Technical Program Abstracts

(IT) IT/IM in Project and Cost Management

(IT-3064) Plight of the Flight from Spreadsheets to Automation - A Standard Cost Management System

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Ashley Garza; Sharla Gill


A premier natural gas infrastructure company in the US faces an exciting challenge with billions of capital dollars to be spent on interstate pipeline expansion projects.  The state of the company prior to our flight is segregated in 4 major office locations all using different project controls terms and processes.  The challenge is to align the enterprise through developing a standard approach and implementing a cost management system tool to optimize and automate the process.  We will look at all aspects of the flight from identifying the plane and crew: a cost management system, the flight attendants (local champions), and the pilots (implementation team).  Additionally, outlining the flight plan, maneuvering the turbulence and challenges along the way, to landing at our destination and exploring future flights for improvements and continued maturity.

(IT-3088) Blockchain and Project Controls

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Aldo D. Mattos, CCP


Blockchain is a decentralized database which records transactions in a chronological and secure digital way, without the need for a trusted 3rd party. Security is managed by cryptography instead of by human administrators. Blockchain became known as the technological basis for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and has evolved to be the backbone for several applications in what is known as the Internet of Value. Blockchain transactions can be used for the transfer of value in the form of a Smart Contract, which is code linking two parties and will be effected when conditions are met and the transaction is made by consensus of the community. The paper explains blockchain’s origin, characteristics and risks, as well as its applicability to the construction industry, specifically in BIM and supply chain. Construction has traditionally been deemed as conservative and slow sector when it comes to innovation, but is now compelled into the world of the Industry 4.0.

(IT-3089) Cloud Base Drawing Management System for Large and Complex Project

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Lan Zhang; Hao Hu; Zhiyang Yi


Massive drawing information is to commonly handle during construction, especially for large and complex projects. This paper proposes a cloud-based drawing management system (Cloud-based DMS) for such projects in order to solve usual problems and frustrations encountered during traditional drawing management. The developed DMS is based on Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) software structure, with high scalability and stability, and the expression layer based on l distributed Browser/Server(B/S) system. The system provides practical functions such as drawing viewing, editing, and issue recording. Issue reports can be automatically generated. Compared to the traditional software-based DMS, the cloud based DMS can be accessed by a flexible range of smart devices such as phones, pads or computers via the browser. Updated drawing information can be guaranteed to be passed and presented instantaneously to the corresponding personnel. Multiple applications of this cloud-based DMS in large and complex projects proves that it can efficiently manage a great deal of drawings and improve the construction quality.

(IT-3125) Managing Project Information – A New Discipline

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Abhimanyu Basu, PE


Adoption of BIM, digitization of project documents and proliferation of online data sharing platforms and project management software are creating large amounts of data in digital formats over the life cycle of the project. New technologies like scanning, IoT, sensor and wearable devices are generating data previously not available. This article surveys emerging technologies and systems that are generating and using data during the project life cycle. It examines the various information / data types and the opportunities and challenges of using them to improve project delivery.

Data Analytics and AI are creating opportunities for improving productivity in construction. We examine emerging software which are using these techniques to analyze and improve project performance and reporting.

The article proposes that the core data structures and framework in BIM should be used to organize project data for improving supply chain management, quality assurance, safety management and progress reporting. Similar to the effort to design and construct a physical facility, considerable effort is required for the design and construction of the information infrastructure and systems needed for a project. Facility Owners must take a lead in developing data and system standards and establishing requirements and metrics.

(IT-3136) Systematic Approach to Project Collaboration for Effective Schedule Updates

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Jawahar Maran, PE CCP PSP; Murat Pektas, CCP PSP


Obtaining critical project information from key stakeholder’s on-time is paramount for generating a reliable and well projected schedule. Traditional ways of gathering such information has been through progress meetings, site visits, phone calls and/or emails supplemented with different types of digital files. However these methods of gathering information and consolidating into schedule comes with challenges including difficulties in maintaining records, sharing more or less information than required, accountability concerns, loss of data during project execution and after project closeout especially for auditing and litigation purpose. Realizing the critical need for reliable information, companies develop in-house tools and techniques to eliminate some of the mentioned issues which create the need for applications with improved security and access restrictions, schedule write-back functionalities and auditing capabilities. Advancements in secure, reliable and user friendly applications such as Oracle Team Member could play a vital role in standardizing schedule collaboration process in portfolio management. 

This paper discusses different schedule collaboration tools and techniques implemented over a decade and comparison with the most recent Oracle Team Member implementation for different program areas to fulfill the identified requirements along with challenges, lessons learned on customizing, implementing, monitoring and controlling systematic project collaboration approach in a portfolio of over 450 active projects, with a capital expenditure of approximately $2 billion annually for a reputed Energy and Utilities company.

