Stakeholder Management in Industrial Plant Engineering Projects

Alexis Devenin, Mechanical Engineer, MBA, PMP is an Engineering Project Manager with 20 years of experience working in the steel, mining and renewable energy industries.

It’s common that during the execution phase of a brownfield engineering project in an industrial plant, several modifications are demanded by production, maintenance and safety plant personnel. Consistently, these modifications are related to the productivity of the equipment and quality of the goods produced, the maintainability and availability of the equipment, and safety issues.

At this stage, these modifications imply additional works that weren’t planned nor budgeted for. In some cases, these issues have a simple solution; in others, they could necessitate difficult tasks. In the worst cases, some issues cannot be solved.

The obvious question is, “Why do these issues appear just at the execution phase?” The answer is that the plant stakeholders were not effectively involved during the engineering development of the project.

At some point when the engineering was developed at an advanced level, there were a formal meeting with some production and maintenance engineers, and another meeting with safety management. But there wasn’t a systematic approach for the involvement of stakeholders in the appropriate stage of engineering.

The first step in having effective involvement of stakeholders is to identify them correctly. A complete identification of these stakeholders implies not only the function, but also the organizational level.

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