Finding and selecting the right Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) software for a project can take time, but doing so for an entire organization and rolling it out at the Enterprise level can be a huge task.
Let’s look at some of the key elements that you need to consider:
I was always taught that a contractor will perform to your level of expectation, so it’s up to you to set the bar to the right height. The same can be said of AWP software. If you approach a group of vendors and say “We want to do AWP. Can you help?”, you will get an uninterrupted chorus of “Yes”, but be no closer to a solution.
The key here is in knowing what you want. You have to identify your requirements and list them out, preferably weighted for importance or ranked as “Necessary” and “Nice to have”. The list may be hundreds of lines long, and should be exhaustive in detail. Nothing is too pedantic.
That way, when you ask the vendors if they can meet your requirements, they are forced to address each element and show you exactly what they are capable of.
For those of you struggling with this requirements list, O3 has created a starting point that is available on our website and can be modified to your exact needs.
2. Understand the timing
This will not be a quick process. O3 was recently selected by a major global EPC company, and their selection process took more than a year to complete.
Each step will take time, especially given the number of people that will need to be involved. If you rush the process, you will shortcut your due diligence and run the risk of ending up with an inferior product. The time spent on the front end getting this right will pay huge dividends when you come to implement the software.
It may not take you a year to decide, but make sure your timeline allows for a thorough review and assessment.
3. Involve the right stakeholders
AWP as a process impacts almost every department on a project and within an organization, and the software to support it will likely be as widespread. So you have to approach this with an understanding that there will be a large stakeholder group who will take an active interest in the process.
They don’t all have to be central, or involved at every step. But it will be very important to know who needs to lead the process, be involved, be consulted, or just kept informed.
And crucially, as with any change management process, you need to have Senior Management buy-in to make this work. That buy-in will act as your champion in securing funding and resources to implement your strategy.
4. Trust but verify
You will see a lot of glitzy sales presentations when you meet the vendors. Those presentations serve a purpose, but make sure that you cut through the shiny parts and get to the heart of the issue. The best way to do that is with a proof of concept, using your data.
Once you have shortlisted two or three vendors, provide them with AWP data for a recently completed project (e.g. a 3D model, material info, master document register, and schedule) and ask them to present it to you in their tool. Make them show you what their software can do with your information. That way, you know it isn’t all just canned demonstrations.