Category: General Interests

O&M Manual Contents

O&M manual contents for inclusion in final documentation can seem confusing as the term has a broad meaning for all project handover documentation. However, one thing is certain that your O and M manual contents is substantially more than a few ring binders of information thrown together. Whether you are a Property Developer, Main Contractor, Electrical or Plumbing Contractor then you need to be fully versed in the requirements of an O&M manual.

 

In a nutshell, the O&M manual contents AKA “operation and maintenance manual” (O&M manual), is a file that contains all the information required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building or structure.

Today, an O and M manual is usually creating using a cloud-based software solution as part of a construction project software rather using a manual hard copy process. The manual is specific to each area within the project from equipment, electrical, plumbing, gas etc. Each manual is prepared by either the contractor, sub-contractors, services engineers and the other contracted suppliers. The O and M manual contents is a requirement that has been defined as part of the tender documentation where its contents will be outlined. It can be sub-divided in sections or even standalone manuals covering equipment, mechanical and electrical installation services in the mechanical and electrical specification section.

An electronic soft copy or draft version of the O and M manual contents would normally be provided for the client as part of the handover procedure prior to any final sign-offs for completions. The final manual will then be created online for reviews, edits and updates so it can be accessed by authorized personnel 24/7 or printed to a hard copy for distribution. The preliminaries in the tender or contract documentation may require several copies of the O&M manual so electronic versions are advisable to avoid it being overly labor intensive.

 The O and M Manual contents can include a wide range of documentation:

  • Details descriptions covering the main design or architecture principles.

  • Lists of the building’s construction guidelines (incl. specs, finishes, cladding, doors and windows, roof construction etc).

  • Versions and revisions to drawings and specifications.

  • Detailed instructions for its operation and maintenance (covering health and safety documents, equipment and manufacturers’ instructions for efficient and proper operation).

  • A complete asset register of all plant and equipment installed.

  • Documentation on commissioning and various testing results.

  • The inclusion of warranties, guarantees and certifications.

  • Outlines or instructions related to upkeep, maintenance, operation, demolition, decommissioning and disposal.

 The challenge in creating O&M Manual contents is that while most of this information will probably already exist, is to simplify the preparation, compiling and assembling of its various components. Also, as updates and revisions are a normal function within the industry, the use of software avoids any delays or out of date versions. Another good idea is to use an O and M Manual template to reduce manual rework. Because during the life of the building or structure, the manual will evolve to reflect the changes that happen to the building, its equipment or systems, along with records of all maintenance that has taken place.

In conclusion, the objective of the O and M Manual contents is to optimize the buildings and its equipment operational efficiency with clear documentation on maintenance guidelines, specifications, warranties, inspections, approvals and sign offs to proactively manage its operation.

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Risks on Infrastructure Projects

Risks on infrastructure or construction projects present many type of challenges. The impact of getting it wrong right at the start of any project could bring years of headaches. But, by taking a proactive approach, stakeholders can reduce uncertainty during the planning stage. This gives project managers insight into mitigating risks on future infrastructure projects using lessons learned to save on future project costs.

Risks on infrastructure projects are predictable. These can include the insecurity of funds, cost of project overruns, failing to source materials and workers, and delays. These are the common challenges stakeholders face during large infrastructure projects.

It takes hands on project management to juggle all moving parts of a long-term infrastructure to keep it on track.

Risk performance influenced by uncertainty

According to the Institute of Risk Management research, Managing cost, risk & Uncertainty in infrastructure projects, project managers face many challenges. This most important phase of a long-term, infrastructure project is during in the early, planning stages. A lack of transparent risk assessment during this phase can mean high risk and uncertainty throughout the project. This can cause:

  1. completing a risk analysis with different possible outcomes

  2. poor decision-making

  3. stakeholder optimism – delusion or deception

  4. loss of focus and sub-optimal risk mitigation.

Risk analysis challenges

A risk analysis is subjective, especially on infrastructure projects. Why? There is no clear way of progressing hypothetical risk analysis to project specific cost analysis within a commercial structure. There is also a tendency to exaggerate how well mitigation strategies work. So, project managers identify unnecessary risks or overestimate the effects of mitigating project risks. This leads to overestimating costs.

Challenges of poor decision-making

An Institute for Government (IfG) report, What’s wrong with infrastructure decision making? found the following key flaws in stakeholder decision-making for infrastructure projects:

  • No strategies for investing in infrastructure. Stakeholders      often do not have clear strategies for investing in infrastructure      projects. Without infrastructure investment strategies, it is difficult to make good decisions. Also, there is nothing to measure project outcomes against.

  • Little attention paid to assessing options at the start. Stakeholders spend too little time during project development looking at all the options. This can result in missing better project options causing project cost blow outs.

  • Misunderstanding project risks. Decision-makers can misunderstand project risks. This can mean there is little forward planning for when things go wrong.

  • Winners and losers. Infrastructure projects can divide communities and create winners and losers. These groups can have a lot of influence on decision-makers and cause project delays.

  • Lack of project measurement. Stakeholders fail to measure infrastructure project outcomes against the costs when completed. Having key performance measures is an invaluable tool for future use. This helps stakeholders to learn from past mistakes when commissioning new infrastructure projects.

