Advanced Work Packaging Webinar Recording

The recording from the webinar on Advanced Work Packaging held on 25 June is now available to view at GoToWebinar.

You can also download a copy of the slides that Stuart Block from Fluor used to introduce the topic. If you are interested in finding out more about Advanced Work Packaging and the work that ECI doing on it, this work is being led by Stuart Block from Fluor and Luigi Anselmi from Tecnimont.

Advanced Work Packaging – What is it?

Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) is all about improving project productivity.

As well as better productivity it also brings greater predictability, increased safety and lower project costs

  • Construction-driven process
  • Supports the path of construction
  • Align the different elements of a project for improvement
  • Provide a disciplined and rigorous process for detailed construction planning
  • Ensures work is executed in a safe, organized, sustained, and effective manner
  • Assure Construction as its customer allowing the field to receive drawings & material in correct sequence thus allow for a more efficient build, commission and start-up/handover

COAA Construction Owners Association of Alberta

Journey / Path of AWP

2005 – Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) recognized it as a best practice. The purpose of the development of WorkFace Planning (WFP) was to overcome the challenges facing in executing and construction its Oil Sands projects. Those challenges are manifesting in cost overruns including in front end planning, design, procurement, organization processes, construction, etc.

2009 – Construction Industry Institute (CII), an American non-profit consortium of more than 100 leading owner, engineering, contractor and supplier firms, initiated a Research Team (RT) aiming to develop an executable model of enhanced work packaging based not only on WorkFace Planning but also on other industry work packaging practices. Following a review of industry and trade literature and in conjunction with the development of case studies, the team developed a lifecycle execution model for work packaging with an emphasis on field implementation.

2011 – CII Research project RT272 Phase 1 Released – focusing on the development of an execution model for the project life cycle with an emphasis on field implementation along with a set of industry case studies and collection of benefits evidence.

2013 – Joint CII / COAA Research project RT272 Phase 2 Released – Extending the execution model of Advanced Work Packaging with consideration of implementation challenges documented through surveys and expert interviews in North America and globally.

2019 – 1st London AWP Conference


Potientally 10% more tool time is nearly 25% improvement in productivity. Labor is typically 40% of TIC = AWP Provides Up to 10% Reduction in TIC.


Typically a project must dedicate 1-2% of project costs to increase planning by having cross-functional engagement, training and developement and dedicated construction personnel.

Next steps

Gain further knowledge about AWP / WFP

Stuart Block from Fluor is leading on ECI’s involvement in Advanced Work Packaging.  Get in touch to find out more.

Collaboration – The Sensible Way Forward

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and its effects on global Engineering Construction projects, I have held the view that the only sensible way for project stakeholders to address and resolve the challenges confronting them as a result of this pandemic is by collaborating together to find solutions that provide the most effective, productive and economic means that are fair and work for all concerned. In this context, there are two key areas that must be addressed;

  • Re-commencing or continuing projects. Re-baselining in terms of project organisation, completion dates, time schedules, execution plans, material & equipment deliveries and resource loading, based upon what is needed, is realistically and reliably available and becoming available. Availability of cash will be fundamental.
  • Additional costs. Realistic assessments of the additional costs involved in continuing and completing projects together with a viable apportionment of such costs based upon those stakeholders most able to bear them taking the greater amount of the burden. It is unrealistic to consider that, in the current circumstances, a single stakeholder on any project bears all the additional costs or that others will avoid bearing any.

Allowing the project challenges to escalate into disputes is unthinkable. In the UK, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has expressed concern “…that the construction industry will become embroiled in costly and long-running disputes over the effects of the pandemic on projects if it does not look to engage in collaborative discussions to resolve these issues…”. In this context CLC co-Chair, Andy Mitchell CBE, said: “…it is vital that we all work together to minimise potential disputes in order to secure the industry for the long-term…” – follow this link 

The CLC COVID-19 Task Force has published practical guidance on how to minimise potential disputes. These were endorsed by the UK Government on 7 May 2020 to which the CLC said “…We welcome the endorsement of our approach from the UK Government in its Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enhancement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency…” and “…We anticipate that all businesses will understand the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in and work collaboratively…”.

