Case Study: Project “K”

//Case Study: Project “K”

Case Study: Project “K”

Mid-project review
Fort McMurray, Canada
$1 Billion
2015

Workface Planning Scorecard Summary

The review was conducted onsite by Insight-wfp.inc utilizing the methodology and structure contained in the Workface Planning Scorecard, which is attachment A of this report.

Scorecard Summary

   

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

 
   

1

2

3

4

5

Total score/ 50

1

Project Definition & Planning

 

14

6

4

 

24/50 – 48%

2

Project Controls

 

10

9

8

 

27/50 – 54%

3

Information Management

 

10

9

4

5

28/50 – 56%

4

Workface Planners

 

6

6

8

15

35/50 – 70%

5

Installation Work Packages

 

6

6

16

5

33/50 – 66%

6

Field Execution

1

10

6

8

 

25/50 – 50%

 

Totals

1

56

42

48

25

172/300 – 57%

Summary

The system is very similar to the process that was found on the HLE project in that it is has a very strong emphasis on Quality with a secondary consideration for Project Controls and field level execution requirements. The process has all of the foundational requirements for Workface Planning, is beneficial to the field level execution and is having a positive impact on productivity. The audit score shows that there are pockets of excellence and some deviations from the industry best practices. As with the audit from the HLE project, the project professionals interviewed on the ROF project displayed a strong commitment to excellence and were keen to share their experience. The occasional poor results that were experienced were the result of systemic design rather than the lack of expertise or desire.

Deviation from the Industry best practices included:

  • The Workface Planners are not dedicated to Workface Planning and also perform Field Engineering and QC.
  • The IWPs are generally too big and are constructed to identify all of the work that needs to be done in a specific Design Area rather than the work that a crew should/can execute in a single rotation.
  • The Planned Value of an IWP is estimated by the Planner at the time of development and is not linked to the quantities, installation unit rates or the project estimate.
  • IWP completion dates in the project schedule are developed by project completion requirements without consideration for the IWP quantities or performance forecasting.
  • The IWPs are progressed in P6 daily based upon an estimated % complete reported by the Superintendent. Progress database and the IWP log also track progress but are based upon a calculation of % complete developed from quantities installed. The P6 progress is then reconciled against Progress database progress.
  • Constraints of Materials, scaffolds, construction equipment and prerequisite work are managed by the Foreman in the field, not by the planner
  • Documents are available in hard copy only and are not being revised (this is due to the engineering company being demobilized).
  • Material received is logged in an excel spreadsheet that is not available to the planners or the field supervisors.
  • Field Change Notices (Found work and RFIs) are added to the IWP for that area which complicates the scope and makes them very difficult to track or close.
  • RFIs that were answered in the module construction yard are not available to the CMT.
  • Construction Management do not have access to an integrated schedule showing the Owner subcontractor activities.
  • The engineering company were demobilized before substantial construction was achieved.
  • The sequence of turnover has just been drafted with the project due to turnover systems in 8 weeks.

Contributing factors:

The Engineering was frozen and the engineering team were demobilized in March. This has created a void of source data and almost no revisions. Another Engineering team has been brought in to facilitate RFIs. Consensus amongst the project team is that the project would have been better off with the original engineering team.

Datum point:

One of the original datum points was not correct and there is a multitude of 8” pups being welded into spools to make them fit.
Early project Document Control was poor quality and the CM team eventually printed all the drawings (3000) in Calgary and brought them to site. This has remained the primary source of documents.The Project has several large sub contracts that report directly to the Owner project management team and not to the Construction Management Team, so the Owner have their own CMT, which has created a very difficult coordination effort. Sub contract activities are not tracked in the Construction Management schedule and communication to the Sub contractors flows through the Owner PMT.

The Project has several large subcontracts that report directly to the Owner project management team and not to the Construction Management Team, so the Owner has their own CMT, which has created a very difficult coordination effort. Subcontract activities are not tracked in the Construction Management schedule and communication to the Subcontractors flows through the Owner PMT.Onsite material management is not linked to procurement so there is no list of what has been procured and the only information they have is a list of what has arrived onsite.

Onsite material management is not linked to procurement so there is no list of what has been procured and the only information they have is a list of what has arrived on site.

Recommendations:

Once again the target of these recommendations is not for changes to the project, but rather for the development of processes going forward that will fully functionalize Workface Planning and construction productivity.

Project Definition and Planning

One of the large gaps identified during the assessment of the project was the absence of a standard process and procedure for the application of Workface Planning. Ideally the creation a WFP procedure would also address many of the upfront issues that surfaced under the heading of Project Definition and Planning: How to establish the Optimal Path of Construction, Engineering Work Packages and Construction Work Packages, the need for Information Management, the sequence of Engineering and Procurement and the requirement for stakeholder compliance through contract language.

The next biggest opportunity for improvement is in the design of the Project Management and Construction management teams. Owner and Construction Management being the same company have the ideal infrastructure to develop a single project management team that has a construction management division. This would dramatically improve the communication of project information and the alignment of Engineering, Procurement, Fabrication and Module assembly with the needs of Construction.Project Controls

Project Controls

The assessment of this project shows that the link between project performance, the project estimate, and progress towards completion is very important. If this is not established it would be very difficult to understand, how much is done, how the project is performing against the estimate, how much work there is to go or how long it will take to complete. The foundation for this synchronization is definitive scope and quantities tracked against planned and actual installation rates at a level that is meaningful to the field (spools and cables). Going forward the ideal outcome would be to populate progress database with individual components, (spools and cables), which are then rolled up to form IWPs (one week of work for one crew). The IWPs then appear in the schedule as individual activities which have Planned Value and durations based upon the installation rates used in the estimate. The Foremen then use the IWPs to record progress against components in line with their rules of progress. This data can be gathered from the 3D model, fabrication reports, and the cable schedule on a regular basis. The Key is to establish conventions that govern data development, deliverables and exchange.

