Challenges, opportunities, constraints and innovations

Grand designs did not start with a grand idea. Evolution is always a big factor in achieving the great fate brought about by a successful project. As one of my mentors said to me before

My design is already obsolete by the time it is finished.

In the process of detail design implementation, many factors evolve such as new technologies, new ideas, unforeseen site conditions, or economic slowdown (such the one caused by the pandemic). Projects maybe on and off for lots of reasons particularly finances.

A transnational gas pipeline project I am currently working on has started a year ago. Due to political and economic reasons, after almost completing the FEED stage, the project was temporarily put on hold. When it resumed, the project documents prepared previously is not applicable anymore thus new project documents need to be generated. Several months after the project resumption, the project was again put on hold. The reason, gas supply chemical composition is not suitable for the pipeline. Gas treatment facility needs to be constructed but due to financial constraints, it will not be considered. Rather, another gas source will be tapped. These are just few reasons why projects faces lots of challenges and constraints.

As engineers and designers, we do have much influence on these factors, and we could not get away from their effects either. Therefore, we need to consider them as challenges in our project and take the opportunities to make them beneficial on our projects. In the process, we will be facing constraints which we must be able to identify and turn them into innovations.

Challenges, opportunities, constraints and innovations are the basic four words we must not take with complacency in project implementation.