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Focus on CMs: How Today’s Tech Can Deliver Better Capital Program Outcomes

Originally aired on 08/23/2022

60 Minute Watch Time

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Transcript

 

Michelle: 

Hello everyone. And welcome to the CMAA product demo showcase today our topic is focus on CMs. How today’s tech can deliver better outcomes. With me today you will see in your screen, Rick Rients and Michael Asay, and they are within InEight. And they will be your host for this webinar today. We do ask that if you have any questions, please put them in the Q&A box on your bottom. And then we will get to those at the end of the presentation with live Q&A. Thank you. And with that, I would like to introduce Rick.

 

Rick Rients: 

Thank you, Michelle. And good morning and afternoon to everyone. And thank you for the opportunity to present InEight solutions as they apply to the capital program management space. My name is Rick Rients. I’m the director at InEight for client success. In my role, I am responsible for working with customers during the sales process to make sure we all understand what it means to implement InEight. What is the objectives we’re trying to achieve? What’s the scope, approach? And what are the resource requirements for implementation. And then during the implementation process, I help the customer deliver the project and adjust course as needed. And I also take the ideas that come from these customer implementations and work with our product teams to help improve our products. Some relevant information about me that applies to this particular presentation is that I’ve spent over 25 years in planning and implementing large scale complex software implementations, predominantly SAP.

And in that process, I’ve come to understand what the implementation of a integrated solution requires from an organization in terms of change, and adoption, and standards and process. In 2010, one of my last large scale implementations of SAP, I was brought into Kiewit. That’s a North American contractor and design engineering firm, one of the largest ones, to help lead that implementation. As a part of that project, we also implemented a lot of field facing tools, including hard dollars, estimating and project control solution, and a series of custom developed solutions to make work easier in the field.

That project became the foundational concepts that had come into InEight. In 2013, I worked with Jake Macholtz, our CEO to go through a series of interviews, to evaluate the feasibility of taking what we had done at Kiewit and bringing it to the marketplace. And presented that to several of InEights leadership team, which resulted in the establishment of InEight. Over the next few years, I was involved both in product development and establishing our professional services and team, as well as our client success team. In 2019, I was asked to begin to focus on the owner and program / construction management markets. And over the last three years picked up a lot of information and a lot of understanding about how the owners and the construction management firms work and what their priorities are. And I plan to share some of those learnings with you today as a backdrop for our demonstration. Michael, do you want to introduce yourself?

 

Michael Asay:

Yeah, you bet. My name is Michael Asay. My background is in construction and engineering. I studied construction management and engineering management, and then worked for Kiewit in the heavy civil world for about four or five years. Doing a lot of estimating, project controls, project engineering, and so fort. And then worked for a company Samutation in the underground mining industry for about four or five years, doing a lot of the same type of stuff. Now with InEight, I manage a team of solution engineers to consult with potential customers and find ways to improve their business.

 

Rick Rients:

Right. Thanks, Michael. So our goal for today is obviously introduce you folks to who is in InEight, who is InEight and what are the capabilities of our solutions. I also want to share with you some of those key learnings that I’ve picked up over the last few years. And by all means, I look forward to any feedback I get from you folks. So the agenda is, briefly talk a little bit about who InEight is. We’re going to look at those learnings. We’re going to look at an overview of all of the InEight solutions. And then Michael will take us into the demonstration.

So who is InEight? InEight is a company that is dedicated to developing software to improve the capital program industry’s performance. Our foundational goal is to help organizations realize better outcomes in terms of, on time performance, on budget, safely delivering assets that meet and exceed the owners expectations. As a part of that, to accomplish this, we continuously listen to the marketplace and work with our customers, gather those feedbacks and ideas, and incorporate those into the investment into our products. And I believe the result has been that we’ve developed one of the world’s leading integrated solutions for management of capital program deliveries.

So one of the first learnings I want to share with you is that improving the performance of the capital programs is far more than implementing a software solution. It really comes down to requiring an organization’s commitment to making investments in people, process and technology. This diagram is a conceptual representation of the participants in a capital program and the key data flows that occur between the participants and the owners in production program management teams. It’s understood that there’s many different configurations of a capital program. It’s driven by the delivery methods and contract types. It impacts the way the number of participants and the way the participants are aligned in the communication flows. But nevertheless, the complexities of all the interdependencies between the participants and the massive amounts of scope scheduled costs and compliance data flowing back and forth is a significant challenge to the owner and program managers.

This challenge can be addressed in part by a flexible, comprehensive software solution like InEight. However, it also requires a commitment by organizations that manage capital programs to do things like establishing standard processes and procedures for managing programs and incorporating these procedures into a software solution that can support those processes. It requires organizations to train the people that are leading these programs, to know how to use the systems that are at their fingertips and how to interpret the data, to manage the programs more effectively. And lastly, it really requires organizations to also put underneath everything an IT organization to support the technology that’s going to be deployed. Because a lot of these programs last years, and as time progresses, InEight as an example, will publish, push out many, many improvements to the software. And those deployments of those improvements require coordination. But by organizations investing in these standards, procedures and people, we expect that all of them can see significant improvements in their ability to perform and deliver their capital programs.