Information Management

The absence of key data management tools for Document Control and Material Management on this project have demonstrated the true value and critical nature of data to the field construction team. The fully functional application of Workface Planning is heavily dependent upon the Planners having access to the latest revision documents and material management reports through direct access to project databases. Knowing that the construction team will be using data to create and manage IWPs allows us to design systems that ensure that data is also a required deliverable from engineering, procurement, and fabrication.My recommendation is to create a procedure that governs the generation, delivery and exchange of data. This typically starts with the attributes that are enabled in the 3D model, then sets standards for the project nomenclature, Project Controls, Document Control, Procurement, Material Management and Fabrication data.

My recommendation is to create a procedure that governs the generation, delivery, and exchange of data. This typically starts with the attributes that are enabled in the 3D model, then sets standards for the project nomenclature, Project Controls, Document Control, Procurement, Material Management and Fabrication data.

Another project in the portfolio is using a traditional scaffold management process where the Foremen request scaffold as they need it. This does not encourage the identification of scaffold by the planners so that it can be built ahead of time or tracked for build hours, materials, or teardowns. The simple tracking tool being used on this project is a good example of a scaffold data management process that this project would have benefitted from. The tracking of scaffold data has been proven to reduce scaffold cost and more importantly reduce delays caused by late requests for scaffold.

Workface Planners

There are some strong features identified on this project that should be carried forward into the Construction Management Model for Workface Planning. When we look at the high quality of the Instrumentation plans on this project we see that the Planner is dedicated to WFP with no other duties, is well qualified (Tradesperson with supervision experience) to carry out the plans and has not too much workload (correct ratio of Planners to Trades). The result is that the Planner has the time to manage constraints and has checked the plan against the material received so that the effective execution of the IWP is much more probable. The other critical feature that I would recommend is that the Planners report directly to their Superintendent. The project experienced evidence that this is a preferred alignment, the Superintendents reported that they often subdivided the IWP to suit their execution strategy, which is because the Planner did not create the plan to satisfy their Superintendent.There was a conceptual model for Workface Planners that was applied to the project that envisioned the Planners building all of the IWPs prior to the start of the project and then having them move into the field as Superintendents. This model has been used successfully in shutdowns where the scope and materials are all received prior to execution. However in the case of Fast Track project construction where Engineering and Procurement are received in sequence as the project progresses, IWPs need to be developed in a rolling wave style that requires dedicated planners. The project abandoned the concept and retained planners for the duration of the project.

There was a conceptual model for Workface Planners that was applied to the project that envisioned the Planners building all of the IWPs prior to the start of the project and then having them move into the field as Superintendents. This model has been used successfully in shutdowns where the scope and materials are all received prior to execution. However, in the case of Fast Track project construction where Engineering and Procurement are received in sequence as the project progresses, IWPs need to be developed in a rolling wave style that requires dedicated planners. The project abandoned the concept and retained planners for the duration of the project.Installation Work Packages

Installation Work Packages

The structure of the IWP in use on the project is very good and has the potential to satisfy the needs of field execution. The dominance and influence of QC is very good for the QC section but detracts from the quality of the rest of the plan. This is evidenced in the scope of work which is often based upon systems and design areas without consideration for the sequence of activities. The inclusion of the entire ITP and the complete set of welding specs has developed the IWP into a reference document (that stays on the shelf in Document Control) rather than a plan that is in the hands of the foremen.I recommend that Construction Management develop a standard for the IWP that has a comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions based upon what the Foreman needs at the workface. A simple example of an exclusion is the checklist, it is a tool that can be used by the planner during the development of the IWP but has zero value for the Foreman, and so it should not be included in the package.

I recommend that Construction Management develop a standard for the IWP that has a comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions based upon what the Foreman needs at the workface. A simple example of an exclusion is the checklist, it is a tool that can be used by the planner during the development of the IWP but has zero value for the Foreman, and so it should not be included in the package.Field ExecutionThe review scored very low in the field execution section due mainly to the lack of IWPs in the field. As mentioned earlier the focus of the IWP has become centered upon QC requirements and as such has lost the focus of being the key tool for the foreman. The core concept of Workface Planning is to enable the execution of work through the facilitation of the Foremen and this is not how the IWPs are being utilized. The recommendations made in the fields of Workface Planners and IWPs are aimed at creating plans that are of high value to the foremen, and this will go a long way to increasing their utilization in the field and impact on productivity.

Field Execution

The review scored very low in the field execution section due mainly to the lack of IWPs in the field. As mentioned earlier the focus of the IWP has become centered upon QC requirements and as such has lost the focus of being the key tool for the foreman. The core concept of Workface Planning is to enable the execution of work through the facilitation of the Foremen and this is not how the IWPs are being utilized. The recommendations made in the fields of Workface Planners and IWPs are aimed at creating plans that are of high value to the foremen, and this will go a long way to increase their utilization in the field and impact on productivity.

On top of those recommendations, I would suggest that the plans have a set duration of no more than two weeks and that when the period is over that the IWP is returned to the planner whether it is complete or not. This creates an expectation for completion and also drives the planners to develop plans that have the correct activities in them.

Report developed by
Geoff Ryan P.M.P.

By |2019-02-07T21:51:04+00:00September 20th, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on Case Study: Project “K”

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