I decided to give into temptation and pick up on Dennis’ thread Beyond the Data. See, it appeals to the geek in me: I love data and playing with it, even though I know I am not in the same league as Stephen Wolfram.
But, I also like to think of myself as having a pragmatic side. All that data is only of value if it helps us produce better results. Or make good decisions faster.
So I spent a few minutes and thought of a concrete example of how the data behind a project management system can help people act smarter in construction project management.
In the course of tracking the subcontracted vendor commitments, payments and compliance over the course of ongoing projects, all that collected data becomes useful, actionable information that benefits the most and least experienced project managers. (Honestly, it likely benefits the lesser experienced PM more…and that is a good thing.)
When it comes time to send out invitations to bid on a new project, project managers consider which subcontractors to work with. Having the answers to the following questions can be most helpful:
- Whom have we used for this CSI code / specialty previously?
- Have they worked with us on a project this big?
- How many projects have they done with us?
- Do they have a good compliance track record?
- What is their Change Order track record?
Compliance and Change Order track records are, in particular, two of my favorites examples. A low bidder may look attractive at first, but have a history of excessive change orders and being always late with paperwork. Having this information right there on the screen when you are choosing subcontractors or evaluating their proposals is invaluable. Sure, the experienced PM may still have a gut feeling, but now that gut feeling is backed by information, and that information is available equally to others in the organization.
A comprehensive and complete project management system such as Spitfire Project Management System (www.spitfiremanagement.com) provides the information that makes decision making easier.
Do you have this sort of information at your fingertips to help you make smart decisions?