Capital Projects Representatives of Operations & Maintenance for Process Plants, Part A (2020-07-29)



[Co-authored by J R (Ric) Massie, Jr., PE, PMP, & Gary Kennedy, P. Eng., PMP]


Q1: What does it mean to be the operations or maintenance capital project representative? Q2: Why are these roles critical on most process plant capital projects? Q3: How do we prepare to correctly perform these key project roles? These are questions that continually face operations and maintenance personnel in facilities being upgraded via capital project. These facilities could range from complex plants like a refinery or mine to traditional infrastructure like a ferry terminal at a border crossing. Projects need considerable and knowledgeable input from the operations and maintenance side of the facility. They need key people who understand how the operation works, what is feasible to achieve, and who will serve as the champions for the project within the facility. Most plants have an Operations Representative and a Maintenance Representative for assignment to the Project Team. However, relatively simple plants, like a water treatment facility for a small town might combine the two roles into one.

Operations Representative: The Operations Representative manages project interactions on behalf of the operations department. For example, planning for operation, commissioning, and staff training to commission and utilize the facilities. Maintenance Representative: The Maintenance Representative oversees project interface on behalf of the maintenance and reliability groups.  For example, considerations for both routine and large maintenance efforts for the facilities, ability to access the equipment’s key locations, and contingencies for upcoming planned (and possibly unplanned) outages.  The chosen representatives need to have an understanding of:

  • how projects work;

  • what are the business goals;

  • what constitutes the scope;

  • how to “sell” the project to the facility personnel and to the outside world;

  • how project decisions are made, the timing of decisions, and the quality of those decisions;

  • the meaning of schedules and budgets and how they are used in driving the project work (Most operations and maintenance personnel should already understand schedules based on having had turnaround experience).

END OF PART A (Watch for article "Capital Projects Representatives - Part B" Coming Soon)



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