Featured Presentation

Energy Transition Deployments – How Are They Different from Capital Projects?

This conversation highlights the differences and challenges between construction projects and energy transition deployments, with a focus on the need for strategic thinking and consideration of factors such as standardization, local requirements, and capacity management for successful execution and control of these projects.

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In this conversation, Todd R. Zabelle and James E. Craig, PE discuss the differences between construction projects and deployments. Construction projects tend to be focused on a single site, with multiple suppliers providing materials and resources for the project. Maintenance projects also involve a single site and require the identification of necessary work. In contrast, deployments involve many suppliers providing materials and resources for multiple sites, with large-scale projects such as technology deployments involving thousands of sites.

James E. Craig, PE has recently been involved in a $50 billion project as the engineering manager and is now supporting someone involved in a deployment. He notes that these projects are mirror images but not the same technology, and the challenge is figuring out how to standardize and design for multiple locations while still considering local requirements. He also mentions the need to work with multiple onsite contractors and manage capacity in the area to avoid over-stressing the construction industry.

Overall, the conversation highlights the need to think strategically about deployments and consider factors such as standardization, local requirements, and capacity management in order to execute and control these projects effectively.


[00:00:00] Gary Fischer, PE: Now we’re going to move on to a slightly different topic. The energy transition is bringing forward generating a lot of work that’s actually quite different than traditional capital projects that the energy sector has dealt with. And Todd Zabelle is going to lead us through this segment with some special guests.

[00:00:22] Gary Fischer, PE: But let me introduce Todd properly. Todd’s the founder of Project Production Institute. He’s also the founder and president of Strategic Project Solutions, and prior to founding SPS over 20 years ago, he founded Pacific Contracting, which was recognized in the mid-nineties for its use of various innovations, including lean construction and vertical design and construction.

[00:00:43] Gary Fischer, PE: Over the past two decades, Todd has demonstrated that he’s clearly a pioneer in the industry. He has authored numerous papers on the topic of optimizing engineering, fabrication, and construction. These papers have been published in various technical journals, presented at numerous conferences around the world and cited by several authors.

[00:01:01] Gary Fischer, PE: So Todd, it’s a pleasure to know you, and it’s a pleasure to be mentored by you and I’ll turn it over to you to lead us through this very interesting section.

[00:01:10] Todd R. Zabelle: Okay, thank you, Gary. Can you guys see the slides all right? Okay, perfect. Well, why don’t we talk about energy transition deployments and deployments in general and how they might be different from what most of us know as capital projects.

[00:01:28] Todd R. Zabelle: Joining me will be our good friend  James E. Craig from Chevron, who has an interesting background that we’ll talk about in a moment when it comes time to compare and contrast capital projects with deployments. And of course, you guys all know James, who I’ve worked with for, had the pleasure of working with for many, many years.

[00:01:51] Todd R. Zabelle: Gary said earlier this morning that there were three things that were occurring – infrastructure, digitalization, decarbonization – and what I’d like to do is drill a little further into what that might mean. I submit to you that James had hinted to this, and again you guys could 20 years from now come back and say whether I was right or wrong,

[00:02:12] Todd R. Zabelle: but digitalization and decarbonization are going to drive small scale projects. I believe that we’re going to see where there’s large capital projects occurring, they’re going to get changed to what we might call these deployments, as we have to put the infrastructure and technology in place, whether it’s micro nuclear, TV charge steel towers, 5G uses a smaller footprint, and so on and so forth to meet these requirements driven by decarbonization digitalization.

[00:02:33] Todd R. Zabelle: And the question might be, our current frameworks fit for purpose for managing deployments. So is what we do on a, I don’t know, 500 million or 20 billion project fit for purpose if you have to do a deployment.

[00:02:55] Todd R. Zabelle: Let’s not say that deployments are necessarily small scale investments; they might be a 10 billion investment to deploy something. I know when BP was doing the rebrand from British Petroleum to BP, just the signage alone was north of a billion dollars to change out around the world.

[00:03:14] Todd R. Zabelle: So the project or the programs, as we might call them in the world of project management, can get fairly significant. But, I proposed to you that, and we think about this at the institute, there’s really three generic project types: construction, maintenance, and deployment. Again, construction is about – and James might talk about this later –

[00:03:36] Todd R. Zabelle: it’s usually a single site. And in that single site, several suppliers flow things to it. And a lot of thinking is about logistically “how do we plan and control work to, and at this one particular site?” Maintenance on the other hand is a little bit different. We usually have, well, we have to have an existing site or an existing asset, and we often have to do work to figure out work we have to do.

