Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On-Ramps for Project, Turnaround, Maintenance and Asset Management

Moving from Boring and Convoluted to Exciting and Rewarding

Mention to someone that you are involved with project management, maintenance management or asset management and be ready to see their eyes glaze over.
The very terms evoke the opposite of management and organization.  Instead visions of endless convoluted spreadsheets with tabs of related and un-related data, random business rules, confusing terms that seem understandable (like earned value, KPI, daily scheduling) but have arcane, company-specific interpretations spring to mind.  In other words, what you do is too complex or too boring to talk about - let’s move on to the next person.

Despite the valiant efforts of organizations like the Project Management Institute (PMI), Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI), the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP), the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and many others, including national, international, and local jurisdictional organizations, to formulate standards that provide consistency between projects and maintenance and asset management programs, a review of a company’s process routinely reveals huge variances between corporate processes and these standards.

So, is this an indication of a problem?  Does it matter that a corporation or agency seems to be quite successful in accomplishing its business objectives in a manner that is not compliant with standards from these professional associations?

I think not. What each company or agency does is their business.  If they choose to establish internal measures to help them improve their processes, that is their choice.

For these reasons, TeamWork Group has configured its easy-to-use tools to be configurable to adhere to each client’s business rules.  We understand that each company or agency wants to evolve at their pace and we see our value-added as being there to support their chosen trajectory, rather than attempt to change it.

Having said this, we need to approach new clients with something more than ‘Let us configure our system to adhere to your business rules.’  For one thing, this process is seldom a short one.  Our experience indicates that, even with close collaboration between company or agency personnel and TeamWork Group personnel, a multi-year period is optimal.  This lengthy timeframe allows for company /agency personnel to get on board with the notion that they are in charge of their TeamWork Solutions and apps.  Secondly, we have observed that close collaboration between company / agency personnel and an on-site TeamWork Aassociates and Consultants provides the best opportunity for both sides to distill each business rule into an implementable process within the system.

So, what do we show a potential new client?  How do we illustrate that we are knowledgeable in their business, are innovators in data management methods, have the depth of staff and skills to support their needs and have the software solutions that can easily be configured for their use?

To demonstrate the functionality of our solutions and apps, we have created a fictitious owner company called Evergreen Resources.  This company has infrastructure that includes facilities (plants, mills, etc.) and transportation systems (pipelines).  It has work that includes building new infrastructure (capital projects), maintaining existing infrastructure (routine and preventive maintenance), overhauling existing infrastructure (shutdown, turnaround, outage maintenance or STO).  This work will be done by a combination of company personnel (in-house) and contractors working under various types of contracts - including fixed price (FP), lump sum (LS) and time and materials (T&M).

We have configured a demonstration process for each project, STO or maintenance scenario.  These demos should provide potential users with the means to understand how TeamWork Solutions apps interact with each other and provide automated adherence to business-rule compliance. Emphasis is placed on the user experience in the various platforms that deliver these solutions: web browsers, tablets and smartphones.

A demo has been created for each of the following scenarios:

  1. Project to build a pipeline and pump-station;
  2. Turnaround of a Refinery Process Unit;
  3. Prepare a Daily Schedule for a crew of routine maintenance workers;
  4. Establish and record Preventive Maintenance processes.

We will add to our list of demos as we hear from potential customers about their needs.

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