Editorial: The Concord Academy Story

Olfa Hamdi

Olfa Hamdi is the founder and director of the Concord Academy,  co-founder of Concord Project Technologies and the founding executive director of the Institute for Advanced Work Packaging. She was a member of the CII research team that produced IR-272, and is now leading the movement for predictable, integrated, technology-driven capital projects management.

Our proven method has been tried, tested and refined on multi-billion dollar capital construction projects. We know it works.

Why did Concord invest in developing an Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) certification program? Why should companies and practitioners place their faith in Concord as a certifying body? The questions came fast and furious after we launched the Concord Academy in May, and I’m going to answer them all right here. 

First, the basics. The Concord Academy offers standardized, structured, progressive training to capital project professionals who practice Advanced Work Packaging. It is foundational training appropriate for everyone from sponsors and engineering teams to project managers and field leaders. Concord training is provided entirely online, using cutting-edge technology that allows students to learn at their own pace, anywhere in the world. The course of study includes regular, mandatory tests and quizzes, and those who successfully complete all of the modules become certified in Advanced Work Packaging or Workface Planning. The program has been adopted by leading organizations including Shell and Samsung.

We developed a certification program because there was a dire need for standardized capital project management training.

We established the Concord Academy and developed a certification program because there was a dire need for standardized capital project management training, and Concord was well-positioned to meet this need. I researched and co-authored the industry’s seminal report on Advanced Work Packaging, and then founded the Advanced Work Packaging Institute to serve as a clearinghouse for implementation research. I founded Concord Project Technologies specifically to support capital project companies in their efforts to adopt AWP, Workface Planning and Predictability Thinking.

At Concord, my team and I have had the unique privilege of designing, implementing and supporting AWP pilot projects for some of the biggest capital construction companies in the world. We’ve worked in Europe, North America and the Middle East; we’ve worked on projects ranging from petrochemical sites and energy projects to data centers and commercial buildings; we’ve worked at the executive, enterprise, portfolio, management and execution levels. We have worked on business, engineering, procurement and construction aspects of capital projects. In all, we have an AWP implementation portfolio of roughly $6 billion. 

In the process, we developed a proven method for adopting AWP that can be deployed by any organization willing to invest in training and implementation. We’ve shared our approach through more than 100 free articles and webinars, and we were already training teams when the pandemic hit. The forced move to online-only training made the next step obvious: It was time to scale and start certifying our graduates. Concord Academy was born.

Our training is not just based on ideas, theories or research; it is based on hard-won, real-world experience. We cover terminology, principles and paradigms, but go beyond concepts to provide practical tools, systems and strategies for implementation. The curriculum we teach to our students has been tried, tested and refined on multi-billion dollar capital construction projects. We know it works.

In this 9th edition of Velocity — The Training Edition — we take you along on the journey of creating the world’s first self-paced, online training program for capital project professionals. In keeping with our mission to educate and empower, we explore why certification matters, why online training works, and some of the pillars of our training program, including an introduction to Implementation Layers. We hope you enjoy the magazine and stop by to visit us at tconglobal.com/learn.

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