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  • Writer's pictureEmil Hoffmann | Principal Consultant

Integrated design review – a method to scrutinize project interfaces

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

In several offshore projects, mistakes and design errors can be traced back to missing or incorrect interface information. This will in most cases increase both cost and schedule risk. To mitigate this risk, and support safe and effective operation, ORS has developed and utilized a methodology named “Integrated Design Review” (IDR).


Large and complex engineering projects, often with a timeframe of several years from concept phase to start-up, will have a myriad of different project elements and interfaces. Multiple project facets including topsides, jacket/hull, drilling and wells, pipelines and risers, subsea equipment, operations, installation, etc. will typically have their own management team, a unique type of equipment and vendors, schedule, etc. Ensuring coordination and quality throughout all activities as well as keeping an eye on the “big picture” decisions (avoiding sub-optimization) is, therefore, a challenging task and requires comprehensive interface management.


In close cooperation with clients, ORS has developed a methodology to organize the critical interface information, and facilitate a workshop to focus on the primary goal – ensure correct interface information across interfaces, including shortcomings in management and communication structure. ORS has named this service Integrated Design Review (IDR) as it focuses on the functionality of the integrated facility as a complete unit. Although traditional interface management as well as project activities such as system and design reviews has an important role in reducing interface risk, the IDR is more of a holistic approach focusing on the “integrated design” rather than reviewing system by system individually. Also, traditional design reviews are often performed with some parties missing, typically vendors. The IDR is typically most effective when performed somewhat late in the detailed design phase.

The basic principle of the IDR process is summarized in the following:

  1. Identify relevant nodes for review (typically systems/functions with the highest interface risk)

  2. Identify all interfacing systems to the node in question

  3. Identify performance requirements for each of the interfaces.

  4. Arrange a workshop with all relevant stakeholders for the node in question. A general presentation of the system, including all interface information and critical assumptions/premises, is reviewed and correctness is verified by all parties. Tailormade guidewords are used to trigger discussion and ensure all aspects are covered. Actions are recorded as required.

The IDR methodology is illustrated in the figure below:




ORS has recently applied the IDR for a new offshore development project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and experienced great Client benefits even at an early stage of the IDR where serious deviations with the potential to delay start-up were uncovered. Feedback from workshop participants was also that the IDR was a great opportunity to question and probe the design arising from the presentations, particularly towards stakeholders not encountered on a daily basis.


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