Bridging Project Management Gaps with Knowledge-Driven Planning
December 08, 2021
Knowledge-driven planning has distinct advantages for capital projects. To understand why, it helps to break things down into three essential parts. First, there is calibration to ensure the durations, costs, risks and logic in your plan are relevant to what you are actually going to build during execution. Then we have validation to get buy-in from your team that what you have planned is realistically achievable. Finally, scoring must be done to quantify the realism of your plan.
Using Historical Knowledge to Calibrate Project Management Plans
A singular benefit of knowledge-driven planning is that, unlike traditional planning methods such as the critical-path method, it provides real-time guidance when developing a new plan from scratch and also when reviewing an existing plan during interactive planning sessions.
As a plan is built out, suggestions as to recommended durations, which activities should be included, logic between activities and even costs are given. This is achieved through an always-on artificial intelligence (AI) that runs behind the scenes, leading to valuable machine learning.
Such learning makes suggestions based on historical data from an organization’s knowledge library, taking into account the context of the type of work, as well as the scope involved. This represents a significant leap forward from traditional benchmarking techniques because each project has unique characteristics that were difficult to compare. AI that enables machine learning make this much more accessible.
Machine learning also provides the means to assess realism in the planning process, ending the disconnect that emerges between those carrying the project knowledge and those responsible for putting together a plan during interactive planning sessions.
When establishing durations and sequence of work, machine learning can make suggestions based on historical benchmarks, driving planning accuracy.
Using Consensus to Confirm Your Project Management Plans
Having a plan that has been calibrated by AI-guided insights is one thing, but does your team really believe it is achievable? This is where team member buy-in comes into play. We call this human intelligence.
Capturing expert opinion from multiple team members and then establishing a consensus is extremely powerful in determining if a team believes in the plan or not.
Taking this consensus view and comparing it to an AI benchmark-driven plan results in the best of both worlds — specifically assurance that what is built is realistic and aligns with historical benchmark, and validation that a project team has bought into the plan and stands behind it.
Quantifying Project Management Realism with Scoring
Having a means of measuring plan realism helps drive it toward the desired end goal. It provides insight as to whether a plan is good enough or whether it needs more work to get it into a viable state.
To achieve this, knowledge-driven planning utilizes today’s leading software to score the realism of a given plan. Plans are scored using an index of zero to 10 that reflects how much of the defined scope is realistic. Of course, the higher the score, the more realistic the plan, and the better chance of achieving the desired outcome during execution.
Supplemental measures reveal whether there are missing details in certain areas of a plan and also how many gaps there are that could be used to improve the flow of work.
Additionally, advanced software allows for a plan to be created quickly, leveraging an organization’s knowledge library and shortcuts the software provides or, alternatively, bringing in an existing plan from programs such as Oracle Primavera P6® or Microsoft Project.® Existing plans can also be imported directly into the knowledge library, so history, standards and benchmarks are housed in a single location.
While knowledge-driven planning isn’t intended to replace critical-path method, it does help it become more relevant when paired with today’s best construction management software and processes, marking a significant leap forward in traditional planning and scheduling.
Software that brings together three key aspects required for successful construction project management, planning, scheduling and risk management solutions, is worth finding. InEight’s construction planning software can help you add value to your future project planning. Request a demo today.