Advocating for Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) Internally

Passionate about the benefits of AWP? These 5 tips will help you advocate more effectively inside your organization

This article is for anyone who believes, as I do, that Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) is a powerful system with the potential to transform capital project organizations. It’s for those who are ready to advocate for systemic change that supports construction-driven, on-time, on-budget project delivery. It’s for people who are willing to question project delivery paradigms that have been entrenched since before the Internet was invented. If this sounds like you, and you’re looking for strategies for selling Advanced Work Packaging internally, read on.

To be clear, I’m not engaging in unbridled AWP boosterism here. I meant exactly what I said: AWP is a system with great potential, not a panacea. If you’re doing business with someone who is promising quick and easy AWP implementation and an immediate 20% reduction in total installed cost, they’re selling false promises. What I’m talking about here is the real, unembellished potential of AWP as both a powerful antidote to siloed EPC delivery, and as a new paradigm that promotes integrated, construction-driven project delivery systems that mitigate risk and deliver capital projects on-time and on-budget.

If you’re on board with me, let’s dive in.

1 | Establish Technical Authority.

If you want to garner the trust of your colleagues, lead with authority, and succeed in your efforts to implement AWP, you need to have a genuine understanding of how AWP works and the certification to back it up. If you’re going to be effective in selling Advanced Work Packaging internally, you must be an informed, credible voice for change, and you need the technical chops to explain and implement complex changes. Concord’s AWP Fundamentals certification empowers you with that.

You should know, for example, that the word advanced in Advanced Work Packaging means advanced in time; that AWP requires work packaging to take place far earlier in the project life cycle, and with construction leaders in the room. You don’t want to confuse AWP with Lean, and you don’t want to conflate it with other “best practices,” you don’t want to shoehorn it into other systems. AWP is a comprehensive approach to project life cycle management, a new standard developed by and for the capital projects industry. As an advocate, you need to understand it.

2 | Don’t Get Offended by Critics

The capital projects industry is undergoing seismic changes, and there is a powerful and deeply entrenched old guard that is heavily invested in the status quo. You will encounter vocal critics at every turn, even in the most progressive companies. Don’t let them stop you. Highlight existing systems that align with a construction-driven approach and emphasize what is being done right; then seek to upgrade areas that are misaligned or faltering. Focus on the results. Remember: Advanced Work Packaging is a system to use, not a sword to die on. The goal is predictable project delivery, and just about everyone can get on board with that.

3 | Talk to People, and Use Facts

Capital projects is a people business, so if you’re selling Advanced Work Packaging internally, you’re in the business of convincing people it works. You need to talk about AWP, present on the topic, and develop a case for why AWP is a best-in-class tool that will get results for your company. AWP has a constellation of benefits, from improving labor productivity and schedule predictability to improved safety and lower costs. As an advocate, your job is to identify your company’s biggest challenges and highlight how AWP can address them.

selling Advanced Work Packaging internally

Q&A with Wärtsilä AWP Champions Niklas Dahlgren and Donovan Karhutalvi

A unique opportunity to learn from two capital project professionals who implemented Advanced Work Packaging and Predictability Thinking™ inside a multi-billion dollar global capital projects organization.

4 | Learn From Failure

This is a tough one to write, but I’d be lying if I said that everyone eventually sees the light when it comes to Advanced Work Packaging. Unfortunately, you will encounter stubborn, entrenched leaders and decision-makers who have been led astray by consultants, software companies or a guy named Joe they met at a conference last month. You may witness, as I have, companies that attempt to implement AWP and fail miserably — not because AWP doesn’t work, but because they implemented a hodge-podge of tools that looked a lot like AWP on the outside, were actually the same old systems on the inside. Lipstick on a pig, if you will. The only thing to do is to cut bait and turn your attention to more receptive organizations.

5 | Learn From Success

There are now many companies that have successfully implemented Advanced Work Packaging, and who are reaping the rewards of predictable project delivery systems. Find them and listen to how they did it! I highly recommend watching our wide-ranging interview with Niklas Dahlgren and Donovan Karhutalvi from the Finnish energy giant Wärtsilä, who together have implemented Advanced Work Packaging and Predictability Thinking™ inside a multi-billion dollar global capital projects organization. These two AWP Champions provide a really solid advice for selling Advanced Work Packaging internally. Click here to watch now, and be sure to check out the other fantastic training courses on the Concord Academy.

Are you ready to take the first step in your AWP implementation journey? Contact us today!

Share This Post