[00:03:57] Todd R. Zabelle: Then of course, there’s this thing about deployment where we see deployment as a many to many relationship. Many suppliers seeding many sites, and where on a single site per construction there might be hundreds of suppliers or even thousands feeding into the site. There might be a smaller number of suppliers on a technology deployment feeding to thousands or tens of thousands of sites, right?

[00:04:22] Todd R. Zabelle: So we need to look at these from a production perspective, from a different perspective or a different view, if you will, on how we might go about them. So one question is, you know, what are the differences between construction projects and deployments? And to talk a little about that, we’ve asked James, or Jim Craig, to join us.

[00:04:39] Todd R. Zabelle: And the reason we asked Jim is he had recently been involved as the engineering manager, manager of engineering on a $50 billion project, and now he’s supporting someone that’s involved in the deployment. So we felt that Jim is very well suited to compare and contrast, and we’ve put together a slide for Jim to talk through.

[00:05:01] Todd R. Zabelle: So, Jim, with that, I’ll hand it over to you.

[00:05:04] James E. Craig, PE: Thanks, Todd. Thanks for the introduction. So, yeah, I mean, this is an interesting transition we’re going through, you know, with everything around energy transition, right? So

[00:05:21] James E. Craig, PE: projects, right? I mean, you look at big, large projects, you know, which really is a big design firm. You know, you work the issue. You’re kind of designing for that local firm. You’re about to. As well as, you know, the type of contracting strategy used at that site, but these deployments are as the data center, the Microsofts and the Amazons and the Googles are ahead of us.

[00:05:41] James E. Craig, PE: You know, they kind of start to get their arms around how do we go deploy data centers at multiple sites globally? Well, a lot of the, you know, big owner companies, the Chevrons, the Shells, we start to go with this energy transition.

[00:06:02] James E. Craig, PE: We’re seeing that these projects are almost mirror images, you know, but not the same technology, right, but the same size and scale, right? When we’re working in multiple locations, we’re using multiple design firms, you know, the permits may be different in the states.

[00:06:19] James E. Craig, PE: We’re trying to figure out how we can do this the most efficiently possible, right?

[00:06:24] James E. Craig, PE: So the things we’re thinking about are how we can standardize and design possible locations, right? And then come in when you find your site, that then, you know, ensure that you need a local requirement, right? So it takes some work to do that and then, of course, it’s understanding the processes required there too, right?

[00:06:43] James E. Craig, PE: Because you’re working in one state, in multiple states or multiple countries you’re very comfortable working in, and some of you may not. You know, the current oil business hasn’t driven you to be there, right? So it’s “how can you do that effectively,” you know, and “how to get efficient.” Dealing with multiple onsite contractors that you’re trying to learn how to deal with, right.

[00:07:06] James E. Craig, PE: And you know, this could be anything from renewable energy, it could be hydrogen, it could be – I think Todd mentioned nuclear, right.

[00:07:13] James E. Craig, PE: You know, some of the things that we’re involved with, that we’re not involved with, but it’s something that we’re thinking very hard and intentionally about: “what’s the best way to structure these projects and go execute these projects,” right?

[00:07:24] James E. Craig, PE: It’s down to the contractors, it gets down to the capacity in the area, right? Because you may have, you know, 10 projects that are small, but they may be, you know, adjacent to each other or close. And so how do you make sure you don’t over stress the current capacity for construction that may not be as some of the ones we’re used to, used to doing, right?

[00:07:45] James E. Craig, PE: And how do you handle that from an owner’s perspective and how do you handle it from a contractor’s perspective? So, you know, we’ve done some thinking about strategic contracting, you know, and how do we go deploy this production thinking about the work, how’s the work flowing through the – not only the site we’re putting in, but how does it flow from multiple sites, right.

[00:08:04] James E. Craig, PE: I’m trying to make sure you understand that from a capacity standpoint. So I mean, it’s a lot of fun. It’s not like projects where you have one big problem and you’re –

[00:08:21] James E. Craig, PE: See, definitely see this as we continue to mature our thinking in the energy transition, you know, as we go through it for all the other companies and even the startups and VCs out there that are scrambling to try to do these things. You know, it’s making sure that again, you know, in this world there is still the same thing we can do every day.

