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Master Class 4:  Owner Team Core Competencies

Master Class 4: Owner Team Core Competencies



In this interesting master class Herman van Heerden discusses the core competencies necessary for an owner team with Freek van Heerden and Kevin Mattheys.

You will learn:

  • The origins of  the “owner team” which came about as owners lost certain in-house competencies in favor of total outsourcing of projects
  • The importance of good leadership in the owner team (sponsor)
  • The importance of understanding the real business need and staying aligned to this through the project
  • Why scope development is so important and why changes need to be controlled and well communicated
  • How to select the people on the owner team who are the owners’ representatives and independent of the engineering or managing contractor
  • The importance of communication and alignment throughout each stage of the project
  • The most important role of the contractor on a project
  • How risk should be distributed between the owner and the contractor.
  • How to determine which specific competencies can and should be outsourced
  • How to implement appropriate governance between the owner and the contractor,  and make sure owner team representatives are properly mandated for their important role

This MasterClass is now available to all toolkit members from the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).

See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Practical Guide 19:  Industrial Business Systems and IT

Practical Guide 19: Industrial Business Systems and IT



Owners investing in industrial facilities make these investments with the expectation that the venture will generate a good return for the shareholders. To do this the plant will ultimately need to operate as planned with all of the necessary systems for a modern operating business in place and working. 

Ensuring that the right systems are in place for full scale industrial operation is ultimately a business responsibility.  If the various interfaces are not clear between the business and project teams, there is a real risk of surprises later on in the project when the business systems are found to be inadequate, or do not integrate to the plant systems, or when significant costs have not been adequately provided for in the relevant budgets. 

Implementing a new business system as part of a mega-project can be a complex undertaking involving stakeholders in the enterprise that don’t form part of the core project team.  These projects often have different timelines, different project methodologies and different reporting criteria.  Integrating IT and business systems projects with the capital project requires careful attention to the integration between the various project activities.

In addition to this, the main capital project itself needs systems to control costs, schedule and scope of work being done.  These systems involve multiple players including the owner, contractors, EPC contractor and so on.

In this overview practical guide we introduce a number of high level frameworks that will support the various activities that will be undertaken to implement a new business system.   Because this is a vast area there will be a series of practical guides that build on these concepts.

Here’s what you will learn:

  1. The difference between the project life-cycle,  the enterprise life-cycle and software life-cycle
  2. The importance of a program and portfolio approach to running several related IT projects serving the overall business
  3. How business needs are identified that result in new IT projects that interface with the main project
  4. The importance of a common enterprise architecture for business systems, project systems and plant systems
  5. A typical business systems life-cycle
  6. A generic model for business systems in an industrial context
  7. A typical suite of systems to support the main project

This Guide is now available to all toolkit members from the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).

See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Master class 3:  Project Framing with Hugh Brown

Master class 3: Project Framing with Hugh Brown

Framing Masterclass


Hugh Brown is an experienced entrepreneur and project developer. Since 2000 Hugh and his team has developed 4 major capital projects of which 3 are currently in operation with an installed value of more than US$10bn.

Hugh is a sponsor, business owner and entrepreneur. He has valuable first hand experience with the early stages of project development and the long journey from a business idea all the way to a profitable commercial operation. Hugh sees his role as sponsor as being that of a “guide” that directs the project towards a single business goal. To do this well the sponsor needs to follow a proven process and utilise a good set of techniques and tools.  The sponsor also needs to be open to new ideas and innovations from the team.

In this masterclass we discuss project framing with Hugh and his recent experience on a mega-project currently in pre-feasibility. Hugh explains the benefits of the framing process and why early alignment involving the core team of decision makers is critical ahead of starting with engineering.

If you are in any way interested in what goes on behind the scenes to give birth to a successful mega-project this masterclass is a unique opportunity to learn directly from someone with a great deal of experience and insight in this area.

You can view the masterclass from within the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).   And if you have any questions about project framing,  the OTC team is available to help you and answer your questions in the discussion forum.

See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Practical Guide 13:  Practical application of the OTC Stage-Gate Model during FEL

Practical Guide 13: Practical application of the OTC Stage-Gate Model during FEL



​The OTC Stage-Gate Model is a comprehensive and systematic approach to capital projects,  covering the phases of initiation, front-end loading, implementation, operation and eventual closure.  However,  not all projects are the same and optimal execution requires some flexibility in the process followed. One size does not fit all.  Factors that differ between projects include the size of investment, the source of funding, the nature of the technology used and whether the facility is a greenfield/brownfield plant or a revamp of existing plant.   Each project needs to be considered and the Stage-Gate process should be uniquely adapted where applicable.  This must be done while carefully considering the risks of steps being skipped or re-prioritised.  The specific questions and key deliverables for each stage must still be considered,  however the focus will differ depending on the specific context of the project.

OTC has just published the second guide in the Stage-Gate toolkit that covers the practical use and adaptation of the Stage-Gate model in several alternative project scenarios.

Here’s what you will discover:

  • How to adapt the Stage-Gate process for externally financed projects requiring a bankable feasibility study
  • How to adapt the Stage-Gate process for a scenario where a licensor provides off the shelf technology and a standard design
  • How to adapt the Stage-Gate process for a revamp and renovation project
  • And more…

You can get your copy of this practical guide ​here  from the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Core Training 3:  The Gate Keeping Process

Core Training 3: The Gate Keeping Process

Gate Keeping Process

During early project development have you ever wondered how to measure the quality and completeness of project deliverables before committing to the next phase of design?

The answer lies partly in having an effective gate keeping process.  Before each gate review the readiness of the project deliverables are measured for that stage.   The result is a recommendation to the project decision body on whether or not the project should proceed, reworked or stopped.  

The gate keeping process provides a methodology that can be used in an organisation to ensure that projects are reviewed in a consistent manner and that each project is optimised to meet the needs of the stakeholders.

Especially developed for the owner’s perspective, this course introduces gate keeping.  In this course you will get an overview of how gate keeping works together with some practical tips on getting the most out of gate reviews.

This short course is available to members and consists of 4 modules with 35 minutes of video packed with useful content – so it is really easy to get a good grasp of the subject quickly.  The course is presented by Herman van Heerden who has a great deal of experience in project development and value assurance across a number of industries for owner companies,  state owned entities as well as major international JV projects.

Here’s what you will learn:

  • How the gate keeping process fits into the overall value assurance process
  • Know what planning is required for gate reviews
  • Comprehend the content required in the Value Assurance (VA) Report
  • Be able to interpret the dashboards contained in the VA Report
  • Understand the role of the decisions review team
  • Have an oversight of gate keeping best practices

This Course is now available to all members and you can access your e-learning from the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).


See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team