How project management can improve delivery and tackle inefficiency
Real Estate

How project management can improve delivery and tackle inefficiency

It’s not just India; construction is globally known to be ineffective. Reports from McKinsey, Autodesk and FMI indicate several parameters for this global inefficiency, leading to a high percentage of cost and time overruns. Only 25 per cent of global projects are completed within deadline and as ...

It’s not just India; construction is globally known to be ineffective. Reports from McKinsey, Autodesk and FMI indicate several parameters for this global inefficiency, leading to a high percentage of cost and time overruns. Only 25 per cent of global projects are completed within deadline and as few as 31 per cent are completed within budget. The deficiency in India is surely larger, on account of construction costs being among the lowest in the world. Here are the top five reasons for this global inefficiency in construction: 1. Bad data: Leading to 16.5 per cent higher capital costs 2. Investment in technology: (-ve) 55 per cent compared to other sectors 3. Resource productivity: (-ve) 23 per cent compared to 1990 4. Subcontractor centricity: Delivers 80 per cent of construction value 5. Onsite fabrication: Contributes to over 99 per cent of the value delivered. To add to this, material costs have been volatile, with 62 per cent of inflation (since 2000) contributed by construction and mining. Building information modelling (BIM) is globally pegged to improve project delivery. Its implementation, however, is stunted owing to lack of widespread understanding. At Clancy Global, we have successfully implemented the BIM framework to deliver projects faster and cheaper. Further, this article elaborates upon the four nodes that have enabled successful implementation of the BIM framework. Kit of parts 3D BIM is the manufacturing equivalent of modelling each component, simulating them and setting them out for assembly. Before jumping onto a 3D platform, understandability and trainability were established with Room Layout Sheets (RLS) in 2D form. Each room or zone was divided into seven surfaces, i.e., room layout, reflected ceiling plan, above ceiling systems and 4x wall elevations. Each of these surfaces is populated with relevant Material IDs and their corresponding quantities. Material IDs are equivalent to setting a family on the 3D BIM platform. In essence, a single sheet has all the components to be constructed in a space with their quantity. The purpose of this information is to: • Enable transparency in cost control through design, execution and as-builts • Remove ambiguities and delays for onsite measurements and related billing • Guide fabrication modularity, wastage optimisation and assembly efficiencies. Quantity take-offs along with the project gantt (timeline) form the basis for a 4D/5D predictive engine. This is also the basis for setting the 7D model used for asset and facility management. 4D/5D predictive engine 4D in BIM terms stands for ‘time’ and 5D stands for ‘cost’. The implementation for this starts with configuring the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the project gantt. The WBS is to be set up with activities that have a unique productivity or sequencing, i.e., each activity will have a gang size and benchmark units executed, per day per gang. Summation of quantity take-offs is assigned to each WBS row with an Activity ID, with reference to summary tasks in the project gantt for phase, building, floor and sequence. The above enables the project gantt to generate week-on-week projections for material and labour, the summation of which leads to cashflow projections based on the unit rates agreed on a project. In essence, it is a resource-loaded gantt with easier connections compared to MSP and Primavera. The purpose of this information is to achieve higher predictability with scenario creators for current + three weeks, tracking projections vs. actuals, including labour productivity. Construction is not a steady-state operation; hence, scenario creators are pivotal to successful project implementation. Let’s give a functional perspective to this engine; for every 1 lakh sq ft hospital project, ~400 gantt activities and ~18,000 take-offs are processed for: Activity-wise dashboard of projected per cent vs. actual per cent with reference to the quantity achieved. Contractor-wise and subcontractor-wise material, labour and measurements. Progress with drawing annotations, including critical path and on-hold items. Structured procurement Although not directly influenced by BIM, its information framework enables confidence in fragmenting tenders into multiple supply and install packages. In essence, it means large capex savings, via fulfilling the role of a general contractor (GC) and achieving savings across the supply chain. The BIM framework also becomes a robust tool for hand-holding on-ground resources, including material ordering, training, and onsite and offsite fabrication modularity. Outside of BIM, structured procurement entails assessing: Dry and modular technologies: for faster delivery and easier sequencing Maintainable materials, details and systems: for better asset management Onsite tools and robotics: for achieving higher labour productivity. Unified data platform: Remember, bad data itself costs 16.5 per cent higher capex. ‘Kit of Parts’ solves a large part of this problem including onsite fabrication; and the ‘4D/5D Predictive Engine’ solves the problems with resource productivity and subcontractor centricity. The above solve the core reasons for inefficiency in global construction. That said, discipline across multiple stakeholder resources and ease of access to information has an equally large impact on construction efficiencies. With BIM, there are several plugins that enable the framework below for a unified data platform: Tendering: Tender packages, prequalification, pre-bid and negotiations, award and mobilisation Financials: Budget and estimate, bill of quantity and take-offs, measurements and billing, and cashflow Design coordination: Room design sheets, room layout sheets, drawings and details including as-built, specifications and makes 4D/5D scheduling: Block schedule, activity IDs and productivity, work breakdown structure (WBS), material and labour projections. Progress intelligence: Progress report and follow-ups, QA/QC progress tracker, health and safety (EHS) tracker, and 4D/5D actual vs. projections Field mapping: Daily progress report, material intake, ordering, daily in/out and storekeeping, site logistics. In conclusion Implementation of the BIM framework on live projects is not a pipedream. At Clancy Global, we have delivered: About 5.86 lakh area cancer hospital – excavation to first patient in 11 months Eight hospitals in 10 months through the second and third COVID waves The journey of BIM is unavoidable. Just like we moved from manual draughting to CAD, it’s a matter of time that the industry will move entirely to BIM. IT happened to the world at the same time and India excelled in it. Similarly, BIM is the IT of construction and India ought to become its global capital. The end goal for project management with BIM is to reduce up to 25 per cent in cost and 50 per cent in time. Finally, like IT, we will have to consistently stay abreast with advancements and integrations in BIM, and invest in technology, materials, systems and tools to enable remote project intelligence. About the author: Akhil Ganatra: With roots in the built environment sciences and engineering from Singapore and UK, he has successfully marked his position in the field of Design Engineering and Project Management for the last 17 years, as the Managing Director of Clancy Global. He is intuitive and skilled at taking up new challenges for managing tight deadlines and cost efficiencies, applying innovative frameworks and technologies for consistent on-ground delivery, at volumes. Naushad Panjwani: Naushad Panjwani, Chairman, Mandarus Partners, brings with him almost 30 years of work experience, having donned the hats of entrepreneur, consultant and senior management, spanning the areas of finance, tax, strategy, retail and real estate, and now M&A. He is a regular speaker on various channels and writes for publications. He has a deep understanding of all aspects of real estate, which reflects in the book, Real Estate Laws, co-authored by him.

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