Communication and collaboration regarding project interfaces handled via email is doomed to fail!
Interface Management is a key project discipline for managing the communication and collaboration between EPCs regarding project interfaces. Large capital projects involve many EPCs; each with a defined work package, which will inevitably interact or cross boundaries with other work packages. The nature of the business tends to result in silos – it’s natural for EPCs to work within their own scope.
However, when it comes to managing the boundaries between scope packages, the interconnections, tie-ins and responsibilities, information exchange and cooperation must happen. When done effectively, it’s a ‘win win’ for all parties, including the overall project. Providing an environment, which fosters coordination and communication between these parties, is essential to the projects success.
Email, as a means to manage business processes and communication, is fast becoming an ineffective tool, especially when used to manage to-do lists. We receive too many emails; emails get lost, not read, and at times not even delivered! Email gives you no visibility, no way to prioritize tasks and certainly no way to hold users accountable. Projects cannot enforce governance. With no consistency or standardization, often too much or too little information is shared. And, you have no guarantees that the right information is making it to the right individuals. Everyone can think of examples email gone wrong – there’s even a newsworthy story of where a company accidentally fired it's entire staff of 1300 employees by email. Oops!
Interface Management is about communication and ensuring responsibilities at an interface are understood. With no contractual obligations between your major EPCs, the way you manage this information exchange and the tools you provide the team will go a long ways to ensure the success of your program. With the lack of a better process and better tools, teams will revert to what they have – email!
Why interface communication cannot be managed by email:
- Information is not in a central location
- Users who need access to information were not on the distribution list
- Business process is not followed
- No consistency, quality or standardization
- No automation – how do you know when something is late? It doesn’t get answered? The wrong information is provided?
- Version control? Totally insecure? Poor way to share large files – may go into spam or not get through at all?
Proper interface management is key to risk mitigation. When things go wrong in the world of Interface Management, the consequences can be dramatic – often leading to litigation, costing time, costing money and adding undue stress to all involved. Interface Management as a discipline is evolving quickly. The good news is that tools to help ensure critical interfaces are managed properly have evolved along with it. Coreworx is excited to be part of this evolution.