Advanced Work Packaging Becomes CII Best Practice

Austin, TX – CII is pleased to announce that Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) has been promoted to a Best Practice. CII’s Knowledge Management Committee approved the topic at its August 6 meeting in Boston. Validation was accomplished through analysis done by CII Research Team (RT) 319, Transforming the Industry: Making the Case for Advanced Work Packaging as a Standard (Best) Practice, which reported out at the 2015 CII Annual Conference.

The basis for this study was the work of RT 272, Advanced Work Packaging: Design through Workface Execution, which was chartered in 2009 to review current work packaging practices and identify an enhanced model for implementation that represents the better or best practices available.

As projects have increased in complexity over time, the risk of project failure in terms of budget and schedule has also increased. For sustained success, construction organizations that deliver complex projects need practices to mitigate this risk. AWP is one practice in the project management toolkit to improve project delivery effectiveness and predictability. The deliberate engineering and construction management practices required in AWP are key to improving craft labor productivity and predictability.

Jim Rammell of Wood Group Mustang, chair of RT 319, said he experienced the industry value of AWP through his work on the research team. “AWP provides a disciplined approach that requires the team to plan and align on the path of construction for efficient project execution. Recognizing AWP as a Best Practice will raise the awareness of this tool that can be used to improve the safety, productivity and predictability of capital projects for our industry.”

AWP 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. RT 319 and RT 272’s case studies and the recent experience of others (e.g., members of the Construction Owners 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 saw improvements of four to 10 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.

Benefits reported in these case studies follow:

  • improved safety awareness and performance
  • reduced cost through improved labor productivity and reduced rework
  • improved overall project predictability for cost and schedule
  • improved up-front planning
  • better alignment among stakeholders from planning through construction
  • better than normal craft retention due to improved morale
  • more time for foremen to supervise in the field
  • improved housekeeping
  • improved quality of reporting from effective progress tracking
  • improved installation quality
  • enhanced turnover.

In summary, AWP represents an emerging planning approach for the construction sector that is building increasing momentum around the globe. For more information, details of Advanced Work Packaging, along with implementation resources are found in CII’s RT 272 publications and forthcoming RT 319 publications.

Date posted: September 4, 2015