Martina Asbury Senior Advisor
Martina Asbury works with business, operations and project teams to support the planning, execution and control of large capital projects to achieve business objectives and...
Data is Key to Asset Life Cycle ROI
Asset management and engineering and construction are distinctly lacking the single-point entry of data that disseminates to all project planning and delivery applications, but more importantly meets the needs of operations and maintenance throughout the facility lifecycle.
The current complexity, size and risk of major capital projects has outgrown the ability of humans to effectively handle the sheer volumes of data required to build, operate, and maintain assets.
Project owners, engineering, procurement, construction contractors, and supporting service companies are searching for means to dramatically reduce the cost of capital projects and the cost of maintaining assets. Legacy project delivery work processes and document-centric, functional deliverables must be reinvented.
As well, Owners and Operators are leveraging the technology revolution in reliability and maintenance tools to reduce operating costs. Assets generate vast amounts of data, but little of this is captured, let alone measured, processed and used to make decisions. The Internet of Things – sensors and wireless technologies that enable equipment and assets to become “intelligent” by connecting them with one another – is changing that.
While “data analytics” (mining data to solve problems) is important, the big pay-off is in the availability of a single-source, accurate database across the business, project and asset that powers collaboration and decision-making.
Change is the mandate
Every aspect of the anatomy of a capital project is being penetrated by technology-based software solutions to improve estimating, cost management, contracting, materials management, construction productivity, interface management, and 4D/5D visual performance tracking models. Much of this change is accelerated by the adoption of Advanced Work Packaging that optimizes a construction-driven project schedule.
Identification and sequencing of start-up systems during Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is a well-engrained best practice. Recently, however, Fiatech confirmed that 60-70% of the data required by operations at handover is unstructured; meaning that the data lacks field coding, metadata, tags or other attributes that describe an item and allow it to be found again by browsing or searching. The implication of this on asset integrity and reliability, process safety, and operational risk is staggering. Today all this information must be transferred manually from 2D and 3D documents and checked for accuracy and consistency to ensure operational compliance before use. Not only is the process time-consuming; it also introduces risk of human error and oversight.
Savvy owner/operators now identify and attribute operations and reliability data during early FEL and protect the “data identity and integrity” throughout the asset life cycle. The transition is from document-centric to data-center work flows:
The result is the existence of a “digital” twin of the physical asset at handover from the project to operations.
A host of “disjointed” software solution providers to the rescue?
This surge has stimulated development of a wealth of tools and solutions for all project phases, from preconstruction through operations. The cost and productivity benefits that these innovations can offer are too large to ignore.
Solution providers that offer a common data environment, or ecosystem software platform, that supports interoperability between products from multiple vendors, can provide a less disruptive improvement process and reduce the need to replace legacy software.
Application Programable Interfaces (APIs) allow multiple, best-of-breed software applications and custom configuration to a client’s project delivery work processes and templates. Provider solutions that comply with industry information exchange standards are clearly advantaged.
Technology solution providers vary from “installers” to “implementers” who are vested to various degrees on the outcomes. Likewise, Owner and EPC contractors vary in their internal capability to tackle large scale enterprise change.
Capturing and sustaining the gain
Navigating the digital solution space can be overwhelming. Much has been published on the need to parallel strategic and cultural transformation with digital transformation. Essential to successful digital tool adoption is the requirement to matching organization capability, as well as management systems and work processes.
Project delivery organizations are inherently process-centric, non-collaborative across interfaces, and risk adverse. When new technology platforms do not mirror work processes, the capture of productivity gains is delayed and diminished.
Software and technology is recognized as an enabler, not a panacea.
Success depends both on communicating, preparing and enabling the User Community to adapt to new behaviors and ways of working. This often requires re-tooling work processes, procedures and practices to take full advantage of a data-centric solution. Preparing software end users to see and accept how changes impact their daily work is essential to realizing a quicker return on investment.
Recognizing that systemic changes may be required in project delivery organization culture, strategy, leadership, work processes, and tools, Endeavor enables our clients to capture and sustain the benefit of these changes with a suite of proprietary change management tools that can be tailored for fit-for-purpose application to each client’s objectives. Core elements of Endeavor’s proprietary transformational change process (e4) include:
Our thought leaders combine a unique experience of capital project execution with change leadership expertise.
Somewhere between “the risk of being left behind” that comes from too little, too late and the “risk of overreach” that results in failure to launch or abandoned initiatives is the right digital journey that results in a seamless integration of new tools into daily work that deliver real-time benefits to the end user, in the back office, field, or any other collaboration zone.