Building on data to support infrastructure with InEight

Project management is going to be a crucial consideration in the roll out of the $7.5 billion dollar transport infrastructure pipeline. InEight’s project management software is positioned to assist businesses taking on these projects in successful delivery of infrastructure works.

In response to the government’s $7.5 billion investment in transport infrastructure, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said infrastructure helps to create jobs and get people where they want to go sooner or safer.

He said these commitments, made in the Budget, will help to get the economy moving.

The COVID-19 pandemic plunged Australia into its first recession in nearly 30 years. In the budget release in late October the government revealed its plans for recovery, with transport infrastructure a central pillar of the plan.

With large pipelines of investment at a national and state level, the construction industry will rise to the challenge of delivering transport projects to generate return on investment in a timely manner.

Rob Bryant, Executive Vice President of APAC at InEight, says there are going to be increased expectations for the spending of stimulus funding.

“Having accountability for the funding that is being spent and managing the relationships between state or council bodies is going to be essential to ensure the projects are effective as a stimulus,” Bryant says.

As the planning for these projects begins, technology can be considered as a tool to streamline project management at each stage of the job.

“For risk mitigation and eventually return on investment, a project management system helps planning teams to address the risks that sometimes aren’t identified until they become blow-outs later in the project,” Bryant says.

When manually planning projects, budgets and designs are built with contingency plans. Technology can work to give owners and contractors a realistic view of how the budgeting and schedule might play out.

“Technology can often detect or present factors that could be considered foreseeable, but are often overlooked because of an optimistic view of the project schedule or pressure to bring it in under budget,” he says.

“The trick there is for owners and contractors to start with the end in mind and consider what the use of technology can do through the life-cycle to add value to the asset at the end.”

Applying artificial intelligence to a project schedule can give managers the chance to preview factors that will have influence on the budget. Owners can also track how the works are going in relation to project deadlines, so if a section of the project is running behind this can be identified early.

“As the project moves through to execution what we are seeing is more live data coming through so project teams have a much clearer visibility of what is achieved on any given day and that mitigates risk in the execution phase, seeing that data live enables fast decision making and reduces risk,” Bryant says.

“Early indication of issues also allows for an open and transparent dialogue with all stakeholders.”

For example, by using InEight Document during the project execution contractors can demonstrate their progress against specifications set out in the design phase and clearly indicate the completion of different packages of work.

“Then when there are multiple contractors the technology ensures there is no compromise on security and intellectual property. All of the packages of work can be accessed by the owner but there is no risk of contractors gaining access to critical commercial or engineering information.” Bryant says.

“It provides one secure location for information to be shared and allows project owners to manage the relationship of multiple contractors.”

This can also work across borders and regions, which has been a particularly important consideration for Australia in 2020.

“Major projects draw on expertise from across the world and with a project management solution experts can access drawings live at any given day or time,” Bryant says

With InEight’s technology, all information uploaded is live and reviews can take place with stakeholders outside of working hours. This means designs or other documents can be approved by international experts overnight and be ready for the next day.

Moving into the handover phase, the time savings that are made possible by having files and plans stored in on place and sorted with metadata into the most relevant or recent versions can be significant.

“On a large project that spans over many years it can take 12 to 18 months to compile all of the information and even then sometimes new drawings or surveying is required,” Bryant says.

“Document management technology is a good idea for both contractors and owners. The owner doesn’t have to be dependent on the contractor for the handover and the contractor can save time compiling it.”

The introduction of technology and more complex or innovative infrastructure builds is increasing the amount of documentation required on every project.

“We are seeing that particularly government project owners are recognising the value of project management software and digital twins as it comes into play at handover and during operation,” Bryant says.

Once an asset moves into operation the owner has a complete package of information about the asset and how it was built, which they can access on a handheld device from anywhere in the world.

“In 2021 local road authorities and councils are going to be working on a number of projects at one time and will be managing those simultaneously, working with local contractors these technological solutions can help to ensure these projects deliver the best return on investment.”

InEight’s project management solutions can be implemented at all phases of a company’s digital transformation to ensure that when projects and expectations get bigger, companies can rise to the challenge.

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