Planning and implementation of collaborative working into a construction project Essay

1. Introduction

Since last twosome of decennaries, the building industry has been traveling through transmutation in the manner it works. Till few old ages ago, the construct of utilizing web-based techniques for pull offing building undertaking seemed Utopian, but is rather close to world now ( Nikas, A. 2007 ) . As per Yeomans ( 2006 ) , the industry is traveling from a conservative civilization, atomization, hapless cognition direction, an adversarial nature and deficiency of industry criterions for information exchange to more crystalline and efficient, cyberspace and communicating based collaborative on the job civilization.

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The application of Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ) stimulates more standardized communicating between different histrions of building undertaking, who might be working from different parts of the universe ( Adriaanse, A. 2010 ) . Current tendencies in ICT are contriving a broad scope of new computing machine based tools to back up Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry ( AEC ) .

These tools promise great addition in effectivity and efficiency of the undertaking. However, to accomplish these betterments, we require more than merely a proficient solution. It is now been widely accepted that, to get the better of jobs mentioned supra and to present more effectual and efficient undertaking, different histrions of the undertaking ( client, contractor, interior decorator, designer, etc. ) demand to work collaboratively ( Brandon, P. 2009, p.1 ) .

This study discusses the importance of collaborative working, different engineerings available in the market, approximative investing for incorporating these engineerings into the undertaking, cost of the package, preparation, etc. Overall impact on clip, cost and quality of undertaking by working collaboratively has besides been highlighted.

The study unfolds in the undermentioned manner. First, history and background cognition of Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ) and collaborative working is mentioned briefly and importance of working collaboratively by utilizing available web-based tools is highlighted. In 2nd subdivision, different engineerings available in the market are discussed along with their cost and installations provided by each engineering and recommendations are made about which engineering should be used for undertaking.

Third subdivision negotiations about how collaborative working can be planned and implemented during different phases of undertaking. Fourth subdivision negotiations about grounds for utilizing extranet on undertaking and approximative economy in clip and cost is estimated by mentioning few instance surveies. In 5th subdivision, consequence of ICT and collaborative working on people involved in undertaking is discussed. Concluding subdivision highlights the benefits of utilizing web-based engineering and collaborative working on a undertaking and its ‘ overall impact on undertaking life rhythm in footings of clip, cost and quality.

2. Researching Technologies available for collaborative working

Use of investing in ICT in AEC industry has been turning steadily in recent old ages. Research carried out in different types of industries such as aerospace and fabrication has confirmed that increased investing in ICTs does non vouch betterment in organizational productiveness unless and until it is coupled with good direction patterns ( Ruikar K. 2009 ) . Hence, it is really of import to choose appropriate engineering for every phase of the undertaking. List of few of the major service suppliers of collaborative engineerings in United Kingdom is given below, along with the solutions offered and services provided by them.

2.1 BIW Technologies ( Products and services, Online ) :

2.1.1 Solutions for coaction: Document Management, Visual Collaboration Environment ( VCE ) Viewer, Asset Manager, Security ( Exclusive URLs, SSL option, Secure login, User profiling, Audit trail ) and Outlook Integration.

2.1.2 Servicess: Configuration, Consultancy, Helpdesk + support, Hosting, Team preparation and Training Academy.

2.2 Business Collaborator ( BC ) ( Product, Online ) :

2.2.1 Products and Solutions: Undertaking extranet, Enterprise coaction, Programme direction and BC Mobile.

2.2.2 Servicess: Implementation, Consultancy, Solutions ( Latest undertaking intelligence, procedure sailing master, cost direction, GIS integrating, etc. ) and Training.

2.3 4Projects ( Solutions, Online ) :

2.3.1 Solutions: 4Projects Extranet, 4Projects Tendering, Software as a service and Legal admissibility.

2.3.2 Servicess: Support, Implementation, Training, Consultancy, Archiving and Escrow understandings.

2.4 Comparison:

There are more service suppliers in UK, like Bidcom, Build Online, Cadweb, Causeway etc. , but solutions provided by these companies are non in sync with the demands of undertaking. Hence, elaborate analysis of solutions and services provided was done for merely three companies mentioned supra. After comparing these three companies in footings of solutions and services provided, it was observed that 4Projects is offering few extra characteristics like 4Projects Tendering and Escrow understandings than that of BIW Technologies and Business Collaborator. To cognize more about these companies and to ask about the charges taken by company for its services, a telephonic interview was held with Mr. Steve Park of 4Projects, Mr. Chris Smith of Business Collaborator and Mr. Michael Bull of BIW Technologies on 19th Jan 2010.

Following tabular array is created to compare between services provided and approximative fees charged by these three companies. Following premises are made for ciphering entire cost to the undertaking.

* Project continuance: 36 months

* Planing stage: 6 months

* Wind up stage: 6 months

* Total undertaking cost: ?40 million.

