It’s been fascinating to watch the stock market soar over the past 6 months while the world has continued to be stuck in one of the worst economic declines in a century. Why is it that the stock market can be so out of step with reality when there is so much uncertainty out there? I can’t say I have a clear answer for that, but my theory is that investors are confident that the pandemic is short-lived and a rebound is imminent once vaccines are rolled-out over the upcoming months. It’s also likely a case of investors shopping for bargains as price dips are somewhat routine currently. The economics of construction projects (and the project management software to run them), is not unlike other market segments in that some industries have been hit hard by the pandemic, while others have flourished.
2020 was a year like no other. The entire world underwent a transformation where people, businesses and families were forced to adapt to a challenging new reality. Despite it all, our 4castplus team rose to the challenge and continued to provide responsive and personal support to our valued customers, and continued building and growing 4castplus. Looking forward to 2021, a global sense of optimism is on the horizon as the anticipation of the end of lock-downs and a gradual return to normal promises to kickoff a strong economic recovery. It is valuable for all of us to reflect on the year that past,, so we'll take a brief moment to share a look at some of our 2020 highlights.
Leading Western Canadian midstream company Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure reported its best quarter to date amid a global crisis. The company has built an incredible business that connects its customers and other stakeholders along the entire energy value chain, but the most recent quarterly results have put an exclamation point on its success.
For the greater part of 2020, the construction industry has held steady amidst a barrage of economic predictions. Short- and long-term projects are still being executed as construction firms proceed with building and maintenance, as permitted by the federal government, strictly adhering to the guidelines to employ ‘essential infrastructure workers.’
It goes without saying that the construction industry is a very important sector of the economy. It involves an array of activities like constructing, altering, maintaining, repairing, and demolishing of buildings. It also covers civil, mechanical and electrical engineering projects.
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.
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.