The mission critical commissioning environment requires first time quality. Whether due to accelerated schedules, moving deadlines or the sheer amount of equipment to be tested, when commissioning activities are not done correctly, it can be extremely impactful and sometimes impossible to go back and give it a second try. Poorly executed commissioning, including oversights, missed deficiencies or failing to completely test a system, can put an owner at risk well after the project has been turned over. An effective commissioning program requires first time quality; and to achieve this, commissioning requires looking past the project schedule or equipment list and identifying potential future impact and risks.
Keeping an eye on long-term impacts can be challenging, especially when considering the dynamic environments that define data center construction projects. However, it is achievable if the commissioning provider keeps a long-term win mindset. Having a long-term win mindset means constantly thinking ahead and identifying potential gaps and risks, staying present and engaged with the project team to ensure that all expectations and concerns are being communicated and most importantly, keeping current concerns and situations in perspective with long term impacts. While immediate problems (such as looming deadlines, labor/cost impacts, potential scheduling delays, etc.) can be difficult to see around, maintaining the long-term win mindset means thinking through these issues and keeping in mind that short-term gains can often be a long-term loss.
To keep a long-term win mindset and to ensure first time quality, all phases of a commissioning projects should be geared towards not only the short-term impacts of completing commissioning activities on-time and on-budget, but are also geared towards the long-term win of commissioning components and systems thoroughly and completely. Being a true advocate for the client is also extremely important to us and lends itself to the long-term win mentality, part of being that advocate is helping to ensure that client expectations are communicated to the project team throughout the project and lessons learned are carried through from one project to the next. Another way to ensures long-term success is by identifying and communicating issues early (to reduce their impact on the project) and tracking those deficiencies to resolution and not letting them slip through the cracks so that they fall into the hands of the facility operators when the project is complete. Ultimately, simply meeting a project schedule does not mean that a commissioning effort was successful; a successful project is one where the client is turned over a facility that works and will work to fulfill its mission from day-one and onwards.
Written by: John Lutz, Director of Mission Critical Services