Capex/Plant Engineering

Don’t Do the Ostrich! – Impulses for Major Plant and Engineering Projects

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Project management always plays a key role, especially when adressing complex, multi–layered ventures: “Divide and rule,” promoted Dr. Andreas Harald Gondorf, project manager at Ineos the “breaking down a complex project into individual units”.

With this method, the tangled weave of requirements and project data could be translated into subprojects that can be easily managed. Individual project aspects, especially those that are straightforward and require minimal synergy, could also be awarded to third parties. Such subprojects should, nevertheless, not be too small in scope, as “small contractor projects are quickly assigned a lower priority,” Gondorf added.

Big Plant Projects Require the Expertise of Specialists

But what if you do not have specialists with the necessary management skills at hand? “The only alternative is to provide proper training to compensate for lacking knowledge,” participants agreed.

Another approach that could be to utilize the expertise of contracting partners to educate in particular younger employees. Others feared for the know-how of professionals: “Streamlined processes frequently lead to the erosion of knowledge!” warned Dr. Harald Richter, head of the SE-EC division of the pharma-company Merck. He is equally concerned with his controlling staff and mentions that critical constraints, such as that of determining abnormal distribution of project costs, do not receive enough attention. Risks are therefore not counteracted as well as they could be, nor are early changes sufficiently buffered.