The Art Of Integration

The Art of Integration

Why deliberate, knowledge-driven integration matters now, more than ever.

We are living through an era of extraordinary consolidation in the global engineering and construction sector (E&C). In Q2 2017 alone, the market saw 49 mergers and acquisitions, with a deal value of over $21.6 billion. There were four megadeals worth over $1 billion in that period, including the transformational $2.7B acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler PLC by civil engineering giant John Wood Group PLC. That exceptional deal followed news that Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. had acquired CH2M HILL Companies Ltd. for $3.27 billion. These are just two on a long and growing list.

Remarkable deals like these create global engineering, procurement and construction business powerhouses with the potential to deliver differentiated, end-to-end value propositions and comprehensive, highly efficient, unified solutions that minimize customer interfaces and maximize stakeholder value. But this is only possible if they successfully unite their operations, which are often complex, multi-faceted and widely dispersed across the global economy.

This unique market, characterized by mergers, acquisitions, and the resulting complexities, is why leaders in the capital projects construction industry are focused on integration now, more than ever.

In our ongoing effort to bring fresh perspectives to pressing industry discussions, we’ve explored key strategies for successful integration of newly acquired EPC operations in Delivering On The Promise.

Historically, integration efforts have been focused on detailed engineering work, while other aspects of integration were overlooked or neglected.

Consider the importance of non-engineering contextual information, inter-organizational communication, and stakeholder collaboration — these are in fact foundational elements of integration that should be treated with the same diligence and focus as engineering work proper.

In this issue of Velocity®, we offer Four Steps To Integrated Project Delivery, which provides a powerful blueprint that ranges from early planning of construction sequences and standardization of work packages to alignment workshops and the adoption of scalable, configurable technology.

Integration can take many forms, of course, from the office to the field, across all phases of the project lifecycle, and among all of the disciplines involved in the execution of complex projects. Our exclusive interview with PG&E Sr. Work Resource Manager Todd Mintzer begins with a discussion about the importance of breaking down silos to improve collaboration and build high-performing, cross-functional teams that are fully aligned and effective. He discusses the power of alliance frameworks, the critical importance of engaged project sponsors and the need to find new leaders who can bridge the gap between organizational layers. He also offers a persuasive argument for the implementation of integrated change control systems that can create the conditions for successful cross-functional collaboration across stakeholder groups.

These critical change control systems are the foundation for integration that takes place centrally, but leaders are also concerned with integration at the local, project level. Of course, the best strategies for local/project integration will be heavily dependent on context. In this edition, we’ve explored one of these contexts — the use of Engineering Value Centers, or EVCs — offering guidelines and best practices for integration, Working with Remote Teams.

In the final analysis, integration is about people, and so the business of integration is the leader’s business. Who better to tell us what values to develop than an engineer who has led an organization of over 33,000 engineers? We’re pleased to bring you an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Thomas P. Bostick, the 53rd Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He offers tremendous insight and tools for developing talent, achieving diversity, leading organization and learning from mistakes. It’s a great read.

We’re thrilled to share our passion for capital project integration in this second edition of Velocity® magazine. We hope you learn as much as we did.


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