The inherent complexity of information flows in construction projects has always posed a challenge for implementing seamless integrated enterprise software systems to cater to needs of all stakeholders.
The construction industry is highly fragmented and aggressive with adversarial culture permeating all levels. As a result, mainstream information technology has been slow in penetrating effectively into the Engineering and Construction (E&C) sector and the maturity of information processes in most of the E&C companies in US (E&C companies in other parts of the world are way behind US market in terms of Project Management and Control processes) is still rudimentary. Even companies with annual revenues up to one billion are operating with minimal information technology (rely on spreadsheets and manual processes) and have not yet adopted even enterprise systems for their business processes. This situation provides a significant challenge to the adaptation of latest advancements like Digital Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, etc. to bring efficiency to the E&C sector
The management of construction projects is a complex process. Every project is unique in terms of its organization, nature of contract, type of construction, local requirements and construction methodology. Due to this complexity and the project management team setup, information processing and communication using latest advances in information technology is critical and essential for efficient project management and control. The inherent complexity of information flows in construction projects has always posed a challenge for implementing seamless integrated enterprise software systems to cater to needs of all stakeholders.
How to make a change?
The best way to achieve the desired overall Project Management and Controls integration in an E&C organization is to have a comprehensive evaluation process of the Current State, Gap Major players in the industry are upgrading and adopting commercial software systems meeting the requirements of individual functions, instead of implementing comprehensive corporate-wide solutions. Hence, most of them have different maturity levels in their various functions and business divisions. Due to this situation, IT software systems of several functions in a typical business division or in a project lacks data synchronization and hence, lacks seamless data integrity. The Corporate and Project Management struggle to trust the information received as there is no single source of truth.
Business transformation through a comprehensive evaluation process is almost few decades old in Banking, Finance, Manufacturing, Retail markets, but is still a very new vision for the E&C industry. Senior management in the E&C industry lack the needed appreciation for a comprehensive transformation, needed belief in IT bringing overall business efficiency, and hence, are unwilling to allocate the budget needed.
Analysis with respect to industry best practices and desired Future State, and development of a corporate-wide Target Operating Model (TOM) to be implemented in phases (See Figure 1).