Abstract for: Impact of engineering process on construction cost of HVDC offshore wind energy converter station: a system dynamics approach

A Norwegian based service company needed improved work performance with reduced cost of construction. Its recent internal study shows the engineering man-hours used in projects recently completed and on those near to their completions, have significantly increased compared to similar previous projects. This is of concern because the engineering processes are the cornerstones that all the company’s activities are founded on. A multi-phase system dynamic model that represents the engineering process was built to assess impacts of work process, resource capacity, scope, and targets on project performance. Project performance is measured in cost, cycle time, and quality. The model was calibrated to DolWin Beta, an offshore wind energy project of the company. Sensitivity tests show cost and quality are more sensitive to work precedence relations. Comparison between simulated and historical records show the model replicates actual engineering work progress during most of the development period. The model was further applied to investigate schedule completion date policies for improved project performance. Follow up discussions with the company’s managers revel this paper makes a practical contribution to the company’s learning. A recently started project, which has been applying system dynamics principles, achieved a 0.9 engineering performance factor and saved 10% project cost.