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Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

How Fletcher Construction uses Primavera P6 scheduling data to develop weekly planning tools

Janet Poses
Sr. Marketing Manager

The Fletcher Construction Company Limited is a leading infrastructure, commercial engineering, and building contractor which develops projects in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Annamalai Alagappan, a divisional planning manager at Fletcher Construction, brings sophisticated planning, scheduling, and data management expertise. He strongly believes that implementing processes and tools upfront for planning and scheduling can have a dramatic impact on overall project delivery.

Fletcher has been using Oracle’s Primavera Planning and Scheduling solutions for more than 15 years. The company’s usage of the Oracle tools has evolved over time to take advantage of technology advancements and meet organizational needs.

In the past, Fletcher’s priority and main driver was setting up their data structure within Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) to provide reporting to their clients.  

Leveraging data to improve project delivery

Alagappan sought to use the company’s Primavera P6 EPPM software in new ways when he joined Fletcher in 2017. He leveraged data structure and display to create powerful tools for the construction team, changing the focus from the client to the individuals delivering the project.

“To make the client successful, the project must be successful. For the project to be successful, the delivery team needs the best information available—which is exactly what we provide at Fletcher,” says Alagappan.

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“Using Primavera P6 EPPM, my team and I provide the right information to the right people at the right time."

-Annamalai Alagappan, Divisional Planning Manager, Fletcher Construction

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Fletcher manages some of the largest projects in New Zealand. The company needed a solution that would scale up for their projects—often including thousands of activities—while proving just as effective for midsize projects.

The Oracle solution’s granular security controls provide project team members appropriate access to the system. Managers benefit from a standard system that offers an easy project-to-project performance comparison as they work across multiple projects.

The results include: better-informed decisions, the ability to take proactive actions before projects are impacted, and more confidence and control over project delivery.

Direct impact on project delivery

Fletcher is experiencing a direct impact on project delivery by leveraging the Oracle tool’s planning and scheduling data to enhance project management.

For example, the company delivered a large and complex mixed use project in downtown Auckland that had several logistical constraints, including a building that contains a 40 story tower, an underground railway tunnel, a three-level parking structure, and about 140 retail shops on three levels.

Fletcher reduced the critical path forecast completion dates by six months using Primavera P6 EPPM data for up-to-date, complete information tailored to the specific managers who needed it.

Weekly one-page status reports

Alagappan can easily create a weekly project one-page status report customized for individual project and site managers by integrating the Oracle solution with Fletcher’s own business intelligence tool.

The company also uses the system’s work breakdown structure (WBS) code as the connector between Fletcher’s schedule and their model review software to quickly and easily develop 3D models. These models clearly show status and progress at the exact level of the model relevant to the project manager or site manager receiving the report.

Below is an example of the customized weekly one-pagers Alagappan provides to his project and site managers.

Example of Fletcher’s weekly individual one-page report

Alagappan distilled the information for efficient data communication when he created the customized reports. Fletcher’s directors, project managers, and site managers can view these customized project status reports to see what is relevant to their respective disciplines, roles, and scope.

In the past, all the project managers and site managers received the same information—much of which was irrelevant to them.

Customized reporting

Project and site managers wasted time culling and looking for information. Now, the customized one-page report, including visualization, helps recipients see changes from the past week, progress to-date, and employees’ specific critical path items.

Each one-page report contains tangible information relevant to that specific project manager, including program, contract communications, drawing sets, and 3D models.

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“It is impossible to present and analyze data without effectively and comprehensively capturing the data. Primavera P6 EPPM made this easy.”

-Annamalai Alagappan, Divisional Planning Manager, Fletcher Construction

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During weekly meetings, information was provided in the form of Gantt chart reviews before the new reporting structure, format, and customization were created.

In the past, some project managers didn’t even attend the meetings because combing through lines of Gantt chart information to uncover relevant information was too complicated and time consuming.

Now, Alagappan’s customized weekly one-pagers give the project and site managers exactly the information they need for managers to perform their jobs more efficiently. All project and site managers gather for the one-hour weekly meetings.

Quick review times

Each individual manager’s review takes seven minutes and overlaps are identified across managers’ scopes.

“The full history for each project manager and site manager is right there on one page,” says Alagappan. “The managers can easily see what an ideal schedule looks like, what they are aiming toward, and how to get there.”

The project managers now request the meetings. “I needed to cancel the project review meeting one week and the project managers said I couldn’t,” says Alagappan.

The one-pagers are created for every WBS Level 2 (larger spatial section) of the project. Generating and checking the reports takes no more than three hours per project, including adding variance comments to the 15-20 reports per project, which is the average for a larger project.

This easily could have taken a week in the past before Fletcher set up the data structure across tables and integrations across systems.

What's next

Alagappan now plans to use APIs to integrate systems. The company can provide more efficient and comprehensive reporting by uniting health and safety, cost, and design information in a central cross-project, organization-wide data warehouse.  

Stay tuned for Part II, in which Alagappan will share how to provide the most comprehensive and relevant information to project and site managers by uniting data from the work breakdown structure (WBS), organization breakdown structure (OBS), cost breakdown structure (CBS), and model breakdown structure (MBS).

Learn more about Oracle’s Primavera P6 EPPM.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

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