Project-Wide Collaboration Breeds Culture of Accountability
REGINA, SK -- (Marketwired) -- Jan 12, 2016 -- Aconex Limited (ASX: ACX), provider of a leading cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry, today announced its selection for the largest public-private partnership (P3) infrastructure project in the history of Canada's Saskatchewan Province. The new Regina Bypass will route traffic around the province's capital city to improve safety, alleviate traffic in the city and stimulate growth throughout the region.
The joint venture formed to plan, design and build the P3 project, Regina Bypass Partners, consists of four of the largest construction companies operating in Canada: Graham Infrastructure, LP; Parsons Canada, Ltd.; Carmacks Enterprises; and Vinci Construction Terrassement. The government of Saskatchewan has invested C$1.88 billion in the design, construction and operation of the Regina Bypass project. Included in the total investment is a C$200-million commitment from the government of Canada. By using a P3 model, the government of Saskatchewan will save taxpayers $380 million, or more than 16% of the total project value, compared to a traditional approach.(1)
Paving the Way to Regina
When completed, the Regina Bypass will consist of 60 kilometers of a new and upgraded four-lane highway, 12 new overpasses, and 55 kilometers of new service roads. Construction is estimated to be completed in 2019, and the P3 will operate and maintain the built assets for 30 years.
The size and complexity of the project -- plus the need for accountability to many public and private stakeholders -- require that all project information and decisions be recorded, tracked, communicated, approved, reported, and searchable -- not only for those building it now but also for those who will manage its operation three decades from now.
"In the construction industry, people want to move dirt and pour concrete," explained Alisdair Dickinson, project director at Regina Bypass Partners. "When you see that happening, it's easy to feel that you're doing well. But on a project where you are responsible for the next 30 years, you have to make sure that you're also creating a culture of accountability. Being able to track project information and processes throughout the entire lifecycle, and to audit the project at any time, is critical."
Neutral Access to Project Data
Each of the four joint venture partners has its own system and methods for managing project information and processes. Regina Bypass Partners considered adopting one of the partners' systems for the project.
"When you have four partners like we do, each with their own system, you can take one of those systems and implement it across the project team," said Mr. Dickinson. "Or you can look for a system that is not affiliated with any of the partners. Intentionally, we chose Aconex because it doesn't belong to Graham, Parsons, Carmacks, or Vinci. We decided it was important that the joint venture have its own identity and an independent platform."
In part, their decision was driven by a requirement for neutrality. "This way, project information isn't being stored on a server that belongs to one of the partners," Mr. Dickinson said. "If a partner left the project, getting access to their information would be quite a job. On a neutral, cloud-based platform, all parties have access to project data. That includes the joint venture partners as well as other stakeholders, the transportation ministry, and the contractors, engineers, consultants, subcontractors, and vendors that join the project at any time."
Project-wide Visibility and Control
Aconex provides a single platform for collaboration across the many different organizations involved in the Regina Bypass development. The project team can readily determine what needs to happen and when, what has been decided and by whom, what is holding up progress, and who needs to approve a decision or complete work before the next step can begin. Regina Bypass Partners has project-wide visibility and control of all project documents, designs, communications, decisions, and approvals.
According to Mr. Dickinson, transparency is essential for quality, safety, commercial, and environmental processes in a project of this magnitude. Regina Bypass Partners can view the status of all project tasks and workflows, identifying bottlenecks and delays in a complex chain of events. The platform's document control ensures that the project team is working from the current version of documents to avoid errors and rework, yet has easy access to all prior versions for reference.
"Email and paper methods just don't allow that," said Mr. Dickinson. "You could have 600 items in your email in box, but how would you know which items need your attention today or tomorrow? Unless a document is registered on the system and its versions are clearly marked, how would you know it's the right one? As far as we're concerned, if the document didn't come through Aconex, it doesn't exist."
Change Brings Opportunity
Regina Bypass Partners' decision to adopt a neutral collaboration platform put all participants on a level playing field and created an opportunity to establish new processes. "Aconex is like an empty shell that has the means to do everything," said Mr. Dickinson. "We had the opportunity to set aside what everyone had done in the past and ask, 'What is the best way to do this?'"
For example, the project team is using Aconex workflows to make recommendations of commercial procurement strategies for the project. The platform is also being used to optimize the request for information (RFI) and change request processes. These and other processes progress more efficiently when the team can quickly see where they are, how long they have been there, who or what is blocking their path, and what is required to move them toward closure.
"On a job of this size," explains Mr. Dickinson. "It's important that we give power and governance to our team so they can deliver success without having to constantly ask questions and seek approvals. If you have the right processes in place, you have the confidence to give people the authority they need to do their job well."
"We appreciate the opportunity to bring our extensive experience with P3 infrastructure projects to the Regina Bypass development," said Frank Kopas, general manager of the Americas at Aconex. "This is a large, complex, high-profile project that requires precise planning and execution, as well as consistent reporting to public and private stakeholders. We look forward to helping Regina Bypass Partners and its team successfully deliver the project, which will offer many benefits to the region."
Aconex Limited provides a leading cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry. The platform connects owners, contractors and their project teams in the construction, infrastructure, and energy and resources sectors, providing project-wide visibility and control between the many different organizations collaborating across their projects. With more than 60,000 user organizations and over $1 trillion of project value delivered in more than 70 countries, Aconex is the industry's most widely adopted and trusted platform. Founded in 2000, Aconex has 41 offices in 22 countries around the world, including headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and San Francisco, California. The company's ordinary shares are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the ticker code ACX.
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(1) Government of Saskatchewan, "Ernst & Young Report Confirms Regina Bypass P3 Saves $380 Million," November 24, 2015, https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/november/24/regina-bypass-p3-savings
Aconex Contacts Tod Bottari +1 650 538 3309 Email Contact Citadel-MAGNUS Matthew Gregorowski +61 2 9290 3033 Email Contact
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