A second learning I’d like to share with you is this diagram which represents InEight’s high level process map for capital programs. What it’s doing is it’s identifying the participants that are in the programs, and then the major, what we would call process areas that make up a program. Actually the services and functions that have to be performed to maintain a healthy program delivery project. The other thing I want to point out is that we’re thinking about these programs at two levels. There’s the program management level, and there’s the project management level. And so at the program level, really what’s going on is there’s a capital planning process that is trying to figure out what is the best investments to make for an owner. What is the right configuration that’s going to have the best return on investment?

And out of that planning process, the identification of the projects needed to deliver those investments. And then there’s the program controls process that really looks across all the projects that is coordinating the execution of these projects, allocating the funds to the projects, and basically managing the risks and progress of those projects at a high level. Additionally, at the program level, there can be strategic procurement process where looking across the program and understanding what materials and services may be needed by multiple projects that need to have advanced procurement activities performed in order to avoid delays. At a project level, this is where the nuts and bolts of managing project successfully occurs. It starts with the project controls process, which looks at the schedule, budget, change and risk for each project, managing the execution of that project. It can include the management of design and engineering deliverables by the design and engineering team, as well as managing all of the control documents that may come out of the design and engineering team and many other participants in the project.

At the project level you’re also going to have the management of the contracts, which for a construction management firm or a program management firm, this is kind of the lifeblood of the program. Making sure that the contracts are properly structured and that they’re executed according to plan. Also, it can involve the coordination of construction activities in the field. It can involve managing the health safety environmental compliance of the program projects. And finally taking each project through the quality commissioning and turnover processes. And so you can think of this as a high level map of the functions performed as a part of a major program. It is also a framework with which the owners and program management firms can start to think about, what are your processes? What are your standards in each area of the program? And how do you support those with the proper technology?

So those were kind of the introduction to some of the key learnings. Now let’s take a look at the InEight products. And as I do this, what I want to do is sort of tie back to that map up there, because each of these products supports potentially one or more of those process areas we were just looking at. And also each process area could be supported by one or more of these products. So I’m just going to step through these very quickly so you have a feel for what the solutions are there and how they potentially fit into the overall map. So the PCM area provides estimating and budget cost management, earn value management solutions. Certainly the estimating tool and the capital planning process is important, but also as a part of program and project controls, you’re going to be managing the budgets and dealing with forecasting and estimating change and things like that.

The VDC solution allows us to incorporate model data from many, many sources and integrate that data into the other processes that are going on in the program. So that as you do construction, you could be able to see whether or not where you’re at with certain components in the project. Are they complete? Are they in underway? You could also use it to look at whether there are materials available in the field if that’s appropriate. And it integrates with many, many other of our solutions in support of the overall processes. The SRD solution first and foremost provides a CPM schedule management solution. A short interval planning solution that integrates with that CPM schedule and also a risk Monte Carlo risk analysis tool with collaborative online capabilities to bring multiple stakeholders in to review schedules and risks and rank the project, and determine what the impacts are the risks and what the probabilities of the schedule is.

We’ve also added a new product called a design in this area that is used to help define the scope of design deliverables, allocate those deliverables to the responsible designers and engineers and track the completion of those deliverables. The CCM solution provides a contract management solution that deals with everything from the bidding process to establishment of the contracts, managing contract execution, including tracking of schedule of values, and also the vendor change order process for when changes inevitably happen. Additionally, this area has our core change management solution that deals with capturing of issues, evaluating those issues for their potential impact, quantifying potential change orders in terms of budget, and schedule and scope, and eventually pushing those changes up for approval and implementation into the budgets and schedules. We are also exploring in this space, a solution to fully manage and support the capital planning solution. More to come on that topic though.

Field execution management is the tool that is a mobile solution, primarily that is, could be taken by your construction managers out into the field to monitor and record progress that’s been made by your contractors. Capture issues that you might identify, take pictures, take notes and a variety of other things that can be done. The documents control solution is as it’s called, a document control solution that can be applied to the capture of design deliverables from the designer, the review of them, the markup, commenting, finalization and release for construction or procurement. And can also be used in the as built kind of processes as well. And other contractual type of document control processes that frequently occur in large programs. The safety and quality and commissioning solution provides first and foremost, a very robust forms and workflow engine that is predominantly focused on safety, quality assurance, environmental management and other compliance type of topics.

It’s very robust and provides mobile capability. So it can also be taken out into the field to capture any issues. And finally, it also has a major component that is responsible for the process of planning and executing the quality control programs, system test and checkout, commissioning and turnover processes. And finally, the connected analytics tool brings all of the data together from these modules so that you can present data in a meaningful way in very flexible dashboards and reports so that you could always, across any process area, have meaningful metrics to show you where the project is on schedule and where it’s not.

