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The Appraisal Stage

Construction site

Purdue EPCOM will begin an engagement with a client at the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or other alternate highest-level executive responsible for capital project delivery. It is necessary to engage a sponsor at this level to ensure full buy-in across all skills and stakeholders. With Purdue EPCOM recommendations, the client will form an Executive Steering Team for the engagement. Sharply-focused self-assessment questions about operational performance gaps to facilitate client recognition of needs and opportunities that Purdue EPCOM can help them address.

Follow-up discussion results in the client’s request for a formal, Purdue EPCOM “Appraise Stage” proposal to conduct a 360-degree evaluation of executive and management credibility to form a reliable “organizational spine” for the engagement to rapidly improve. This will be a confidential survey of field and home office personnel including foremen, general foremen, superintendents, project managers and senior managers up through executives. Questions aligned with the company values will discern who is credible (or could become credible with mentoring) to lead rapid improvement by virtue of their 1) sincere caring, 2) technical ability and experience and 3) their authority and command of resources within their realm of influence.


This team will:

  1. Define (Opportunity Identification) – What is (are) the real problem(s), who is impacted (stakeholders, clients, employees, subcontractors) and what are the risks and dissatisfaction?
  2. Measure (Quantification) – Identify a gap in planning or performance that is driving a need to improve and how proof-of-the-need will be measured. Is the company measuring the right things? Is the real data available? What does the data reveal about the problem?
  3. Analyze (Deliverables are “Situations-at-a-Glance”) The Situations-at-a-Glance are prepared with priority set for Kaizen. The Executive Steering Team selects people in the spine who will lead the analysis of the situations and lead the teams that will have the skills and stakeholders to improve the work processes and systems. Specific to an opportunity, the teams will define in each situation-at-a-glance “what (currently) is” and “what should be.” They will deep-dive for root causes, understand all the variables involved and their impact on processes. The team will compare with other opportunities and set up the information and improvement team (including company, Purdue EPCOM industrial and Purdue EPCOM academic members).

Data analysis

The client’s Steering Team will work jointly with the Purdue EPCOM facilitation consultants to perform the analysis work. Initial analysis work of the steering team and facilitators will be to combine and align existing information for best practice (norms, instructions, procedures, directives, forms, etc.) on work processes related to the Situations-at-a-Glance, describing to the implementation stage teams how they recommend to improve delivery of capital projects. The steering team will set responsibility and provide information resource access to project teams. Assisted by the people in their improvement spine, executives will confront “what is” relative to their team utilization and the impact on reliability of project operational excellence. The steering team will resource the define, measure and analyze functions described above.

The outcome of the Appraisal Stage will be six to eight Situations-at-a-Glance, fully developed and prioritized, with metrics, to establish the need and then measure improvement. (The metrics will be specific to the findings, e.g. cost-related, schedule-related, etc.).