While the foregoing relates to the UK construction industry, the underlying principles of avoiding disputes and litigation by finding collaboratively driven solutions, applies equally to projects undertaken by the global Engineering Construction Industry.

Collaboration is not an easy option, but it is the one most likely to achieve satisfactory and lasting resolution of the challenges currently confronting project stakeholders. For those interested in a taking a collaborative approach to resolving commercial / contractual issues on their current projects without getting into dispute, as recommended by CLC, and are unsure how to approach collaboration, then the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) Project Collaboration Toolkit (PCT) which embraces, amongst others, ISO 44001 and the Engineering Construction Institute’s Active Principles, could provide some useful guidance, particularly regarding the behaviours that need to be practiced in finding solutions to the challenges on projects collaboratively – follow this link

While the PCT provides the means for the collaborative procurement and running projects in replacement of traditional methods, and was not intended as a dispute avoidance process, the principles which it embraces could well be applied to finding solutions to the challenges now confronting global Engineering Construction.

However, COVID-19 is not the only crisis currently confronting the Industry. The recent collapse of the oil price has added to the burdens created by COVID-19. Investments in new projects are likely to decline significantly unless measures are taken quickly to bring down costs, reduce schedule durations and assure delivery in line with the commitments made so that realistic business cases can be established, endorsed and implemented. The traditional procurement methods that have been in use for decades will not enable these objectives to be achieved – these methods are broken beyond repair and are ineffective for addressing the challenges confronting the Industry today.

On 6 May 2020 the Engineering Construction Institute and Constructing Excellence joint Webinar: Major Projects – Driving Long Term Value Through Collaborative Procurement, addressed the actual benefits experienced by Industry of collaborative working practices over “traditional” procurement methods – significant cost reductions, shorter delivery times and dispute avoidance. In this context there are many current initiatives that are geared to the elimination of wastage, improved efficiency and greater productivity (eg. AWP, BIM, Artificial intelligence, Digitalisation, Factory Thinking, Digital Twin etc). In order to obtain maximum benefit from these initiatives collectively or individually, collaborative working is essential.

The current crisis confronting global Engineering Construction – the combined effect of COVID-19 and the Oil Price Collapse, provides the opportunity for the Industry to fundamentally change the way it undertakes projects. That change can be started immediately by stakeholders finding collaborative solutions for the re-commencement and completion of current projects – enlightened owners are taking this approach already. The learning from this experience can then be applied to new project investments to be undertaken utilising collaborative procurement and for which there is now growing support.

We only need consider how other industries, (eg, automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding etc.) embraced radical change, driven by crises and that created transactional solutions to existential challenges. The global Engineering Construction Industry would be wise not to waste the opportunity for change that is now presented with.

John Fotherby


European Construction Institute

Download the slides from the session:


Collaborative Procurement – A better way of procuring and delivering Engineering Construction Projects.

The saying don’t fix what isn’t broken is sometimes good advice, but when something is broken beyond repair, then replacement is the only effective option.

A great deal has been written about why mega projects fail and many hypotheses have been expounded. The simple truth is that engineering construction projects, mega or otherwise, succeed or fail because of human endeavour and behaviour.

The procurement models in common use in Engineering, Procurement, Construction arrangements (eg. Lump Sum Turn Key, Lump Sim etc) are not of themselves bad; it is the way in which they are used and abused that sows the seeds of project failure and because, most frequently, there is little or no opportunity for collaboration and improvisation.

In the long history of humankind…those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed (Charles Darwin).

Collaborative style contracts have been around for several years. However, it is not the contract itself that brings the results, it is the people using the contract that practice collaborative working within the legal framework of the contract that drives success. Mindset and the willingness to do things differently are the basic levers for success – collaboration and improvising to prevail as per Darwin’s observations.

Those that have practiced collaboration and improvisation on their projects effectively have generally been successful – performance and delivery is achieved safely and to the required quality, in less time and at less cost than other procurement methods and provided a satisfying experience for the people. What is there to disagree with? In engineering construction, use of the ECITB’s Collaboration Toolkit has shown significant improvements compared to “traditional” methods of contracting in the UK North Sea sector.

