Make the most of advanced work packaging as an EPC

Posted: March 20, 2024

Cost overruns on construction projects have become the norm rather than the exception. According to a study by EY, 64% of complex projects confront higher than projected costs, and 73% encounter delays. An AVEVA panel of experts—AVEVA Global Director of Project Execution Sales Stephen Furze, Founder and CEO of Construct-X Dr. Ted Blackmon, and ProjectAI Founder and CEO Ray Paulk—explains the benefits of taking an advanced work packaging approach. By taking this approach, which enables seamless, efficient project design and implementation, EPCs can avoid soaring project costs and time overruns. 

What is advanced work packaging?

Advanced work packaging (AWP) is an approach to construction projects that systematically breaks down projects into manageable work packages, while taking management constraints into account. With this approach, EPCs and owner-operators have improved safety, reduced costs by 10%, and boosted productivity by 25%. The Construction Industry Institute has researched and tested this process with repeated application.

Here are the key takeaways from the panel.

Eight ways to make the most of an AWP approach as an EPC

  1. Enable consistency as an EPC
    An EPC works with multiple clients, each of which has its own system. At any given time, an EPC might have multiple projects running concurrently, and each project likely has a unique set of client-specified requirements. AWP creates a digital thread across the various functions and enables EPCs to consistently adapt their current workflow to new projects.

  2. Prioritize the project foundation, not speed
    Companies used to think that they should focus on speed in the execution of projects, Furze notes. The advanced work packaging approach focuses on extended front-end planning to allow for greater cost certainty and lower project risk. Ultimately, this leads to a smoother—and more efficient—project trajectory.  

  3. Focus on advancing your advanced work packaging
    Advanced work packaging is an active process, Blackmon advises, and a digital twin is crucial to improving performance.  Digital twins help EPCs identify and solve problems digitally—before they occur in the real world. Maintain your flexibility by working to make your process more advanced, rather than completely reconstructing your work packaging flow. 

  4. Stay digital for as long as possible
    Keeping your project digital for as long as possible enables maximum responsiveness and flexibility, Blackmon suggests. There are projects today that are going completely digital, but if you need to transfer to paper, then try to wait until about three weeks before implementation.

  5. Align and define your user roles for optimal benefits
    Your users need to know how to best approach advanced work packaging. Your teams need the right tools and data to complete their tasks. But they also need to be able to adapt to the new roles and skills that may come with advanced packaging workflows. When you align and define user roles strategically, teams can input data to complete their tasks—and collaborate with other teams seamlessly.

  6. Adopt a portfolio mindset
    Too often, organizations think of each project as unique, says Ray Paulk—and they often are. However, every project is part of an organization’s larger portfolio. Organizations need to start thinking about how to retain the knowledge that each project produces and use it to enrich future planning.  

  7. Benefit from the combination of human knowledge and AI
    Combine human experience with AI to retain knowledge from past projects. Use AI to find novel solutions as changes to the original project specifications arise. AI-based tools have helped ProjectAI improve its monitoring capabilities, SCADA analysis, and predictive and prescriptive capabilities, enabling it to optimize complex planning and implementation.

  8. Maximize your capabilities with AWP 
    By combining the capacities of Workpacks, AVEVA™ E3D Design, Construct-X, and ProjectAI, EPCs and owner operators can more easily adapt to the challenges of changing information from new sources—and stay agile as projects move from engineering to construction phases.

AVEVA threads advanced work packaging capabilities throughout its software solutions.

Watch the full panel discussion to learn more about how advanced work packaging, AVEVA, and its partners can help you efficiently plan and develop your complex projects.

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