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Efficient Project Management

How to Apply Project Management Techniques in EPC Projects

| Author / Editor: Deepak Makhijani / Dominik Stephan

A well managed EPC project in oil and gas industry results in higher efficiency and better productivity.
A well managed EPC project in oil and gas industry results in higher efficiency and better productivity. (Picture: Honeywell Process Solutions)

Project management can become the make–it–or–break–it–factor for engineering ventures, experts agree. While tight schedules and limited budgets put pressure on all EPC ventures, adapting the right strategy can help to make your project a success.

The word ‘Project’ can be used to describe an endeavor in which a number of tasks is performed to accomplish a particular aim. Projects are usually undertaken to achieve business objectives such as engineering, mechanical/construction services or research for new product development. This article talks about Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Projects in India and how the organizations are executing these projects using modern techniques and effective management.

Today managing projects in short periods within tight budgets has become the focus. Managing a project is quite different from managing a steady state organization: While projects have a distinct life cycle — a beginning and an end — a steady state organization runs continuously. Effective project management therefore requires a clear concept and an efficient project group within the organization. Most important are compatibility in interpersonal relations and clarity in mutual understanding and communication. All involved individuals must clearly know their responsibilities and what is expected from them. When seamlessly integrated, the collective expertise, experience and working systems can vastly add to the efficiency.

Transform you Needs into an Actual Project

Transforming the business needs into a physical set requires the effectiveness of a series of processes, tools and techniques, and most of all, skills and experience. Together, these culminate into what is called World Class Project Management (WCPM). This requirement starts with the early identification of opportunities and business drivers and evolves into planning and execution. The first step in the process is to define the situation and determine the desired outcome. Once the situation is defined, the team leader sets the roles and responsibilities of all involved. Each team member has an established role and is held accountable for execution, while following rules and regulations. This takes much of the guesswork out of executing the plan and establishes efficient and effective method to manage a project regardless of the time constraints.

3D Modelling and Visualization in Project Management

The detailed engineering of the project requires cutting-edge plant simulation and design systems. Typical 3D model software such as Plant Design Management System (PDMS) help to design the plant taking into account the bill of material of the components and orientation of the equipment to prevent fouling or inadequacy of space. A typical 3D model is shown in figure 1. This reduces cost of re-engineering and modification costs as the orientation of the equipment in the available plot area can be visualized online and remedial action can be taken at the time of equipment fabrication.

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