Capital Project Milestones: Only as Fast as Slowest Process in Supply Chain

Debottlenecking – the slowest part of the capital projects milestone transition process – has been an ongoing endeavor for all owners, operators and EPCs to achieve cost and schedule targets.

Projects might pick up steam in design, the first project phase and possibly in the manufacturing or even in the procurement stage, but how about in the commissioning and readiness phase prior to operational handover to production? Is the flow rate of project milestones linear? Does it require debottlenecking at the commissioning stage? Is commissioning getting its fair share of productivity, and is it leveraging the productivity achieved in the early design and procurement phases? Is there a high impact, effective solution to address completion handover?

A key indicator of project efficacy and performance measurement is flow rate/throughput.

Flow rate/throughput = the number of flow units (customers, work packages, tasks, produced goods/services) going through the business process per unit time.

In the commissioning world, it’s the rate of work packs to be commissioned and ready for handing over to operation for production. Is there any debottleneck to tackle that improves completion milestones at this stage?

Less than 35% of projects end on budget, and less than 20% of projects end on time, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) White Paper: Successful Handover of Capital Projects in the Oil and Gas Industry July 2014.

Fixing a project milestone flow as design or manufacturing does not ensure a streamlined flow rate from conceptual design to operation. An end-to-end holistic view is what is required, a seamless transition of data from one milestone to the next; debottlenecking the commissioning process in the back end is the solution. What’s causing the bottleneck?

Improving whatever is the slowest step and debottlenecking the most time-consuming part of the process yields the highest process rate efficiency impact.

In simple terms, the end of the mechanical and physical construction of assets is viewed as completed work packages to be assigned to commissioning and turned into a ready to operate the unit.

Intergraph Smart Completions addresses the debottlenecking with a full, live smart integration with PPM solutions like Smart P&ID and Digital & Operation Twin, and with extensibility to third party platforms ensuring a seamless completion process and digital handover to operations.

Smart Completions leverages dynamic P&ID systems and subsystems to the field electronically, unlocking communication between design, engineering and field execution, usually a tedious, error-prone, manual process simplified thanks to real-time smart API interface between design and field execution.


Figure 1: Full P&ID offline availability on site.

Thanks to best in class reporting, skyline and Power BI stakeholders can identify and process critical paths, owner of the process, pending punch lists, overdue work and pending Request for Information by just mouse hovering over to obtain all details for an actionable task, pinned down by past due dates and ownership to address.

The enhanced Smart Completion ingenuity extends beyond being a Completions and Commissioning Management System (CCMS) software to a comprehensive end-to-end readiness to operate solution. Smart Completions spans the entire labor-intensive process of commissioning to encompasses a commissioning methodology, all asset-related collateral and documentation, history of the asset, asset preservation, check sheet and schedule under one platform and as a single source of truth for all commissioning activities.

Smart Completion is a CCMS that’s highly configurable and scalable to the power utilities, renewables, oil and gas, mining, specialty material and chemicals, food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Providing real-time reporting of critical paths, a powerful dashboard of ownership, pending punch lists, pending request of information and progress completion all in a skyline view of via Power BI data analytics.

This highly configurable product is scalable to report on KPIs and project progress with unmatched offline mobile capabilities for remote inspection, digital picture capturing, annotation and GPS capabilities. Our customers and partners have not only enjoyed best in class solutions but financial outcomes in challenging times by leveraging best practices, instances of projects, technologies, adding a quality control and toll gates. This provides project governance, project standardization and clear ownership.

Hexagon’s PPM division is a digital transformation partner to many capital projects; we help businesses grow and improve on productivity through the transformation of people and processes by continually exploring, unlocking and deploying the latest innovations across the industries. We enable our customers and partners to embrace the opportunities of a digital optimization productivity future, be first adapters and leaders of simplicity to maximize value in deployment, coupled with senior hands-on industry consultant experience.

Our customers have enjoyed significant commissioning process efficiency throughout the globe, applicable to multiple industries across renewables, pharma, power utilities, and piping for example. By utilizing the latest offline technology, they can carry out inspections in the Gobi desert, punch list and P&ID redlining, with full offline accessibility to related documentation and diagrams.

Figure 2: Smart Completion Outcome based Solution to impact project KPI

Furthermore, our CCMS provides real-time status of global remote projects to headquarters and project directors, reporting up to 98% productivity improvement in the handover compilation process, using paperless compilation over manual and administrative cost to print out handover dossiers. The solution offers partial and full handover package compiling, all necessary digital documentation for milestone handover, billing and/or completion of a project by clicking and filtering essential information required for each party.

Figure 3: Real-time Project progress reporting through Skyline and Power BI interface.

At PPM, we strive to provide innovative lifecycle solutions to project challenges by embracing cutting edge technology and customer partnership development that extends to operations, turnarounds and plant reliability. We do this by delivering end-to-end process efficiency, streamlining transitions and setting a benchmark for continuous improvement.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about Smart Completions, please contact me.


Amr Eltablawi
Amr is the business development director for Hexagon PPM’s digital transformation, commissioning and plant turnaround efforts for the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region. 


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