The construction industry is struggling with the impact of an unprecedented global pandemic, and is faced with numerous challenges, one of which is to find meaningful solution to the problem of project reporting. As organizations wait for the lockdown to lift, and brace to resume operations, they are faced with the overwhelming task of project reporting in order to identify the status of the project before, and after the COVID-19 impact. This colossal task is a grim reality staring both the contractors, and owners in the face as construction sites start to open up.
This exercise is akin to war photography and must be carried out in a consistent and precise manner. However, it is ironical that many organizations, after having braved the physical health emergency, and lockdown of construction sites, will be forced to drain their resources in setting up, and managing expectations around appropriate project reporting which may or may not be acceptable to all stakeholders.
In light of the upcoming challenges, a new, modular reporting framework known as MS100 can offer a range of solutions specific to the COVID-19 impact.
MS100 is an innovative reporting framework with up to 100 predefined milestones (data points) which can standardize Schedule & Cost reporting in projects. The primary enablers of this framework are standardization of data, modular data architecture, and data grouping. Developed, tested and implemented by a Canadian construction consulting and technology firm, Stoneboy Inc., the MS100 framework can be deployed by firms at the project, program, portfolio, and enterprises levels.
KPI, and Standardized Reporting Customized for Construction
MS100 includes standardized milestones which represents universal, all-inclusive Scope for any construction project; and can be utilized for the smallest, as well as most complex of construction projects. The milestones reflect the sequence of work in construction project environments and simplify the process of reporting by tracking progress against standardized, predefined steps. Modular data architecture, which has been used to arrange and sequence standardized milestones in MS100, provides infinite scalability, flexibility for special needs, and placeholders for unforeseen changes. Organizations can use MS100 across multiple projects for an apples to apples comparison of progress for all such projects.
Construction projects lose time, and budget due to a lack of timely, accurate, and standardized reporting system. This problem in turn arises due to an absence of KPIs for the Construction industry. More, and more construction projects understand the significance of data, and utilize sophisticated solutions to crunch data. However, in the absence of standardized data, KPIs are not generated, which undermine effective decision making.
MS100 has been designed in the form of a dashboard in order to facilitate evaluation of unlimited changes within one project, or unlimited changes across all projects in an organization. The standardized milestones provide data for benchmarking, trend analysis and comparison of progress for projects, programs, portfolios, and enterprises. In essence, MS100 provides a customized, industry specific KPI for Construction.
Organizations where MS100 could be of use include construction firms, organizations with construction portfolios such as cities and regional governments; schools boards; organizations which manage multi-year portfolios such as Infrastructure Canada, Infrastructure Ontario, Metrolinx; insurance, bonding, and surety companies; and financial institutions such as banks, among others.
Construction Project Reporting in a Post COVID-19 World
MS100 can help in easy identification, and reporting of the project status before and after the COVID-19 impact. Placeholders are built-in MS100 to accommodate changes in Scope, Time, and Cost. Additionally, it provides powerful visualization of Schedule & Cost reporting for projects impacted by COVID-19 by partial or full site closures, loss of efficiency, supply chain disruptions and regulatory delays.
MS100 provides superior Change Management by obviating the need to re-create data in order to establish the before, and after impact scenarios.
Moreover, MS100 can be applied on multiple (or all) projects simultaneously, thereby developing standardized Schedule & Cost reporting. Standardization aids in accelerated decision making.
For example, if the financial statements for all projects in an organization were not standardized, it would take long to understand, compile data and make decisions. Likewise, in the absence of a standardized Schedule & Cost reporting across projects in organizations, decision making would be slow.
With MS100, the impact / delay analysis can be performed on standardized, predefined milestones, as opposed to the conventional assessment on a variety of delay paths, thereby expediting the process, and generating savings of time and cost. MS100 provides a lean alternative to construction dispute management (construction claims) process.
Aditya Arya is founder and managing director of Stoneboy Inc. and Ashleigh Horgan is a director at Stoneboy Inc. For more information visit www.stoneboy.co.