Three technologies to improve project outcomes

9 Nov 21

Harnessing the power of technology to reduce errors and improve project outcomes can be as simple as good information management, said Melanie Dawson, lead of the GIRI Technology Working Group, in her presentation at the recent technology discussion forum.

Melanie argued that errors are often caused by information that is out of date, inaccurate, or inaccessible, but that good document control is still often overlooked by organisations. To solve this, three things are required.

“Firstly, a clearly defined set of project information standards so we can create the standardisation we need to improve what we are doing. Everyone needs to know where to find a file, where to save it, and how to name it. That process needs to be clearly documented for anyone new joining the team.”

Then you need to train people how to set up this system and its interfaces correctly. “This is very important if you want to encourage end user engagement.”

Thirdly, once you have identified the people and processes, choosing a technology platform to help automate all these project requirements is really important. “The common data environment is a critical piece that needs to be in this puzzle,” said Melanie. “This is often seen as a standalone solution that needs to be bought quickly. However, it is important to choose the right platform for your project and team.” 

Another type of technology solution that has great potential to reduce errors on site is software developed for use in the BIM environment for such things as clash detection and project coordination, said Melanie. “This supports the ‘get it right’ approach and allows errors identified in the virtual world to be corrected and then avoided in the real world.”

She explained that buy-in across the team and good communication from day one are required for this technology to achieve its maximum potential. “Have detailed conversations about setting out the information, models, and software that will be used to ensure there are no issues with interoperability. Identify the key people within the organisation for providing the digital information across various teams to ensure you have a complete virtual picture of the new asset. This upfront work pays back in abundance once the project gets going, giving greater cost certainty, programme certainty, and reducing errors on site that could result in wasted time or materials or increased risk.”

Finally, Melanie highlighted the potential of data for error reduction and the shift in the industry’s use of data from record keeping to understanding the benefits of robust data sets. “Many more organisations now have good quality, structured data, partly because of the wider adoption of BIM but also partly because of a better understanding of the power of data if you use it correctly. It is exciting to see companies adopt AI and machine learning and using the insights they capture to make data-driven decisions to boost project success.”

Watch the recording of the webinar.

Read Abhishek Srivastava's webinar presentation.

Read Steve Green's webinar presentation.

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