It is not always easy to see ourselves as being the pivotal players in a revolution, but that is where we are. We have the history of cavalier construction behind us and the age of agile, lean, professionally planned, predictable project execution ahead of us. The spark for this revolution is the need for change, the gasoline on this smoldering kindling is free flowing information and the technology to do something with it.
Welcome to the age of information management for construction.
Most of our construction people live Jekyll and Hyde lives right now, where their ‘normal’ persona is the typical construction worker, who stands around waiting for scraps of information that allow them to get small amounts of work done. Then in the evening their ultra-ego is released and they become information junkies, communicating with the world, surfing the web, consuming news at the speed of internet (much faster than the speed of light).
I have often been frustrated when caught in this cycle, where you know that the information you need for construction is out there, but you cannot access it because the handlers don’t know how to post it, or even that somebody else would like to get it.
At any given time on our projects somebody knows the current state of where every piece of material is, how to get the latest revision of each document, what has been installed, what we should be installing, which resources are available, what our internal customers need from us and how much time and effort we are using to get stuff done, but we don’t have this information in a managed environment. It’s like we are each writing chapters of a mystery novel that we are not sharing with each other, the parts make sense individually but nobody knows the whole story.