Once a major project has been completed, there are a number of pre-operational activities that should be finished in good time by the various parties involved, such as the project delivery team, the operating team, and other parties with an interest in the safe and reliable running of the project. These activities could have a long lead time and are crucial for the successful commencement and continuous operation of the asset or project. Operational readiness is deemed to have been achieved by an organization if it is fully prepared to start operations by having the right individuals, systems, equipment, and technology in place. The project management team members need to have top-notch software during the operation and commissioning of their project in order to monitor and ensure operational readiness. They can acquire such software from a market leader by visiting grs-cors.com for custom-made solutions that can be employed in various projects, irrespective of the size or industry.

Importance of operational readiness

Operational readiness plays a crucial role in ensuring that a project or an asset can undoubtedly deliver as per the business plan from the first day. If the project does not deliver from the onset to achieve the business, production, and operational targets, there is a risk of diminishing the value of the project and dampening the confidence of the project owners. The first day of operations is a day of putting to work the years of effort, from conception of the project to its preparation, to implementation, to commissioning, and finally to operating. Thus, the first day needs to happen without any avoidable glitches.

Operational readiness steps

Operational readiness is very much operator-led, and could be done in the following three steps to ensure a smooth take-off for any new project or system:

  1.      Testing the business processes

It would be advisable to allocate time in your project timetable to carry out an end-to-end test of all the business processes, and, if possible, on a full capacity level of production using the newly installed technology. It would also be good to repeat the tests about two to three times, if time allows. While working in the testing environment, you should simulate the production conditions and run your application, letting the end users experience all the stages of the business processes used on the particular technology. Such tests allow you to pick out additional technical issues that may have been overlooked, as well as defects that need to be corrected or replaced by better alternatives before the project launch. End users get to determine if the processes on the new technology are optimal or need further tweaking. Real experience by end users on the new system can never be matched with any classroom or theoretical training, so the more chances that end users get to interact with it before the roll-out, the better.

  1.      Prepare user access rights early

It is necessary to grant all the users the necessary access rights, which should be done early enough before the launch date. Also, it is necessary to have new applications registered in the asset management database, and to complete any other processes that are necessary before using the system.

  1.      Establish go-live communication procedures

Having tested the system and determined that it is ready to start operating, the project operations team must ensure that there are go-live communication procedures in place to allow for communication between concerned parties at all levels. The operating team needs to ensure there are channels for users to report any problems and for the control team to inform users of any hitches. Proper communication channels must be in place and operating well.

Conclusion

The operational readiness of a project is crucial for the successful commencement of production, and for meeting the expectations of the various stakeholders, thereby giving them a sense of the project’s reliability and sustainability.