Who Showed Up Today?

Apr 17, 2017 -

The Importance of Knowing Your Team.

For several months, I had been serving as an automation provider on a project for a major oil company. The day to install finally arrived! While catching up with my long-time company representative, we went to finally meet with the design and construction management team. He looked at me and said, “Are you ready to go meet the low bidders on this project?” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I have to laugh when I consider how frequently that approach is taken in today’s market. How many times have you shown up to commission a project and found yourself wondering who won the bid for certain other parts of the project?

I relate this to the high-performance sports teams that so many of us watch on TV over the weekend. Do we think a random group of people meet up and take a bus to the stadium and just walk out on the field together? Of course not! Professional sports teams work together under a unified strategy. They set predetermined objectives to overcome obstacles and achieve one goal. Because they have prepared in advance, each player on the field is working in their strongest position and doing their part to advance the cause of the group as a whole. They become a machine with a singular focus while fans cheer them to victory.

Now, back to work! In the commissioning and startup world, it should happen the same way. After contracts are awarded, there should be a period of team building among the groups engaged to make this year-long project successful. The Hargrove Team holds workshops to clearly define objectives, roles, and responsibilities, and to allow key members of the team to organize themselves and reach the ultimate goal: full operation.

Depending on the size of the project, the workshop can be short and concise. However, I do believe the following concepts should be addressed:

  • Commissioning and Startup Objectives
  • Constructability Schedule
  • QA/QC Processes for each group and any interaction between teams
  • Intersections between groups in order to work through safety, ownership, turnover, etc.

It is crucial for the initial meeting to happen outside of an outage/turnaround in order to take the stress out of the equation. Let’s make sure we’re a “well-oiled machine” before we step on the field by first understanding our team. It starts with getting the right players in position.

Do you have questions about how to team on a successful startup? Reach out to the experts at Hargrove by contacting us at startup@hargrove-epc.com.

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