Triad is a Federal/State Interagency Partnership
Important Considerations for Dynamic Work Strategies
Important considerations for dynamic work strategies include logistics, lines of authority, documentation requirements, and vendor involvement in strategy development.
There are several important considerations that must be addressed by project managers when developing a dynamic work strategy for a site under the Triad. These include logistics, lines of authority, documentation requirements, and the potential need for service provider and/or vendor involvement in dynamic work strategy development.
Because they are so critical to the successful implementation of a Triad approach, logistical issues associated with dynamic work strategies and Triad-based field activities are covered in greater detail in the section entitled Logistical and Implementation Considerations. Logistical issues include scheduling and coordination of activities, readiness reviews, technology validation, in-field decision support, data management, and project communication. While field activities are underway, project costs are measured by the number of days field teams are deployed. Down-time in the field, whatever the cause (equipment failure, communication problems, unexpected conditions, delays in decision-making, etc.), translate directly into increased project costs. For many real-time measurement technologies, costs per unit measurement are directly related to sample throughput. Unused capacity in field-based analytics drives up project costs. On the other hand, insufficient capacity can result in overall project delays and/or improper decision-making (i.e., time critical decisions that must be made whether data are available or not). Triad programs require an additional level of choreography for field activities, and this needs to be reflected in the dynamic work strategies that are formulated for a site. Logistical needs become particularly acute when a Triad approach is bundled into the overall remedial design.
Lines of Authority
Dynamic work strategies result in decisions that are made in the field in response to real-time information. Field-based decision-making can be relatively straightforward if decisions are anticipated and captured in appropriate "if-then" statements with associated contingency plans. However there will also likely be decisions that were not anticipated, or where site conditions deviate somewhat from what was expected in contingency plans. To address these situations, dynamic work strategies need to define clear lines of decision-making authority.
There are basically three levels of decision-making that may potentially be required during the course of a Triad-based field activity. The lowest level involves events, results, or conditions that are fully anticipated and captured in planning documentation or whose decision implications are insignificant. An example would be an investigation level for a particular real-time analytical technique that triggers the submittal of an additional sample for more definitive analysis. A second example would be slightly moving sampling locations to avoid obstructions. These types of decisions are the domain of the field project manager.
The second level involves decisions that could not be or were not fully anticipated. These types of decisions often can only be made with additional input and support from technical and project management staff. These staff may be present at the site during field activities, but more likely are technical resources that are "on-call" as-needed. The decisions at this level often require some additional technical analysis from or consultation with subject matter experts. A prime example is the inevitable quality control concerns that are encountered during the course of work, requiring mid-stream corrections or adjustments to analytical procedures or equipment. The problems that these types of concerns can cause to a Triad program can be minimized if readiness reviews or start-up field activities are used to identify potential concerns or bottlenecks before they become critical issues.
The third level involves decisions that are truly significant from a project decision-making perspective, and so require review by and consensus among the core team. The domain of these decisions depends on the level of core team involvement in on-going work, the degree of mutual trust in project technical staff, and how much decision-making authority was delegated during the planning process to the field and technical leads. Perhaps the best example of this type of decision is when data are being collected to document and demonstrate closure or to support a no further action (NFA) decision for specific portions of the site. In a Triad approach, the dynamic work strategy may leave the door open to collecting additional information in an area while field activities are underway if data sets initially collected are not deemed sufficient to support a closure or NFA finding. Closure or NFA decisions would likely be made by the Triad core team for a specific area.
Lines of authority can be effectively implemented only if the communication mechanisms are in place to support information sharing. These requirements will be discussed in greater detail in the section entitled Logistical and Implementation Considerations. There will be the need for timely exchange of information and feedback, along with methods to facilitate that communication (e.g., use of e-mail, secure project Web sites, etc.).
The Triad approach and associated dynamic work strategies do not require a different set of planning documentation for characterization and remediation. Health and safety plans, sampling and analysis plans, remedial action work plans, quality assurance project plans, standard operating procedures...the documentation framework remains the same under the Triad. However, the Triad will result in different content needs for at least some of these documents to support and implement dynamic work strategies. Triad-specific content includes sections that detail real-time communication protocols, that fully define lines of authority for decision-making, that present a fuller level of "if-then" and contingency planning than would otherwise be needed, that discuss how real-time decision support will be provided for all levels of decision-making, and that address the Triad's specific data management needs.
The Triad also will involve additional documentation as part of the implementation of dynamic work strategies simply to record what decisions were made, what the basis for those decisions were, and what activities were undertaken as a result. Documenting variances from work plans is standard practice for traditional characterization and remediation activities as well, but variances usually are the exception, not the rule. For Triad-based activities, the situation may be reversed if site conditions are significantly different from what was anticipated during systematic planning.
Real-Time Measurement Service Provider Involvement
Dynamic work strategies also often can benefit from a greater level of real-time measurement system service provider involvement during the planning and strategy development process than would be the case otherwise. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that the real-time measurement techniques under consideration may be non-standard either in their base technology, or in the way a more common technology (such as a GC/MS) is proposed for use. In some cases the technology that is most promising may be proprietary, and not commonly available. For many field-based real-time measurement technologies, conditions that will be encountered in the field may have a significant impact on expected performance. The potential service provider or original vendor of the technology may be the best source of information on what to expect performance-wise from the proposed technologies, as well as the primary technical resource for developing modifications to make sure the technology performs as well as possible.
A second reason is that service providers will be part of dynamic field activities. A service provider may bring his or her own special logistical needs and constraints that must be factored into the overall planning process (e.g., power requirements, other supporting service needs, throughput and turn-around constraints for analytical techniques, etc.). It is important to capture these early on when formulating dynamic work strategies.