So why has collaborative working practices on engineering construction contracts not been adopted universally when the benefits are so obvious to substantially reduce or eliminate the risk of project failure or put another way – increase considerably the possibility of success?


  • although those procuring engineering construction supplies, work and services often recognise the obvious benefits of collaborative working, many prefer the master – servant relationship that resides at the core of LSTK EPC and similar contracting arrangements, and
  • those financing the projects often prefer that the supply chain takes and absorbs the risks, even though it is invariably well-recognised that they are not the parties most able to bear and manage many of the risks.

Here lies the origin of project failure. Those continuing to participate in this approach are destined not to prevail. Except in specific circumstances where used and applied as orignially intended, the LSTK EPC and similar contracting models are broken beyond repair and no longer fit for purpose. What further damage will be done to the engineering construction industry by perpetuating procurement of EPC work on the basis LSTK and similar contracting arrangements?

Conversely, those organisations willing to adopt collaborative working practices within the framework of suitably crafted contracts will create the opportunity for successful project delivery, leading to greater and more certain investment and industry sustainability.

The European Construction Institute in collaboration with Constructing Excellence, is holding a WEBINAR on 6 May 2020COLLABORATIVE PROCUREMENT. This will explore, through case studies and the personal experiences of a panel of practitioners and specialists from a wide spectrum of industry, including an exposition of the successes achieved thus far with ECITB’s Collaboration Toolkit, the benefits of collaborative working for the engineering construction industry and the actions needed to be taken to accelerate the use of this procurement model.

This WEBINAR is open to owners / investors, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, specialists and consultants engaged in global engineering construction projects.

To register your participation and receive details of the WEBINAR, go to

Join us and help to transform your industry and put an end to failing projects.


John Fotherby


European Construction Institute

Downstream EPC Conference

John Fotherby, Chair, European Construction Institute (ECI) is joining Tony Maplesden, Collaboration Coordinator at the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), to deliver The Benefits Of Collaboration and Collaboration Contracts at the Downstream Project Management Conference in Brussels on 3 and 4 December 2019Project Management In the Age Of Digital Transformation. John and Tony will remind delegates that it is people that deliver Engineering Construction projects and put the proposition that the universal adoption by the industry of digitalisation, collaborative working practices set out in the ECITB Project Collaboration Toolkit as well as other complimentary interventions being supported and promoted by the ECI, Construction Industry Institute (CII) in the USA and other industry bodies will, collectively, revolutionise the way projects are conceived and delivered. The ECI is a membership organisation open to all organisations engaged in global Engineering Construction.

ECI & Constructing Excellence Productivity Workshop 23 October – output

ECI & Constructing Excellence Productivity Workshop 23 October – output

We had a lively and productive day at the joint ECI and Constructing Excellence workshop on Eliminate Waste – Maximise Productivity – Become Successful.

ECI John Fotherby from Kingsfield Consulting provided a stark message that if the industry does not change itself, disruptors will and urged a holistic approach across the four key areas of People, Process, Technology & Organisation.  We are thankful to the excellent facilitation provided by Constructing Excellence members Aspen Global to drill into delegates priorities and viewpoints.

Attached is a paper that covers a summary of the key points arising from the pre-event survey output from delegates, output from the event and proposed approach to getting the Revolution underway. We have prepared this in PowerPoint format so that you have a good visible representation of the workshop that you can share with your colleagues, management, customers, subcontractors, vendors and consultants – we seek your support to “spread the word” and generate interest in the Revolution that we agreed at the Workshop was necessary if the industry is to be sustainable. We would also appreciate you and your colleagues’ input / comments / suggestions regarding the way forward proposed in the attached paper.

We encourage you to join the ECI portal on Microsoft Teams. Those who were present on the day should already have received an invitation link to Teams. Please email for further invitations or help logging in.

Help us prepare for the next event in February 2020 where with your help and support we will drive the Revolution to the next level.

Thank you for your continued interest, support and commitment.

