ICT-enabled collaborative working methodologies in construction
thesisposted on 10.02.2006, 13:38 by Steven G. Yeomans
Since the turn of the new millennium the UK construction industry has witnessed the naissance of a new paradigm known as ICT-enabled collaborative working. Advocates of this new approach believe that the adoption of ICTs will lead to better project information exchange, communications, integrated processes and therefore more efficient collaborative working. It is expected that ICT-enabled collaborative working will not only overcome the industry’s many inherent problems, such as its adversarial and fragmented nature, but that it will also facilitate benefits for all involved. This supposition is based upon the recognition that its exploitation has proven successful at transforming other industries. The EngD thesis pertains to a four-year study on two methodologies currently applied under the concept of ICT-enabled collaborative working, ‘Collaborative Prototyping’ (CP) and the use of ‘Construction Project Extranets’ (CPE). The research project utilised literature reviews, case studies, project observations, active involvement, surveys, interviews and workshops to develop expertise and knowledge within the subject area. It shows that a large disparity exists between the use of a shared 3D model and the use of CPEs to promote collaborative working. Conversely, whilst CPEs have become the de facto ICT-enabled approach to seeking improvements in project efficiency (due to their potential to enhance communications, integration and collaboration) they are not being utilised effectively. This was attributed to the use of inadequate procedures that fail to provide proper consideration of all the necessary issues to ensure successful implementation, application and management of the CPE. As a result, project teams are failing to ascertain the full potential benefits offered by such collaboration tools. The research demonstrates that to overcome this, project teams require the development of an industry best-fit framework that defines proficient procedures. It highlights the main factors for inclusion within a protocol. Furthermore, it provides a simple form to promote greater awareness of the key factors that impinge on the successful application of CPE. The thesis concludes by outlining a number of recommendations for consideration by the industry, along with requirements for future work.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
- Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)