Click on each stage to see detail
We wrote this simplified model and guide from extensive experience of Programme Management, Project Management and Project Recovery with reference to: The RIBA/CIC plan of work 2013; the ISO 55000 standard for Asset Management 2014 and PAS/ BS 1192 standard for Collaborative Production of Information. It is consistent with Programme and Project Management training courses and packages such as MSP and Prince2.
Our emphasis is on front end loading. The early stages are the most important for project success and a competent Stage 4 is critical.
We believe in validation: Stages 2-5, are validated against the previous stages.
We believe in verification: Stage 6 is verified against Stage 5; Stage 7 against Stage 4 and Stage 8 against Stage 1.
We have found that the key to successful project leadership is through completing every step of a project delivery process competently rather than missing a step through a leap of faith. At RB Plant we take pride in offering expert engineering consultancy at any Stage of the Asset Lifecycle.
Stage 1 Define Opportunity
The start point is an opportunity to change from where we are and move towards a better future. This may be presented as a vision statement or blueprint of how it will be in the future after the change has been made and the opportunity realised. Additionally there may be a problem statement of bad and historic circumstances that we intend to move away from.
The 6 main drivers for change are Social, Technical, Economic, Political, Legal and Disaster Recovery. These make a useful checklist when defining the opportunity for future change and establishing direction for the Organisation.
Stage 2 Identify Options
A range of good options is required. Each option will include a clearly defined start point and a plausible route map to realise the opportunity identified in stage 1. Important stakeholders responsible for delivering the change and realising the benefit must be identified and involved in identifying the options.
Factors to be considered for each option may include: Products, Processes, People, Places and Practices; there may be external constraints, real and imagined, including: legal, resources, cost and time. Each option must be validated as satisfying the opportunity identified in stage 1
A small number of the most relevant options should be developed and recorded for discussion and analysis at the next stage.
Step 3 Select Solutions
The options must be narrowed down to the preferred solution(s) including a delivery route. This starts with identifying the key success criteria for the options. Option-specific opportunities and constraints are identified and assessed. These often include: certainty of the technology, capital cost, running costs, demolition costs, time to delivery of benefit, external constraints/enablers and residual risks.
The process continues by classifying, quantifying, weighting and prioritising the criteria in a manner which allows the options to be qualitatively and quantitatively compared.
Ideally set up a strategy for programme/project direction; define the roles and responsibilities of a steering group and record how the key stake holder group will be managed and involved.
Select the final option(s) for progression to the next stage. A detailed specification of the outputs/deliverables from ‘Prove Solution’ stage 4 would ideally be prepared.
Stage 4 Prove Solutions
The purpose is to reduce risk during design and implementation (Stages 5 and 6).
Risk can be quantified in a number of ways including technology, time, cost, quality, even public opinion. The process generally entails developing and testing new methods and technologies and carrying out sufficient design work to prove that the intended delivery route and through life Asset Management Model is sufficiently robust and low-risk to embark on the stages of detailed design and implementation.
Contracting strategies for detailed design and implementation would ideally be worked through in great detail at this stage in preparation for the tender process. A robust change control procedure would ideally be agreed.
One output from this stage is a detailed process specification including flow diagrams, P&ID’s, safety studies and system operating and test specifications. An additional and complementary output is a detailed report and design sufficient for execution of the detailed design by a suitably experienced and competent designer. The reports and designs from this stage must be revalidated against the opportunity identified at Stage 1. There should also be a detailed specification of the outputs expected from the detailed design and implementation stages.
Step 5 Detail Design
The detailed design must be sufficient to specify all the requirements for project implementation.
Design is always resource intensive and expensive. The effectiveness of the design is determined by the quality of Project Management and Project Controls in combination with the tender specifications.
Throughout industry, there is enormous variation in the level of detailed design carried out by the designer – as compared to design carried out by the fabricator & installation contractor. Involvement of the steering group and level of reporting also varies widely. At his stage the level of thought and detail in the partnering arrangements, specifications and contracts is realised.
The output of this section should be a detailed design validated against the ‘Solution’ from Stage 4 sufficient to ‘Implement’ Stage 6. There should also be a final detailed specification for all of the deliverables required during ‘Implement’ Stage 6. The boundaries between ‘Implement’/’Commission’ and ‘Commission’/’Use’ deserve a tight definition.
Step 6 Implement
Implementation is the process of fabrication, supply, installation and verification.
Material and labour resources are intensively applied at this stage. Cash flow typically reaches its highest level at any time during the entire asset lifecycle. Success of the implementation is determined by a combination of detailed planning in the delivery strategy, management arrangements and detailed design at the outset combined with excellent construction management & project controls (management of time cost and quality) exercised during the process.
Completion is achieved when implementation has been carried out, verified and documented in accordance with the detailed design.
Further detail can be added to the boundary specification between ‘Commission’ /’Use’ (Stages 7&8) and the point of ‘Handover’ as required.
Step 7 Commission
Commissioning verifies performance against specification.
The performance specifications were defined in ‘Detail Design’ Stage 5 and Stage 4 ‘Prove Solution’ where the effectiveness of the chosen solution was validated against the ‘Opportunity’ Stage 1.
At some point during commissioning there will be a ‘Handover’ from the ‘Implementor’ to the ‘Operator’ This handover defines who is responsible for managing operations in the area and typically occurs at around the time secret, sensitive, live or hazardous materials specific to the operator’s process are brought into the area.
Commissioning is complete when all of the specified tests have been run, recorded, verified and documented.
Step 8 Use, Maintain, Refurbish, Modify
Realising the benefits of the opportunity and vision. This stage typically includes optimisation of the process as well as the day-to-day running for potentially several decades. The benefits of stakeholder involvement at the early stages of the project are finally realised.
Through-life running costs of the process and associated buildings and infrastructure typically exceed the capital costs by a factor of over 100. Excellent building records and documentation are a great boon to future operators, maintainers, modifiers and refurbishers . More project steering groups are specifying Interactive 3 D models of their capital assets from the outset. Comprehensive Project Information Management systems (PIM’s) are becoming the norm.
Step 9 Close and Demolish
This is the process of returning a site to a pre-use state or suitable for re-use. Very often the work is divided between clean-out and demolition. This is to protect demolition contractors from hazardous process residues such as nuclear, biological and toxic materials. Demolition should be planned as part of the project lifecycle from the outset, thus considerably reducing the risks, hazards and costs associated with cleaning up, decontaminating and remediating the industrial site during and after closure.
Each project begins with the client brief and detailed discussions. We adopt an inclusive whole-team approach to identify the project circumstances, boundaries and requirements before preparing and agreeing the brief together.
We adapt and simplify the project whole-life cycle to directly reflect the project requirements and prepare a project delivery plan. We happily work with any client or industry standard. Otherwise we adopt International and British standards appropriate to the project or capital programme.
We prefer to identify and manage ‘stage-gates’ in a project. These can be used to control and measure delivery to milestones of progress against, time and cost in the cycle. The ‘key’ to each gate is agreed evidence that work has been done combined with assurance that it meets the required standard. A typical whole-project life-cycle would be: problem definition, option identification, option evaluation & selection, feasibility/development study, detailed design, implementation, commissioning, production & maintenance, refurbishment, plant closure, demolition.
RB Plant are willing and able to carry out or facilitate any or all of these stages.