John Holland: How to Benefit from Standardizing on a Company-Wide Process & Information Management System

JohnHolland-benefits-of-construction-project-management-platformIt’s no surprise that the construction industry has become increasingly complex.

Each project involves many team members, organizations, and moving pieces. These projects also involve many different contract types and various models for managing project information and processes. So how can you determine which type of project management tool to use and how to standardize across your many clients and project types?

Tim Crisp, a Group Manager at John Holland – an international engineering contractor based out of Melbourne, Australia, – found the answer. Leveraging his in-depth knowledge of company-wide systems, Tim and his team moved John Holland’s projects onto the Aconex platform. A portfolio of 30+ existing projects were migrated from a legacy platform to Aconex and new projects are now launched with Aconex as standard. During a recent webinar, Tim shared his experience using a company-wide system to boost productivity and quality across projects.

“We were looking for a project-wide platform to help with inter-company collaboration, document control practices, and workflow-driven reviews and approvals,” Tim said.  “We needed to provide structure to our projects and guide our staff and partners towards a degree of standardization across our business.” he added.

Similar to a previous webinar in which Parsons spoke to the benefits of a central process management system, Tim also quickly saw the benefits of standardizing their platform.

  • Tim managed to achieve a high degree of standardization across John Holland’s 30+ migrated projects.
  • John Holland saw a significant reduction in tender launch times as they decreased to a two-day turnaround.
  • John Holland currently starts an average of 2 new Aconex projects per week.

How to Migrate Construction Projects to a Company-Wide System

So how did he do it? Tim shared his top tips for migrating existing and starting new projects on one company-wide system below:

Internal action items:

  • Cultivate “super users” within your company, such as document controllers, to maintain best practices and become experts on all of the configurability.
  • Migrate all projects onto Aconex right away. John Holland’s diverse project requirements were easily met by the configurable Aconex platform.
  • Promote and generate awareness for the new platform by showing benefits and results.
  • Overcome internal resistance to standardized platforms by using cost drivers. There is no additional cost to the projects to use this company-wide tool.
  • Adopt a multi-tiered, flexible standardization model. In other words, some rules are applied universally across all projects, while other processes are consistent across project types and the final tier is purely project-specific.

External action items:

  • Include key clients and partners in the platform selection process.
  • Work with clients and partners to promote a collaborative mindset and process. This includes informal, face-to-face discussions to convey the benefits to all parties of a shared platform used by all of the participants on a project.
  • Don’t use complex workflows. John Holland set up advanced configurations to meet their requirements but to the end user, the processes are very simple and clear.

In conclusion, Tim said, “John Holland embraces the efficiencies of company-wide systems across our business.”

Watch the full webinar recording here: “Benefits of a company-wide project management platform“.

Webinar Summary: In this webinar, Group Manager Tim Crisp discusses how contractor John Holland effectively manage information and processes on their projects, for multiple owners and under various contract roles, with one central platform.


Steve Brant

Steve Brant

General Manager, Australia & New Zealand at Aconex
Steve Brant is the General Manager, Australia & New Zealand at Aconex, the world's leading collaborative construction and engineering management software.
Steve Brant