Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

  • August 4, 2017

Deliver Winning Infrastructure Projects: 4 Advanced Data Analytics Insights

In a recent survey, industry professionals cited the following major challenges in delivering successful infrastructure projects:  Design Complexity, Errors and Rework, and Supply Chain Availability (infographic). The root of many of these problems is the data -- the sheer volume of the data generated can quickly overwhelm the project and overshadow the competencies of all those involved. How much data is actually produced?  The largest infrastructure projects produce an average of 130 million emails, 55 million documents, and 12 million workflows. While at first glance the volume of data is daunting, this data becomes highly beneficial if it is organized, distributed, analyzed, and archived in an effective manner.  In fact, data management is a key ingredient driving infrastructure project performance. With that in mind, let's take a look at 4 advanced data analytics insights that will help you deliver consistently winning infrastructure projects.

The Value of Advanced Data Analytics

We’ve all heard some variation of the expression:  If you don’t study history, you are doomed to repeat it (source).  This colloquialism is very applicable in today’s infrastructure management environment. The industry has been slow to realize technological changes that offer great benefits.  After all, what is all of this data accumulation but an opportunity to improve our projects, processes, and partner relationships? A quick look at organized project data reveals the following 4 valuable insights that mitigate the common challenges afflicting large infrastructure projects:
  1. Structured Internal Communications
  2. Managing Variability
  3. Benchmarking for Continuous Improvement
  4. Expediting Processes Across a Project’s Lifespan
By analyzing this current and historical data (by “studying our history”), these four insights allow us to overcome past challenges and create consistently successful infrastructure projects on-time and on-budget! Download WhitepaperInfrastructure Program Insights:  Using Data to Manage Complexity and Risk

Insight #1:  Structured Internal Communications

We presented this statistic above but it bears repeating:  The average large infrastructure project produces 130 million emails. Room for error?  In a large disjointed project, where various companies use disparate platforms for emails, drawings, and spreadsheets, the potential for a communications breakdown is nearly unavoidable. However, with the structured internal communications offered by a complete project management solution, the potential for errors diminishes drastically. More importantly, the probability of streamlined processes increases exponentially.  View this webinar to find out how structured internal communications and a complete project management solution enabled Graham construction to achieve a 90% faster bid solicitation, an 80% reduction in defect distribution and a 50% reduction in RFI turnaround time.

Insight #2:  Managing Variability

Effective data management also allows us to accommodate project variability while maintaining our project schedule and budget.  Have any of us ever worked on an infrastructure project that required no modification? Statistics have illustrated that most project delays due to variability are not deep-rooted.  They are in fact quickly resolvable…if the personnel have the correct, updated data and a fluid means of communication. Unfortunately, statistical data illustrates that 50-60% of project processes are delayed due to the lack of a central system.  Fortunately, these numbers decline appreciably with a comprehensive construction project management solution.

Insight #3:  Benchmarking for Continuous Improvement

You may have heard that Artificial Intelligence improves with more data – the same holds true for real intelligence in our industry. The more data we accumulate, the more we can learn from past projects – we become more intelligent! There are patterns that we can identify across projects that provide abundant opportunities for us to improve our projects. For example, historical data allows us to analyze and evaluate subcontractors, benchmark to identify project deviations, and standardize solutions to eliminate learning curves.

Insight #4:  Expediting Processes Across a Project’s Lifespan

Project management software allows for consistent improvement of all processes across a project’s lifespan. In his book Outliers:  The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell examines the factors that led to the great success of so many people, projects, and organizations.  One primary take-away from the book is his “10,000-Hour Rule”.  While we assume a band such as The Beatles simply came together and created magic, this is far from true --  they accumulated over 10,000 hours of playing time before they found success. Similarly, the delivery of successful infrastructure projects comes from experience and accumulated knowledge, knowledge that is vastly improved by looking at data and asking vital questions such as:  Where did that process break down?  How can we improve these turn-around times?  Why are deliveries happening more slowly than anticipated? Project management software provides the answers to all of these questions in the accumulated and organized data of past projects. Would you like to see how you can use data to improve your infrastructure projects?  View this webinar:  "Show me the ROI" – concrete results from process improvement.

The Need for Infrastructure Project Management Software

The foremost challenges expressed earlier by the industry professionals -- Design Complexity, Errors and Rework, and Supply Chain Availability – are all resolvable with the implementation of effective project management software. Without project management software, you simply have a mountain of disorganized, disparate data on different platforms that leads to endless project delays and disruptions. With project management software, you gain valuable insights based on data that is efficiently organized, distributed, analyzed, and archived allowing you to:
  • Avoid disputes or resolve them faster
  • Boost process turnaround times to keep projects on track
  • Provide accurate forecasting & project budgeting
For more information, we invite you to view a three-minute video of Aconex project management software and learn more about our solution for infrastructure programs which drives the world’s leading projects.

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