Advanced Work Packaging Software
By Josh Girvin, O3 Solutions CEO
I can’t count the number of times when I was young that I heard someone say “If you want something done properly, do it yourself”. While that remains an excellent life lesson for self-actualization, it doesn’t apply to all aspects of our working lives. Software is a great example of the exception to this rule.
A small number of companies started out on their Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) journey by defining their process and by creating their own in-house software solution. These “solutions” often include little more than complicated spreadsheets or home-grown Access databases, intended to provide the first tentative steps towards work packaging. And while this entrepreneurial spirit is certainly to be applauded, it can come at a heavy price.
Many of the companies that take this approach do so because of financial considerations. They have access to Excel, and they have people who know how to use it. So why not just build something in-house that can create and manage work packages? Unfortunately, even if you are only viewing it from a cost perspective, this is a false economy. Any savings made by not outsourcing to an industry-leading software provider will be quickly swallowed up in other internal areas:
– Time and hours to develop the internal tool
– Testing of the tool, typically in parallel with old processes to ensure it works as planned
– Training of company personnel on its use
– Continuous improvement and development
– Hosting costs, particularly for remote work locations
– Data transfer or duplication effort where multiple versions of the tool need to be combined
So even purely considering the financial implications, home-grown is rarely a cost-saving. Then you get into the questions of functionality and benefit. Using a purpose-built tool like O3 provides a vast array of other key advantages, including:
Best Practice – The O3 platform has been built from the ground up to support the AWP Best Practice. It wasn’t modified from old legacy software to try to conform to AWP. The processes of how AWP is implemented and executed are already built in, so you will get a solid foundation for starting your AWP journey.
Web-Based – Many older solutions required the installation of software on the user’s computer, and the transfer of data back and forth between users and servers. O3 is web-based, meaning it can be accessed by an unlimited number of concurrent users at any location in the world where you have an internet connection and a web browser.
Experience – Any companies looking to build their own AWP software will be starting from scratch. With O3, you are getting the benefit of hundreds of real-world implementations across dozens of clients in countries all over the world. The lessons have been learned. The processes have been developed and optimized with feedback from hundreds of users across several years. So the product you start with has been thoroughly battle-tested and proven.
Continuous Development – AWP practices are continuously evolving, and O3’s software uses continuous improvement to stay ahead of the curve. With more than two dozen updates every year, we are consistently optimizing the software to meet the needs of our clients and the industry. All of these updates are provided to our clients at no additional cost.
Integration – AWP as a process requires integration and alignment with many other aspects of project delivery, and AWP software is the same. O3 has years of experience in integrating with a wide variety of other tools for scheduling, materials management, document management, 3D modelling, and commissioning. This allows companies to maintain these “best in class” tools for each relevant application, and bring all the information together in one seamless application for work packaging.
Nearly everyone is at a different point in their AWP journey, and for some the idea of implementing AWP software can seem overwhelming or not cost-effective. Creating a short-term in-house solution can seem appealing, especially as a quick fix for an impending project. But, wherever you are on the AWP maturity curve, the O3 software suite can greatly reduce the time, stress and burden of creating your optimal AWP program.
This is one of those times when doing it yourself just doesn’t make sense.