Capital Project Management: The Concord Way

Capital Project Management

Velocity, our quarterly capital projects publication, exists for you. Week after week, year after year, we invest in researching and distilling the latest thinking in capital project construction because we believe that sharing knowledge is the first step toward industry transformation. 

Today marks the publication of our 100th article, and to celebrate, we’ve prepared a short, linked guide to capital project management, the Concord Way. In this summary, you’ll find contextualized links to all of our most important and insightful articles. Enjoy!

 

1  | Mindset

Transformation begins in the heart and mind of the leader. Capital project executives who embrace a principle-driven approach set their organizations up for success. They focus on cultivating a predictability mindset and encouraging principled, predictable decision-making. An effective executive mindset stresses the need for perspective, emphasizes proactive leadership, and prioritizes executive training in capital project delivery models

An inclusive mindset helps to build strong teams — at home or abroad — and creates an environment that welcomes millennials and other young workers. The right mindset also acknowledges the need for continuous growth and change, both by studying change management and cultivating the next generation of capital project leaders. 

 2  | Strategy

Developing a capital project strategy starts with setting objectives. At the enterprise level, the objective of most projects is to build an asset that produces a product that meets their business objectives. Key goals typically include a fast and accurate start-up, cost-effective operation and maintenance, and profitability throughout the asset’s lifecycle.

Once these are established, we can begin to consider the strategy for on-time, on-budget project delivery. Consider your strategic approach to risk management, hiring, resource contracting, assurance, “project standardization protocols,” and integration. Explore strategies for improved office productivity, a better Project Execution Plan (PEP), and complexity management. Do you have an articulated strategy for knowledge management and for leveraging lessons learned? 

 3  | Path Of Construction

The foundation of a successful modern capital construction project is the development of a Path of Construction (PoC). A construction-driven approach to planning is essential and understanding the difference between planning and scheduling is key.  A fully articulated PoC aligns engineering, procurement and construction. It also aligns the team, improves constraint analysis and enhances assurance. It is particularly critical in the early phases of front-end definition and again much later, as the organization is building out Construction Work Packages and executing Installation Work Packages, though it remains an essential management tool through to start-up and hand-off. Be sure to watch for signs that you’ve lost your way on the Path of Construction! 

 4  | Advanced Work Packaging

The case for Advanced Work Packaging is clear, and most leading capital project organizations now view it as best practice. The first step to adopting AWP is to determine if the organization is ready for it. Once you’re ready, you can start preparing for AWP, and work to ensure that all team members understand the basics, like who does what. Then the organization can move on to mastering the fundamentals: 

 

Keep in mind that you may have to modify standard AWP practices if you’re working on a small or site-based project, on chemical or gas plant projects, or in another sector entirely, like Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC). In the process of adopting AWP for any sector, be wary of common AWP myths, and learn from the mistakes of others. Once you’ve got the standard processes established, you can take it to the next level by hiring AWP champions, putting an end to “hero culture” and aligning reward structures with AWP. 

 5  | Innovation, Disciplined Collaboration, and Digital Transformation

Leveling up requires a commitment to ongoing investment in new thinking, improved methods, and innovative technology. What steps can you take to better integrate your project delivery system? Do you need to develop a digital transformation roadmap and move your project development technology to the cloud? Can you harness the power of Big Data to accelerate construction? Do you understand how Construction 4.0 will change the way you do business?

These five steps give you a high-level overview of the Concord approach to capital project management. If you’re looking to implement any of these steps, the Concord team is always standing by to help. Contact us here.

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