(IT-3138) Keeping Success in Plain Sight

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Forrest Archibald, EVP; Jon Molnar; Chris Redding; Terry Foster


For any project team, a large, multi-year project that spans several stakeholders, legal entities, regulatory and state jurisdictions can be a daunting task to manage. Most never achieve their original objectives within the triple constraint framework; scope, schedule, and budget.  What if through industry research, you learn that historically, these types of projects have a success rate of less than 50%?

In 2018, Kansas City Power & Light SUCCESSFULLY implemented one of the most complex Customer Information System Solutions within the industry (per PwC and Oracle). The Solution’s scope was more than just a Customer Care Billing System. The Solution’s scope integrated seven Oracle applications (i.e. CC&B, MDM, SOM, ODM, CRM/MAP, PCAD, OMS) with over 100 interfaces/extensions to 26 external partners and development of custom self-service portals.

How did we you stay in sync with project status? How do you align all your stakeholders to establish expectations? How do you get back on track when progress falls behind? What real-world actions can be implemented to ensure success?

Learn how KCP&L mitigated a 93-day delay, maintained Solution quality, and delivered the project within 35-days of the original baseline schedule.

Here’s our story.

By the way, we’re going to do it again.

(IT-3139) Emerging Technology: Designed for Efficiency Despite Increasing Deficiency

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Patrick C. Cotter, PSP


Funding for construction related technology startups hit $581.6 million in 2017, a 318% increase from 2013. These companies produce a staggering number of new solutions aimed at reducing waste and improving efficiency for the AEC industry, however poor implementation of these technologies can lead to real and perceived inefficiencies for end-users. In many cases they are actually overworked by technology that was designed to increase productivity. We will highlight benefits and hidden costs associated with emerging technologies through real project examples.

Key Points

• Increasing delay through new technology: We will demonstrate the importance of understanding contractually binding modes of communication including texts, emails and notifications.  

• Duplicating efforts and increasing costs: Applications are being offered as improvements for every project process. We will review stand-alone “list management” solutions vs. maximizing existing software capabilities.

• Leveraging existing technology and information systems: Most projects offer a suite of applications for various processes. We will review how a project webcam and contractor daily reports can be used to review change orders. 

• Improving processes through photo technology: We will investigate the differentiators, benefits and hidden costs of three tools developed to organize project progress and quality photos by location and time, saving teams time during and after construction.

(IT-3177) The Application of Artificial Intelligence to Project Controls and How Professionals Can Adapt

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Pieter Rautenbach


Many construction projects suffer from time and cost blowouts due to poor communication, over-confidence, inability to deal with change and poor understanding of risk.

Other industries have embraced the use of artificial intelligence technologies to significantly improve efficiency and value to their customers.

This paper investigates the basic principles of artificial intelligence and its application in other industries and construction. The use of artificial intelligence has transformed industries such as marketing, defence, entertainment and gaming.

Can the power of Artificial intelligence be used to improve the value that projects controls professionals provide to the industry? What skills and processes will professionals need to acquire in a world where Artificial intelligence plays a significant role?

(IT-3225) How AI is Reinventing the Way We Plan

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Dr. Dan Patterson; Paul Self


Are you tired of building plans the same way for the last 20 years? Artificial Intelligence is reinventing the way we plan. The days of the tedious, manual process that defines developing a CPM project schedule are numbered. Organizations are adopting and implementing AI techniques to quickly build plans, rather than starting from scratch every time, enabling planners to focus on planning instead of scheduling.

This paper walks through the basics of AI, examining the different approaches and how we should implement them to advance the science of project scheduling. Learn how AI can help us develop project plans that are more realistic and achievable, calibrated with historical project knowledge and validated through team member expertise.

(IT-3289) Benefits of Software Based Estimating and Project Controls on Major Capital and Sustaining Projects

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Abhoy Ganguli, CCP CEP


In any company that builds or executes large scale projects, ask any resident Project Controls (PC) personnel and their most dreaded time is invariably month end reporting and the ensuing late nights in getting data ready for monthly stewardship reports.

This paper attempts to outline the benefits of having an industry developed and tested software tool that incorporates the entire gamut of the PC function within its scope; utilize it to do the leg work on data collection and formatting; and instead utilize skilled PC personnel to analyse and trend the data to focus in on the message it wants to give out.

Essentially this paper will show that in this age of advanced digital technology, skilled PC personnel should spend less time on data collection & formatting and more time on data analysis and key message delivery.

The software package ideally should incorporate abilities to perform all levels of estimates, budgeting, cost control and forecasting, seamless scheduling data transfer, Management of Change (MoC) and benchmarking as well as variance analysis. There are various benefits to this which will be expanded in the paper. These integrated software modules do exist in the marketplace currently. However, the adoption of these technologies by big companies is slow due to the relatively heavy initial capital investment of implementing these solutions.

The benefits of this however, on a long term basis, far outweigh the initial costs when looked at on an overall portfolio basis as will be shown in the ensuing sections.

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