All Aboard! Fiatech Eyes Productivity Fast Track

As we reported in March, Fiatech’s Productivity Advancement Targets (PATs) are receiving considerable attention in the capital projects industry because they represent a unique and holistic way to drive sustainable productivity improvements propelled by economic value with direct leadership from Owners and EPC (engineer-procure-construct) contractors.

Organizations are constantly struggling to establish systems-thinking approaches to how work is defined and performed, in hopes of becoming more efficient and effective. But the massive scale, complexity, short life cycle, and subtle stakeholder interdependencies has made sustainable solution-finding a major barrier. With that in mind, Fiatech members are rethinking why compelling improvements with the potential for significant industry benefits, emerge with enthusiastic interest, only to rapidly fade away.

Why do some Better ideas fail?

Generally, improvement initiatives focus on a specific aspect of an enterprise’s operation and involve a few functions and a handful of stakeholders. As a consequence, these efforts consistently lack context, lack sufficient visibility and support, and do not have sufficient breadth of stakeholder engagement to ensure full acceptance and long-term viability. So they fail.

To overcome this, Fiatech subject matter experts have generated, and critically reviewed, 12 achievable Productivity Advancement Targets (PATs) with high potential to reduce capital project costs by up to 30%, and reduce cycle time by 10%. Think of the approach in terms of a train, as shown below.

Fiatech member examples: Watch Video 1Video 2.

Every PAT represents a purpose, an objective, and an improvement destination. The first locomotive (red) represents multiple Owner/Operators actively driven to realizing the projected benefit. The second locomotive (grey) represents multiple EPC co-leaders working in tandem with the first by providing the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure that strategies are complete, organized, and viable. Following these two locomotives are a series of flatbed railcars which represent enablers needed to realize success. There are dozens of success enablers associated with each PAT. Any industry participant can review the success enablers and determine areas where they have relevance. In the process, if they identify a missing success enabler, it can be added. In either case, they can identify themselves as a solution resource.

  • If the contributor is a Fiatech member, they will have the option to provide a 10-minute video describing the enabler challenge and approach to solving it

Fiatech PAT teams are responsible for delivering the productivity improvements. They systematically review and update enablers along with all the solutions. In cases where solutions do not currently exist, the PAT team defines requirements and launches Fiatech projects to satisfy the success enabler. Over time, the PAT train becomes fully loaded with critical success enablers and viable holistic solutions.  Owners can then capitalize on this PAT information to self-assess and to more effectively and consistently communicate future project expectations. Industry stakeholders can use this PAT information to self-assess and more fully understand holistic practices and technologies needed to optimally perform on future projects. Similarly, industry services and solution providers can use PAT information to better understand and position themselves to satisfy industry needs.

  • Currently, there are over 300 PAT success enablers and 450 PAT touchpoints that have already been identified by the industry participants. If you are interested in providing input or becoming engaged please click here and select the PATs that interest you. You will be provided with the current success enablers and invited to attend PAT kickoff discussions scheduled for later this month

What’s ahead?

In addition to ongoing PAT team meetings, Fiatech will be conducting its annual Leadership Forum event in New Orleans on September 19-22. This event provides a highly collaborative environment where leaders in virtually all facets of the capital projects industry exchange insights, expertise, refine strategies and build consensus that shapes productivity advancement. The Fiatech PAT initiatives were identified and launched at last year’s event. This year, PAT teams will evaluate progress, refine priorities and begin harvesting incremental benefits. For more information, click here.

About Fiatech

Sprung from the Construction Industry Institute and founded in 2000, Fiatech is a global nonprofit consortium of capital project stakeholders focused on developing new technologies and more innovative solutions to the critical challenges facing our industry. Today, Fiatech shapes the future through close collaboration of its members (see above) and the sharing of its combined subject matter expertise.

Based in Austin TX, the author is senior program director at Fiatech and a recognized industry change agent with more than 30 patents to his name. He has extensive, hands-on systems engineering and business development expertise, implementing innovation on capital projects in the aerospace and semiconductor industries. Email:

Read about last month’s Fiatech Annual Technology Conference & Showcase