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Project Manager : Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
CHANGE OUR PRACTICES Despite being central to most projects, system integration is one of the key challenges jeopardising complex projects in Australia, says Nova Systems Lead Consultant Steve Ashfield. Using methods employed in a typical aerospace project as a framework, Ashfield discussed the benefits of adopting a similar systems engineering / systems integration approach in oil and gas megaprojects. Ashfield highlighted similarities between aerospace and oil and gas projects and, with these similarities in mind, raised the question: "What can these industries learn from one another?" At the core of this comparison was the role system integration plays in a project's success. Referring to the INCOSE Handbook 4.4.4, Ashfield defined system integration as "the process that results in a fully integrated functional system where all interfaces are established. Interfaces can be between elements, both hardware and software within the system, between functions, and between or among the system and external system". While both are necessary, Ashfield says there is a misunderstanding in the industry that systems integration and integration are the same. While there are a number of similarities, there are also key differences to consider between the complex project types. These include the focus on requirements and verification, design requirement versus capability requirements, and system integration focus, interface management versus integration management, and virtual integration versus physical integration. In terms of applying a systems engineering approach to oil and gas projects, the way they begin is very much the way they continue. "Unless the capability is fully realised during acquisition, the level of capability will always be less than adequate for its entire lifecycle," says Ashfield. Integration cannot be retrofitted and must be right the first time. System integration allows the developmental schedules for components to be synchronised using integration stages. The concept behind working incrementally is that each system build realises an increased level of end-to-end capability or production, and each successive build adds to that level of capability until the desired level is reached. Ashfield says the advantage of this is that the systems are brought together sooner, moving integration risk to the left. "To further reduce risk, some integration can be performed earlier under controlled conditions, not in the field," says Ashfield. The key benefits of implementing a requirement- centric approach is that project managers can ensure customer and stakeholder expectations have been identified and agreed. This approach also provides a basis for ensuring that the capability, and each of its constituent parts, will meet those expectations. ( EACH SYSTEM BUILD REALISES AN INCREASED LEVEL OF CAPABILITY
Project Manager Oct Nov 2013
Project Manager Feb Mar 2014