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How the Purdue EPCOM Approach is Different

Broad Support Services, Facilitation and Innovation Linked to Research


It should be noted that Purdue EPCOM differentiates itself from traditional centers of excellence by building capacity for sustained operational excellence and rapid, continuous improvement for the members and clients served. Purdue EPCOM offers EPC and facility owner companies a broad range of support to implement project best concepts, strategies and practices, with improvement facilitation and applied innovation.

This includes Kaizen (Japanese style of ongoing improvement methodology), knowledge management, organizational development, organizational change management, benchmarking assistance, value management, best/value practice implementation, design for field assembly, theory of constraints, six sigma, factory physics, mistake-proofing, project change management, human factors, functional trust and many others. 

These practices, whether originated/recommended by the Construction Industry Institute (CII), Purdue University research and experience or that of others, will be integrated for the member or client with the appropriate balancing for maximum impact to effectiveness.

One aspect of differentiation and integration is the element of the associated applied innovation (research) within Purdue University’s vast research capability, which is linked to Purdue EPCOM.

Another aspect is the Purdue EPCOM approach to the related training of industry personnel during strategic, direct implementation that closes gaps for operational excellence in capital project delivery work processes and governance systems.


Understanding and Managing Organizational Pain

Purdue EPCOM works with members and clients helping them understand and manage organizational “pain.” When even part of an organization is performing at low or mixed levels of efficiency, the employees feel the pain. That pain comes from having to work under less than stellar or unaligned work processes, incomplete work products, error-impacted work products and so on. It is frustrating and causes low morale, poor productivity and operational chaos which negatively affects the company’s bottom line.

Purdue EPCOM will work with members and clients and facilitate them through 1) understanding the root causes of pain via interviews and workshops to extract “what is,” 2) creating an aligned vision for “what should be,” 3) removing the pain via executive steering of gap-closure teams and, 4) governing against the pain with robust work processes and procedures toward consciously driving the organizational improvement. Purdue EPCOM will also coach management and the teams toward avoiding specific pitfalls that can prevent the required and sustained organizational change.

Aligning Corporate Culture

A very important element of differentiation is how Purdue EPCOM incorporates the corporate cultural components for managing the organization’s ability to change from its current methodologies to more efficient ones. This is key, since many companies that failed in their quest to improve, did so due to low consideration of the required corporate culture components.

Leadership of the Cultures that Drive and Sustain Rapid Continuous Improvement

There is a critical distinction between the necessary methods (best practices and further improvement tools) to direct efforts to achieve performance excellence and the motivation of the people to do it. Too few are sufficiently focused on the methods and nearly everyone avoids the weightier conversation necessary to address the required motivation. Both motivation and process are required to overcome fear of failure, organizational silos and roadblocks that currently restrain any work process improvement initiative.


Breakaway project performance reliability to achieve and sustain excellence in both client project net present value, EPC company and supply chain profit is going to require advanced leadership of organizational change. Even a lot of effort in the approach to organizational change initiatives with standard leadership often yields low initiative reliability or rates of improvement far less than desired.

Breakaway from traditional performance requires leaders to learn and apply some counterintuitive strategies and a radically different approach than leadership that has underperformed for organizational change initiatives in the past.

Breakaway requires significant behavioral change by executives, management and employees. Purdue EPCOM coaches members and clients through each step to ensure success. Increased consideration of the human motivation and process preplanning is required. Capabilities to deliver on the behavioral and work process change plans must be analyzed, including the appropriate people, structures and the decision-making process to drive current change and develop internal strength for future change initiatives.

The right metrics and incentives for success must be derived. High risks associated with the power to motivate people must be addressed. Employee commitment must be built, in part, by closing communication gaps and trust between leaders, both within and between the levels of current management.