In Webster’s 1913 dictionary, it specifies that implement is, “that which fulfills or supplies a want or use; an instrument, tool, or utensil as supplying a requisite to an end; as, the implements of trade, of husbandry, or war.” That is its definition as a noun.
As a verb, implement is defined as, “to accomplish or fulfill, to provide with an implement or implements, causing the result to be satisfied or carried out.”
And finally, as Scots law, it identifies implement as, “to fulfill or perform, as a contract or an engagement.”
So, what is the instrument? Well, the instrument or tool is both the specification and contract drawing. Its use to effect an end, that which will be satisfactory. A bid, RFP, or Invitation to Bid without both specifications and drawings is insufficient as this may result in change orders, delays, operational inconsistencies, costly recurring revenue, or inadequate ability to monitor significant activities within the allowed timeframe.
Used as a verb, implement ensures observance of laws and rules, meaning to enforce and apply throughout the installation. Applying with codes, permitting, environmental regulations, and others must be synonymous with the implementation of a contract.
And finally, to implement is to carry out or follow through with that which was under contract and full agreement.
The Contract Dilemma
There is a philosophy that even with a bad set of specifications, a good contractor will provide a great job. Conversely, a great set of specifications in performance by a bad contractor can result in a terrible project.
But, there is almost always less risk in having great specifications that detail the system description, the related requirements of the contract such as site work, physical security measures with detailed dimensional data shown, and electronics integration that reflects proper technology, best practices for installation, and materials that are suitable for high sustainability perhaps even 10 or 20 years.
Under the best of circumstances, implementation will reflect on the experience and quality of the contractors and the specification to fortify the needs based on the equipment that was selected and regularly purchased. Well-engineered specifications provide the details upon which a qualified contractor can provide an outstanding job with high sustainability, the greatest reliability, and the highest resiliency.
Implementation begins at the programming level. Program development by confident professional security personnel with experience in perimeter and enterprise security have hundreds of hours of design experience to fortify drawing documentation that bears scrutiny of even the most hardened claim-seeking contractor. This protects the utility with well‑designed infrastructure and enterprise network management that are well‑documented and clearly defined in the contract documents.
The best engineers practice constructability at the outset of schematic design. The schematics lay out a foundation of important data that identifies competing needs of a site or of an infrastructure within a building. It is the Visualization Phase. It is here that the best security engineers will visualize the needs, define the priorities, and reflect on the difficulties on phasing, staging, or completing the work during full operation of the utility’s active substations.
Phasing and Staging
Phasing a project with all its linked resources is a product of the contractor’s capacity to perform the work based on the experience of a lifetime. But, that experience of a contractor’s lifetime may only be a few years if it’s a young project manager, or it may be up to 25 years; but could be an intractable element to properly implementing a newer technology system if your superintendent is unfamiliar with the minutiae and details, while not willingly proceeding to understand the nuances. Having the right project manager with input and guidance by the engineers to understand the phasing that is required by the utility and the design consultant is important to measure and maintain the strategic implementation of the project on schedule and within budget.
Staging of equipment, infrastructure build‑outs, and allied testing are important to the success of the project. There is no backstepping. There is no, “we’ll do it later.”
What is sorely lost in comprehension by the average person is the sheer complexity of the movement of multiple trades in multiple disciplines under multiple schedules with varying staff levels.
Imagine the mechanical aspects of a watch. They all work in unison. They’re all designed for one particular function, and turning it on means it basically stays on forever until it winds down or loses battery life.
Construction and the requisite design and documentation are not as simple as a watch. The multiple moving trades, moving parts, intersection and integration of different mechanical and electrical systems, and finally, the connection of monitoring electronics in combination with software and communications infrastructure make construction projects some of the more difficult aspects to successfully complete while meeting 100% specifications.
The Key to Implementation
So, what is the key to Implementation? Is it perfect specs? A great contractor? A perfect plan with well laid out phasing and staging? It’s a large part of each one; because the only way to successfully reduce risk, mitigate the chances of an unsuccessful project, and masterfully complete the installation within budget and schedule at least to a greater than 95% assurance is to have a great program, great specifications, excellent construction documents, and a good contractor who can Implement the project’s technical, physical, and management aspects to the project’s goals and objectives.
The next NERC CIP Bulletin #7 will discuss the important aspects of testing and confirming the installation, while the final Bulletin #8 will discuss long distance enterprise monitoring, bit rates, cellular connection, and Physical Information Management Systems (PSIMs).
This CIP START Technical Bulletin was issued by Professional Systems Engineering, LLC and prepared by Jerry ‘Dutch’ Forstater, PE, PSP. Mr. Forstater is a Professional Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineer licensed in 13 states and is Board Certified by ASIS in Physical Security. The firm has provided independent consulting and security strategy, design, specification, and construction expertise for almost 30 years. He is a graduate of the ASIS International Security Management Program through University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and has been providing significant corporate, utility, industrial, commercial, and related security and public safety programs since 1986. He is Vice Chairperson of ASIS International Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter and former Board Member of the International Association of Professional Security Consultants. He is a Director of the Philadelphia-Delaware Valley Society of Fire Protection Engineers. PSE has provided significant physical security, electronic security, security lighting, and public safety 9-1-1/agency monitoring for law enforcement and corporate clients/agencies throughout the United States on installations that are critical to Homeland Security, infrastructure protection, and the public at large.