit consortium of more than 100 leading owner, engineering, contractor and supplier firms, initiated a Research Team (RT) aiming to develop an executable model of enhanced work packaging based not only on WorkFace Planning but also on other industry work packaging practices. Following a review of industry and trade literature and in conjunction with the development of case studies, the team developed a lifecycle execution model for work packaging with an emphasis on field implementation (Meeks, 2011). The team reported out on its Phase 1 findings at the CII Annual Conference in Baltimore in July 2011 and also held an implementation session during the same conference.

In 2011, a research joint venture between The Construction Industry Institute and The Construction Owners Association of Alberta was initiated within the scope of the research team RT 272 to work on more advanced vision and practices of work packaging; hence, the new appellation: ADVANCED WORK PACKAGING (AWP). In fact, members from the Canadian think tank joined the team and further objectives were re-chartered to advance the subject and build on prior work. As stated in its research summary (RS 272-1), the research joint venture extended, through its second phase “the execution model with implementation guidance in terms of integration flowcharts detailing integration of Advanced Work Packaging with current practices, contractual recommendations in terms of requirements and strategies, functional descriptions for roles and responsibilities, assessment and audit tools, templates to support key documents, and a small example of how Advanced Work Packaging integrates with traditional project controls.”

As summarized in Figure 1, the research team (RT) 272 has known two phases:

  • From 2009 to 2011 (phase 1): focusing on the development of an execution model for the project life cycle with an emphasis on field implementation along with a set of industry case studies and collection of benefits evidence.

  • From 2011 to 2013 (phase 2 – joint venture between CII and COAA): extending the execution model of Advanced Work Packaging with consideration of implementation challenges documented through surveys and expert interviews in North America and globally.

RT 272 Work Packaging Phase I II

Figure 1 Research team RT 272 phases

RT 272 has also delivered four main books. Those documents are the compilation of four years of extensive research and intermediate deliverables on Advanced Work Packaging:

  • Research Summary (RS 272-1): written by both academics and industry team members to provide a high-level overview of the research findings

  • Three volume Implementation Resource: written by both academic and industry team members and documents the work packaging model findings, including the definitions, execution model, and tools

  • Implementation Resource 272-2, Volume I, Advanced Work Packaging: Design through WorkFace Execution,

  • IR 272-2, Volume II, Advanced Work Packaging: Implementation Guidance, and

  • IR 272-2, Volume III, Advanced Work Packaging: Implementation Case Studies and Expert Interviews

  • Two Research Reports (RR 272-11 and RR 272-22): written primarily by the academics that conducted the interviews and documented the case studies and expert interviews.

Work Packaging Teamwork

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