Project Controls Transformation at Tata Steel UK

Adam Brooks
Faithful+Gould has recently established a project controls function within Tata Steel UK in South Wales. This is how we did it:

Tata Steel UK recognised that their application of project controls was not at the level they needed to successfully deliver their capital programme to cost and time. This led them to seek a project controls partner to help them move to a state where industry best practice could be implemented, and Faithful+Gould were appointed to be that partner.

We implemented the project controls function via a ‘managed service’ approach.  The fundamental building blocks of a managed service approach are based upon deploying the right people, using the right tools and following the right procedures; all within an environment with the right culture.  It is upon these essential foundations that the five main integrated disciplines of project controls are built; planning/scheduling, estimating, cost management, risk management and change management, with reporting being an output of all of these elements.

Maturity Assessment

Prior to appointment, we undertook a maturity assessment of the existing state of project controls across two Tata Steel UK locations in South Wales. The output was a findings report along with recommendations to move Tata Steel UK from where they were to where they needed to be, to implement best practice project controls to support the successful safe delivery of their projects to cost and time.

Following this exercise, Faithful+Gould were appointed as the successful partner and an initial Project Controls Transformation Team was deployed to implement the recommendations.

Transition Phase

The next step following award was the Transition Phase, where we created a suite of documents based upon our best practice approach, tailored to Tata Steel UK’s operating model. The suite of documents consists of a high-level Project Controls Manual, individual procedures for the five key disciplines and detailed guidance notes on the operation of the project controls tools, not only for implementation with Tata Steel UK’s Project Department, but also for its supplier base.

During this phase, the toolset was built using a mix of modification and enhancement of existing tools and replacement with new, more suitable, tools. Part of this phase also outlined a requirement for the resources that would be needed to deliver the project controls services, and training packages were created for the various stakeholders within Tata Steel UK, e.g. Tata staff and external suppliers, senior managers, project managers, engineers and designers. New standardised reporting was introduced during this time too, to move away from the previous, varied, manual reporting that was in place.

Implementation Phase

The Transition Phase was followed by the Implementation Phase, where all the stakeholders received appropriate training in the new procedures, tools and their associated guidance notes. All stakeholders received high-level awareness training through workshop sessions, detailing the processes involved in setting a baseline and controlling against a project baseline. In-depth training was provided to the project controls practitioners via small groups and 1-2-1 sessions. Abridged targeted awareness training sessions were delivered to associated stakeholder groups, such as the Finance Department. In addition, an e-learning package was produced for use in onboarding of future Project Department members.

Deployment Phase

Once the Implementation Phase had been completed, the Deployment Phase was instigated and we redeployed the Project Controls Transition Team resources into ongoing core support and delivering project controls to an initial tranche of projects within Tata Steel UK’s CapEx programme. The level and number of resource deployed was, and continues to be, phased in as new projects are started.

We are delighted with the changes made already and look forward to the continued relationship with Tata Steel UK in supporting them; providing a sustainable steel manufacturing industry within the UK and hence meeting their own customers’ needs.

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