Plant redesign

In the first stage of plant redesign, a leading service provider depended heavily on its principal designer. This post describes a practical case of how this dependency has been mitigated.

Sector: Private

Industry: Services

Domain: Chemical plants

Plant redesign 1

Preparation

Situation

Organization. Plant redesign comprises three stages. First, one of the designers is tasked with producing a conceptual design. Then, a small team prepares a basic design. Subsequently, a larger team produces a detailed design.

Environmental factors. Competition with other companies.

Issues. At present, the principal designer is the only one who masters the conceptual design stage. Training designers in this stage is going slowly. Since the expertise required is largely unique, hiring is not an option.

Ambition

Objective. Reduce the key-man risk in the stage of conceptual design.

Benefits. Mitigated risk of dependency on key designer.

Analysis. Worth pursuing.

Assessment of plant redesign

Identify

Critical capabilities to reduce the key-man risk in the stage of conceptual design:

  • (Coordinate designing)
    • Estimate the required effort [implicit].
    • Determine the process flow [implicit].
  • (Specify design requirements)
    • Appraise customer traits [explicit].
  • (Fulfil design requirements)
    • Analyse the impact of a concept [explicit].
    • Display commercial acumen [tacit and innate].

Compare

Expected contributions of critical capabilities:

  • Reputation:
    • Estimate the required effort.
    • Determine the process flow.
  • Stakeholder needs:
    • Appraise customer traits.
    • Analyse the impact of a concept.
    • Display commercial acumen.

Appraise

Presence of critical capabilities in the design team:

  • Individual presence:
    • Estimate the required effort.
    • Determine the process flow.
    • Appraise customer traits.
    • Analyse the impact of a concept.
    • Display commercial acumen.

Advice for plant redesign

Refine

Critical capabilities to make them rare: none.

Unite

Refined capabilities to make them inimitable: none.

Secure

Unique capabilities in the organization of the design team:

  • System. Include as instructions in the standard operating procedure:
    • (Deliver a design service)
      • Appraise customer traits.
      • Analyse the impact of a concept.
  • System. Elicit and include as instructions in the standard operating procedure:
    • (Deliver a design service)
      • Estimate the required effort.
      • Determine the process flow.
  • System. Circumscribe and/or illustrate and include as preconditions in the standard operating procedure:
    • (Deliver a design service)
      • Display commercial acumen.
  • Skills. Train the responsible manager in assessing designers on having the capabilities mentioned in the preconditions of the standard operating procedure.
  • Skills. Train the designers who meet all preconditions in executing the standard operating procedure.