Driving Decision Making
March 21, 2014
During FEED layout and detailing for the design of a plant, there are huge volumes of changes; this is a normal part of the early iteration of the design process. Cumulatively, design changes costing 5–10% of the original contract price of a process plant project are not unusual. New items of equipment can be designed with only a sparse amount of information, accepting that they will ‘mature’ over the design life cycle. But all of these changes are decisions which can have a costly effect upon the project if not handled correctly.
Over the years, EPC organisations and design teams have created systems to cope with this high degree of flux. These systems are really work processes which are partially supported by computer software. Computerised decision-making systems are not a requirement – the process of analysing the design iteration, discussing the issues and implementing change, sometimes across contract boundaries, is an entirely human process. These systems are in place to trap and manage changes in an orderly manner.