Question: How does the implementation of AWP affect your capital project staffing plans?
The answer is: it depends on your scope of AWP implementation and how serious your implementation approach is!
Implementing AWP is no exception to the generally acceptable risks of change within organizations. To ensure success, you need a conscious planning of your AWP approach and clear implementation targets with good change management practices.
Asking the question on the impact of AWP on your Org Chart is part of doing your due-diligence on AWP implementation. Here are some insights that can help you in the process:
Project leadership wearing too many hats
From an organizational perspective, companies have generally had two approaches to implementing work-packaging methods: they either adopt a formal approach and create new positions, especially the work packaging champion position, or do not consider a formal approach to the modification of existing positions.
In general, we have found based on the Institute's interviews that companies that informally added new tasks related to work packaging to existing position have had challenges related to the optimum execution of their own core tasks; A classic example of that is expecting the project manager to be the champion of work packaging implementation with no formal support system in place. One of the project managers we interviewed mentions: "the project leadership starts wearing too many hats, including construction management and that is distracting and may be counterproductive".
Our recommendation is for your organization to plan AWP implementation with a formal pilot project where the leadership has not only full buy-in into the process but also has staffing support meant to enable the success of AWP across the project's lifecycle.
AWP Staffing Scenarios
One of the first observations that emerged from the expert interviews is related to the level at which the organizational hierarchy is impacted by the implementation of work packaging. In fact, whether work packaging is implemented on the construction phase only (in this case, it is called WorkFace planning) or work packaging is started earlier In the FEED phase, the organization of the company and the management level are both impacted by the use of work packaging.
For instance, the example of an owner company operating in the energy sector shows that it has a dedicated team working to ensure the success of the work packaging process that is implemented through three main stages; A sort of an AWP-based PMO including work packaging planners, material management specialists, project managers, engineers and designers involved in early AWP implementation, depending on the chosen stage with work packaging.
We have also seen in the industry those who chose to get the AWP implementation championed by the project controls department, others prefer to keep the AWP sponsorship under the projects' leadership, or the procurement office.
No approach is better than the other; For now, there are not enough documented evidence to support one implementation scenario versus the other. However, we caution that the main pitfall for AWP being solely driven by the project controls department is that it may be interpreted by the rest of the organization as another layer of cost/schedule accounting without seeing the benefits associated with its physical progressing capability.
For more information about AWP step by step implementation, visit the following link.