Document Detail

Title: RS272-1 - Advanced Work Packaging: Design through Workface Execution, Version 2.1
Publication Date: 9/1/2013
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 28
Provides an overview of the team's development of an enhanced model for work packaging, with a focus on disciplined early planning for field implementation. Provides definitions that are integrated into the model, and presents the team's two-volume implementation resource.
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As projects have increased in complexity, their exposure to project failure in terms of budget and schedule has also increased. For sustained success, construction organizations that deliver complicated projects need practices that mitigate this exposure. Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) is one practice in the project management toolkit that improves project delivery effectiveness and predictability. The deliberate engineering and construction management practices required in AWP are key to improving craft labor productivity and predictability.

All project teams plan and package their work at some level; AWP promotes a disciplined approach to workface planning, from project conception to delivery. CII Research Team (RT) 272 examined current techniques on leading projects and developed a model execution process. This model provides detailed recommendations for effective work packaging that can be incorporated into current execution practices, from project definition through construction and turnover. In addition, RT 272 provides implementation guidance through assessment tools, templates and checklists, functional role descriptions, process elaboration on the AWP interface with existing project processes, and recommendations for contractual requirements.

Advanced Work Packaging presents a model for improved practice that, when implemented correctly and consistently, improves field productivity and the predictability of such key project metrics as schedule and cost. Improved field safety and site cleanliness, better quality, and higher project team morale may also be gained, along with a number of ancillary benefits. The RT 272 case studies and the recent experience of others (e.g., members of the Construction Owner’s Association of Alberta) all show that, with consistent implementation of AWP processes, benefits can be dramatic. Some projects reported up to a 25-percent reduction in schedule and see improvements of four to ten percent in total installed cost. For maximal effect, planning for these benefits should begin during project definition, extend into the planning and engineering phases, and continue on through construction.

Based on successes to date, the contractors studied by RT 272 are implementing AWP practices across their organizations. The owners are considering mandating work packaging practices across their capital projects programs. The team found sufficient evidence to call for broad adoption of these techniques. To support the application of its AWP model, RT 272 produced a three-volume implementation guide for both contractors and owners over a four year period, in partnership with the Construction Owners Association of Alberta. (See Implementation Resource (IR) 272-2, Volume I, Advanced Work Packaging: Design through Workface Execution, IR 272-2, Volume II, Advanced Work Packaging: Implementation Guidance, and IR 272-2, Volume III, Advanced Work Packaging: Implementation Case Studies and Expert Interviews.)

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