Seddon Construction has been keeping its promise of on-time delivery to customers for a staggering 120 years – and counting. This family firm is proactive with its digital construction strategy, including best planning practices. It continues to seek better ways of working.
Its latest initiative, OneProgramme, will see best working practices and use of programme information extend to every stageof its work, from design, through procurement of people and material, to the build itself.
Good to great planning – the path to planning best practices
Already a Powerproject user, Seddon chose to work with Elecosoft to scope out and validate the enabling programme software change and start to bring it to life with Powerproject Enterprise. Technical manager Michael Crawford related the company’s starting position: “We already used Powerproject as our planning software of choice across the business. However, although project managers reported their progress, there was no real consistency from business unit to business unit as to how they did it.”
“Elecosoft gave us a very good proposal paper with several options. That enabled us to prioritise what we wanted. They clearly presented how the system could work, with evidence to back it up, and outlined how they could see it all fitting together. That gave us the assurance it could all be integrated together.”
Collaborative planning for change
A collaborative team of client and Elecosoft consultants and developers spent eight months developing the systems. The goals became clearer as they understood what the platform could deliver. Michael told us: “Powerproject Enterprise would allow people to access and work on the same project in tandem with others, while one person kept control and oversight. All these people could work interactively and independently, without having to go into an email environment.”
Changing the planning culture
OneProgrammewas designed to bring people with responsibilities for design, commercial, materials, plant and production together by applying best planning practices. It meant embedding understanding, and encouraging early adopters to become champions of changing the planning culture.
It’s always a challenge to try to change culture– it’s not just getting software to work, but how to encourage people to makeconsistent updates, fill in information more diligently, to get betteroutcomes.
Michael Crawford, Seddon Construction
The needs of the target users had to drive development. Care was taken to optimise the system appropriately throughout. Michael explained: “We first identified two pilot projects, and chose key strategic people from among the planners ,designers and commercial teams, to up-skill on the new system. We did some training days and produced training pamphlets to provide a user guide and show people their role in using it.”
Connecting data to drive planning success
The project was rolled out on new projects from 2018, and the learnings have continued. A major goal was to ensure information from across the business could be connected, often for the first time.
OneProgramme is helping the company to move away from disconnected data to a single, integrated version ofthe truth.
The company is now looking towards expansion into its house-building division. It will work with Elecosoft again to develop customised templates to suit the specialised and more repetitive nature of this area.