Suppose that you were made King or Queen for a day and were given the task of changing the asset delivery industry – you were given the responsibility to change anything and everything to make the process of planning, designing, procuring, constructing, operating and decommissioning assets a delightful experience instead of one fraught with problems. What would you do?
Perhaps, first make the process more collaborative. Reshape regulations to streamline approvals, establish consistency across political boundaries, support new technologies and discourage prescriptive outcomes. Encourage integrated project delivery contracts and processes that ensure that each party involved in the delivery of a project takes responsibility for the risks that they can and should control and that all parties share appropriately in the success or failure of the project. Maybe implement effective communications and management tools that allow project information to be rapidly and completely distributed to all involved stakeholders. Ensure that all stakeholders are involved so that decisions are made considering the whole life of an asset instead of what is most beneficial at that point of the process.
Second improve productivity. Encourage use of cutting-edge tools, equipment and processes with the understanding that the industry will share in the development of new technologies that provide benefit and that the risk of technology development is shared. Encourage disrupters that will help the asset delivery industry achieve productivity gains as good as or better than other industries have achieved. Recognize that labor must be trained to take advantage of these new technologies and that respect and support for the worker is vital in order to convince talented people to be a part of the asset delivery process. Respect includes making certain that the work environment is safe and that an individual can earn enough to live with dignity. Support includes providing training and technology that allows everyone to be productive enough to pay their way.
Third consider the environmental footprint of an asset over its entire life. Decision making focused on each phase of an asset’s life may result in a higher overall environmental cost than when decisions are made based on the entire asset life. Reducing environmental impact by limiting the impact on the land, energy efficiency, recycling of materials, use of renewables and similar decisions all require consideration of the entire life of the asset.
Last, measure success, demonstrate what works and what doesn’t so that the entire industry benefits and can focus on improving and evolving.
It might be a long day, but it would certainly be worth the effort.