Parsons’ playbook for delivering successful infrastructure projects

May 24, 2021 | 5 minute read
Janet Poses
Product Marketing Director
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Parsons Corporation manages complex infrastructure projects that often include collaboration on vast amounts of documentation and hundreds of reviewers across many organizations.

The company, which ranks #11 on Engineering News-Record’s top 500 design firms list, serves the defense, intelligence, and infrastructure markets. Such organizations require secure and comprehensive information management and specific regulatory reporting capabilities.

Parsons’ five steps to success

1. System set up - taxonomy

One major project, the California I-405 improvement, illustrates Parson’s successful approach to project delivery across five key areas.  

Parsons implemented Oracle Aconex to manage the $1.9 billion design‐build project. The company took advantage of their experience using the Oracle tool on other projects, including Denver International Airport, to implement Oracle Aconex at the I-405 project inception and configure the flexible system to best serve the complex project.

The Oracle solution’s ease of configurability has been key for Parsons. On the I-405 project, Parsons processes 1,000 different work packages per year over the six-year project. These work packages in many cases require their own specific workflow involving the designers, program and construction management teams, stakeholder cities and permitting agencies; to name a few.

“Usually, workflows take a lot of time to put into action and run. In Oracle Aconex, it takes just a matter of minutes."

-Ashish Sharma, Solutions Architect, Parsons

Parsons configured Oracle Aconex to meet the specific approval workflow and reporting requirements of the various regulatory entities and over 30 parties involved in the project. The company also implemented a successful design review process across 300+ reviewers from the 30+ participating organizations.

2. Data ownership

Parsons fostered a culture of trust and collaboration by implementing a solution that provides a secure workspace for each organization on the project without the conflict of one party administering the system for others. This format drove system adoption and helped ensure a complete project record—a valuable resource considering the long life of this public infrastructure asset.

“Oracle Aconex was instrumental in addressing the cross organizational complexity on the I-405 project. Over 30 organizations, including designers, contractors, cities, and permitting agencies, collaborated seamlessly while owning their specific data and their respective permissions."

-Ashish Sharma, Solutions Architect, Parsons

The configurability of the Oracle system also allowed Parsons to design the system to meet the needs of the specific project and the owner. The project owner benefits by having access to the project-wide system throughout the project, along with maintaining ownership of its data in an accessible and useable format throughout the life of the asset.

3. Executive sponsorship

Parsons recognized the imperative to adopt and integrate technology into the very fabric of their organization – and did so long before Boston Consulting Group coined the phrase “bionic company”.

The consulting group states: “Leading companies in multiple industries are combining the strengths of humans and technology to create superhuman—bionic—capabilities.”

Bionic company leaders “organize their human and technological capabilities around business outcomes - personalizing customer experiences and improving processes.”*

Parsons demonstrates this very type of innovative leadership. The company assigned a corporate principal program controls manager to oversee the system setup, leveraging best practices from previous projects and Oracle Aconex implementations, to help ensure the success of I-405.

The company ensures efficiency and success for itself and its clients by taking a corporate-wide view of project management rather than managing each project individually.

4. Training

Parsons provided straightforward, accessible system training on how to use Oracle Aconex on the I-405 project to all organizations as they were onboarded to the project. The company also improved process efficiency and data quality by implementing the system to meet the specific needs of owner and project.

In addition, Parsons offered training to ensure everyone understands the data governance and structure of the project.

5. Adoption

Parson configured the Oracle solution for the I-405 project to make individuals’ jobs easier and more successful. Each organization owned their own secure space on one central system, eliminating the need for multiple redundant systems – and the extra work, cost, and potential for errors that can result.

Each organization can use their own secure Oracle Aconex site to collaborate internally before easily sharing, transmitting, and reviewing project information with the broader project team.

The combination of structure, training, and ease of use drives adoption, helping Parsons and the project owner ensure complete and accurate project information.

Watch the on-demand webinar featuring Parsons’ Ashish Sharma about how a common data environment provides a single source of truth: “Collaboration and data governance on $1.9 billion design build project for I-405”.

Results: Saving the project time and money

Parsons ensured everyone was working from the same information and reduced potential errors and rework by having all parties on the project access one central platform.

This cross-project transparency increased the number of issues that were identified and resolved at the 60% review rather than the 90% review. Resolving these issues earlier in the project saves the project time and money.

The level of automation and ease of information access for project managers and engineers has reduced the number of document controllers needed over the six-year project. The existing document controllers can work on more valuable activities, such as improving processes, rather than spending so much time on administrative tasks.

Parsons also improved the quality and efficiency of the submittal process to meet and exceed their contractual turnaround times on the I-405 project. The company easily created specific automated workflows to manage reviews for each submittal type.

Parsons can also assign a specific number to each of the more than 100 utilities, such as relocated power and water lines, using Oracle Aconex’s metadata organizational structure. This approach ensured all related information was accessible, tracked, and reported accurately.

Lastly, Parsons adhered to any specific inspection, permit, and audit requirements of the individual municipalities.

“It is hard to imagine managing the complexity of the 100 utility relocations without Oracle Aconex."

-Ashish Sharma, Solutions Architect, Parsons

Watch the on-demand webcast: Collaboration and data governance on $1.9 B design build project for I-405.

Read more about Oracle Aconex.

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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