Today we must learn to be fast, fair and slow, all at the same time. Project management professionals across geographies are not immune to these changes. Traditional construction management methodologies are also being replaced or reinforced with new tools and technology.
In the last decade, there has been a tectonic shift in the way the real estate and construction industry is evolving in India. With the Indian construction market set to be the world’s third-largest construction market by 2021, it is imperative that Indian Construction and Design professionals up their ante in terms of delivering technologically advanced solutions.
The industry has seen sporadic improvements but in essence, it largely remains a people-intensive industry as compared to the more developed parts of the world. Companies globally look at anywhere between 1-3% of project costs as the budget for software technologies to create cost and time efficiencies, which is a far cry for India.
While traditional project management models focused exclusively on the delivery of products and services, newer project management models are increasingly focusing on achieving results by interpreting the business strategy, providing effective risk assessment and deriving a solution. By embracing continuous innovation in technology, new age PMC firms are going digital by adopting ‘Cloud-based’ storage services and ‘end-to-end’ project management software solutions. Let’s look at some of the prominent technology tools which new-age PMC firms are using in India today.
Building Information Modelling
BIM is a 3D model-based process for creating and managing project information. The building information model is a digital description of every aspect of the build, and objects in the model can be linked to related information such as quantity, images, specifications or manuals. This technology benefits construction professionals by helping them create better plans, produce faster results and stay within budget. BIM started slowly in India. However, with the advent of Smart cities, IoT, VR, and AR gaining ground, BIM practice is witnessing a strong revival.
CCTV installation on-site is one of the best ways to protect a site from the undue hazard. They help to track events across the site in more than one place at a time. CCTVs on-site also manage thefts and help to monitor employees at work. Client located offsite are now able to get a real-time view of their sites in the smartphones itself.
Unmanned Airborne Vehicles
Drones or UAVs are extensively used today to monitor the construction work for large and complex sites. They help the Construction management team to have visibility of the workforce operating at heights and keep the site EHS complaint. Analytic software in Drones can help to do thermal mapping and land surveying. It is still not that prevalent in India but will gain ground once the legalities of their usage are formalised.
Project Portfolio Management software
Web-based cost effective Project management software is being used extensively to streamline the construction process and increase efficiency. Usually, most of the online software caters to requirements such as maintaining and creating construction schedules, resource allocations, monitoring usage and generating reports.
Cloud-based Document management software
Cloud-based document management system helps to keep all the project related documents in an easily accessible organized manner. It also makes collaborations between teams easier and there are chances of easier recovery of data if it is lost. Most importantly such software has the ability to track deliverables and make the users accountable with well-defined workflows.
Online Conferencing Applications
Considering the fact that large projects have stakeholders located in different geographies, these online conference tools are a boon to PMC firms to bring the team together at an agreed frequency to resolve open issues. Most of this software allows documents to be presented in various formats for quick reference. Virtual meetings are a new reality.
Procurement software contributes to automating the entire tendering process in a project. Such software nowadays is integrated with the Client ERP system and support e-bidding process flows. The workflows are well defined with the necessary checks and balances in place. It helps to maintain transparency and a clear audit trail behind for all orders released against a project.
Web-based Collaboration tools
In any project, collaboration is essential to ensure that all the teams head in the same direction and create an innovative environment. Collaboration tools with real time chats, posting features and group messaging options enable teams to communicate with each other, access information and increase efficiency rapidly.
The flow of real-time information to every team in a project is vital. Amongst the deluge of data, tools which control and analyse the information will become popular. Technology today can create algorithms which help us to make decisions. Every day we are witnessing newer applications and gadgets coming in the market to aid construction professionals. The key is to be aware of the latest advances in technology and adapt them in an innovative and effective manner.
The author, Arnab Ghosh is director at Synergy Property Development Services.