Mitigating risk through digital project delivery

8 Jun 23

The use of digital project delivery platforms and digital ‘containerisation’ can improve visibility and predictability on large projects and reduce the chance of error, said Abhishek Srivastava, MD of Teknobuilt, at GIRI’s recent members’ meeting.

Compared with other industries, construction lags behind in capturing and analysing data for meaningful insights, said Abhishek. On large, complex projects that generate tens of thousands of drawings and employ thousands of people on multiple activities, this lack of data leads to out-of-sequence work, poor visibility across the whole project, delays and cost overruns.

“Every project deserves a successful outcome. For the end user, for infrastructure, for energy, and for the homes we are building, it is important that we as professionals make it a success. The question is how do we avoid these delays and overruns?”

Abhishek presented a case study of an £8 billion LNG mega project to show how digital containerisation can work in practice to accelerate project delivery. This is a cross-continent project involving 10,000 drawings, 4,000 staff, several hundred machines, and millions of commodities, and teams that conventionally work in ‘silos’, with data transferred backwards and forwards between them.

“The fragmented information coming from these siloed systems is a huge cause of problems. It also leads to late risk identification. When the risk surfaces and there is out-of-sequence work, the project manager is notified too late. Either it is too late to take action, or the action that is taken won’t have enough impact to get the project back on track. Many of these projects end up with 50% cost overruns,” he claimed.

The solution Teknobuilt has developed is a unified platform that runs through the various stages of the project from design to procurement, supply chain, on-site construction and health and safety. “A digital control tower provides overall visibility of the entire process from end to end. This overcomes the fragmentation through a platform that communicates with the project office, with the design teams, and the vendor, so each party has visibility of the information relevant to their activity.”

However, he pointed out that simply collecting the data is not enough; better methodology is also required. All the systems need to talk to each other, so Teknobuilt developed digital container blocks. Each block represents a certain activity, collecting information relevant to that activity from each of the platforms, and carrying it through the project all the way from design to completion. Each party contributes the necessary information to each block, facilitating collaboration and enabling the impact of changes or delays on the overall project to be assessed more efficiently.

“Prior to using these blocks and workflow orchestration, there was a misalignment of deliverables and materials feasibility was happening at the last minute. This end-to-end orchestration allows the feasibility to happen earlier, avoiding errors caused by a lack of materials and engineering information.”

For the project manager, this system provides a unified project visibility and the ability to analyse whether the blocks are moving fast enough. “This is where automation comes into play. On a single window, we can see a £500 million scope of work. The project manager can see what action they need to take to keep the project on schedule, and can continually mitigate risk throughout the chain of delivery before the problems arise. In the traditional way of working, by the time the information reaches the project manager, it is too late. Now, these interventions and decisions can take place on a real-time basis.”

On the case study presented, Abhishek reported that the use of the unified digital platform and digital container blocks resulted in a 20% increase in productivity, a 100% improvement in schedule, and a 10% reduction in project costs.

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