The Carey Group has realised a number of benefits since adopting Elecosoft’s project management software, Powerproject Vision a year ago
In early 2019, the Carey Group become the pilot user of Elecosoft’s Powerproject Vision, a web-based portal for managing Powerproject programmes. It partnered with Elecosoft to create integrated business visibility and enhance project certainty and control. A year on, the company is seeing a range of benefits.
Derek O’Neil, head of planning at Careys Civil Engineering, outlines where these were felt the most: “When Elecosoft outlined the concept, we immediately realised the potential it had to remove complications from our planning processes.
“It would not only provide a workflow through the whole project delivery process but put live reporting at our fingertips.”
The Carey Group is a leading family-owned construction business, operating across the UK and Ireland. As a major tier two contractor with a broad base of construction, engineering and specialist operations, it constantly manages a vast number of projects, and it has been a committed user of Powerproject for many years.
At any point in time, the group’s portfolio can consist of up to 150 live projects of different scale and value. Collating project information across the group was significant, complex and laborious. Creating consistency across projects with an ability to view planning at a global level had been difficult. Up to 50 projects could be under management in the engineering division alone.
Derek told us: “It was very labour-intensive to grasp what was happening across every project…The process was largely manual, relying heavily on data exports from programmes, which were then converted into Excel spreadsheets and manually collated.
“What we really wanted was live reporting from across our portfolio to see the overall programme position and give us and our clients real confidence around project controls.”
The Carey Group can now connect information from any live concurrent project using the project management software. It has built a customised business intelligence dashboard to visualise and report on projects such as the monumental One Nine Elms project in Battersea, and the terminal expansion at Edinburgh Airport.
“Powerproject Vision enables us to view live project data across all our projects with greater transparency and consistency. It will help planners to focus on the day job and not be distracted by lengthy reporting processes, while allowing the wider business to understand project status at a glance” Derek said.
Potential risks are now as visible on smaller and sub-projects as they are on larger, strategic projects.
“Senior executives are always looking for confidence and certainty about delivering on time. Powerproject Vision now helps us see how close we are to that across all projects.”
Streamlined visibility and processes
Although each programme is very carefully planned and managed, planners and project managers previously only had standalone Powerproject project management software with programme information widely distributed across laptops, PCs and shared document management systems or file servers.
Derek recalled: “Every team and project would also use different file name conventions. When anyone came into a project it would take hours to work out which file you should be using.”
Now, the time taken to find and focus on current programme documentation has been slashed. He continued: “With the workflow built into Powerproject Vision, it now takes about a minute, all you have to do is find the most recent file. We encourage people to populate the notes for every revision they make with the automatic program register and the built-in workflow we have a complete audit trail for an entire project lifecycle.”
Engineering new ways of working
How Careys builds is considered as important as what it builds, and its engineers are directly involved in programme management as Powerproject Vision users.
Derek explained: “Delivering certainty by planning every detail is the Carey Way. Our business relies on building confidence in our technical and engineering abilities, so it is important that our engineers decide the build sequence. It made no sense to bring in other planners when our engineers could engage with the software directly, create the plans and lead the teams. With Powerproject Vision we have a common tool that can help guide everyone towards using good planning principles and processes.”
Benefits across the board
Numerous constituents have benefited from the centralised access to information and reporting capabilities, such as the heads of delivery who each own a project portfolio. The ability to integrate key intelligence enables decision-making around project resource management, planning and utilisation.
Derek said: “Directors and construction managers can understand the overall pipeline and see the demand for resource across the group. Now that we can pool information from every project, we can look at resource demand overall or split it down geographically.”
Visibility pays off
Powerproject Vision has now been rolled out across most of the group, to 35 planners plus project managers, executives and department heads. The integrated report is regularly accessed by more than 50 individuals, who have together viewed it more than 4,000 times in the past year.
Derek summed up by saying: “Careys prides itself on delivering certainty to our clients and planning in the finest level of detail before starting on site. A key component of our strategy is to be better every day, so we are always looking for ways to improve, part of that is investing in people and cutting-edge technology. That is what we have done here.”
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