Lee has in excess of 28 years industry experience in global markets working within the building services and commissioning management sectors. Lee is passionate about the continuous development to raise the bar for Commissioning Management Consultancy Services across the GCC. Educate employers on the added value of early appointment to ensure reputable firms provide clients the quality and successful delivery they expect.
Q: What tips can you recommend for someone that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this these insights)?
“You’re only as good as your team of men” – Failure to employ the right people will lead to poor industry reputation both in terms of your own business and the perception of the Commissioning Management industry in general.
“Maintain your Integrity” – With ridiculous programme deadlines and incompetence found in the market place, pressure to cut corners is regularly applied. Some individuals may attempt to force you into making decisions that you know are either technically or morally incorrect. NEVER deviate from what you know is right for the sake of others it will bite you…
Commissioning common Pitfalls or Problems
Q: What are three hard-to-spot pitfalls that are critical to avoid?
1 – Early Programme input – Having the ability to influence the construction sequence to complete installations and facilitate the early onset of commissioning. This normally fails due to late appointment when the damage is already done.
2 – Follow up and close out of commissionability studies – Whilst this activity is often in our scope and we spend weeks / months doing a great job, the comments made are often ignored by others due to time and budgetary constraints. Obviously the failure to close these out impacts our ability to effectively commission, yet could so easily have been avoided. This is where we need to be given the correct authority to enforce these changes and to ensure we employ (technically) strong characters to help enforce them.
3 – Setting your stall out correctly – It’s easy to follow the letter of the scope / contract following an appointment but with the numerous client representatives, employers and potentially dozens of suppliers, failure to not be clear of what’s expected from each other can / will impact the successful delivery of a project, whether that be technically, attain progamme deadlines, or commercially.
I note these may not appear to be “hard to spot’, but in this region they are often seen to be progressing but have a huge impact on successful delivery when overlooked.
Q: Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in your industry?
I believe that whilst we see and hear regular chatter relating to Environmental and Sustainability initiatives echoed in our tenders (and adherence to the same), noting the Dubai Government’s 2030 plan of driving greater energy efficiencies, I predict a much larger emphasis to the term “energy efficiency” will filter into our duties / scope.
There is a plethora of energy consultants out there, however they are generally appointed to improve existing facilities. Technically however we possess the skill sets to offer recommendations from the onset of our appointment (assuming this is design stage) therefore I believe the specific term “energy efficiency” will gain significant momentum moving forward.
On the lighter side – Commissioning Mishaps
Q: Can you share a personal short event or mishap (commissioning or management related) you can think of that still makes you laugh to this day (maybe not at the time)?
I was requested to witness some water flowrates on behalf of a client on a project I hadn’t been involved with as their representative had fallen ill. The young Commissioning Engineer from “another” vendor was told I was a “stand in” therefore he proceeded to attempt to “pull the wool over my eyes”…
Clearly there was a blocked strainer in the vertical riser where his poddymeter was connected so he altered the angle of the poddymeter itself to replicate the correct reading…. I played along for a minute but then asked him to return to the same DRV. At this point I came clean as I couldn’t keep as straight face any longer. The look on his face was priceless, and actually commended him on his ingenuity, however when I received his CV some time later he didn’t make the cut….
To connect with Lee, visit his LinkedIn profile.