Project Management

Change Management: A Contractor's Tool for Project Handover

PMI Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter

Fabio Pereira Teixeira de Melo is the CEO at PRO MUTARE, a Brazilian-based training and consulting company specializing in project management and change management. With more than 20 years of experience in industrial projects and 15 years in training and consulting, as well as 15 years as a PMI volunteer, he was a member of the core committee responsible for elaborating the third edition of the Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide. He is currently volunteering as the Partnerships Strategic Committee Leader at PMI Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter.

The handover process—including comprehending commissioning, startup and acceptance of the plant—is one of the most important phases in an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project. Equipment and systems are tested, documents and electronic models are updated to the as built condition, punch lists are issued and completed, and the owner’s plant operators start getting their hands on the job. If everything goes as planned, the owner issues a provisional acceptance, the contractor demobilizes its team and the warranty period starts running.

However, in some cases, the process strays far from the plan. The client’s operation team starts asking for new access platforms, the quality team requests additional documentation, and even the control room furniture and wall colors are subject to criticism. The project’s integrated change control team is overwhelmed with change requests, and contract administration teams have to focus on the change process at a time when they should be performing project closure. Even a project that was on track may derail if the project leaders give less attention than necessary to this situation.

On the owner’s side, a new plant will bring some degree of change. Administrative processes have to include the new location, the plant has to be staffed and new logistic chains have to be created. On the …

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