Powerproject, Elecosoft, London

Elecosoft’s project management software, Powerproject, helped Sir Robert McAlpine on the construction project at the former Plaza Centre at 120 Oxford Street in London

Project management software helped Elecosoft’s customer, Sir Robert McAlpine, on the award-winning construction project at the former Plaza Centre at 120 Oxford Street in London.

After the 82-week £10m project concluded, it had generated £3m in further revenues for variations and additions, finishing at the practical completion date after these changes.

The programme and client management paid dividends.

Joseph McNeil won Gold in his category at the Construction Manager of the Year Awards and walked away with the overall title too.

Re-planning using project management software

Although it had originally not won the tender, Sir Robert McAlpine was called back in for the project to reconfigure and refurbish a large section of the former shopping centre after the original contractor went into administration. The re-planning was done with the help of Elecosoft’s project management software, Powerproject.

The company was glad to get the chance, although by then all the tender programming was out of date. The start date had shifted and every timeline was different, so everything had to be recalculated.

Just when the team thought they were back on track, the inevitable happened and they encountered issues that would impact the timeline. They uncovered the steel frame, only to find that it would require twice the volume of welding and connection preparation than originally foreseen.

This was just the start, with estimated 200 additional instructions and changes during the 14-month build, that required constant re-analysis and reprogramming.  With these ongoing changes to the schedule, the software was in constant use.

Simulations of variations to the target and contract programme provided reliable impact assessments and helped to communicate clearly with the client.

Joseph McNeil, construction project lead, recalls the impact: “There was really no way that the original contract programme could be followed. With each instruction the sequence drifted away from the original intentions.”

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