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.
To implement advanced work packaging across the project lifecycle requires early collaboration between construction, engineering, and procurement, in order to align work sequences and support the construction schedule. Hence, Advanced Work packaging is the process of planning, organizing and delivering all the elements necessary, before the work is started.
Field implementation involves breaking down construction work by trade into discrete work packages that completely describe/cover the scope of work for a given project to efficiently use available resources and track progress.
Advanced Work Packaging is a more developed model of WorkFace Planning that extends to the overall project phases starting from the Pre-planning stage to the Turnover. Advanced work packaging entails planning in the earliest stages of the project and carrying these activities through to field execution, and ultimately startup and turnover processes. The model does involve early stages, being an integrated process connecting, in a formalized but flexible manner, all stakeholders to improve two main objectives: productivity and predictability.
The Advanced Work Packaging 2013 version (as lastly developed by the industry) still requires various developments to close existing gaps in the system. For instance, AWP gaps as documented by the AWP Institute include (non exhaustive list): the lack of clarity around the integration of AWP with the company's existing capital project management system and practices, the lack of clarity around the engineering role in AWP, the neglected role of procurement in making AWP a success and the AWP fundamentals related to the integration with technology for owner and contractor companies to be able to distinguish and select the technology side of AWP implementation.
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