Squad Checking – Project success depends on it.

 

 

Contributed by David Bull, Engineering Manager

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Squad Checking – Project success depends on it.  

In the design/build environment there is a huge amount of overlap between disciplines. Everything is connected in one way or another. Project progress often depends on the validity of the previous steps. A lack of communication and checking between the engineering disciplines increases the chance of inaccuracies and costly construction fixes.

Squad Checking is a practice that should be employed to help combat this issue throughout all organizations where interdisciplinary work is taking place. This method is something we use extensively at our company to limit surprises. The steps taken to conduct a successful squad check change from project to project depending on the client and the team, but the overall premise is the same.

Why do a Squad Check?

Inaccuracies. No one is perfect. Most teams in this type of work environment are formed by combining diverse backgrounds and expertise. These differences create great teams when a strong foundation for communication is built from the get go. Miscommunication and/or mistakes are never wanted, but they happen. Squad checks help improve accuracy by catching things that other disciplines either miss, were not properly communicated, or cause interference. In the end, this could help save a substantial amount of time and money for a project.

When do a Squad Check?

Problems in engineering can lead to extensive issues down the road. This makes it most important to Squad Check during the engineering side of a project. It is much cheaper to fix things during the engineering and design phase rather during the construction phase. The costliness of construction changes should be explained throughout the team. By understanding the consequences, the entire team will become aware of what can happen when a project stage is rushed through and left unchecked.

Steps to Squad Checking

  1. Have a clear team structure.
    a. Make sure everyone involved in the project knows their role and the roles of the other disciplines. Take time to point out who is responsible for what. This will make things clear as the project moves forward.
  2. Provide all the information to the team.
    a. Make sure all important project documents are up to date and available to the entire team. If changes are made, make sure that is known immediately.
  3. Set up a timeline.
    a. Make sure that Squad Checks happen at the right times. A few good times include when critical parts of the design are being finalized, during equipment layout, and before issuing any items to customers.

If you do this during your project it will help ensure its health and validity. Great things can happen for the client when teams are set up for success, have accountability and work towards a common goal.

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David Bull H+M Industrial EPC

David Bull – Engineering Manager at H+M Industrial EPC

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, MBA

David has more than 13 years of industrial engineering experience in operations and project settings. Responsibilities include: process design, optimization and debottlenecking; capital project management; and process unit management. With previous experience in operations for the Dow Chemical Company, David has worked at H+M for the past year in project management.

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