Simtano Bringing Concurrent Design Down to Earth

Concurrent Design– The Method

At the core of the Concurrent Design method lies the question: Why can't we work together to get things done while we are in a meeting and as opposed to just sit around talking about them?

We can! Such working meetings are in the Concurrent Design terminology called sessions to distinguish them from meetings.

A session lasts about 3.5 hours and a set of sessions will typically be planned and set up to solve a specific task: the generation of a study, a Request to Drill (RTD), etc.

Given the short duration of a session, it comes possible to include the "customer" (project manager), internal experts from design, planning, and operations; as well as external contractors in these sessions. The sessions are conducted in a dedicated work arena.

Session participants may take part either through physically being present in the work arena or through video or telephone. Video has been used very successfully for involving operations experts from the off-shore oil and gas platforms.

In the work arena all participants have a desk and their own networked computer. Each participant will have access to the same tools on this computer as they have access to in their office. The participants will therefore be able to perform near real-time analysis, design, and simulations while they are physically located in the work arena. The set of tools will depend on the problem to be solved.

Each discipline will be encouraged to utilize sophisticated tools early on in the design/planning phases.

Six wall screens are located on three of four walls in the work arena. All computers in the work arena can be dynamically displayed on any of these screens. This makes it possible to see input from many people in the work arena at the same time and ensure that everybody in the work arena is on "the same page."

Participants in a session will include the team members, the facilitator, external experts, and the customer "the decision maker." External experts may be physically present or participate through telephone or video.

The dynamics between the facilitator and team will function very similar to that between a conductor and an orchestra. And, in the same way, the facilitator will be specially trained to be able to extract system and progress out of an apparent chaos.

The decision maker "customer" will during the session make the required decisions and adjust requirements and directions to effectively help that team and facilitator home in on a preferred problem solution.

The Concurrent Design Method is founded on two pillars the People, Process, and Tools Model (PPT-Model) and the "Eight Principles of Concurrent Design." (1).