Improving Workflow with Collaborative Project Management Solutions
Brian Moore, co-founder and president at Kahua
Posted: March 27, 2020 | Project Management
The increased use of technology within the construction industry has produced a vast amount of data for the construction ecosystem. With more organizations recognizing the potential impact big data and analytics can have on their bottom line, industry-wide investments have exceeded more than $10 billion in less than a decade. These investments address costly overages that plague the industry, and assist with compiling insight into productivity, field, team, and of fice costs. While technology and data present numerous opportunities for companies to optimize their operations, this insight can increase the chances of either being overwhelmed by or not owning necessary data.
As some of the largest capital projects average 130 million emails, 55 million documents, and 12 million workflows, it is essential for organizations to know their data and the practices for maximizing their return on investment. Companies looking to harness the power of analytics need to address how to integrate solutions that collect the numerous data sources into their workflows to avoid incomplete and inaccurate data.
To ensure organizations are collecting the necessary data paramount to enhancing their processes, project stakeholders should have a basic understanding of data. All data collected during a project lifecycle can be organized into three main classifications: asset, cost, and performance.
Asset data is required by owners to maintain and operate the building, and can significantly reduce the cost for the facility over its lifecycle. Utilizing asset data, owners can plan accordingly for the performance of the asset at each stage of a construction project.
Cost and performance data leverage historical analytics and data to assist project participants with the ability to make better informed decisions for future projects. By utilizing numerous data collection sources, teams can address challenges to potentially improve current and future project planning. This includes data focused on service and material costs within different regions, which, for example, can enhance assessments during the bidding phase of projects.
Companies can combine all of the collected data to create dashboards and other visuals to assist with promoting a greater understanding of where the business stands at that point in time. Before this step, all stakeholders need to evaluate and, possibly, improve upon their methods of data collection to ensure the creation of accurate models and projections. This includes addressing how companies utilize project management solutions and software integration.
Historically, challenges in data collection processes are the result of:
- Inefficient methods – including double entry of data; these inefficiencies can occur even when all stakeholders are utilizing the same technology
- Data ownership and control – the desire of stakeholders wanting greater access to share and own their own data
- Data management and aggregation – resulting from the agreement on which the stakeholder’s system will be used for the project
These challenges are often caused by how technology solutions are delivered to those within the construction ecosystem. Traditionally, companies wanting to collect data to assist with future cost estimates would either have to license and own the project management software (alternatively known as a host), or log in as users to the licensed system. While the host enjoys all of the benefits of owning the software, partners operating as users across multiple projects are unable to view and manage data across their portfolio. This can result in missing or duplicate data entries and inefficient workflows, as users may need to log into multiple systems. These redundancies do little for optimizing the use of project management solutions for data insight, and to assist with tasks such as bidding and accounting.
With a collaborative network platform, the host and user have the ability to own and share data that integrates with their core systems (such as accounting).This solution allows for companies to develop and manage their own valuable and unique methodology, metrics, and workflows, while improving their (and other users’) ability to operate at a lower risk. For example, by tailoring data models within the platform, owners and contractors can ensure it reflects their best practice business procedures.
Simply put, utilizing a truly collaborative solution would leverage workflows that already provide organizations with a competitive advantage. Successful companies have well-developed best practices in place. Collaborative network solutions allow users to continue to operate their own individual and unique workflows — while providing a full view into the risks associated with current projects and improving future project planning. As a result, users up their ability to mitigate project risk and increase their profitability.
About the Author: Brian Moore, co-founder and president at Kahua, is a transformational entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and customer value. He helps the world’s leading owners, contractors, architects, and engineers profitably deliver and manage the highest performance capital projects at the lowest possible lifecycle cost. Prior to Kahua, Brian was cofounder of Constructware, the first cloud-based SaaS solution for construction project management. Constructware was acquired by Autodesk in 2006, and Brian served on the Autodesk executive team following the acquisition. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.