In execution of Project Schedule activities (concurrently and/or sequentially) any new activity shall be started if and only if its predecessors (not necessarily nearest) are fully completed - the produced information is found to be reliable (traceable to authenticated sources) and sufficient. Risk associated with incomplete information makes the plant designer select more conservative decision impacting the project schedule and budget. Worse, the risk level may be amplified by each successive activity.
Therefore, the framework for the information sufficiency authentication is critical for the project success. Typically, this framework (and CP in particular) includes the following elements.
- Data and documentation revision tracking. All updates shall be documented and dated.
- Critical data review and auditing before issuing for processing. Usually all primary and secondary schematics, conditions on the battery limits are considered critical.
- External submittals (for procured equipment and subsystems) approval before processing.
- Introduction of the information sufficiency levels like “for information”, “for construction” and “as built”.
- Outstanding issues tracking and reviewing
- Scope change and the activates rollback tracking
Today Document/Product Lifecycle Management software is used for out-of-the-box documentation and revision management. Introduction of this expensive software in mid-size companies takes 2 – 3 years, requires extra staff, increases workhours by 30-50%, and prolong decision making by 100%. Once adopted it cannot be substituted at a later stage.
CP makes a big leap forward: it substitutes Document/Product Lifecycle Management for Data-Document Lifecycle Management (DDLM), and links DDLM to P&ID and other primary and secondary schematics.
Implemented in CP data auditing and metrics creation are run automatically on the daily basis. Data auditing covers P&ID, PFD, Plant wiring, design goodness for requested service, fluid and construction material compatibility, documentation packages, and whether project execution sequence is not broken. Examples of the design auditing tasks are checking the distance (!) between the magnetic flow meter and the variable speed drive, checking that polypropylene is not used for hypochlorite service, checking that butterfly valves sized above 8 inch are equipped with gearbox, etc.. Currently pre-built CP library includes over 90 auditing tasks.
Extensive metrics (ranging from equipment pieces with “pending” status to number of revisions done to work hours spent) gives instant project picture and the progress done.
CP links information sufficiency to the main phases of the project – engineering, detailed design, etc. Any transition to the next phase triggers additional massive auditing of the information; data inconsistency, pending or outstanding issues, unfinished tasks may block the progress.
External submittals approval is the task of the Document Control. Its most difficult part is the submittals list compilation for P&ID items - crucial task beyond human capabilities. For instance, the required documentation pack for the large-capacity pumps of over 600kW reaches 36 items. Submittal lists are part of the project technical offer (together with the Quality Plan and/or ITP). This task is fully automated by CP.
The main idea behind introducing different levels of the information sufficiency ("for information", "for construction", or "as built") is to reap benefits of Concurrent Engineering. For example, general assembly drawings obtained with quotations ("for information" level) are sufficient for starting Mechanical Design, but not enough for completing it – "for construction" level is required. The same is true for internally generated flow of information; its both levels ("for information" and "for construction") are produced and consumed concurrently.
Inadvertent mixing of both levels may lead to massive re-work and Project Schedule slips. To mitigate this problem, CP silently adds the "level" tag to all engineering data and auto-guides the designer through the engineering stages. For example, control engineering cannot be started if the plant layout is not linked to P&ID diagrams.