Leading Complex Projects In Live Operational Environments

Delivering projects in live operational and clinical environments is often a complex challenge faced by those looking to expand, upgrade, refurbish or modernise their facilities or assets. Ideally, all projects would be delivered in a greenfield setting or separated from daily operational needs through long shutdowns, however we don’t live in an ideal world.

To manage these complex challenges, detailed project management and experienced operational leadership is key. Such expertise only comes from extensive experience in successfully delivering projects in live operational and manufacturing environments.  At Wiley, we have helped deliver hundreds of such complex projects for our clients. It is this experience that we draw on to not only deliver successful project outcomes but to ensure our clients are empowered, calm, confident, supported and in control at all times throughout the project.

Each project has its unique challenges and many that can’t be predicted or identified at the beginning. All projects contain surprises and lead to ever changing situations, but a strong operational understanding, clear communication channels and exceptional project planning always overcome the challenges and surprises.  Dwight D. Eisenhower said it best

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”


Successful projects delivered in operational settings start by ensuring time is taken to deeply understand the key drivers of the project.  It is vital to seek to understand the client’s business drivers for the project, how the project will help the business to grow, be more profitable and increase company value.  Understanding what part of a company’s vision is being realised through the project, what’s important about the timing and why now (instead of 6 months from now) is always in our focus at Wiley to ensure we are aiming for precisely the same target as the clients we partner with.

Also integral to the success of the delivery of a complex project in a live environment is an understanding by the project delivery partner that they are working for the client and success starts and finishes with the client.  Time taken to focus on the things project stakeholders value as key priorities for a successful outcome is time well spent. In our experience at Wiley, worker and public safety, uninterrupted production schedules, continuity of services infrastructure, maintenance of high hygiene standards and regular communication with all key stakeholders focusing on planning and a ‘no surprises’ mentality are generally some of the key priorities of stakeholders.

Working alongside live operational environments effectively requires project team leadership focused on seamless planning where the design and delivery of a project is integrated with operational activities (and the existing facility) ensuring an efficient, clean and safe environment is always maintained.

In any operational environment, whether it’s expanding a pharmaceutical operation, hospital or laboratory facility, upgrading refrigeration units in a cold store, replacing ceilings above ongoing manufacturing processes or a new food processing line, the risks are too great not to partner with a business with extensive experience in live operational and manufacturing environments who values and understands their client’s motivations, priorities and outcomes.  Wiley has years of experience successfully managing and delivering these types of projects in complex operational environments which allows our clients to rely on Wiley to deliver their project precisely to their needs while they focus on running their business.

To explore our extensive experience in complex projects: Click here