Eliminate Waste – Maximise Productivity – Become Successful

Global Engineering And Construction – Owners, Contractors, Vendors / Suppliers, Service Providers


“Revolutionise: to significantly change something so that it is much better”

Eliminate Waste – Maximise Productivity – Become Successful

Constructing Excellence & European Construction Institute Cross-Industry-Sector Workshop

Engineering and construction is a USD 10 trillion per annum global industry forecast to grow to USD 14 trillion in the coming years – it is a significant contributor to the global economy.

The way in which major projects are conceived, developed and delivered has not changed in almost half a century when other industries have revolutionised beyond recognition – WHY?

In the past 20 years global engineering and construction productivity has remained almost stagnant when other industries have made massive strides eradicating waste and generating greater productivity – WHY?

Despite countless sensible initiatives over the last 20 years designed to improve engineering and construction performance there has been virtually NO LASTING EFECTIVE IMPROVEMENT – WHY?

Engineering and construction must attract far more investment – without it the industry is not sustainable long term in its present form. Sufficient investment is only likely if there is ROI certainty for owners / investors and supply chain profit margins are commensurate with the risks taken and the value added by performance and delivery excellence. To achieve this we must revolutionise the industry.

INTERESTED? Join stakeholders from various industry sectors operating in the domestic and global arenas on 23 OCTOBER 2019 in a ONE-DAY WORKSHOP hosted jointly by the European Construction Institute and Constructing Excellence at WATFORD – 30 minutes from Heathrow, 20 minute form Luton and regular fast rail links form London Euston.


  • Decide how industry sectors can align and collaborate on change initiatives to revolutionise engineering and construction for long term sustainability.
  • Identify synergies and interdependencies within and between the various change initiatives.
  • Create communities of practice in defined areas of change
  • Establish communication channels and forum to ensure continuation of discussions and actions following the workshop – embed new practice


Engineering Construction : Radical Change For 21st Century Prosperity

In 1829 Stephenson’s Rocket was cutting-edge but became not-fit-for-purpose due to changing market conditions & requirements, technological innovation and business demands – the world moved-on.

Engineering Construction Business

According to the US Heavy Construction index, as reported by Yahoo! Finance, contractors’ average profits in 2018 were 1.8%. This year, the same index is tracking a $400 million collective industry profit on $94 billion in revenue which is equal to 0.5% profit! What does 2020 hold? The supply chain is not doing much better, if at all.

Those that are doing better than the average should be grateful, but nobody can afford complacency – the contracting business environment is far too fragile. Contrast this with the owners’ experience of uncertain and delayed completion and start-up, substantial cost overruns and challenges in bringing industrial facilities up to and maintaining their full specified operational performance. Whichever way one looks at it the industry does not paint a pretty picture and is not attractive for existing and potential investors.

The Case For Radical Change

While many in the industry are not sitting idly by and hoping for better times to come but are considering and taking measures to improve their lot, the fact is that without radical change the engineering construction industry is not sustainable in the medium term. It is not a matter of tampering with the current models to get slightly better results, because even if these are achieved the ‘success’ will be short-lived. Most of the potential cost and schedule reductions have already been taken out of the traditional-model supply chain.

30-Year-Old-System Not Fit-For-Purpose

The concepts for project delivery and contracting methodologies that have served the industry for the last 30 years or more are no longer fit-for-purpose in today’s world. The notion that obligation and risk can be passed down to the lowest bidders in a supply chain of twelve or more levels and expect effective, efficient and economic performance back up the supply chain is misguided. The amazing thing is that this is nothing new – John Ruskin in mid-19th century England said of doing business “…if you pay too much for something you lose a little money, that is all, but if you pay too little for something then you run the risk of not achieving the thing you wanted…”. How often do owners not get the things that they wanted? … and why is this?

Recent “Successes”

Recent reports of some owner project successes in terms of delivery times and costs may suggest a turning-of-the-corner but when one digs a little deeper into the reported “successful deliveries”, these are not all that they are made out to be. And we must consider that those projects were delivered at a time of low project investment and a high level of resource underutilisation with the result that they attracted a lot of experienced attention. It is not too surprising that they went tolerably well.

Radical Change – What Does It mean?