[00:08:44] James E. Craig, PE: Big project, small project, you got to get the engineering done, you got to get a bid on site, you got to get the vendor drawings, you got to get the right construction, right. Matter. Big projects still have fundamentals. You got to make sure it is well established. The thing that, again, this challenges deployments, is that you’re in different areas.

[00:09:04] James E. Craig, PE: You have different co-seat capacity. You have sure levels of execution and so there’s a variable

[00:09:15] James E. Craig, PE: there for Todd.

[00:09:23] Todd R. Zabelle: Thanks, Jim.

[00:09:25] James E. Craig, PE: I want to say one more thing, I thought Hunter’s thing about the Internet was interesting because when we’re putting in sites, doing things, things like Starlink about different technologies, different ways to achieve things, is at the forefront, right? We don’t always have everything that can be out there.

[00:09:44] James E. Craig, PE: And so I thought his presentation was really good, and ties a lot directly to deployments and how we’re trying to get things in technology and be able to get data from sites that are very, very locations. Sorry, Todd, go ahead.

[00:09:58] Todd R. Zabelle: Well, thanks for that and tying that together. Personally, I’ve been involved in many deployments through the years and some of the things that we’ve observed, one is thinking it is a simple installation of something while ignoring local conditions.

[00:10:13] Todd R. Zabelle: So we see a lot of people that invent something. Maybe it’s going to take waste from a restaurant and compress it into pellets. Maybe it’s going to take hydrocarbons and make pure hydrogen and carbon or whatever the case may be.

[00:10:31] Todd R. Zabelle: We were involved with Daimler when they were rolling out the new AMG experience, Cisco with telepresence things and the technology part, right? The thing is usually pretty well thought through. And the local conditions just aren’t, and I’m not saying for any of those, aren’t as understood as much as they could be, but then the other thing is leaving it to the local contractor, and the local contractor really means the local contract orders as Jim is alluding to, because you might have hundreds of them, right?

[00:10:59] Todd R. Zabelle: So I’m going to rapidly go through something that’s extremely deep. This is going to be record time, hang with me, but I just want you to see what this might look like to do this. And so I’m going to go very, very fast. That’s a warning, if you will, but we were invited 10 years ago to get involved in a large scale, actually more than 10 years ago, global deployment of electric vehicle charge infrastructure.

[00:11:23] Todd R. Zabelle: Before there was a Tesla, there were these people and they needed to go from $2.3K per charge spot. Installed to $0.5K or 500K, right. And you may have heard of the company, they raised a lot of money and they just had a very, very complex business model. But out of that came basically a 500-page methodology on how they would actually go do this.

[00:11:44] Todd R. Zabelle: And I’m just going to show you really quickly some of the ideas of what this is about. When we showed up on the scene they had basically left it to the local contractor and looked like this. As many of you know, I am a licensed contractor, so I’m not trying to beat on contractors. I’m just saying, this is what it looks like when you leave it to the contractors, right.

[00:11:59] Todd R. Zabelle: And we got it to look like this when we were done, right? And so I’m going to show you some things really quickly. The most important thing is we’ve got 10 days and 400 craft hours of work down to 1 day and 40 hours, okay?

[00:12:15] Todd R. Zabelle: And so how are we able to do that for them and get them close to their goal? One, we set out and we defined an overall process on how to do the work, and as we defined the overall process, we were able to bring in some very advanced technology especially up here in the idea of using parametric modeling to do automated concurrent digital engineering.

[00:12:37] Todd R. Zabelle: So this was, the computer itself was doing digital engineering for the sites automatically, right? Almost autonomously if you will. Before the site engineering survey, we were using augmented reality to do concept type designs, right? So again, we defined the process. We brought in some technology and saw, you know, perhaps you’re, what it might look like in engineering, the automated engineering based on modules, right?

[00:13:04] Todd R. Zabelle: This is what you really need to do if you’re going to do a deployment that’s going to go around the world and have hundreds of thousands of little projects, literally, right? You’ve gotta look at this totally differently, right? This is not one big project you’re going to plan. It is tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, a little micro project.

