Avoid one key pitfall in construction collaboration

January 20, 2022 | 4 minute read
Matt Scroggins
Product Marketing Director
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The sheer number of teams, tasks, and timelines in construction projects make close coordination vital to a job well done. But collaboration isn’t easy―and it often falls apart, with challenging consequences. Getting everyone aligned and working together takes the right approach.

Technology is key to enabling the kind of collaboration needed to orchestrate across and within multiple teams, but a project technology solution can fall short if it doesn’t address one fundamental impediment to collaboration: a lack of trust. Project participants, wary of giving other stakeholders control over their data, will be reluctant to use any construction project management system that doesn’t protect each organization’s data ownership rights.

The case for data ownership

As we have previously explored in detail, there are several salient and compelling reasons why project organizations want to retain full control of their data. If a project management system allows an organization, such as the one paying for the technology, to manipulate another project participant’s data, both parties face potential risks.

Should a dispute arise, there will be thorny questions around the accuracy of the project record as well as who ultimately holds the liability. In addition, when data ownership is not protected, one organization may be able to lock another out of its own data.

See what’s possible with the Oracle Smart Construction Platform

Needless to say, things can get ugly. In addition, organizations need to know that when a project is over, all of their individual data is available to be retained in their own archives.        

This tension around data ownership, and the resulting deterioration of trust, can impact construction outcomes in several ways.

Watch our on-demand webcast, “The Secret to Extraordinary Collaboration,” to learn more about the common pitfalls that limit project collaboration and how they can be overcome with technology.

Without trust in the project system of record and other participants, information flow can be constrained, creating disconnects and impairing decision-making throughout the project. These can lead to delays, errors and rework, safety issues,  additional costs and, ultimately, produce disputes that further damage trust.

In such a situation, individual organizations may well continue to use their own individual project systems, information management approaches, and data formats―sharing minimally or at best inconsistently with the other stakeholders. When this happens there are two critical impacts.

Incomplete project record

On projects where teams inconsistently share data into the common technology system, there won’t be a comprehensive project record at closeout. For the owner, this limits invaluable opportunities to use the data for the ongoing maintenance of a built asset, while also complicating any ongoing or future disputes arising from the project or asset itself.

A comprehensive and indelible record of project data is key to a clean handover and equips an owner with a rich data set to use in supporting optimal use and lifespan.

Limited insights

When project data is incomplete or fragmented across participants, the ability to produce insights from project data is limited. As project intelligence tools grow more sophisticated and accessible, such as new AI-driven predictive intelligence solutions, organizations are more and more focused on deriving as much value as they can from their data.  

A recent IDC InfoBrief, “The State of Data Strategies in Construction,” found that more than 77% of surveyed organizations in engineering and construction have had a data strategy in place for more that three years. The survey report, which was sponsored by Oracle, also found that virtually all organizations want to use data to generate predictive intelligence that supports decision-making―and improve project outcomes around cost, data, quality, and other common key performance indicators (KPI).

Importantly, 81% of the survey respondents say their data strategy includes efforts to bring together data silos into one system for reporting and analytics. Organizations recognize the need to maximize the amount of project data that can be analyzed to increase the breadth and efficacy of insights. Disconnected and fragmented data stores stand in the way of such efforts.

A better approach to data

These challenges are considerable but can be overcome with the right project management solution.

Oracle Aconex provides a unique data model that allows all project organizations to own their data. This approach assures all participants that other project organizations―even the one providing the system―cannot change their data or limit access to it. This data model, combined with a powerful process management engine and an accredited common data environment (CDE), helps power ultimate collaboration across project teams. 

For more information on how to avoid “collaboration fails” on your projects, check out our on-demand webcast, “The Secret to Extraordinary Collaboration.” Part of our ongoing program on the Oracle Smart Construction Platform, these webcasts help you learn how to improve collaboration, turn data into intelligence, and orchestrate projects to accelerate performance.

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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Matt Scroggins

Product Marketing Director

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