Managing Construction Megaprojects

Battersea Power Station - Managing Megaproject RiskLast year, Aconex announced its appointment as the construction management software provider for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, an iconic landmark in central London. By any measure, this is a construction megaproject – seven phases over a 10-to-15-year period and a total value of £8 billion GBP (US$13.6 billion).

Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently published a brief video of the Battersea Power Station project and the new community that will result from it.

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Why You Need Construction Project Management Software

construction management in ancient Egypt

Image: GEICO

If construction software had existed in ancient Egypt, the building of the pyramids would have gone much more smoothly. However, they may not have been pyramids!

A U.S. insurance company called GEICO has been running a series of comedic television commercials. The theme of the campaign is that 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your car insurance premiums.

One of the current commercials starts with two contemporary construction workers talking on their lunch break. It ends with a pharaoh in ancient Egypt discovering that the newly built pyramids in the distance don’t match the cubic design on the blueprint in his hands. Continue reading

Evangelizing Collaboration Tools

2012 is turning out to be an outstanding year here at Aconex. For example, we’re proud to be able to say that 23 of the 25 top Global Design Firms use Aconex. We’ll have a lot more to say about our momentum soon, but for now I want to focus on how this also reflects a very positive trend in our industry: the reliance on sophisticated collaboration tools to increase productivity, enhance information management, and control costs.


But there’s no doubt that getting large organizations to embrace new ways of working can be challenging, even when the evidence of the benefits is so compelling. This is why we believe that constantly evangelizing SaaS-based project collaboration is so important. Some people still don’t know what it is and how game changing it can be.


Take this terrific blog post by our former colleague at Aconex, Ed Surgeon. In “FIDIC – behind the times when it comes to collaboration?” Ed notes “none of the main FIDIC General Conditions of Contract books we use (Red and Yellow) have been updated since their first editions in 1999. Not surprisingly, the language used is still very much from the pre-internet paper-based world.” He also found that an FIDIC expert and construction industry veteran was, “completely unfamiliar with the concept of a collaboration tool.”


While I don’t think we should generalize too broadly about the FIDIC or consulting engineers as a group, Ed’s experience is very similar to what we encounter all too often: too many decision makers are focused on continuing to do what has worked for them in the past. While this would be the best-of-all-possible approaches in an industry that isn’t changing much, in today’s rapidly evolving construction industry—where, for example, information volumes and global supply chains are forcing massive process changes—it means you risk falling further and further behind the competition. Collaboration tools benefit every single stakeholder in a construction project by accelerating project lifecycles, eliminating problems and disputes, controlling costs, and helping teams to deliver a better product.


Our thanks to Ed and everyone else who is evangelizing collaboration tools!


Collaboration for Grown ups: Keeping Your Lawyers Happy – It’s Not Impossible!

This is the third installment in my Computerworld blog series, Collaboration for Grown Ups, and this week we’re tackling an issue that you don’t want to ignore: legal risk.

The first thing you should ask yourself when choosing a collaboration system should be: “what legal risks exist?” Most often overlooked is the simple fact that if information can be deleted by any party involved, then there is no legal record and the risk is increased.

Hopefully this post will encourage you to take stock of what you’re working with. It should also prompt you to consider the business value: No system meant for decision making can be trusted by partners if the information can be easily compromised.


You can view the full post, “Keeping Your Lawyers Happy – It’s not Impossible!” on Computerworld. The post also features some scenarios to help paint the landscape of possible risk – all comments and personal accounts of risk welcome!