Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions that have been imposed on public gatherings and travel, the 2020 AACE Conference has gone virtual. Attendees can still take advantage of all the presentations, technical sessions and networking opportunities – but this year from their own home office. Of course, we would all love to be there in person, but this year we’re all adapting to the current situation to still deliver high quality content, but in a modified platform. For those who aren’t familiar with the AACE, it is one of the most respected organizations on the planet for promoting the cause of best practices in project controls and cost engineering. They provide a deep wealth of high-quality resources for all areas of project management and project controls to ensure projects are delivered on budget and on time. If you’ve never attended an AACE conference in the past, this may be an ideal opportunity to try it out, as being virtual, there’s no travel involved and the time commitments can be much more flexible.
One of the most basic premises of Data Integrity is to ensure the data in your project cost management system is Current, Accurate and Complete. We talk a lot about getting your project data in real time and how that leads to better decision making and the ability to take early, corrective action on issues as they arise. We also go to great lengths to discuss how the project cost management software can be configured to ensure the highest levels of accuracy upon data input by preconfiguring constraints, tolerances and ranges of acceptable values.
As businesses, families and individuals continue to adjust to their new working arrangements both at work and at home, the whole world is trying to navigate a path forward to getting things opened up, restrictions relaxed, and projects ramped-up again. Thankfully these are all positive signs for those contractors and owners looking to get back to work, as construction projects in most geographies have been deemed as “essential”; and are either still in operation, or are part of the first phase of reopening. Nevertheless, there still remains a great deal of uncertainty as to how this will play out or how successful it will be, so we are all feeling a sense of anxious hopefulness that we can all get our lives back relatively soon. Although many may wish for a rapid return to normal, accompanied with a boom of new activity, this is highly unlikely as the overarching sense of cautiousness will prevail for the foreseeable future.
Most project controls professionals will agree that the procurement function is so essential to any construction project, it should be tightly integrated into the project team and their systems. The following video demonstrates some of the features of 4castplus that highlight how this tight connection brings enormous value and reduces project risk.
This video is a follow-up to the recent 4castplus webinar and whitepaper on this same topic which discussed how project procurement can be successfully separated from 'corporate' procurement and embedded into the project team and systems. It goes on to propose an integrated solution that will satisfy the needs of corporate finance and project controls so that both business units achieve their requirements for the benefit of the whole company.
We’ve been researching and gathering a variety of resources we hope will help our clients, our industry and our community to navigate the current COVID-19 situation as best they can. We’ll be updating this and other documents as events continue to unfold daily.
By now we can safely assume that everyone on the planet has been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. This strain of the virus has the world grappling with a harsh new reality of lockdown, job losses, a spiralling economy and a great deal of uncertainty as to what the future holds for us all. Many countries across the globe, along with provinces, states and cities within those countries, have declared a State of Emergency to get out in front of this situation to minimize the impact on people’s health and the global economy.
It’s one of those boring details that is frequently overlooked – but ignoring it can cause havoc in project reporting. I’m talking about the importance of aligning project financial reporting to a specific point in time in order to have any chance at meaningful metrics on the state of the project. Major projects are steeped in complexity, with a high pace of activity going on every day. It’s tricky to measure and report on frenetic, in-flight projects like that because putting a halt to things simply isn’t an option, “Hey everyone, just stop what you’re doing so we can get a reading on what’s going on.” That’s just not going to happen. So, you have to set regular, theoretical, lines-in-the-sand at incremental points, and measure the project at those increments so that you can produce reports, even though things will keep moving on. It’s a bit like trying to measure the flow of a fast mountain river tumbling over rocks and cliffs – you have to just jump in and go for it while the river keeps pounding on past you.
The 4castplus team was out in full force at the Advancing Project Controls conference in Houston this past week. This is one of numerous project controls related conferences held throughout the year in various locations around the world.
It was exciting to see how well-attended this conference was and how important the role of project controls is becoming in companies of all descriptions. The majority of delegates we came across were relatively advanced in their knowledge of project controls and clearly embraced the role of technology as a key component of its application. There were a smaller number of delegates that were relatively new to the discipline and were eager to learn. Some individuals and companies were looking for ways to advance and upgrade their software solutions, others were looking for complementary systems to what they have; and others were looking for integration solutions to bind it all together. Following are some key takeaways.
Business Intelligence and data analytics are taking center stage in project controls. For the purposes of investigating and drilling down to identify root causes of issues, schedule overruns and cost overruns. Without reliable, accurate and current data, project controls professionals are in the dark as to what is happening on their project. Good data leads to good decisions, and the right tools to present that data become indispensable.