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TABLE POUNDERS: How to Quantify their Input and Still Keep your Project on Track

Too often I have seen projects go off track due to certain stakeholders I like to refer to as Table Pounders. These are the ones that will speak the loudest and demand that certain scope is added to your project. Often their input was based on past experience when they personally incurred some hardship due to an occurrence that impacted operations or themselves.

The result can derail your project by adding unnecessary scope thus making the project uneconomical or at least shrink your margins.

Now here’s the catch:

Simulation models LOVE these people and their input!

This is because simulation models will allow you to experiment with various inputs from all types of stakeholders.  If you can envision a scenario occurring, we can put that into the model and see how your operation will react as well as the magnitude of that occurrence. The models can take into account all stakeholder’s input equally and evaluate their impacts and opportunities on an even basis regardless of how loud the table pounder is in the room.

Often we take the input from the table pounder and throw that scenario at the model. The loss in throughput could be significant and the costs can be quantified.  Also the fix can be quantified as well within the model and therefore a cost/benefit analysis can be created.

For example in my past history I have seen scope demanded to be added to an oil terminal due to a very loud and determined individual having a strong gut decision based on past history. Now that event did impact costs in the past but it was determined the penalties were approx. $10,000 per incident and with a simulation model we then determined that incident could occur 6 times per year. Then we used the model to create the facilities required to overcome this event and it was determined an additional oil tank and related piping connections would alleviate that occurrence.  However, the cost of that tank was $20 million!!! Therefore, we chose to handle the interruption in throughput at $60,000 per year rather than build a tank at $20,000,000 (the ‘zeroes’ were shown for effect…). Let the numbers speak for themselves!

This is just one of many ways that a simulation model can help you fine tune your operations and your design. Having the right data and being able to quantify the results are key to understanding complex operations.

Please contact me if you would like to learn how you can quantify a table pounder’s input and keep your project on track.

Ryan HutchinsonTABLE POUNDERS: How to Quantify their Input and Still Keep your Project on Track
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