no-blame culture, it allows people to raise the issue as soon as something happens,”
Mr. O’Connor says. “And if you put the real problem onto the table, proper action
will be taken.”
For instance, if a design flaw was identified, the engineering team would immedi-
ately raise a red flag so the team could quickly make the necessary adjustments. This
allowed the team to avoid surprises during the construction process—and improved
the quality of the end product.
“At the end of the day, the success of the project depends on the success of every-
body, and the success of everybody depends on the success of the project,” says Mr.
Noël. “This is the kind of idea we tried to clearly communicate.”
The team’s unity and commitment to the project helped it survive the global
economic downturn, which coincided with the project’s planning phase in 2009.
Both RTA and SLH recognized that personnel changes could seriously impair
the schedule and quality of work by disrupting the project’s continuity. So when
Mr. Charron learned the project would have to reduce spending for an extended
period of time, the team instead found ways to reduce the project’s overall cost and
improve its business case.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
The CA$280 million in potential cost reductions the team identified kept the
AP60 project off the chopping block. When it proceeded to the execution phase in
December 2010, it was more important than ever to avoid cost overruns caused by
mishaps and delays.
“At the end of the day,
the success of the project
depends on the success of
everybody, and the success
of everybody depends on
the success of the project.”
—André Noël, Hatch, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The CA$1.3 billion project scope included
construction of 38 smelting pots with an
aluminum production capacity of 60,000
tonnes per year, a very large electrical
substation and a gas treatment center.