Five Ways to Improve the Commissioning Process

The commissioning project is wrapping up, testing is complete and everyone is ready to close it out on a positive note.

One problem: the commissioning report is far from complete,  documentation is missing and contractors have checked out. End result? The project is drawn out for another two months.

Why is the last 5% of the commissioning project so difficult to complete? What strategies and tools can be used to make the process more efficient?

The challenge in completing the last 5% of the project comes from a lack of preparation in tracking the documentation that will be needed to compile the commissioning report. Items such as contractor-supplied documentation, installation verification checklists and completed functional performance tests can linger throughout the project -- with a frenzy of activity happening once the report needs to be completed. Items that should have been completed months before have been sitting idle and, therefore, staff are forced to back-track, often spending twice the time necessary to complete them.

The following project and documentation management strategies can be implemented to ensure a smoother commissioning process:
 

  1. Get help from technology: Utilize a commissioning software tool to assist with tracking project milestones, equipment issues and documentation throughout the duration of the project.
     
  2. Be proactive: Collect the appropriate data and complete the documentation as the project activities are happening.
     
  3. Set up a report wrap-up meeting: Do this prior to the completion of the testing phase to begin coordinating and delegating report sections to specific individuals.
     
  4. Assign tasks: Delegate responsibility of documentation completion or collection to specific individuals and have them take ownership of the task.
     
  5. Be persistent: Stay on top of the individuals and contractors who are assigned to complete tasks and collect documentation. Be sure to set firm but realistic deadlines. Do so publicly in commissioning meetings so that the client knows what parties may be causing the holdup.

By following these five strategies, the commissioning report can be wrapped up quickly. And that means the project ends on a positive note for everyone involved.
 

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