“Building” Collaboration and Insights in Construction
By: Dean Dorton | October 13, 2021
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Content, processes, and analytics can work together to support success in your projects. In this article, learn how data can drive your decisions and project management strategy.
Construction | Data & Collaboration
Construction projects are complex. The groups of stakeholders and specialty skills involved in a project from start to finish can be overwhelming. Trying to keep supporting information and processes organized, secured, and accessible by the right players during the lifecycle of a construction project is critical to reaching success.
Content, processes, and analytics work together to support success.
The information needed to start, deliver, and complete a construction project varies depending on the type of work. A common theme across all types of projects is a need to provide the correct information to the correct team, in an efficient manner. This is especially true with construction projects. Contractors need access to the bid requirements, engineers and architects need details of the property layout, a project manager needs to know what tasks are scheduled for the day, finance needs to know which payments are due next week, and the list keeps going. Delays in finding or having access to this type of information will cause frustration and increase costs. A plan for organizing information and ensuring the correct stakeholders have access is important for ongoing success.
Physical construction processes executed correctly are paramount to the success of a project. A poorly installed building foundation can have catastrophic implications; an improperly sloped drainage zone can lead to damage and possible liability; poor materials can lead to shortened lifespan of constructed features. The same is true of the business processes: slow or erroneous business processes cause issues and can delay progress or increase costs. Processes which involve duplicate data entry, printing of materials, or tabulation/collation of data may all be areas prone to error and delays.
Business processes can be large or small. For example, the management of the lien waiver process with contractors is a simple, yet cumbersome process. If done incorrectly, it can leave a property at risk. An additional example is the sign-off on building plans, floor plans, and estimates. Delays on these approvals can slow the project progress until agreement is reached.
Business processes and various tools generate a lot of data. Taking this data and molding it into something useful is the job of analytics. Good analytics will help you answer the questions that are most important to your construction project. Analytics sourced from a single data source, a construction project management tool for example, can be manageable. However, when that data needs to be combined with the financial accounting for the project to determine current and forecasted profitability of the project, it can become more complicated.
Good analytics allows for decisions to be made with facts instead of perception.
Depending on an organization’s size and maturity, analytics may be used in any of these 4 areas:
- Descriptive (simple) – this is a view into what has happened or is currently happening (how many labor hours have been used this week?)
- Diagnostic (moderate) – providing insights into why a particular thing is happening (why is my flooring expense exceeding estimates)?
- Predictive (complex) – what is likely to happen in the future (based on the current burn rate, when will my labor budget be exceeded?)
- Prescriptive (more complex) – what should be done to reach an outcome (how can I deliver in a shorter timeframe?)
Dean Dorton’s Collaboration and Data Analytics practices can build a strategy and roadmap to help your organization get the most out of it’s processes and data. If you would like to meet for a free initial consultation, please contact us here: Lets Connect
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Judy Nichols | Data Analytics and Collaboration Director
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