Email from boss:
Is our power plant construction project on schedule? Can you provide percent complete details please?
Email Response to boss:
We are 49.2% complete on mechanical/electrical, and 36.5% complete on instrumentation. Most systems are slightly behind schedule, with the Auxiliary Steam Boiler system the worst at 24.35% complete, when it should be 38% complete by now. For that particular system, we have fully commissioned 41 of the 244 devices, and partially completed 10 more devices. Engineering Area 41 (Ammonia Storage and Transfer) is also causing some trouble, mostly related to motor megger problems. We are working on those discrepancies now. Attached is a spreadsheet with summary-level information as well as system-level and engineering area-level percent complete data that includes all commissioning completed through yesterday, including resolved as well as open punchlist items. Let me know if you’d like device-level inspection forms and if so, I can forward you the completed PDFs for those devices right away.
Most of the time, percent complete estimates are just guesses
The above scenario is usually the exception to the rule. In most cases, percent complete commissioning details are best guesses and rough optimistic estimates, with only high level summary information. Sure, best guesses and high level summary info works fine for smallish, short-timeframe jobs, but not for large-scale multi-year projects, where each day of delay might mean another $100K of cost overrun.
So why settle for a paper-based system that provides none of the above details at the push of a button?
Why use old labor-intensive methods to collect commissioning data from complex construction projects?
Why use best guesses? Aren’t those merely opinions anyway?
Use smart commissioning software instead
For large, mission-critical projects, you can eliminate all the guesswork and let the computer do all the calculations for you, based on your own % complete criteria and have that information roll up, allowing you to provide broad summary information while allowing you to drill down to an individual device as well. So for example, you can provide high level, broad strokes information to your c-level officers at the firm, while also providing device-level details to your startup team…the ones that are in the weeds doing the actual work and who need to know those details. With a smart software system, you can also do the following:
- Use validation controls to improve data quality and data completeness (eg, use a range of valid values for a specific field)
- Control the approval process workflow by using permissions controls and validations (eg, don’t allow a device to be fully complete until the supervisor’s signature is inserted into the record)
- Completely automate the % completion metrics calculations down to an individual device’s specific fields (eg, a device is 40% complete if a motor megger is completed)
- Automatically generate PDFs for each completed device
- Query the database for any captured value
- compare actual % complete to scheduled % complete using visual graphs
- Improve turnover by handing off fully completed systems to document control and turnover teams
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