Challenges of stakeholder optimism – delusion or deception

Reducing risk on large infrastructure projects depend on whether:

  • the assumptions stakeholders adopt are strategic misrepresentation or genuine optimism

  • financial managers ignore/misunderstand real risk levels while pressuring for cost reductions to meet short-term financial goals

  • there has been an overestimation of the risks by project managers to secure a larger contingency fund and, thus, cover all bases

  • pricing from contractors is low to remain competitive but they may use other means to maintain a profit

  • there is resistance from project managers to processes and procedures that reduce contingencies and risks.

Complex projects increase these risks. Taking control and ensuring transparency from the start helps reduce infrastructure project risks. You can mitigate risks during the contract phase.

Reduce risks during the contract phase

It can take years to fully complete infrastructure projects, so they have long-term project plans and phases. During this time legislation and regulations can change. This needs careful consideration during the contract phase, especially if dealing with European contractors. Consider the following:

  • Are there higher costs related to dealing with a European contractor? Look at the different legislation between the two countries.

  • If there are changes to immigration legislation that impacts the contractor’s access to workers, who is responsible for this?

  • Who is responsible for paying the taxes between the UK and the EU?

You should also consider the risks associated with currency variations, as well as the continuity and cost of a skilled workforce. If sourcing skilled workers from overseas, can you maintain the workforce for the duration of the project?

It is important to mitigate these types of risks at the contract stage. Having these set out in contracts before starting the work can reduce costly potential conflicts during long-running infrastructure projects.

Overcome challenges on infrastructure projects using transparency. Good construction risk management software or Infrastructure project management software can give all stakeholders the transparency required. Planning a realistic acquisition program allows all stakeholders to fully investigate all the options. Once these are clear, you can take a logical approach that accounts for emerging technology and changing economic times.

Social Selling Training Course

Source: » Social Selling Training Course

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Construction Risk Assessment

Source: Construction Risk Assessment

Construction projects can be dangerous places so understanding risk assessments and safety management is vital.  Everyone from the project manager to the site foreman need to be aware of any and all risks at every stage in the construction process. So, controlling risks takes good risk management to prevent or minimize the realization of any risks.

A construction risk assessment should be first addressed at the design stage to address any potential risks before the project ever begins. Next up, the project managers should complete a project risk assessment before any worker sets foot on the site and also have a method to monitor any risks at each stage of construction, a tool that can consider all the risks and possible risks. The tool or system should also be able to help the project manager mitigate any perceived risks and the financial cost associated with each risk. Also, it is important to be able to consider the cost to the whole project if they were to occur.

This brings us to the question; how do you stay on top of managing project risk assessments? The answer is you need good processes, procedures and construction management software. Here are some steps to help keep construction risks under control.

Know the source of potential risks

To manage construction risks, complete a construction risk assessment. Be thorough and consider the following areas:

  • Contractual risks. Missing milestone deadlines can cost time, money and a business its reputation.

  • Occupational risks. The nature of a construction site means there are many risks that can cause injury and possible death. Worker behaviour, technology, working methods, weather or a third party can cause accidents.

  • Project risks. The lack of good project management, workplace procedures, or workplace policies and procedures that are ignored and poor time management are just few project risks.

  • Natural risks. Natural risks (storms, earthquakes) are beyond your control but can shut a construction site down.

  • Financial risks. Financial risks include rising interest rates, a surge in material prices and a lack of sales.

  • Stakeholder risks. Use project management software to bridge communication problems, miscommunication over changes and deliverables.

  • Competition. Competitors can make life tough. They can drop prices to undercut prices and build times. This can put you under pressure to meet the same terms and put the project’s profit at risk.

Assess risks for their order of importance

Assess the risks into order of importance from most likely to occur to the least likely. Also, rate each risk for the level of damage it can do if it does occur and the potential cost to your business.

Dealing with identified risks

Construction sites are busy, dangerous places. Although the risks are varied, there are four basic management techniques to manage risks:

  • Avoid. You may choose to only take on a project in the summer of an area that has winter snow to avoid the risk of time delays.

  • Transfer. Ensure there are good contracts in place with suppliers and subcontractors so they take responsibility for missing deadline agreements with the company. Make sure the project has the appropriate insurances to cover any accidents.

  • Mitigate. Some risks you cannot completely remove. You can reduce the dangers of safety hazards, for example, but you cannot completely remove them.

  • Accept. Seasonal weather can be difficult to avoid. But, with planning and long-range forecasts you can work to reduce the impact on the project.

 

Use the right software

Once you decide how to deal with the risks arising from a project risk assessment, use technology to help optimize risk management methods. Good construction project management software helps manage all facets of a construction project. From costs to risk management, good software can make all facets of construction management more manageable and save time by:

  • simplifying the project risk assessment process

  • helping businesses comply with legislation

  • assessing and recording all tasks and risks on a risk assessment matrix

  • opening up transparent communication between managers, workers and stakeholders

  • adding everyone involved in the project along with their contact details into a central database

  • producing project-specific risk assessment and method statements

  • customizing the software to meet the needs of individual projects

  • providing a safe repository for project related documents that is available 24/7.

Get everyone involved in risk management

Construction risk assessment and management is everyone’s problem. Good project managers get everyone on the construction site involved in risk assessments and managing the risks.

Consult workers when completing project risk assessments. They are the ones at risk on construction sites. It is good to get their perspective and input on construction risks in their area. This gives workers ownership of the risks and more likely to comply with workplace procedures. Always communicate any changes and updates to keep everyone working with the same understanding.