[00:13:23] Todd R. Zabelle: That is gonna be done. And so you have to get really serious about how you might go about it. Here’s the layout of a logistics center and actually setting inventory levels at the logistics center. What’s going to be in the logistics center, so on and so forth, right? This is getting into the business.

[00:13:39] Todd R. Zabelle: It’s providing this to the contractors as a local place, but the owner’s controlling the flow of material. Because it’s critical for the owner’s business, right? When you have 100,000 or 200,000 projects that you’re going to embark on, these types of things you just, the amount of contractors you would have, and the similarity between them would be absolutely incredible.

[00:14:01] Todd R. Zabelle: And Jim alluded to that, right? So actually having detailed standardization on not only what the product is that’s being built, but the process to build it down to the minutes, right? How things are going to be laid out, how work’s going to occur. And I know for most people that are on the line from the owner’s side, you’re saying, “This looks crazy.”

[00:14:20] Todd R. Zabelle: “Why would we do that again?” This is the world of deployments, right? I’m going to go through this really quickly. So you could see some of this, right?

[00:14:33] Todd R. Zabelle: Call parts presentation, if you will. So when the stuff shows up on site, what does it look like, right? Very detailed drawings and assembly drawings, installation guidelines on how work occurs. All right, down to each step in the process, okay? Re-engineering, if you will, elements and components and parts.

[00:14:57] Todd R. Zabelle: So this was the original charge spot that was very complex to install, was designed by a industrial design person versus someone looking at it from a production perspective where the infrastructure could go in first and then later the charge spots that were still under R&D could be continued to be developed, but the infrastructure we knew would be the same, right?

[00:15:17] Todd R. Zabelle: And then I got a couple more things here, and I’m going to hand them over to James, is this idea of “what is the production system?” If we have hundreds of thousands of projects that we have to flow through, and each of those projects might have multiple charge spots and so on and so forth, what does the overall production system look like that we’re flowing and how do we model that and understand what might happen?

[00:15:37] Todd R. Zabelle: And I’m going to have James talk about that in a sec. And then what kind of analytics do we want, right? Again, cycle time is the goal, We have to get the cost down, right? Time is money. We had to reduce the time. So we’re looking at the cycle time. What part, where’s the bottleneck in the cycle time? Are we happy with that?

[00:15:53] Todd R. Zabelle: Do we need to move it around? What’s our WIP that’s going on? Is the WIP too low, too high? Is it where we want it to be? So again, measuring the flow work through the production system using production based metrics, whether it’s cycle time or WIP, as everybody on this line probably knows, WIP equals cycle time. So you’re kind of looking at the same measurement here, just in two different ways.

[00:16:11] Todd R. Zabelle: Okay, so I went through that really quick. If you have any questions, you want to learn more about that, we’re happy to do a PPI webinar on that. It’s fascinating if you’re involved in deployments. There’s a lot to consider.

[00:16:27] Todd R. Zabelle: But you guys have all met James; you know his background. I’m going to hand it over to him. I’ll continue to drive the slides and we’ll do some Q&A. Alright, but really quick before I hand over to James. When you have the number of flows through one of these types of production systems, not only do you need to control them, but you actually have to model them in advance and analyze them to figure out “how much capacity do I need,” whether it is saws to cut things, or computers, or size, logistic centers, trucks, so on and so forth,

[00:17:02] Todd R. Zabelle: and even the capacity of the craft in the area, even if they work for contractors. Okay, so James, I’m going to hand this over to you.

[00:17:10] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So, as Jim and Todd already talked about, a lot of the focus on the deployment project is how do we actually make something and get it out to individual locations, and we’re going to actually use the hydration facility as an example.

[00:17:24] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So, you know, I think you can actually think that these actually have these multiple components that’s got to be put together in the base on the local conditions. Okay, can you go to the next one please? But when you actually look at the process. It’s not simply a deployment of products, right? The reality is a little bit more complicated.

[00:17:43] H.J. James Choo, PhD: As Jim actually just pointed out, and Todd already pointed out, the demand, demand actually is the, what’s actually going to be produced out of each facility is going to be dependent on the requirements actually of how much people are going to require. So, you know, demand for hydrogen, demand for electrical power, demand for even Wireless Network.

[00:18:07] H.J. James Choo, PhD: All these are actually the demand that’s going to be different from location to location. Local requirements and conditions obviously are going to be different. If the deployment is global. The variation in the local requirement and conditions could hugely vary. So although you might actually already have a very, very standard product, when you actually get out to the field, you might actually have a very configured to order or even actually very engineered to order installations.

