Virtual IBC 2022 Addresses the Energy Transition, Sustainability, Supply Chain Issues, and More

Cheryl Burgess

Independent Project Analysis (IPA), Inc. is once again set to present new quantitative research studies focused on improving the development and execution of capital projects at the 2022 annual meeting of the Industry Benchmarking Consortium (IBC 2022). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a third year of hosting the event as a series of virtual meetings exclusive to employees of IBC member companies, a format that enables broad participation across the member companies.

IBC 2022 will kick off on March 22, with IPA Founder and President Ed Merrow delivering the keynote address. In addition to webinars featuring new industry research study presentations, the virtual IBC 2022 event includes industrial sector breakout sessions and project performance competitiveness briefings for large and site and sustaining capital projects. The webinar event schedule runs from the end of March through the beginning of May. Each IBC session is delivered live twice to accommodate all time zones. The 1-hour webinars will be recorded and available to all member companies.

Highlights of this year’s IBC include:

Industry Trends

IPA Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Sanborn will outline the current state of capital projects, including how the COVID-19 pandemic has affect project development and execution over the past two years. This annual study analyzes the most recent set of capital projects to provide an understanding of current industry trends in context with historical industry performance. The overall industry performance provides context for the performance outcomes of individual IBC member company projects.

IPA Benchmarking and the Energy Transition

The process industries have embarked in earnest on the road to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and creating a more sustainable future. In early 2019, IPA started the process of developing benchmarking methodologies for GHG emissions from projects, GHG mitigation measures (such as electrification), and low and zero carbon energy technologies (such as wind and solar). We have also started working with chemical companies on efforts to develop circular production and use processes. In this webinar, IPA President and Founder Ed Merrow discusses IPA’s strategy toward decarbonization and our progress in making the benchmarking of the transition a reality.

Sustainability Trends in Capital Projects

The heavy industrial sectors are currently undergoing a fundamental shift in their core KPIs. Sustainability-related elements—emissions, water, waste, and circularity—have now become a key strategic consideration in capital project selection, development, and execution. IPA conducted a survey of companies in the petroleum refining, chemicals manufacturing, and processing sectors to understand current industry practices, and identify the key trends and challenges in sustainability performance. The goal for this session is to share the results of this industry survey and progress the discussion to standardize sustainability performance assessment and improvement in capital projects.

Research Study: Constructability Review Metric

Constructability Reviews are the most used Value Improving Practice. On average, about 60 percent of capital projects use this practice to drive better construction effectiveness. This study updates past IBC studies that evaluated industry practices for conducting Constructability Reviews, drawing from data collected since 2018 to propose Best Practices and a detailed measurement for the application of this practice.

Research Study: Knowledge Management Practices in Capital Projects

A common belief is that a well-designed and maintained knowledge management (KM) system can save project teams time and even teach them how to avoid costly mistakes. In this IBC study, Arkadii Lebedinskii explores the state of KM across IBC member companies. It summarizes KM practices used to handle tools and software platforms for KM elements such as document libraries, lessons learned databases, team collaboration platforms, expertise management systems, and search engines. This is a new area of focus for IPA research and we expect to leverage the findings for continued research into KM practices and the benefits to capital project systems.

Research Study: Supply Chain Risk to Capital Projects

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a confluence of forces causing significant disruption to global supply chains for raw materials, intermediate, and finished goods. Dysfunctional (or non-functioning) global supply chains have similarly affected the world of capital projects. This presentation introduces the problem of supply chain risks to capital project outcomes; provides illustrations of the nature, root causes, and effects of supply chain issues experienced by capital projects; and presents a preliminary framework for understanding supply chain risks to capital project execution success.

Research Study: What Makes a Good Project Execution Plan

Of the elements measured in IPA’s Front-End Loading Index, Project Execution Planning (PEP) is the component most often lagging Best Practice. In review of thousands of project PEPs over the years, IPA has observed that a good many are simply copies or templates and include very little project-specific planning. However, this isn’t true for all. Therefore, the objective of this study is to understand and quantify the differentiating factors at the detailed planning level (e.g., construction) that are proven to effectively mitigate risk.

The IBC is a voluntary association of owner firms in the chemical, petroleum, minerals processing, food and consumer products, life sciences, pulp and paper, and power and infrastructure industries that employ IPA’s quantitative benchmarking approach to improve the value from their capital project systems. Through benchmarkings of both large and site-based systems conducted by IPA, IBC member companies receive exclusive insights into how their capital project systems and project outcomes stack up against their industry peers with respect to safety, cost, schedule, and operational performance. Member companies agree to support the continuous improvement of their own capital processes through measuring and comparing performance metrics.

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