Unleashing project value through digitisation

Organisations face impacts from rising costs and resource scarcity in infrastructure. Digitisation can help navigate cost, risk, and productivity challenges through project delivery. Voeu has thoughts on how digitisation can unlock value.

Organisations face impacts from rising costs and resource scarcity in infrastructure. Digitisation can help navigate cost, risk, and productivity challenges through project delivery. Voeu has thoughts on how digitisation can unlock value.

Project delivery follows a natural value cycle. It includes cost management, price estimation, project control, and reporting. This cycle works best when visible real-time data is combined with integration between the process steps, enabling a seamless flow of information to enhance effective project delivery.

To achieve organisational best practices, it is essential to establish an integrated system that incorporates all steps into a homogeneous enterprise-wide system. This system should require minimal or no intervention for its operation. Such a system can be realised when systems are based on the same data framework and are automatically shared across functions. This eliminates repetition and reduces reworking costs.

Systems coordination can be achieved through separate systems and programs that communicate with each other. Alternatively, full-blown cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations can be utilised. Success in attaining system coordination depends on facilitating interaction between the system elements rather than focusing solely on the underlying technology.

Data management key to digitisation

Efficient data capture combined with a robust technology platform is crucial for success. Instead of reworking the data, it’s more effective to capture it accurately from the start and build upon it. This helps avoid duplication and ensures data accuracy.

Standard cost codes are one effective system integration and cost management method for use across the project value continuum. Cost codes organised in a cost library can serve as a basis for many aspects of project delivery. They include estimating prices, preparing budgets, tracking purchases, and determining incurred costs. They can also be used for estimating costs to complete and reporting purposes.

Cost codes are a simple yet powerful integration approach that can unlock value. It gives project managers visibility into historical, estimated, budgeted, and actual costs, providing valuable insights to manage performance.

The value of digitisation can be enormous

Digitisation is a powerful enabler that unlocks value by enhancing project outcomes. Many benefits arise from digitisation.

Improved operational efficiency is one benefit of digitisation. It reduces the time and cost of data collection, analysis, and reporting, enabling better decisions to be made faster. These efficiencies can improve project outcomes by saving time and resources, allowing focus on other aspects of the project.

Digitisation also improves the accuracy of the data collected. Reducing errors avoid the downstream risk of the impact of inaccuracies. It results in more precise project planning, budgeting, scheduling, and resource allocation.

Teams and stakeholders can better collaborate by removing paperwork and other physical bureaucracy from projects. Common platforms allow sharing information, tracking progress, communicating project updates, and increasing transparency.

Similarly, progress tracking can be completed in real-time or near real-time. This increases the opportunity to identify potential issues before they become problems. Teams can then take mitigating actions that can prevent delays and cost overruns.

Digitisation reduces the overall administrative resources required. As a result, the cost of providing information along the steps of the project value continuum also falls. This frees up resources that can be utilised elsewhere.

Improving project outcomes through digitisation

All these elements unlock value by improving project outcomes through improved efficiency, accurate data collection, enhanced collaboration, real-time monitoring, and reduced administrative burden. By leveraging digital tools, project managers can achieve better project outcomes and ensure their projects align with project goals.

Less than 20 per cent of organisations have an effective system in place to unlock the maximum value of a project. This usually results in inefficiencies and cost overruns.

A basic example of digitisation involves replacing paper timesheets with electronic forms. This can help to reduce the time and errors associated with manual data entry, leading to more accurate project tracking.

In more advanced cases, digitisation can take the form of cloud-based telemetry. This level of digitisation can capture data on equipment productivity. It allows project managers to monitor and optimise equipment performance in real-time. This tends to lead to better project outcomes and cost savings.

Integrating cost libraries into the design can provide dynamic, value-based consideration of construction alternatives using computer-aided design (CAD) or building information management (BIM). Digital tools can assist in the determination of the best choice based on relevant variables that support the optimal design and project outcomes.

The benefits of digitisation

The benefits of adopting digital tools in project delivery are clear. Digitisation can improve efficiency, accuracy, collaboration, and real-time monitoring, leading to better project outcomes that align with project goals.

Digitisation presents an opportunity to streamline the project delivery process along the value continuum. Although the water sector is advanced in product and engineering technologies, there is still room for improvement in utilising digitisation to enhance the management of project costs, risks, and productivity management.

About Voeu

Voeu is a specialist water sector advisory and consulting practice that delivers advice and improvement projects for infrastructure owners, operators, and delivery providers.

To find out more about Voeu, visit www.voeu.com.au

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