[00:18:36] H.J. James Choo, PhD: The question is “how do we actually merge the tool to actually bring a more effective way, actually, of doing things?” So let’s actually look at hydrogen power, for example. So somehow we need to actually power the installation. So we need some power, whether it’s, you know, solar or wind. And then you actually need some electrolyzers to actually generate the hydrogen, and then you need to actually be able to store them.

[00:18:58] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So you actually have storage, based on the local requirements and capacity, and so forth you might actually have a different number of these items for each different location and to show you that there could be different sizes of exact port for storage. Actually have some that are smaller ones, some larger ones or some that are, you know, medium size that are actually too.

[00:19:20] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So these are all different variations that can actually occur okay. Next one please. The question is there, is the product element. And then there’s the process element. Because the process element actually needs to dictate who does what when in order to make sure that the products are being, actually being installed and being turned on at the right time according to the agreement and the demand.

[00:19:47] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Okay, and the way that’s actually been done or being done is actually what we actually use, what we call the standard process. Okay, the standard process to manage, configured to order installations, and we’ll give you, show an example of what that looks like. Can you go to the next one please? So for installation of power, let’s say you actually have the standard process that you’re utilizing.

[00:20:11] H.J. James Choo, PhD: And for the electrolyzer, you actually have the standard process, and for the storage tank that you actually have the standard process. This specific location, let’s say you’re actually going to deploy something in California, San Francisco, SF001, Zone 1. Again, that’s arbitrary and you actually need to have some target date and say, the high level installation process that we actually have is for the HP-A02C installation process.

[00:20:42] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So that is the overall end to end. And you can actually say the end beginning. It starts from conceptual; the demand analysis permitting down to the actual handover of the facility has already been set. Now you can actually have multiple high level installation processes based on the variety of products that you’re actually providing, okay.

[00:21:05] H.J. James Choo, PhD: With it comes, can you go to the slide again? With it comes actually the different ones, so the electrolyzer, you actually are looking for an integrated one Type 4 power solar, a 100 KW storage tank, 125 L. And these are the different quantities that we need. So based on that, in automatic, that by actually highlighting the requirements, you’re making a configured to order installation process automatically on your right.

[00:21:40] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So these are actually being built to actually produce what’s actually on the right. Now, what’s interesting about the specifications is if your choice of a 100 KW is one of the ones that you actually select from, and let’s say you actually have a choice of war, then that supply network can actually have a made to order or made to stock components that you’re able to supply.

[00:22:06] H.J. James Choo, PhD: If a 100 KW, you actually have hundred kilowatts, a 100, 200, 300, whatever the number that’s required based on demand. Then you actually have to go through your engineer to order the situation. So being able to choose whether you are actually going to have more configurable choices, or whether you are going to actually have something that’s actually purely parametric is going to determine your supply chain strategy that’s actually behind in the standard process that are actually behind these components.

[00:22:37] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Okay, next one please. So at the same time, the variability of one project propagates through the other. So it’s, you can’t really look at these as independent projects. Why does it propagate? Because you actually have a single source of provider that’s actually producing these components. And as the demand varies, it actually – this variability puts variability into the supply.

[00:23:05] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So you actually have to look at the overall production system to achieve a predictable outcome. You can’t just actually look at it individually. At the same time, having material for a single large project actually prevents, or actually, let’s say we, using the terminology that we used this morning, you can actually shield the crew from upstream variability.

[00:23:27] H.J. James Choo, PhD: However, when you’re actually in deployment, having one at our site A cannot protect the crew at site B, right? So the risk pulling that comes from having material is actually minimized. So therefore sometimes people try to actually have materials everywhere. Now what that actually does is actually type a lot of cash at the same time.

[00:23:51] H.J. James Choo, PhD: If you’re constantly working on improving your technology to actually go version one, version two, version three, which is what we actually experienced in a better place example, then you need to actually have a better way of managing inventory and it becomes much more critical. So let’s actually take a look at what might do that.

[00:24:06] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Okay, next one, please. So this is a production system map of this process. And as we actually talked about already. We’re actually very much interested in the production system that governs how we actually do the design, make, transport, and then build, okay. And you can actually see that at L1, L2 and L3 are the three locations that this information is going to.

