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19. April 2021

Project Management: Engineering & Construction

Project Management: Engineering & Construction

Imagine you’re building a wind or solar farm. There’s a lot at stake – and a lot to get right. A project of that magnitude is as structurally massive as it is expensive. You start by identifying a good site for your wind or solar farm and begin the process of getting the correct land leases. And once a project is deemed viable, you can start development for real. Whether you take on the building process yourself or sell the project, building a solar or wind farm takes years – and the lifecyle goes into decades in many cases. And then there’s the admin involved. A project like this – if you take every piece of communication, drawings, plans, blueprints,etc into account can easily generate over 10,000 unique documents. For companies that run over a hundred projects at a time, structure and accessibility are essential in avoiding chaos and possible audit disasters. You also need to access all the relevant documents from any device around the clock. Old legacy systems don’t meet these demands anymore. So what’s the alternative?

The Importance Of Quality

Growing companies in the engineering and construction sector depend on collaboration. Lifecycle management is also an important factor. Organisation and information accuracy on these projects are absolute key – as a single error can cost millions.

For example, imagine a ‘previous version’ of a document is used – and a wind turbine is built in the wrong place. Incorrect documents can also cause people to miss the right safety procedures.

Similarly, when building a house, you’re working with architects, builders, and customers. What happens if the builder has printed an older version of the plan and design while the architect has made new changes?

You also need communication management tools when working with different parties. And don’t forget about the other industry-related documents – like submittals management, proposals, RFP management, and subcontractor agreements.

‘Goodbye’ Legacy

Effective management is vital with so many projects and documents. The contracts, procurement, and transmittals are designed to ensure that everyone works from the same version of the truth. It’s therefore critical to ensure all parties are aligned – at any given time.

These are the key strategic drivers behind companies moving from old and inefficient platforms to new and improved solutions that make large-scale project information management much more structured.

The construction industry relies on hyper-specific market software to do what they do. There’s building information management (BIM) containing every aspect of a building – from lightbulbs to lifts. AutoCAD is another software. But neither has document management.

Both BIM and AutoCAD are the authoring software – meaning you still need to store the projects in a file somewhere. You also need a document format that’s shareable outside the software: usually a PDF or image file. To properly structure your projects and avoid document chaos, you need the right management tools on top of your everyday software. Information and lifecycle management is key.

Adapt To Global Change

Even in these COVID times, engineering and construction have changed drastically. Because workers are less on-site, companies in the industry rely more on collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams to communicate internally and with third parties. Remote working and monitoring seem to be here to stay..

This change further increases the need for construction and engineering companies to get their digital information under control. Another important factor is security management. From an audit and governance perspective, companies need to safeguard and manage their access rights tightly. Knowing who has access and who accessed what means gaining complete visibility and utmost control.

Clarity of communication is key in effective project management. Tools like WorkPoint bridge the gap in all key governance and structure areas for engineering and construction companies. With a vast range of smart tools, including ready-made contract and RFP term templates, you can streamline your operations and stay both agile and organised.

Discover how WorkPoint streamlines project management in construction and engineering. Contact us today!