What are the Keys to Success to a Sanitary Skid Design/Build Project? Getting Off To a Good Start

October 17, 2013
Hygienic Centrifuge Modules Holland Built for a Biopharmaceutical Facility

Hygienic Centrifuge Modules Holland Built for a Biopharmaceutical Facility

This is the second in a series of articles we are posting on Thursdays that will outline the keys to a successful Engineered Sanitary Skid and Modular Systems project.  We will draw on our past experiences and lessons learned from numerous successful projects in the biopharmaceutical industry. 


Getting Off To a Good Start

In our last installment, we discussed keys to getting the best estimate and proposal from your Engineered Systems Vendor.  Once an order is awarded to the successful bidder, the essential next step is to get off to a good start.  An effective method is to initiate a Project Kick-Off Meeting.  This can be either a face to face or WebEx meeting.  Addressing the following key elements should result in a successful Kick-Off Meeting and a good start to your project.

1) Define roles, lines of communication and rules of engagement. 
Beyond establishing the classic project roles, discuss expectations that may be unique to the specific project or to your own organization.  Discuss streamlining the flow of information. Make sure both sides understand how each other operates, agree on the plan and stick to it.
2) Define project controls.
This includes the project schedule, look-ahead, reporting, “DCL”, “Action Items List” or any other tool intended to monitor progress and document decision making throughout the duration of the project.  Clearly define ownership of these controls.  Establish frequency of review meetings to track progress.
 3) Define the approval process.
Essentially every project is a balance between speed and accuracy.  Discuss procurement strategies to streamline the approval process.  Discuss the design review and approval process.  Discuss how to best minimize risk and meet the demands of the project schedule.
4) Openly discuss challenges.
Whether they are specific design challenges, delivery concerns, scope or specification clarifications, get them on the table early.  You will address them sooner or later.  Ask if you are unclear and speak if you are concerned.  Don’t assume issues are obvious to everyone.  This open discussion can minimize the inevitable surprises down the road.