The Critical Third Leg of the Stool: Technology

Technology at work illustration

Author: Aaron Wertman

For an owner, building a scalable AWP program that still addresses the granular needs of project portfolio work is quite a challenge. One such WorkPacks client first engaged our team in consultancy work to help rollout an AWP program, but subsequently realized our mantra of “People, Process, Technology” does have more than an element of truth to it. While they had a small cohort of “AWP People” that were working on establishing their “AWP Process”, they were missing the AWP Technology. That is not to say that AWP cannot be executed on paper or in spreadsheets, but Dr. Blackmon refers to that as “Un-Advanced Work Packaging” and frankly, manual work such as this can leave an imbalance that requires even more people and even stricter conformance to process.

So here was the challenge:

“What tools can scale from our regional project offices and their portfolio projects to our global large-cap projects?”

“What tools give us the visibility up and down stakeholders and the ability to track and engage AWP front to back in the project lifecycle?”

“What tools provide enough granularity to control the IWP Approvals process, progress at a component level, and even submit, review, and approve timesheets?”

“Do any of these tools allow the field to submit RFIs and FCOs? What about punches?”

And the big one…

“Can we get all this without breaking the bank?”

Well, WorkPacks checks all the boxes. That’s not to say that we met every requirement right away, but we worked cooperatively with the client, learned from their project work, and built the new required functions into the tool. WorkPacks is constantly evolving in a very pointedly client-driven way that both supports them and helps the product. So how did WorkPacks Check all the boxes?

Scalability – WorkPacks is deployable (and has been deployed specifically for this client) on a project as small as a few tens of millions up to multiple $220 mil TIC projects running simultaneously in the portfolio.

Visibility – The customizable BI Dashboard Reports that are rolled into WorkPacks gave this client exactly the views that their project management team wanted. These reports consist of things like Project Performance, Constraint Summaries, IWP Readiness, Productivity, and Progress S-Curves, to name a few. But we are still building, customizing, and fine-tuning reports!

Project Lifecycle – Early planning during FEL? No 3D model? No problem! WorkPacks is designed to document the path of construction at its earliest stages, without a dependency on a 3D model. Specifically for this client, we used satellite, site imagery, and plot plans loaded directly into WorkPacks.

Granularity – Loading and progressing was done down to the component level in WorkPacks. This client also controlled IWP submission and approvals through a detailed workflow, AND captured work progressing and manhours by timesheet submission and approval through a controlled WorkPacks workflow.

Project Controls – We developed and deployed features for submitting and tracking RFIs, FCOs, and Punches all through WorkPacks.

Affordable – YES!  For sure. After exhaustive assessment at a single test project, this specific client saw immense value and named WorkPacks THE tool of choice to be rolled out globally. We couldn’t be happier for them on their AWP Implementation journey! If you’d like to know more, get in touch with me! Shoot me an email at:



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