Monday, June 17, 2013

Project information 2

In a post a little while ago, I touched on the management of project information as being one of the unspoken 'secrets' of project management: not a secret now, of course.

Just a mass of information in a spreadsheet will not do once the project gets to any size: and I mean once it creeps over even a couple of million dollars worth of construction, or thereabouts, depending on project complexity.

The information that floods through the project needs to be tracked to the relevant parts of the project in some way. Drawing numbers might be a way to do it, but inadequate. A BIM system may allow information to be linked to the particular parts of the model, but this remains too atomistic for my liking.

I think there are probably three basic dimensions that can be used to 'locate' any piece of information in 'project space' and have it reliably available and easy to track in a way relevant to the project.

The obvious one is location: a BIM will do this, drawings won't due to locations being repeated at different scales on different drawings. The BIM will also give hierarchical contextualisation of information: e.g. an item in a room, will also be on a floor, in a wing of a building, in a block of a campus, etc.

Tagging the information by WBS package is also probably a benefit. But this limits the locus of the information to just that WBS package. Good, but it needs more.

Less obviously, but possibly of greater utility is location by building element (see the Summary of Elements as an example), this is because a building element will reach across the entire project, and can be then referenced to a WBS package and a locational nesting. The element 'key' can also sit in a hierarchy to generalise the information item in running a query. The element might be 'external envelope', or within that 'external openings', or within that 'external windows' as an element class.

Other dimensions that could be useful could be material, trade or supplier, functional or operational element, etc.

Thus a piece of information could be tagged primarily by element, then at a second level by its WBS and locational parameters. Then a query of the database could be run to find, say, all outstanding issues pertaining to the superstructure in block Z, or the floors in wing J, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment