“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.I don’t much care where—“ said Alice. “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat.Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Most projects start with a clear definition of what Owners want Vendors to deliver. What is consistently missed, is a clear definition as to what a Contractor needs for handover to Operations upon delivery. Owners need to start with the end in mind and work backwards to determine how Vendor data is to be collected and managed. Will it be necessary to conduct yearly maintenance? This cannot be asked at handover, it must be determined earlier. Defining what needs to be delivered and when goes beyond just the equipment; Owners must identify all of the data and documentation which is needed to manage the volumes of information during project execution and at handover to operations. Nothing is worse than receiving a key with a truckload of documents on how to operate it. This will result in delays.
Many times I hear, “I can’t get my Vendor or Contractor to give me that information or the information the way I need it.” So what happens, Owners accept it and bring out their spreadsheets. This may sound simple but many projects breakdown at this point. Owners will throw additional resources to track the information then, they add more resources to collect and validate the information or take the hit and accept a variance and additional costs.
Before contracts are awarded, Owners should identify what Vendor data and documents are needed by operations and the project. Most have defined the document types but not the data that needs to be included that will allow operators to relate and find information quickly. Relying on standard content search engines will be like searching the Internet. (No more needs to be said).
There are a number of steps for Owners to ensure Vendors understand how and when Information will be provided?
- Clearly define what needs to be provided and how. Include both in the Vendor contract!
- Assign responsibility to ensure data is provided when committed.
- Provide spreadsheets or forms in the contract and define how the data is to be exchanged up front. (Don’t leave it to the front line forces to resolve after the contract is signed)
- Describe how it will be exchanged. The data must be importable so that systems, such as Coreworx, can easily manage the data as well as the associated documents or correspondence.
Imagine having all of the Vendor data, Vendor documents and all of the information Operations needs to operate the plant at handover! Now that would be a first. Making it easy for the document controllers to exchange the right data will result in reduced risk, reduced cost and on time and easy handover to operations.