Project execution with Citec’s new gate model is like playing croquet – you systematically work your way to the finish line, one hoop at a time. The difference to the garden game, however, is that when projects cross the finish line, all the players are winners.
Citec and Wärtsilä Energy Solutions have cooperated globally for a long time. As often happens in a long partnership, the way of working easily falls into a comfort zone where parties perform activities based on their so-called ‘standard way of working’. However, in today’s world, basic is no longer good enough. Because both Citec and Wärtsilä have an ambition for continuous improvement, they are now jointly developing their processes to follow one another.
Industrial giant Wärtsilä looks after the quality of its work by using an operational improvement program, known as
Operational Excellence. The aim of the program is to ensure full transparency and documentation understanding, while guaranteeing information quality in every business area and function inside the company. In this exercise, Wärtsilä and Citec have intensified their cooperation. Under Wärtsilä’s Operational Excellence program both parties have an interest to improve their engineering processes. One of the key achievements of the collaboration is a Project Gate Model, which has now been launched at Citec.
“This model is not completely new to us. Actually, Citec has already been working with it in selected projects, but now we have made the model part of our strategy and will make sure that every country and unit follows it,” says Mikko Hakola, Citec’s Director of Plant Engineering.
Basically, the Project Gate Model is a model for project execution. The idea is that each project is split into smaller parts, which consist of predetermined and interrelated actions that are performed in a certain order. According to Hakola, the model is like playing croquet: “You must go through all the hoops in the right order to be able to cross the finish line. Too often, in the name of efficiency, people tend to cut corners. To prevent this, we make sure that everyone accurately follows the different stages of the model, because by doing that, we can reduce potential mistakes and foresee possible challenges. Thus, even if it does not seem so at first glance, the model speeds up progress and ensures that everyone is pulling in the same direction,” Hakola explains.
The gate model speeds up projects and ensures that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Citec’s gate model has now been used in two of Wärtsilä’s large and complex plant engineering projects. In the future, the goal is to develop it even further and create a functional and adjustable model that can be applied to other projects as well. “Working with Citec has gone well. We all agree that developing the model together is a good solution that offers clear synergies for both parties. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to make the model function ideally. For example, it’s important that we implement the developed model properly,” says Eija Ollus, Engineering Director at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.
We all agree that developing the model together is a good solution that offers clear synergies for both parties.
“Introducing a new method requires a change in mindset from our whole organisation and its units, which takes some time. However, the secret to efficient transformations of this nature is an ambassadorial approach: success stories accumulate quickly and motivate the usage of the model. I am happy that our new way of working has received only positive feedback from our employees. A gradual rollout is now firmly underway, and I strongly believe that by using the gate model we can achieve improvements which will keep us one step ahead of the competition,” Hakola sums up.
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