[00:24:30] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So the question becomes “how do we make sure that we actually have the right amount of capacity and right around the WIP in the system to allow faster cycle time through the system,” okay. The reason the fast cycle time is actually important, it’s the number one time to market, less cash tied up and the digitality that it provides when you actually have new versions of the products constantly coming out, okay.

[00:24:54] H.J. James Choo, PhD: So with that, what we want to be looking for is, let’s go to the next slide, is to truly understand what the optimal cash flow looks like for your deployment project. How much WIP that’s the top left, how much WIP you should actually have in order to meet the demand. Because as soon as the WIP actually goes beyond that number, what you’re willing to actually see is increase the cycle time, i.e,

[00:25:18] H.J. James Choo, PhD: longer time to get to revenue, okay. And then the third, one of the bottom left is your inventory trade off. And as you can actually see the inventory trade off as it goes, comes to near 100%. It equals actually vertical, okay. And those are all the optimal points for your inventory.

[00:25:40] H.J. James Choo, PhD: And the choice actually is yours. You can actually say, I want to have 95% fill rate or actually a service level, or actually want to have 90%, you know, 99.999%. Depending on that, the amount of cash tied up in the system will be very different. So you actually have now a choice to actually make as to where you actually want to sit.

[00:25:58] H.J. James Choo, PhD: And then the right one, and bottom below is the capacity utilization. We’ve seen cases where we actually look at the capacity utilization based on demand, and it’s over 100%. That means your schedule, your target is infeasible to begin with, okay? So these actually are the means to generate a predictable outcome of a deployment project.

[00:26:19] Todd R. Zabelle: Okay, that’s it, James?

[00:26:22] H.J. James Choo, PhD: That’s it. Okay.

[00:26:30] Todd R. Zabelle: Thank you very much. We have a question that I’ll pose to Jim and James or Jim squared or James squared or whatever the case may be here. But says there has been repeated reference to the importance of aligning product and process. The organization is implicit in this discussion.

[00:26:44] Todd R. Zabelle: Unusual skills or lack of personnel change, best product process design. How do you recommend aligning products and processes with organization? Basically, I think this is discussing the pop model. James, you want to go first?

[00:27:01] H.J. James Choo, PhD: You want me to go, Jim,

[00:27:03] Todd R. Zabelle: James,

[00:27:06] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Can y’all

[00:27:06] James E. Craig, PE: hear me all right? I apologize here.

[00:27:08] James E. Craig, PE: I think, I wasn’t, y’all were able to hear me all enough, so hopefully I fixed the problem. Oh. So no, that’s an interesting question, right? Aligning organization product design with the process, right? Organizational, you

[00:27:31] James E. Craig, PE: knowability going forward, right? And that’s one thing we’re looking at doing is seeing, okay, well we know we have local conditions there, you know, at site we know that we can standardize flyers, and hopefully you’ll get to the point where we can be interchangeable, you know, depending on what site you’re going to, but there’s got to be some intentional thinking about that kinda overall project production flow, you know, through engineering, procurement, all the way to the site, making sure you got the local conditions and you got the right organization support.

[00:28:01] James E. Craig, PE: Right. And I think the more you can standardize, the more you can handle. I think I heard something about organizational changing, shifting, people coming in and out. The more you can standardize and get a standardized workflow, the better it can handle that kind of variability and capacity for your organization.

[00:28:21] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Yeah, I mean actually adding to what Jim just actually talked about, and the question is very appropriate because, you know, we already actually had a little bit discussed about, you know, living into the contractor could generate huge amount of variability in terms of what individual operations actually produce or individual location is actually produced.

[00:28:41] H.J. James Choo, PhD: Therefore, it actually really gets down to what do we actually want each individual organization to be responsible for. The more you can actually optimize and standardize not only in terms of just actual process, but in terms of the product allows minimum variability in the system.

[00:28:59] H.J. James Choo, PhD: And at some point now we need to actually look at what we can actually automate to augment what people are actually working on, right? So therefore, not rely on individual persons and skill levels or experience, actually govern how the deployment, actually project, actually goes, and I think there are some of those tools that we actually had really actually mentioned.

