Integrated Project Management for Indias Infrastructure Projects
Recently, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chose the Mansycom-Nadhi-Excelize Consortium to implement a cloud-based Integrated Project Monitoring Systems (IPMS). The system should allow the seamless flow of data from various sites to central locations and ensure that future DMRC projects are completed within the stipulated time and budget. The system will be integrated with Autodesk BIM 360 design models and Oracle Primavera project schedules, so project officials can access personalized dashboards and interfaces.
The announcement followed close on the heels of a Union Budget where the Government allocated $1.5 trillion for infrastructure development.
India’s ambitions demand extensive, powerful, and intelligent infrastructure. In that light, some of the leading infrastructure projects in the country are looking beyond merely building facilities. They are looking to implement capabilities to become more efficient, transparent, and future-ready.
Although India emphasizes infrastructure development, it grapples with issues such as time delays and cost overruns. There are also other pain points such as inaccurate contract documents, getting clearances from different departments, lack of labour productivity monitoring, etc.
These issues can be resolved with Integrated Project Management Systems. With DMRC paving the way for using technology such as Building Information Management (BIM) and the Government’s push to infrastructure growth, we believe that solutions like IPMS will become more common in India.
How Can IPMS Boost India’s Infrastructure Projects?
- Promote transparency
Transparency is now essential in public infrastructure projects as the government (and citizens) view public investments in a new light. Considering that multiple stakeholders from various departments are involved in a project, and disparate systems are used to manage the project, there are chances of data or documents going amiss during the process. The numerous hand-offs and miscommunication between the stakeholders could lead to more ambiguity. This creates room for inefficiency, duplication, waste, and mala fide intentions.
That’s why an integrated project management system is critical. The cloud-based systems can store all kinds of data and provides access to all the relevant stakeholders. Considering that each workflow will be mapped with each task and process, there is minimal scope for missing documents or data during hand-offs. Using an integrated project management system will also ensure that every stakeholder involved in the project is aware of the common objective and visibly works towards fulfilling it.
- Improve scheduling
Gone are the days when infrastructure projects were expected to not meet the published schedule. Slowly (but surely) the pressure is growing on everyone involved to deliver fast and stay on track. Integrated project management allows stakeholders to set up schedules and deadlines for tasks that are interdependent.
Sometimes the scope could change during the project. In such cases, IPMS will allow the stakeholders to adjust the scheduling accordingly. Organizations can use 4D BIM planning and scheduling to visually track the project’s progress and get better control over it. The objective is to ensure that stakeholders are aware of deadlines and the progress towards them, so they adhere to them.
- Improve collaboration
Traditionally, teams in such large projects function in silos. This creates communication gaps and makes collaboration harder. Miscommunications cause errors, gaps, and duplication of effort. An inability to collaborate effectively creates a loss of synergies and unmet potential. These challenges can derail the project’s progress if not addressed immediately. That’s where integrated project management helps.
IPMS acts as a glue that holds the various teams together. It allows different stakeholders across the organization to focus on common goals and address the common challenges that delay the project completion. These systems are backed by features such as document management that allow stakeholders to exchange information between different teams seamlessly and securely.
- Reduces operational costs and increases profitability
Working in silos and the lack of communication could lead to communication gaps and unnecessary rework and delays. Rework is costly and time-consuming as it consumes 30% of the work done by organizations. Organizations can avoid such wasted operational costs by using integrated project management systems.
Considering that every stakeholder is involved in the project from the beginning, they can identify potential issues at the start of the project itself. This gives them time to eliminate last-minute rework. By reducing the instances of rework, organizations can bring the budget under control and earn profits.
- Reduces material and resource wastage
Every year 13 million tonnes of unused material goes to waste at construction sites. This also escalates the cost of the project and has an indirect impact on project earnings. Organizations can prevent such colossal wastage by integrating project management practices with tools such as BIM to create more comprehensive and transparent plans. This will help them control how much material is really needed at each stage of the project. Since the resource estimates can be tied more directly to the project plan, just-in-time stocking can be implemented, making cash flows more predictable and efficient.
The implementation of Integrated Project Management might differ for every project depending upon its scale and complexity. However, the best practices for implementing it remain almost the same. It begins with:
- Defining the scope of the project
- Creating a project plan to document the plans and processes associated with the project
- Documenting how to execute the project
- Measuring and monitoring the performance
- And creating a change control document in which all the change requests and project impact are recorded
Most importantly, the organization managing the project must leverage BIM to improve communication and collaboration among the different stakeholders. 4
The DMRC project looks set to become a guide for other infrastructure projects in the country by making project management more intelligent, responsive, transparent, and integrated into construction progress. Nagpur Metro project for MAHA Metro, another project that we at Excelize, are proud of having contributed to, set new benchmarks of schedule adherence and cost control by leveraging the power of BIM. Such projects show that the future of Indian public infrastructure may well be smarter and integrated!