Product Marketing Director
The sheer number of teams, tasks, and timelines in construction projects make close coordination vital to a job well done. But collaboration isn’t easy ― and it often falls apart, with challenging consequences. Getting everyone aligned and working together takes the right approach.
Technology is key to enabling the kind of collaboration needed to orchestrate across and within multiple teams, but a project technology solution can fall short if it doesn’t address one fundamental impediment: a lack of trust. Project participants, wary of giving other stakeholders control over their data, will be reluctant to use any construction project management system that doesn’t protect each organisation’s data ownership rights.
The case for data ownership
As we have previously explored in detail, there are several salient and compelling reasons why project organisations want to retain full control of their data. If a project management system allows an organisation, such as the one paying for the technology, to manipulate another project participant’s data, both parties face potential risks.
Should a dispute arise, there will be thorny questions around the accuracy of the project record as well as who ultimately holds the liability. In addition, when data ownership is not protected, one organisation may be able to lock another out of its own data.
Needless to say, things can get ugly. In addition, companies need to know that when a project is over, all of their individual data is available to be retained in their own archives.
This tension around data ownership, and the resulting deterioration of trust, can impact construction outcomes in several ways.
Without trust in the project system of record and other participants, information flow can be constrained, creating disconnects and impairing decision-making throughout the project. These can lead to delays, errors and rework, safety issues, additional costs and, ultimately, produce disputes that further damage trust.
In such a situation, individual organisations may well continue to use their own individual project systems, information management approaches, and data formats―sharing minimally or at best inconsistently with the other stakeholders. When this happens there are two critical impacts.
Incomplete project record
On projects where teams inconsistently share data into the common technology system, there won’t be a comprehensive project record at closeout. For the owner, this limits invaluable opportunities to use the data for the ongoing maintenance of a built asset, while also complicating any ongoing or future disputes arising from the project or asset itself.
A comprehensive and indelible record of project data is key to a clean handover and equips an owner with a rich data set to use in supporting optimal use and lifespan.
When project data is incomplete or fragmented across participants, the ability to produce insights from project data is limited. As project intelligence tools grow more sophisticated and accessible, such as new AI-driven predictive intelligence solutions, companies are more and more focused on deriving as much value as they can from their data.
A recent IDC InfoBrief, “The State of Data Strategies in Construction,” found that more than 77% of surveyed organisations in engineering and construction have had a data strategy in place for more that three years. The survey report, which was sponsored by Oracle, also found that virtually all organisations want to use data to generate predictive intelligence that supports decision-making ― and improve project outcomes around cost, data, quality, and other common key performance indicators (KPI).
Importantly, 81% of respondents say their data strategy includes efforts to bring together data silos into one system for reporting and analytics. Organisations recognise the need to maximise the amount of project data that can be analysed to increase the breadth and efficacy of insights. Disconnected and fragmented data stores stand in the way of such efforts.
A better approach to data
These challenges are considerable but can be overcome with the right project management solution.
Oracle Aconex provides a unique data model that allows all project organisations to own their data. This approach assures all participants that other project organisations ― even the company providing the system ― cannot change their data or limit access to it. This data model, combined with a powerful process management engine and an accredited common data environment, helps power ultimate collaboration across project teams.