* No. of people undergoing preparation: 30

Service Provided and cost BIW Technologies Business Confederate 4Projects
Cost of Training 3000-4000 No remarks available 1200 per twenty-four hours
Time for Training 1-2 yearss 2-3 yearss 2-3 yearss
No. of people allowed per session 10 10 10
Extra cost for developing infinite and installations Nothing Nothing Nothing
Web infinite allotted for undertaking Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Monthly subscription charges Design stage: 300-500

Construction stage: 1000-1500

Wind up stage: 300-500

No remarks available 500-1000 per month
Entire cost to the undertaking 31,000- 46,000 Can non be determined 30,000- 40,000

Therefore, it would be advisable to implement 4Projects collaborative engineering for the given ?40 million undertaking, as entire cost for implementing it will non transcend ?40,000, which is in bend comes about 0.1 % of entire undertaking cost.

3. Planning and Implementation of Collaborative working on undertaking

Collaboration is considered to be extremely complex and disputing undertaking because of the nature of industry, where people from different background and civilization work together. As defined by Kalay ( 1998 ) , coaction is ‘the understanding among stakeholders to portion their abilities in a peculiar procedure, to accomplish the larger aims of the undertaking as a whole ‘ , whereas, collaborative working in building can be described as ‘joint attempts among project stakeholders to efficaciously and expeditiously carry through a building undertaking ‘ ( Brandon P. 2009, p.2).

But, successful execution of collaborative working on a undertaking ca n’t be achieved without the usage of ICT tools, which may change from simple MS office to extremely sophisticated undertaking extranets ( Shelbourn, M. 2007 ) . By mentioning to all three definitions mentioned above, it can be said that collaborative working is nil but right combination of engineering, people and harmoniousness between them.

As per Adriaanse ( 2010 ) , in order to function the intent of successful collaborative working, we will hold to see following factors, which can act upon the extent of incorporation of ICT in work procedure.

Personal motive: Personal attitude or motive, up to a big extent, can find the extent to which people are willing to utilize engineering. It is one of the most of import factors, as it influences both, the willingness of a individual to utilize ICT by himself and his willingness to put resources available with him to accomplish short term every bit good as long term ends of the undertaking. Hence merely those people should be appointed to utilize ICT, who are extremely motivated.

Time force per unit area: In an industry like building, where everything works in short clip frame, people being trained on ICT, should be given appropriate clip to acquire used to the new engineering, so that they do n’t return back to the old traditional manner of working.

External motive: The importance of inter-organisational dealingss and contractual agreements can non be ignored in building industry. Several bilateral contracts will be negotiated between different take parting administrations like client, contractor, interior decorator, designer, etc. Hence, usage of different ICT tools, which will be used with that peculiar administration, should be clearly mentioned in the contract to avoid any future struggles in order to keep the harmoniousness.

There are many factors which contribute to the success or failure of execution of collaborative working. Extensive research is done at Loughborough University UK, in the country of Planning and Implementation of Effective Collaboration within Construction ( PIECC ) . As per PIECC ( 2005 ) , following six cardinal factors can be considered critical for effectual coaction in building.

Vision: All administrations working on a undertaking should hold on purposes and aims of the coaction.

Battle: Project manager should guarantee that all cardinal stakeholders are consulted as to the regulations and ordinances to be implemented during coaction.

Trust: Appropriate clip and resources should be allotted to all the participants so that they can construct swearing relationships amongst themselves.

Communication: All cardinal participants should make up one’s mind on the common manners of communicating.

Procedures: All the cardinal participants should be made cognizant of how the coaction will work on twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours footing on concern every bit good as undertaking degree.

Technologies: All participants should make on common understanding over which engineerings are to be used during undertaking lifecycle in order to guarantee that the coaction is maintained and implemented easy.

3.1 Barriers to effectual coaction:

PIECC ( 2005 ) considers following factors as barriers to successful execution of collaborative working.

* Different administrations that have come together for undertaking might hold different vision, mission, precedences and ends.

* Every administration has its ain civilization and methods of communicating.

* Imbalance of resources like clip, money and people can happen at any phase of undertaking.

* Confidentiality issue amongst different administrations

Hence, by maintaining these factors and barriers in head, appropriate model should be created for planning and execution of collaborative working in building undertaking. As per Shelbourn, M. ( 2007 ) , accent should be given on following four phases, which will ensue in effectual model.

Business scheme: Establish a scheme for working collaboratively by developing a concern instance. While making this, place possible spouses from different administrations, who will be working together on a undertaking and supply them with resources for coaction.

Collaboration brief: At this phase, full coaction direction squad should come together and should develop a common vision by maintaining project end in head. Collaboration hazards should be assessed and discussed at the same time.

Plan the solution: Functions and duties should be defined clearly in this phase, so as to avoid any struggles in the hereafter. Formation of policy, undertaking procedure and choice of appropriate engineerings should besides be done.

