Changed by Technology

26Oct12

How Technology Changed Project Management

By Andrew Heaton @DesignBuildSource

At its most basic, project management in building and construction involves three core aspects: (a) an objective (or set of objectives) to deliver, (b) a time within which to deliver it and (c) a budget within which to deliver it.

That, however, is where the simplicity stops. In reality, the modern project manager has many challenges to deal with. Just to name a few, these include changes in project scope/budget, securing appropriate resources, setting up systems and methods for communication, making sure the right parts and raw materials arrive at the right time, sequencing tasks within the project in a coordinated fashion, communicating project changes and managing stakeholder expectations.

In this regard, technology is having a big impact.

At its simplest level, basic technologies such as email have eliminated significant volumes of paperwork and saved loads of time – not just for construction specifically but also for project management in general. No longer does the approval process, for example, involve physical handling of documents passed around in internal mail and stored in filing cabinets. Nowadays, everything is done by email, with documents and approval emails stored on a central server and scanned copies of any physical documentation that have been signed stored electronically.

Beyond this, more advanced technologies specific to construction are having a more profound impact, with Building Information Modeling (BIM) – software which allows for the creation of a full 3-D virtual representation of buildings and the sharing of that information with clients, contractors and others involved in the project – being the most obvious example.

Increasing use of BIM has benefited construction managers in a number of ways.

Read the full article here

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