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Why Smaller Projects Need a Single Source of Truth and Where to Start

We’ve all heard the statistics of the world’s biggest construction delays. According to McKinsey, large projects typically end up to 80%(!) over budget and take 20% longer than expected to finish. However, it’s not only the biggest companies that struggle with controlling costs, visibility into performance, or choosing the right projects. The small to medium-sized projects have similar challenges, and mismanaging these can severely affect any company’s bottom line.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some key challenges smaller projects face – and why having a single source of truth for project information can help to solve these issues.

1. Complexity

Managing a project, no matter the size is often a complex task. A real-life example of smaller project execution is building a wind farm – but it can still be incredibly complex – if you think about the fact that every single wind turbine can be seen as a project in itself. Even if you only have one Excel sheet of data for each wind turbine you are going to build – you may need to build a thousand – sounds complex enough to me!

2. Siloed Environments

Even within smaller projects, teams often work siloes. Schedules, budgets and estimates are often managed separately by different team members. Let’s look at the wind farm example again. While managing the construction of a thousand wind turbines, your team likely needs very specific equipment. If you don’t have an integrated view of what is happening on your project, how can you know the actual status of your project, where the equipment is, or how much longer it will be needed before it can be used at another site?

3. Lack of Visibility

Lack of visibility is a result of siloed environments. Without the latest data and information about how your project is performing, it will be impossible for your organization to make informed decisions about the next steps – or what other projects to bid on in the future. The lack of visibility also prevents you from identifying trends in performance – limiting your ability to fix systemic issues that are causing overruns, and conversely, standardize practices that are improving outcomes.

Building a Single Source of Truth

So, why should you opt-in for a true enterprise performance solution to create your single source of truth, instead of collating Excel spreadsheets?

By bringing project portfolio management, project controls and project management software all in one platform, you will create a single source of truth that gives you a better perspective into what drives project success. You will be able to select the right projects to carry out your company strategy, and then make better decisions to keep those projects on track.

The easiest way to get started with building a single, centralized source of truth for your project data is to start by speaking to an expert. Find someone who can support you with best practices on how to get started with removing the siloes in your environment – discussing the strategy for this change is often an essential prerequisite before purchasing software. This partner should also help you with a standardization plan for your organization to ensure that every department will follow the same process steps.

To find a partner/solution provider you are happy with, I recommend discussing these topics:

  1. How to consolidate your system landscape? Map what tools you are using and are the most essential for your company. Make an integration plan with your new system.
  2. Do you offer an automated integration between ERP and scheduling systems? This will save you a lot of headaches in the future!
  3. Are your solutions built upon industry best practices? How would you help us to standardize our work processes?

Working with a standardized solution, such as EcoSys, will help organizations to get started with consolidating data and processes in an efficient manner. Creating a single source of truth for your project information in an enterprise project performance solution will provide the small-medium sized project with proven benefits, such as:

  • Real-time visibility into accurate project data to ensure that you can make better business decisions and have a better forecast.
  • Ability to integrate and standardize work processes between different departments – no more uncertainty who has the latest and correct data.
  • Better resource management – gain a clear understanding of where your resources are currently spent, and how this will affect your project schedule and cost estimates.

To learn more about how to get started with selecting the right software for building your single source of truth for project data, check this related blog “8 Questions to Ask Before Implementing a Project Controls System.

About the Author

Tobias Heisig is Sales Representative for Enterprise Project Performance at Hexagon's Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division, located in the Munich area, Germany.

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