Complexity as an obstacle to efficiency
London, UK - Published June 2nd 2020
If you are involved in design and build projects and you sat down and worked out how many hours of you have spent searching for pertinent documents, drawings, meeting minutes, crucial project control and legal documents etc, you would probably be surprised at how much of your time it take up. Time is a precious commodity, not to mention the financial cost to a project and the potential for delay and risks to a project.
The cause of this wasted time, money and resource and increased risk is inconsistent and non-standardised management of documents. This simple conclusion reflects a common and costly challenge for Architecture, Engineering and Construction projects, and is the reality for project and information managers in design and build projects.
Experienced Construction Managers are judging the complexity of projects as a crucial obstacle to efficient execution (Eber, 2019).
This inconsistency of document/object management is the result of the inherent complexity of construction projects. Through the lifecycle of a typical AEC project, there are a multitude of stakeholders in different locations involved. They use different systems and software and create literally thousands of project information assets in varied formats.
Typically, every stakeholder involved has their own document management processes and protocols, filing system and naming conventions, different business rules applied to create, manage and share these assets – or worse, they don’t and each individual does their own thing.
With such a complex web of stakeholders, documentation, touchpoints, processes and systems –coupled with a lack of standardisation - the potential for crucial documents to be missing or lost and associated risk is pretty high
At the same time, project milestones, timelines and legal decision depend on having a reliable ‘document-trail’. Crucial control documents and latest design assets must be accessible to the right stakeholders at the right time to progress the project efficiently and to the required building standards.
Delays and the risk of lost documents are also exacerbated by company and staff changes during the lifecycle of the project – which is common in construction projects with their many stakeholders and long lifecycles. Communications and confirmation of key decisions – in email attachments or meeting minutes saved locally for example - can be lost or be difficult and costly to retrieve from companies or individuals previously involved in a project.
Finding key information can prove to be a huge challenge for information managers and can have serious implications for the projects. With inefficient document management regularly causing delays and adding cost to AEC projects there has to be a smarter way to record and track project assets!
Cloud-based tools, such as Microsoft 365, are going a long way to improve the efficiency of document sharing and are encouraging more effective and timely collaboration between different stakeholders. SharePoint is an especially powerful tool for searching and indexing documents but adoption is surprisingly low considering the prevalence of the Microsoft365 platform in the construction industry. However, even where it is used, it still allows for non-standardised, unstructured document naming and filing. To support the specific requirements of AEC projects, additional tools are needed to manage the many information assets involved and be fit for purpose solution for construction projects.
Atvero has been specifically developed to enable project and information managers of AEC projects to encourage the adoption and optimise the use of Microsoft 365 components and effectively manage and file project documents. By applying consistent protocols and standardised file naming conventions, Atvero is a powerful and flexible solution for construction projects.
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