Why is the Transition from Construction to Operational Use of Infrastructure so Difficult?

There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip as the saying goes. That can certainly be the case if there’s a poorly planned or executed transition between the construction and operational use phases of an infrastructure project.
A seamless transition ensures that assets can be brought into use safely and efficiently and that all future maintenance or modifications are supported by accurate and accessible project data. Frequently, this process is anything but seamless. The work is completed but nobody has taken control of the documentation and training that will be needed by the asset operator.

With increasingly tight deadlines it’s easy for the focus to be almost exclusively on completing all works to the specification and on time. The process of handing over the asset so that it can deliver the intended benefits to travellers doesn’t get the priority treatment it deserves.

The result of this lack of planning will be familiar to many customers:

  • A frustrating struggle to get complete O&M manuals in the format you need.
  • Pages of irrelevant marketing literature rather than concise maintenance information for any installed equipment.
  • Confusion over the status of supplied drawings (are they design drawings or ‘as built’?).
  • Unclear or incomplete Health and Safety files.
  • Insufficient information to design appropriate staff training on use or maintenance of the asset.

All of which adds up to delays and inefficiency, as information and data are gathered in a rush at the end of the project rather than in a controlled and measured way as works progress.

The key to avoiding these issues is not just better planning, it’s also a priority to build partnerships. This, in turn, promotes collaboration. Contractors understand the needs of asset operators and customers and accept responsibility for meeting them. Establishing efficient processes with customers that streamline the supply and sign-off of technical and Health and Safety documentation in an easy to use format becomes a priority and part of the project success criteria.

Find out more by visiting Highways learning pages on our website.

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