The Rising Importance of an Enterprise-Level PMIS for Design and Construction Owners

Sid Shah

President & Co-Founder

Audience & Objective: Primary audience is Construction Owners who already have a system or thinking to buy new system to manage their Design and Construction Portfolio, Objective is to educate them they should think of buying an enterprise solution

Industry Context: Design and Construction Industry, and specific to Owners within that industry

The Rising Importance of an Enterprise-Level PMIS for Construction Owners

In an era dominated by digital transformation, the role of the Project Management Information System (PMIS) in the construction landscape has never been more pronounced. Think of the PMIS as the nerve center of a project, intricately weaving together vital strands of data, from intricate budget details to critical document controls.

Recent years have witnessed a marked surge in the adoption of digital solutions within the construction realm, a move further propelled by the availability of government-backed tech grants. But here’s the paradox: Despite the palpable benefits, a significant subset of construction owners remains wary of fully integrating their industry partners into the PMIS ecosystem. One must wonder, what’s holding them back?

The Pitfalls of Exclusion

The repercussions of not integrating project associates such as architects, engineers, and contractors (AEC) into the PMIS are manifold:

Diminished Collaboration: A shared system inherently fosters a sense of unity and shared purpose. By limiting access, you inadvertently create walls, resulting in potential misunderstandings and coordination mishaps.

Protracted Decision-Making: Every moment a contractor spends waiting for data extracts from the PMIS is time lost. In the dynamic world of construction, these delays can have cascading effects on project timelines.

Rising Administrative Strain: Without the freedom to directly tap into the PMIS, external partners become overly reliant on internal teams. This not only burdens administrative functions but also detracts from their core tasks.

Lack of Accountability: A universally adopted system is like a transparent ledger – every action and every decision is logged and attributed. Without this shared platform, accountability can quickly dissolve, leading to potential oversights.

Limited Transparency: One of the stellar advantages of a PMIS is the crystal-clear visibility it provides into various project facets. By constricting access, you inadvertently cloud this transparency.

Risk of Error: Manually shuttling data between the internal PMIS and external systems is not just cumbersome; it’s a potential hotbed for inaccuracies.

It’s abundantly clear that a more inclusive approach to PMIS adoption promises a slew of benefits. But the looming shadows of software expenses and the intricacies of integration often deter many. How, then, can one navigate these choppy waters?

Demystifying the ‘Unknowns’ of PMIS Integration

A prudent starting point is Cost Controls. Engage in candid conversations with your AEC community. Understand their apprehensions and their requirements, and tailor your PMIS accordingly.

Here’s a comprehensive roadmap to guide your integration journey:

1. Revamp System Setup: This is the bedrock. Redefine processes like invoicing, change orders, RFIs, and document controls, ensuring they’re primed for AEC inputs. Simultaneously, revisit user permissions to guarantee airtight security.

2. Lay the Groundwork for Launch:

    Change Management Plan: Every transition needs a blueprint. Draft a robust plan that addresses potential challenges and delineates solutions.

    Orientation Sessions: A monthly 60-minute window can work wonders. Use this time to onboard newcomers, acquainting them with the PMIS landscape.

    User Guides: A well-crafted guide, supplemented by modern audio-visual training modules, can significantly ease the learning curve.

    FAQs: A dynamic FAQ list, updated based on frequent queries, can become a valuable self-help tool.

    Change Manager: For the first quarter, appoint a dedicated Change Manager. Their expertise can be instrumental in smoothing out initial teething issues.

    Augment Support: A responsive support system is paramount. Ensure it’s geared to address AEC requests, further refining the integration process.

3. Seamless Execution:

    Internal Training: Before casting the net wide, ensure your in-house teams, especially Project Managers and leadership, are PMIS champions.

    Vendor Training: Bi-weekly virtual sessions can help vendors assimilate the nuances of the PMIS.

    Office Hours: Consider hosting monthly interactive sessions. These can be invaluable touchpoints, fostering a sense of community and addressing on-ground challenges.

Believe it or not, with concerted effort and the right guidance, this entire process can be streamlined within three months.

The construction sector is in perpetual flux. To thrive in this complex design and construction environment, it’s imperative to stay a step ahead.

As someone deeply entrenched in this domain, I advocate for a more inclusive, enterprise-level PMIS approach. And when in doubt, always seek the counsel of seasoned professionals. This isn’t merely about adhering to industry best practices; it’s about shaping the future of construction.

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