2 June 2020

Lead time reduction using LEAN

Allseas is a major offshore pipelay, heavy lift and subsea construction company. The company employs over 3000 people and operates a fleet of specialized heavy lift, pipelay and support vessels worldwide, which were designed and developed in-house. Allseas has successfully completed over 290 projects and installed more than 21.500 kilometer of subsea pipelines. Currently, the company is finishing the engineering phase of an extensive investment project, the Jacket Lift System (JLS), for their Pioneering Spirit, an oil platform removal vessel.

The Challenge

To develop the JLS, Allseas employs a team of over a 100 FTE worth of engineers. The JLS will improve the capabilities of the Pioneering Spirit by creating the possibility to remove or install the jacket of an oil platform in one piece. To be more in control, ensure on time and within budget delivery, Allseas asked Critical Minds to develop a project control methodology for the JLS project.

This leads to the following goals:

  • Increasing transparency of the project status to (project) management and provide a basis for qualitative decision making.
  • Increasing insight and involvement of the (lead) engineers.
  • Increasing interdisciplinary cooperation.

The Solution

First Critical Minds looked into increasing transparency of the project status to (project) management. In order to achieve this the following actions were implemented in three different areas:

  • Project Management:
    • Uniform coding of TBW, WBS and CBS;
    • Risk overview with detailed recovery plans for the bigger risks;
    • An integral change management method.
    • Planning & Progress:
      • Interdisciplinary supported planning as baseline;
      • Uniform process for tracking and documenting progress, including that of third parties;
      • Insight in progress vs baseline using Earned Value Management;
      • Insight in progress vs spend hours using Cost Performance Index
      • Capacity:
        • Insight in capacity vs planned work per discipline, initially just for engineering

    Second Critical Minds looked at increasing insight and involvement of the (lead) engineers. A weekly stand-up meeting structure was implemented as a platform to discuss progress and challenges that arose within the project. This created a clearer picture of what everyone was working on and where support was needed. Besides this a LEAN engineering process per (sub) system was implemented to guarantee pull based engineering, which means critical items in the production chain are delivered first. Moreover, an up to date capacity overview was created which clearly shows available capacity in contrast to the actual work.

    Finally Critical Minds also looked at increasing interdisciplinary cooperation. This has been achieved by giving workshops to the team about effective cooperation and resulted in wide support for a number of collaboration agreements. . Furthermore a project risk methodology was implemented to further increase interdisciplinary cooperation.

    The Results

    Because of the cooperation between Critical Minds and Allseas a lot has been achieved, among which:

    • Lead Time Reduction in the engineering phase.
    • Controlled execution of the engineering phase.
    • Effective communication and decision making on milestones.
    • Improved involvement of supporting disciplines by incorporating them in project risk appraisal.

    “The LEAN engineering planning of Critical Minds has improved the transparency of the common schedule within the design process. Working with a LEAN engineering method on this scale is unheard of within Allseas and was very well received by all involved parties”-Florian Wasser, Project Manager JLS – Allseas-