Teamwork: The key to achievement

Insights  /

By: Jim LeMarr, P.E.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines teamwork as “work done by several associates with each doing a part but subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole”. Whether it involves a team participating in sports, in academic competition, in life and death military operations, or in the contested world of business, teamwork is essential to accomplishment. Teamwork then makes the coordinated actions of individuals combine to enable important achievement not able to be realized by any team member acting alone.

As the old adage goes, “No man is an island”; we do not execute our Saulsbury projects as a solo performance. Within Engineering, we assemble a project team at the outset of every job to accomplish all the tasks that are required. Process Engineers drive the early phases of our projects, defining the processing steps and equipment required to achieve the client’s objectives by the development of the PFD and P&ID, the roadmap of the project. Mechanical Engineers and Piping Designers are instrumental in defining the details of processing equipment, piping, and valve specifications, and the piping design documents necessary to ensure the correct function and mechanical integrity of the mechanical systems. Mechanical and Process teams develop the plot plan, which is then taken by the Civil Engineers and Designers to be translated into site grading plans. Civil Designers develop the foundation plans and details for Engineering review and approval, and steel conceptual designs for Engineering analysis before the development of steel fabrication details. Electrical Engineers develop load lists from Process and Mechanical Engineers’ determination of motor HP demands, and requirements for lighting, process heating, and heat tracing systems. The I/E Design team develops detailed design documents for Engineering review and approval. Instrument and Controls Engineers use input from Process Engineers for selection of measurement devices and control valves, and for the design and configuration of control strategies into programmable logic controller (PLC) systems which monitor and direct plant operations. As can be seen, these dependencies on each other are necessary to complete a project and make clear that teamwork is the essential ingredient in a job’s success.

An important aspect of teamwork is banding together to withstand or overcome challenging conditions. Certainly, we are living through difficult times in this business and in our world. COVID-19 and the general disruption in the oil and gas industry have provided a new measure of difficulty in booking new work and completing projects already in progress.

Only time will tell if we are resilient—whether we are able to tackle the difficulty of the moment and come out on top. Being resilient means we are as productive as possible on whatever we’ve been assigned. Being resilient means we maintain focus on meeting client needs all the way to completion of every job. Being resilient means we keep our heads up. 

My colleagues and I are lucky to work for a survivor. Saulsbury will find a way to get through this strange and unprecedented time. It is resilient teamwork that ultimately will enable facility operators to survive, and enable us as contractors to separate ourselves and thrive in the midst of this challenging time.