12-Step Engineering Project Planning Process Example

Jul 28, 2022 | Inside BE - Our Culture | 0 comments

Project work is not a simple process thrown together quickly. At Brindley Engineering we take time to carefully scope, organize, and execute our projects. We know there are many engineering process steps to take to ensure a successful outcome for projects of all sizes. We come up with a unique engineering project plan for each of our clients. There’s a big team behind the scenes, and we work together to make it successful. We make up the rules, follow them, and make sure that the whole team knows the plan. Here is a sample 12-step engineering project plan for a successful project at Brindley Engineering developed by the Mechanical & Piping teams on a large piping reliability program for a refinery.


Step 1: Choose the one!

To start a project, the mechanical engineer picks the project number he or she will be working with from the Execution List for the season or year (previously scheduled and categorized based on the type of issue, time of execution, priorities, etc.). The project number and details about the job are stored in a database, including a description of the issue, the type of request (e.g., if it’s a pipe replacement, support replacement, piping cleaning & coating, etc.), as well as marked photos and/or PIDs showing their locations.


Step 2: Conduct initial field walk down to verify information

The mechanical engineer verifies, in the field, all the information received (e.g., notification, PIDs & marked photos). He or she will collect and verify any additional important data (e.g., location, dimensions, updated photos) that will be needed to study and design the area. From there, the mechanical engineer will make a plan for the new pipe route and accessories (if needed). Most of the time, one of our expert pipe fitters will join this walk down to elaborate a field sketch of the area and give the team the best practical solution for the issue.


Step 3: Time to double check!

Before we start working on the scope of work (SOW) package, the mechanical engineer and pipe fitter will meet with the client maintenance engineer or operations professional in the field to confirm the scope assigned and our initial conceptual plan. This is an essential step in the process!


Step 4: Hello 3D laser scan!

In some instances, a 3D scan of the area will be required. The laser scan is literally “the eyes of the team in the field,” especially for the designers. It gives us the highest quality data models. The scan provides exact dimensions and measurements of all infrastructure in the area with an excellent accuracy. 


Step 5: Time to work on the scope of work

The mechanical engineer can now start to work on the SOW document. This document will combine all information gathered in the field and will let the Construction team know everything they need to know in order to start with the construction stage, such as quality requirements, type of insulation, supports, heat tracing, hydrotest pressures, welding procedures, valves, accessories selection, and more. These items can be either fabricated directly in the field or in the shop.


Step 6: Time to double check the SOW!

You can see that double checking is a huge part of our engineering project plan. Once the Job Note is done, it will be sent to another Brindley mechanical engineer for checking and approvals. This engineer will verify with a “cold eye” that all the information collected is accurate and matches perfectly. If the engineer has comments or concerns, he or she will send them to the first engineer to discuss and address the changes and the SOW will be internally completed.


Step 7: Send the SOW!

The client will review and send their comments back if they have any (hopefully they won’t!).


Step 8: The piping designer starts to play

The piping designer also receives all information enclosed in the SOW, including the field sketch and 3D scan of the area. Then the designer creates a 3D version of the model to be installed in the field with all the information collected and verified. Since the 3D scan will be used at this point, the designer checks the area in case of interferences and gets the best alternative for the routing of the line.


Step 9: Time for a 3D model review!

At Brindley, we believe a good practice is for the team is to meet with the client and show them, through the 3D model and scan, what they are getting to ensure alignment. This meeting gives them a chance to either change something before it’s too late or approve the design if they’re satisfied with it.


Step 10: Time to create isometrics drawings

Isometric drawings are piping construction drawings that are built based on the final 3D model.  Once they are completed, this package is sent to a second designer, an engineer in charge of the job, and team pipefitter. They evaluate, check the model and drawings, and verify that all the information received is reflected in the isometric drawings.


Step 11: Time to send the whole package! So much progress!

Finally, with the SOW and isometric drawings checked and completed, the engineer is ready to send the whole package to the client. The client will approve this, and the requisition of materials and construction will be ready to issue for construction to start!


Step 12: Construction & QA/QC — Time to shine and celebrate!

During construction, we come back to the field for QA/QC oversight. At this point, the Brindley team goes back to the field to verify that the job is being built correctly and is following each detail of our design. If that’s the case, that pipe replacement is completed, and we get to celebrate a successfully completed project!

Completing an engineering project plan is an exciting journey that takes a team through many different challenges. At Brindley Engineering, we work closely with our clients to make all engineering project plans successful — delivering accurate results in the timeframe expected. But more importantly, we work hard, and we work together to make everyone successful. We know the plan, have communicated it throughout the team, and we love to work together to execute it. What stands out to me most working at Brindley Engineering is that we really support and appreciate each other to make every project journey the best time of our life!


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12 Step Process for successful project work
Steps 1-4 of 12 step engineering project process
Step 5-8 for engineering project Process
Step 5-8 for engineering project Process


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