Why Technical Handover Shouldn’t be an Issue

It would probably surprise many outside the industry that technical handover of an asset at the end of a project is an issue and a cause of frustration for customers. It surprises us too.

Years ago, when we had no effective online tools for collaboration, no easy way to create a shared data environment, and only basic systems for project planning and tracking, you might have understood it. But this is 2018.

The technical handover process starts for us almost at the outset of the project. We have to understand early on the scope and format of the information required about the asset and its operation and maintenance. We can then make sure there is a clear responsibility among our own teams and our subcontractors for providing what is needed.

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BIM and Rich Asset Information

BIM models allow us to provide much richer information with the handover. Digital photos can be captured at different stages of the work and attached to the relevant elements in the model, giving designers much more detailed information for future works.

The best time to capture ‘as built’ information is at the time of completion of each element of the project, not at the end when some details may have been forgotten or obscured by subsequent work. This is an increasing priority for our teams and is reinforced through training so that they are fully familiar with the technology.

Likewise, with the Health & Safety file. The requirements are defined early on and, wherever possible, information is provided in stages, so it can be signed off ahead of project completion. Cutting corners in this area is never acceptable, which means that everything has to be planned and tracked so there is time to do a thorough job and no last minute rush.

Rather than being a detail to be tidied up at the end of the project, the technical handover is integral to the drive to deliver maximum value from every investment in infrastructure. Process improvements to the way handover information is collected and shared are as valuable as process improvements anywhere else in the project.