So what does radical change look like? Stephen Mulva (Director, Construction Industry Institute (CII), University of Texas, Austin, TX) illustrates this well in his presentational slide OS2 Business Model (vs. OS1):

The triangle illustrates ‘OS1’ – ie., Operating System 1 which is the 30-year-old model, and contrasts this with ‘OS2’ which is currently being researched and developed under the auspices of Stephen and the CII. The striking thing is that the inefficiencies of the transactional arrangement in the multi-layered supply chain account for more than 40% of project development costs. The component parts of that 40% are illustrated in another of Stephen’s presentational slides;

It is to be noted that the sum of the figures listed amounts to more than 40%. This is because the CII researchers applied a formula to accurately reflect the overall effect of the individual items listed to arrive at the 41.43%.

But there is another benefit from removing this waste – shortening schedules. This means owners get the products from their new plants to market far quicker.

Tampering With The Old System Will Not Reduce The Costs or Schedule

The fact is that no amount of tampering with OS1 will reduce significantly the transactional costs because they are an intrinsic part of the 30-year-old system. Hence, the system must go and be replaced by something far more efficient – OS2. This will operate on an Open Sourced, Cloud Enabled Thin Platform specifically developed for this industry – currently there is not one. For more information on this follow the link to

What Evidence Is There That Such An Approach Works?

Stephenson probably had many nay-sayers when he developed the Rocket – this new-fangled technology will not catch-on – it won’t replace horses! How often has this been said in other contexts – telephone, airplanes, the “wheel”? But Stephenson’s cutting-edge technology in 1829 was soon overtaken by “events” and became not-fit-for-purpose.

Firstly, like it or not, we are living in the age of technology and have been for some while. If like me you are of a certain age, today’s rapidly evolving technology is a challenge! However, the issue is the present and the future, not the past. The industry is already embracing technological advancements cloud-based computing, BIM, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, drones, off-site factory fabrication etc. OS2 utilises these and goes much further.

But other industries are far more advanced in this area than engineering construction – shipbuilding, automotive and aerospace are but three examples. Engineering construction is a relative newcomer to technological advancements – why? Again, Stephen Mulva in a presentational slide illustrates Boeing’s approach to the 787 (Dreamliner) development:

It worked – the plane has been operational for some time and is the best thing in the air from an ordinary passenger perspective. Boeing set the tempo that others will have to follow. But think of what Boeing achieved in terms of engineering construction – 40% reduction in development costs and 33% reduction in schedule – and that is fact not myth! I know what will be said – manufacturing in a factory is quite different from construction work on site. Absolutely correct! but isn’t that why the construction industry is turning to maximise off-site factory fabrication and site installation – rather than on-site stick-built construction?

European Construction Institute (ECI)

As ECI Chair I am passionate about fundamental change to improve engineering construction, not just from the commercial business results and sustainability perspective for owners, contractors and the supply chain but also as an attractive career for the next generation of well-educated women and men – it is high time the industry is available to 100% of the population instead of 50%!

The ECI is committed to supporting the CII OS2 initiative. As part of this our focus is on productivity improvement across all construction sectors by working with and learning from organisations engaged in construction sectors in addition to engineering construction. Follow this link to see our approach

What can you contribute to and / or learn from this debate? Why not join in a see what prosperity in engineering construction in the 21st Century might look like. To learn more about ECI and its activities contact us via

John Fotherby – Chair, European Construction Institute
Chairman, Kingsfield Consulting International

Output from ECI Member Forum 3 April 2019

Thanks to those of you who were able to join us on 3rd April for our Spring Members Forum.  Please find the event report and links to presentations here. Please let us know if you have any questions or queries.

There are some immediate opportunities for you and your teams to engage in the following activities:

We look forward to actively working with all of you to advance this agenda.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch to share your ideas for how we can work together on this.

Engineering Construction Industry Training and Development Awards huge success

The seventh annual Engineering Construction Industry Training and Development Awards which took place on 11 October at the Bloomsbury London,celebrated the achievements and successes of individuals, companies and training providers across the engineering construction industry.

ECI was pleased to sponsor the Large Employer of the Year Award.

You can find a list of the winners here