Industrial Project Management: Where SUM Meets SPOC

Marc is a project manager in Barcelona.

Project managers usually tend to think that a project is ready to be closed when the execution phase is finished. That might be correct in the case of projects that create a product that doesn’t need to be operated/manufactured by people (civil or construction works, for instance). However, that is not the case in industrial projects where a new machine or process is brought to the shop floor.

These new systems need to be operated by people at the line, and the project team has the responsibility for ensuring the fastest start-up possible of the project—that is, having the equipment running at target conditions, in the shortest time possible and in a sustained way by the line crew. Turnkey solutions are no longer an option; it doesn’t make sense that an organization outside of operations prepare, design, implement and start a project without involving and preparing the transition to the operations organization.

In order to achieve outstanding results in the implementation of the project, there are two essential concepts:

  1. The early involvement of operations in the project for early input on the design
  2. Start-up management to ensure the receiving organization’s readiness for the project

Early Involvement of Operations
This is a key concept that every project manager must consider when planning a project. Involving and gathering the key …

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