Implement solution: Recruitment of people, preparation, buying of engineerings should be done at this phase.

After every phase mentioned above, public presentation of coaction should be reviewed by independent organic structure of people and feedback should be given whenever required.

4. Reasons for integrating Project Extranet into Collaborative working

As discussed in chapter two, it is recommended to utilize 4Projects as a undertaking extranet for the undertaking.

Following are few of import characteristics provided by 4Projects ( Online ) , which would be rather utile for the given undertaking.

* Project inbox

* Drawing faculty

* Task and treatment faculty

* Online screening and redlining

* Multiple upload

* Tender direction

* Bid direction

Infusion from instance surveies that use project extranet on undertakings in footings of:

Time: Thames Water has saved about 16 % clip in papers assembly and about 20 % clip in contract collection ( BC Tendering, Online ) . So, it would be sensible to state that entire clip salvaging for full undertaking could change between 10 % and 20 % , which turns out to be approximately 3 to 7 hebdomads of full undertaking continuance.

Cost: British Airport Authority ( BAA ) has saved 2 % of entire building costs through usage of undertaking extranet, while Stanhope & A ; Bovis Lend Lease saved ?231,000 on a ?20 million undertaking ( Case Studies, Online ) , which turns out to be about 1.2 % of entire undertaking cost.

By mentioning to instance surveies mentioned above, it can be estimated that there will be about 10 % to 20 % salvaging in clip, which would be around 3-7 hebdomads and entire nest eggs in footings of cost will change in between 1 % and 2 % , which would be in between ?400,000 and ?800,000.

Entire investings for utilizing 4Projects on undertaking will be in between ?30,000 and ?40,000 whereas net income could change between ?400,000 and ?800,000.

Hence, by utilizing project extranet of 4Projects on undertaking, estimated salvaging in footings of clip will be in between 3-7 hebdomads whereas net income is estimated to be around ?600,000 after subtracting investing on undertaking extranet.

5. Effect on people working on undertaking

On the footing of subjects discussed in old subdivisions, effects of collaborative working on people can be summarised as follows.

* More transparence in procedure consequences in better apprehensions between people.

* Frequent communicating increases the trust between people and administrations.

* Better planning reduces ambiguity in instructions, therefore better apprehension of work.

* New ways of working may throw new challenges which can actuate people to accept them.

* Stress free environment due to less repeat of work.

* Better productiveness as people can work quicker due to clear instructions and less repeats in work.

6. Business benefits

As per Network for Construction Collaboration Technology Providers ( NCCTP ) ( Construction coaction: the benefits, Online ) , benefits can be classified into touchable and intangible.

6.1 Tangible benefits:

* Reduction in disbursals of printing, reproduction and distribution of internal and external stations and messengers

* Reduction in direction of drawings and paperss

* Reduction in travel and meeting clip and cost

* Faster pulling alteration rhythms

6.2 Intangible benefits in footings of:

6.2.1 Time:

* Faster communicating

* Electronic sharing of information can be done much faster than publishing, scanning and re-printing procedure

* Faster digest of information like stamps, policies, etc.

6.2.2 Cost:

* Fewer claims for incorrect/out of day of the month information

* Substantial nest eggs in overall cost of undertaking

* Less make overing consequences in salvaging of clip, hence money.

* Large sum of money can be saved due to decrease in usage of documents and printing work

* Fewer legal differences and judicial proceeding

6.2.3 Quality:

* Fewer errors

* Greater transparence

* Better client relationship

* Improved monitoring of persons

* More unafraid information direction substructure

7. Decision

This study has explored services provided with project extranet by different companies along with the cost in order to gauge the investing required. Recommendation for choosing undertaking extranet is made on the footing of entire cost to the company and services provided by peculiar company.

After urging engineering, scheme is outlined for the planning and execution of collaborative working on undertaking. While making this, different critical factors and barriers, which can act upon the result of execution, are taken into consideration. By maintaining these act uponing factors and barriers in head, a model is referred, which can be used on undertaking for effectual execution of collaborative working.

In ulterior portion of the study, determination to integrate project extranet of 4Projects for a given undertaking is justified by analyzing few instance surveies of undertakings, where undertaking extranets have been used and significant net income is achieved. Besides, different services and solutions provided by the company are listed down to back up the determination.

By foregrounding the benefits achieved by different undertakings given in instance surveies and so associating them with the given undertaking, approximative appraisal is done to happen out the potentially possible nest eggs on undertaking in footings of clip and cost. It is observed that, by utilizing 4Projects, undertaking continuance can be reduced by 3 to 7 hebdomads and around ?600,000 can be saved.

Aboard all these facets, for accomplishing the possible benefits of undertaking, it is indispensable to acquire right people and right engineering to work together and thereby making proper harmoniousness between them.