Small Projects Execution: Less Is Sometimes More


Context and Challenge

  • Maintaining a live SAGD Plant requires numerous changes throughout its life. These changes, labeled Management of Change (MOC) projects, are critical for safety, environmental and production optimization and are executed by the Operations Construction Team

  • Site leadership was concerned that the MOC projects under $1 million were not a primary focus and as such were not being executed in a “lean” way which was causing the project quality to deteriorate and the execution costs to escalate

  • Site leadership saw an opportunity to improve performance by creating an integrated Maintenance/Construction team to execute these smaller projects and gave Operational Excellence the challenge of supporting this new team through a Lean Transformation


  • A cross-functional project team (Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, & Construction) was formed and trained in LEAN methodology

  • Client sub-teams tackled business process integration, organizational design, project quality, cost optimization, and management system improvements

  • Extensive collection of workshops with Suppliers & Customers (e.g. Voice of Customer) identified best practices which were incorporated into the design of the integrated organization

  • Traditional Construction (Contractor-driven) project management approach was replaced by more efficient and effective LEAN client (company) led processes – improving how the business planned, scheduled, and executed projects under $1 million

The program provided a framework that enabled us to understand key issues and to confront them.
— Onshore Manager