Insourcing vs Outsourcing Tactics & More – Playbook Review Part 8
In part seven we examined the various elements needed to implement a construction strategy. This post is a continuation of that discussion and will deal specifically with insourcing versus outsourcing tactics, field productivity reporting, and implementing key performance indicators (KPIs). This is part of an overall step of implementing a resiliency program, discussed in chapter five of PDi2’s Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook.
Insourcing Versus Outsourcing Tactics
The final decision the utility will have to make is if and how to split the design and construction work between an internal (insourcing) or external (outsourcing) workforce. Given that a resiliency program will likely consist of spending above and beyond current activity, a critical question is can and/or should the work be undertaken with the existing engineering and construction workforce?
The answer to this question is based on a nuanced understanding of the utility’s internal capabilities and access to competent and experienced external service providers. In part, the anticipated program will require a realistic evaluation to determine the resource needs for design, procurement, permit acquisition, project management, and construction. As always, contingency planning for large outages should include on-site resources with minimal mobilization.
Field Productivity Reporting
Given the labor-intensive nature of the undergrounding work that will be part of a resiliency program, tracking hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly performance will prove critical to process improvement and in demonstrating prudence in the management and oversight of the construction process. Questions that will require answers include the following:
- What motivates internal crew or contractor success and how can a utility make this visible and impactful?
- What internal obstacles might we (the utility) create and how can a utility remove these internal obstacles that may slow productivity and the contractor’s ability to meet their productivity goals or reasonable profitability? What is the history or capacity of internal crews to meet their productivity goals?
- What technologies can be applied or shared among the program team to support tracking of work, productivity, material installation, etc.?
- How will standards compliance evaluation and commissioning tests drive the quality and effectiveness of workmanship? How will the quality of work affect contractor or intern crew compensation?
- How will internal sampling, third-party inspection, and self-testing of construction quality take place?
Project Management Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The selection of one to three key performance indicators for the program is necessary to monitor implementation progress. At the program level, the setting of a clear and focused objective at the beginning of the planning process will help drive the development of KPIs for summary reporting.
In addition, progress reporting will prove critical in reauthorization and continuation of the resiliency efforts. The connection to clearly defining a program objective will come into play and demonstrate its importance in confirming the prudence of the program and the required investment.
Download the Playbook
Keep an eye out for our next post where we discuss how to report on your resiliency program’s progress. Interested readers are highly encouraged to download a free copy of PDi2’s Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook. Designed to help utilities address obstacles they might face when developing resiliency programs, this comprehensive resource includes details on each step of developing a program, case studies, and links to additional resources.