For many reasons the time is right to seize opportunities through capital projects and infrastructure strategies. The organisations that succeed going forward will be those that infuse leading practices in every phase of the lifecycle of their investments.
In the development phase, project planning is the tool used to drive value and preserve capital through a capital project’s procurement, design and construction stages. It is key to understanding and mitigating risks as well as planning such areas as financing.
Fully vetting the financial structure of the deal and having knowledge of and access to the capital markets before going to market allows you to accelerate the delivery of the project and deliver the best value for money to all your stakeholders. Finding the deal structure that balances the needs of all stakeholders, without compromising commercially attractive and tax-efficient arrangements, helps ensure that the project moves quickly to financial close.
By developing a clear understanding of the risks which could impact your organisation, you are better able to manage and mitigate these risks now and in the future. In turn, the benefits accrued by avoiding unnecessary cost and schedule impacts can be returned to your organisation, your stakeholders, and your projects.
Comprehensive procurement strategy development and planning accomplished early in the project life cycle helps establish greater project discipline by demanding systematic documentation of business needs, schedules, and costs while providing sufficient lead time and resources in the selection of appropriate procurement types and development of innovative contracting methods.
By establishing an open, well-defined process you will benefit from speedier negotiations and contract execution as well as reduced miscommunication and disputes during the evaluation and execution.
During the design and construction phase of a project, the science and art of project management provides a proven methodology for accurately and efficiently completing complex projects.
Careful project planning saves you time and money by proactively addressing risks before they occur, as well as by eliminating the need for changes late in the project.
A robust project controls environment ensures strategic alignment of projects across your organisation, mitigates risk exposure, sets and clarifies the expectations of your stakeholders, and saves your organisation time and money by avoiding unnecessary rework and overruns.
Due diligence and analysis can play a critical role in validating and adjusting the original assumptions of scope, risk, cost and approach in the business case. As a result, you will be better prepared to budget for and allocate resources where they are needed.
Significant changes have expanded the scope of asset operations and maintenance. Infrastructure and capital project strategic plans today need to contemplate operational goals such as reducing the asset’s environmental footprint; managing the risk of service interruption; ensuring preparedness for dealing with emerging security issues; and anticipating potential environmental damage to the structure.
The scene has changed in other ways as well. Rather than build everything on-site as before, companies are ordering modular components from abroad. And analog controls in some older plants are yielding to digital systems, raising potential issues of speed, compatibility and communication.
Meanwhile, a lot can happen during the typically long lifecycle of a capital project. For example, during the build phase, contractors may alter specifications as needs change unexpectedly and owners can end up with inaccurate documentation. The consequences can take a long time to surface – but they will.
During the operating life of the asset, through every business cycle’s highs and lows, management is responsible for containing risks, ensuring optimal performance and delivering ROI. Given these considerations, there should be a strategic focus on managing assets from their inception, rather than trying to “catch up” later when costly missteps may be uncorrectable.
Divesting assets requires capital markets guidance and fair value guidance to help you realise optimal return on assets for greater reinvestment potential.
The challenge lies in identifying appropriate buyers and executing a sale to generate the best price. Success hinges on your ability to execute against the right valuation and business disposal strategy. You will need effective structuring and the right corporate financing and deal structures in place to help ensure that the asset moves quickly to financial close.
Your focus is placed on the important things. You want to ensure your resources (time, talent, and money) are properly allocated to assets or projects within your portfolio that will generate the best value-for-money in this changing market and business environment.
The strategic planning process works best when it focuses on the elements of the future about which there is the greatest uncertainty.
By focusing your strategy on such areas of uncertainty, you gain a more plausible set of potential alternative futures. With this insight, you are better prepared to make business decisions to meet your present and future challenges and opportunities.