By Geoff Ryan
CEO of Insight-AWP.
The industrial construction industry has a cavalier history of construction behind us and the age of Advanced Work Packaging and predictable project execution is ahead of us.
The spark for this revolution is the desperate need for change, and the gasoline in this firestorm is free-flowing information and the technology to do something with it.
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Welcome to the golden age of information management for construction
Advanced Work Packaging is an industry “Best Practice” researched and documented by the Construction Industry Institute.
It guides the dissection of project scope into packages that cross Engineering, Procurement, and Construction so that the construction contractors can develop Installation Work Packages in the field.
These IWPs are typically one week of work for one crew and are proven to be free of constraints before they are released.
Over the last ten years, results from global projects have shown that this simple condition can increase field productivity by up to 25% and have a significant favorable influence on cost, schedule, safety, and quality.
It sounds pretty simple, but the reality is that it is challenging to figure out what material you have, which work fronts are open, the latest revision document, and what you are supposed to be working on every day for up to 5000 willing workers.
The answer is data, formulated to be consumable. The dashboard is the 3D model, and the engine is a cloud-based Data Warehouse.
There are currently two examples of this information management program operating in Texas on projects in the range of $3 Billion. Both projects are experiencing higher than average productivity and are both on schedule (which is fantastic for big projects).
The Data Warehouse
The Data Warehouse hosts all project data, and the gatekeeper ensures that the information is presented and stored in the correct format. Amongst other things, this creates a “single version of project truth” that can be accessed through Power BI on any device by project stakeholders who have been granted permission.
Supervisors to Project Managers, and everybody in between, have access to live data and reports that show them where every piece of material is, how to get the latest revision of each document, what has been installed, what we should be installing, which resources are available, what our internal customers need from us and how much time and effort we are using to get stuff done: on their phone.
Now I know that anybody who has ever used an app is yawning right now, saying, “so what.”
Still, for construction guys, who are used to being treated like mushrooms; this is nirvana, and it is having a significant positive impact on how much we get done; how long it takes, how safe the work is and how many mistakes are made.
It is quite a simple idea that only requires a database stored on a cloud platform; a set of rules around how data must be formulated and delivered, and an organization willing to break the mold.