Five simple steps that project managers can take to get their AWP projects off to a strong start
A project manager (PM) is one of the most important people on a capital project team. According to some industry estimates, turnover in the PM’s office at any point in the project lifecycle can increase total installed cost by 5% or more, regardless of the project development system in use. On a $1 billion project, that’s $50 million — not chump change.
The work of the PM is even more critical to project success on a construction-driven project applying the principles and systems of Advanced Work Packaging (AWP). The skilled application of AWP will lower risk and improve results, however, if the PM on an AWP project is not trained in and committed to construction-driven implementation, the project will fail.
This is true despite the fact that project managers don’t do the actual work involved in Advanced Work Packaging. Project managers are not expected to create Construction Work Packages or Installation Work Packages; they are not responsible for procurement, data, or document control. However, they are accountable for daily activities related to key deliverables, and for ensuring that each member of the team is executing their responsibilities in accordance with the principles of construction-driven project management. When a team fails to apply the principles and systems of Advanced Work Packaging, that’s the project manager’s problem.
This article is for project managers who are embarking on a construction-driven, Advanced Work Packaging project. Below, we offer five simple steps for preparing and executing an AWP project with skill and confidence.
1 | Don’t Ignore It
If your leadership team has asked you to implement Advanced Work Packaging, don’t ignore them. I’ve put this recommendation first because I’ve been astonished by the number of project managers who simply ignore instructions to implement AWP and proceed with the traditional method of delivering projects.
I’m not certain that I understand this entirely, but I suspect it’s due in part to the fact that many project managers assume that AWP is one best practice among many, a tool in the project management toolbox, and that its implementation is the sole domain of the Workface Planner. This could not be further from the truth. AWP is a comprehensive project delivery system rooted in a fundamental paradigm shift from an engineering-driven approach to a construction-driven approach. The implications of this shift are far-reaching and touch every role on the project.
If you’re not trained in AWP, you cannot provide the support and accountability your team needs to execute AWP effectively. Which leads me to the next point.