Successful capital projects delivery requires thorough preparation and accurate execution during the planning, design, procurement, construction, commissioning, and startup project life cycle stages. Although much has been written on the stages of design, procurement, and construction, nevertheless the commissioning and startup stage of any capital project is as important as all other stages. It is at this stage where the project is handed over to operations to start realizing the benefits for which the investment was approved and made for executing the project.
Regardless of the capital project type and whether it was a commercial, residential, retail, oil and gas, infrastructure among others, the commissioning and startup stage is usually carried out over a relatively short period of time providing that all building systems have been accurately performed and integrated. Once commission and start-up activities commence on site, there is little opportunity left within the project schedule for rework or for recovery from flaws.
A successful commissioning and startup (CSU) requires having a standardized approach to the preparation, organization, and execution of commissioning, completion, start-up, and project-to-asset transfer activities on their projects. This will help to achieve consistency in the definition, division of responsibilities, and execution across all projects.
Having a comprehensive assessment of the contractor’s readiness for the commissioning and startup stage is very critical to determine what actions need to be taken to treat the threats of having a failed commissioning and startup. The assessment will be carried out for the different attributes required for successful commissioning and startup which can be grouped into their relevant categories. One example would be using the nine categories of commissioning submission, commissioning organization, commissioning plan, commissioning deliverables, company experience, safety in commissioning, the environment in commissioning, and startup and initial operation. This assessment will help the project owner as well as the contractor to address the commissioning and startup attributes that had medium and low scoring and for which need to be rectified by the contractor. Those attributes will be scored on a scale of 10 where a score from 10 and 6 is considered as a high score, a score from 5 to 3 as a medium score, and below 3 is a low score. Of course, those attributes had different weight factors depending on their importance to the overall assessment.
To ensure that there is a comprehensive yet formal process for carrying out this commissioning and startup assessment, a template needs to be created to capture the assessment scoring in accordance with predefined guidelines on how those attributes are to be scored. Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb which is also used for many business processes needed to manage a capital construction project, the Contractor Assessment for Commissioning and Startup template can be created. PMWeb visual custom form builder will be used to score each commissioning and startup attribute on a score of 10. The template will detail the ranges for high, moderate, and low scoring with an explanation of how to read those ranges for each attribute.
PMWeb visual custom form builder also allows the organization to set the permission rights to who can score each attribute item in the assessment template as well as for setting the weight values. This is a very important function as it promotes governed collaboration between those individuals that had been assigned to complete the assessment. PMWeb allows setting the access rights to individuals as views and edits to each defined field.
The contractor commissioning and startup assessment template can be attached with all documents that support the response made to the assessed attributes. Those could include a schedule, resources histogram, insurance certificates, and other documents to ensure that the assessment scoring was done in a comprehensive and complete manner.
To establish accountability in completing the contractor’s commissioning and startup assessment, PMWeb allows assigning a workflow for the assessment template. The workflow will be aligned with the access rights given to the individuals who will be assigned to complete the commissioning and startup assessment by mapping the desired sequence for completing the assessment as well as the review and approval of the completed assessment. The workflow will capture the details of the submit, review, and approve tasks associated with the assessment. The workflow will also capture details of all comments made as well as the input of individuals who were invited to give their input on the assessment.