Start at the end - not the beginning!!
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
For many project managers the start of a new project is not the time to be considering the commissioning and O&M manuals. Things are moving fast and there are so many other things to prioritise. Commissioning and O&M's are a long way off and unfortunately in the minds of many, insignificant.
However, they're far from insignificant as becomes urgently apparent when it comes to handing over the project. It's a fact that without the commissioning and O&M's a project is not going to get handed over and crucially payment will be delayed.
It can be so frustrating after months of hard work, meetings and problem solving to find that the client's main concern is their documentation, not the excellent installation you have almost completed.
Now the focus has shifted to the handover documentation, commissioning results, record drawings and O&M manuals.
Unfortunately, so many companies expect their project engineers to switch to the role of technical author at this point, while still managing the crucial final stages of a project.
So, why not start at the end, not the beginning! It's an inescapable fact that the handover documentation will be required.
If you are compiling your own O&M's then put a structure in place to collect information as the project progresses. A folder structure within the main project folder just for the O&M's, a standard paragraph on relevant purchase orders requesting the equipment O&M information or data sheets as a condition of payment.
If you are outsourcing your O&M's then bring your provider on board and let them work along with you throughout the project so you have everything in hand at completion.
We all work hard with our company image, the website, van signage, corporate clothing etc but let's not forget the handover documentation; this also part of our company image, in fact the last chance to impress our client.
Credit: "Start at the end not the beginning" Paul Redford of RGE Ltd