[00:29:23] H.J. James Choo, PhD: But again, yeah, the organization, we actually left it as implicit. But the capability of the organization is critical. Determining who does what, when, and throughout the deployment process. But what we want to really point out is that the role of the owner or the operator is much greater in the deployment project than it is in a traditional EPCM type of contract where you can actually rely on contract to do many, because you’re not going to actually get the consistency that you’re looking for if you actually leave it to the local contractors to see as they see fit.

[00:30:01] H.J. James Choo, PhD: And I think that’s also implicit in your question as well.

[00:30:06] Todd R. Zabelle: All right, so we went a couple minutes over, but I want to thank James Squared for participating. We’re now going to move on to the next session. But again guys, thanks. And if anyone has any questions about deployments, it’s a fascinating topic.

[00:30:24] Todd R. Zabelle: It truly is different than what we might call conventional construction. And it’s very interesting. Okay, I’m going to hand it over to you, Gary.

[00:30:34] Gary Fischer, PE: I agree that could be a whole webinar and it probably should be. There’s a lot of big differences between that and the traditional projects done in the energy sector.

[00:30:42] Gary Fischer, PE: A lot to get your head around.

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James E. Craig, PE


James E. Craig, PE


James (Jim) E. Craig manages Chevron Corporation’s Project Resources Company (PRC) Project Production Management and Innovation Team located in Houston, TX. In this position, Craig is responsible for providing functional expertise/support to projects, deploying Chevron Project Production Management across the corporation’s worldwide major capital project portfolio and exploring innovative ways to execute projects.

Craig joined Chevron in 2004 and has executed Major Capital Projects globally including: Lobito Tomboco and Tombua Landana projects in Angola and FGP/WPMP project in Kazakhstan.

A native of Houston, Craig graduated in 1989 from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and later completed his MBA from Rice University in 2004. After graduating Texas A&M, he joined Brown & Root as a Design Engineer in Houston, TX. He has held numerous technical and leadership positions across the industry including: Project Engineer / Manager at Brown & Root, Assistant Chief Engineer at WFI International, Project Engineering / Manager Enron Engineering & Construction Company and Systems Engineer / Project Manager at FMC Corporation. Craig has worked and/or lived in Central America, Brazil, Angola, France, Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

Craig is married and has three children and two dogs.

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Todd R. Zabelle

Project Production Institute

Todd R. Zabelle

Project Production Institute

Todd is the Founder and President of Strategic Project Solutions, Inc (SPS). Zabelle has more than thirty years of experience in the delivery of complex and critical capital projects ranging in size from $500K to $55 billion. He is the Founder & CEO of Strategic Project Solutions, Inc. is the Founder & CEO of Pacific Contracting, a founder and equity partner in the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) (prior to making it a not for profit), and founder of the Project Production Institute (PPI). He is also a Forbes Featured Author.

Prior to founding SPS, Todd founded Pacific Contracting. Established in 1993, Pacific Contracting was recognized in the mid 90’s for its use of various innovations including Lean Construction and Virtual Design & Construction. In July 1998, these efforts were acknowledged in the UK Government’s Re-Thinking Construction report.

Over the past two decades, Todd has authored numerous papers on the topic of optimizing engineering, fabrication and construction. These papers have been published various in technical journals, presented at numerous conferences around the world and cited by several other authors.

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H.J. James Choo, PhD

Project Production Institute

H.J. James Choo, PhD

Project Production Institute

H.J. James Choo, Ph.D is Chief Technical Officer of Strategic Project Solutions, Inc. and a member of the Technical Committee for Project Production Institute (PPI).

He has been leading research and development of project production management and its underlying framework of Operations Science knowledge, processes, and systems to support implementation of large capital projects globally since 2001.

James has worked with high profile organizations in oil & gas, life sciences, heavy industrial, civil infrastructure, aerospace & defense and other industries.  He has also worked with many manufacturing companies to improve their service levels by reducing lead times and optimizing inventory through the use of Operations Science.

James is a frequent contributor to research and curriculum for Texas A&M University, University of California at Berkeley, and California Polytechnic State University.

Prior to joining SPS, his experience included roles as a construction site engineer, research associate at research institutes, teaching assistant at universities, and software developer. He has been developing computer systems for implementation of Lean Construction since 1997 during his Ph.D. studies at UC Berkeley.

James has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Yonsei University, Korea.  He holds a Ph.D. in Construction Engineering & Management from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of University of California at Berkeley.  He is also certified as a Master Factory Physicist from Factory Physics, Inc.