A Perspective on Advanced Work Packaging: A conversation with work packaging expert Dale Adcox - Par
Recently, the AWP Institute team has had the chance to discuss AWP with Dale Adcox, a subject matter expert in WorkFace Planning (WFP) and Advanced Work Packaging (AWP). Dale’s exposure to AWP began a decade ago during his time with Jacobs Engineering.
In this position, Dale realized the importance of having a comprehensive work packaging system with transparent work packages in order to enable meaningful progress. He further realized the importance of integrating multiple data sources in order for AWP implementation to succeed. Dale is now the Director of Construction Support at Fluor Corporation in Greenville, South Carolina and is working toward implementing and standardizing the AWP philosophy and practice within Fluor. In our discussion, he shared recommendations for successful AWP implementation.
Because of the vastness of the conversation, we’ve split this interview into two parts. In this part, we will cover insights regarding the technical aspects of work packaging implementation.
Curate what is included in the Work Package.
It is not uncommon that a Work Package includes all information, graphs, data, etc. for a specific project phase. This inclusion of all data, rather than only pertinent data, could have negative consequences when it comes to decision-making. Bloated work packages are more difficult to understand and decrease the ability to make informed decisions. Dale advises that an installation work package should only contain the information that a field supervisor needs. Other data - such as figures, procurement data, and the like - are more effective when included alongside the work package, rather than inside it. Effective work packages should be supported by data in the background and include highly important information in the foreground. This allows supervisors to immediately focus on important data and make quick, informed decisions.
“A work package should only contain information that a supervisor needs.”
Know that AWP is a project delivery system.
During implementation, every department is assigned a schedule. However, it is often the case that supervisors may not notice a department being behind schedule until much later in the project lifecycle. By creating a work packaging structure, supervisors then have the ability to check schedule progress, update time estimates, and other such project delivery data. Supervisors are then able to progress against this information in order to assure the best results for the project.
"I believe that AWP is truly more centered around data validation and validating that you can progress to the next step.”
Begin with a small project and build from those experiences.
EPC companies and Owners might be tempted to implement AWP on an organizational scale, requiring a large time and resource commitment. Dale suggests that they pick a project, even an existing project, and begin AWP implementation on a smaller scale. From this project, they can then incorporate the lessons learned into another project and eventually branch out and implement the AWP process on a wider scale. This stepwise implementation allows Owners and EPC companies to thoroughly understand the AWP process and its unique instantiation in their organization.
“You can't wait until you get everything perfect, you simply have to start. Find a place where you feel comfortable, and just start."
Based on dale's experience, the above recommendations are relevant to the context of a successful AWP implementation. AWP is a dynamic process and it is important for Owners and EPC companies to fully understand what it entails. In another part of this interview, we discuss with Dale organizational insights. Check out the interview here