And finally, the idea that these things are all integrated and communicated is the purpose of this diagram. I’m not going to belabor that point. But the four boxes that have the hexagons around it or hexagon shadows are going to be the focus of our demonstration today. Michael Acey has prepared a scenario that we’re going to walk through and it’s going to touch on the document control system, look at the contract management system over here and the change management system, as well as integrations to the budget control. And finally look at the connected analytics platform, Michael.

 

Michael Asay:

Yeah. Thank you, Rick. Let me go ahead and share my screen. Okay. So as Rick mentioned, today, we’re going to walk through a very specific workflow in our tools. In this case, an example of a change event. Now, this is a process that includes several aspects of the different modules that Rick just mentioned. Mostly document in a change in a contract control and connected analytics. And by following this flow, we’ll show how these modules integrate and connect to streamline that change process. Now, the story that we’re going to tell begins in the field with the identification of a construction issue. And we’ll first initiate an RFI in a document before officially creating an issue in the system that will follow through the rest of those modules. We’ll use InEight change to capture details about that issue and to track that issue through further development and review, and then we’ll link the change to InEight contract to reference and record master agreements, payment forms in progress.

We will use control to demonstrate the impacts of the change to the budget, the actuals and the forecast. And then finally, we’ll use InEight connected analytics to generate reports and dashboards for further analysis. And so let’s go ahead and begin. Now, again, this story we’re going to assume that we’re the CM on a facility project in execution. And this project includes aspects of engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, and so forth. And near the beginning of the project, we’re going to identify the possible need to change some of the design for the cooling system. And the first thing that we’re going to do is create a related RFI and document some initial notes about this issue.

So this is InEight document. And for this demonstration, I’ll remain logged in through our web interface, but be aware that the same process can be initiated from a tablet or mobile application. And again, real quick, as an overview, InEight document streamlines the capture, review, management and distribution of project documents. It addresses document control, RFIs and submittals, project correspondence, job photo management, documents turnover, and so forth. And some of the benefits that you see from these is that you’ll easily gather feedback from the field with the project communication hub. You’ll be able to share documents through a central source and update them in real time, access them from anywhere. You can run very configurable reports by referring to past project reports and view revisions to these documents. You can make sure you’re always reviewing and working with the most recent version of a document.

And then finally, it allows you to kind of stay in the driver’s seat throughout the entire project commissioning process with living documents and dedicated procedures for markup and feedback. So that’s a lot that we can accomplish with our document solution, but in this case, we’re just going to focus again on that RFI change process, starting right here with kicking off and creating an RFI. All the data you’re going to see I’ve already created. And in this case, I’m getting the documents register. I’m looking at my RFIs and other forms. And I’m going to open up this RFI that I’ve created for the cooling system design change.

Now, this is a standard form that can be configured, it can be modified. But this is an example of an RFI that I’ve already created. And across the top, you see that we begin in the details tab. And this includes a lot of information. This includes the status of the RFI, includes the workflow and the reviewers that you can select from or modify. It includes the recipients of the RFI, the subject. You can see here, an open message field for my comments in describing the RFI. And then down below, you can see additional metadata used for further clarification. For example, the discipline area, location, priority response, due date, and so forth. In fact, you can go all the way down to capture any comments and documents, drawings, and so forth. But I’m going to come back up here, and right in this box, you see that I can create an issue.

In other words, in addition to just initiating the RFI workflow, I also want to kick off a potential change workflow. And I’m going to create this issue. And this is the workflow that we’re going to follow through the other modules. And so I’ve created an example here, this CO429 cooling system design change. I’ve just kept it very simple. And I’ve already kind of set this up with that data to flow through. Now, be aware that this create issue prompt can be included on any custom form. It could be on our field log or a checklist, just basically anywhere that you might need to start a potential change process.

Now, in this case, I’ve gone ahead, I’ve created that issue. I’ve saved this. And by saving it here, it’s going to now graduate this information to an issue in our change module. And that is where I’ve headed next is into InEight change. Now, this is InEight change. Again, I’m going to remain logged in through our webinar interface and signed in as myself with the ability to navigate and access other projects and other modules. But here, again, to introduce InEight change, this module helps you consistently manage change and get a continuous view into your overall project progress. And some of the benefits there, include tracking and viewing the status of issues from the field and the office, improving your construction change order process with better visibility into your existing issues. It helps you see the impact of your potential change orders on schedule and budget. Helps you mitigate risk during the estimating process by planning ahead for those change orders. And finally, it allows you to view, approve and add feedback to these issues as they occur.

So you can keep everybody in the loop with the central platform for those construction processes. But again, in this case, although it accomplishes many things, we’re just going to focus on receiving the issue from document and tracking and reviewing additional details as it graduates through the process to become an approved change order. And you can see that across the top here, I’ll begin by tracking everything in this issue log tab, but then this will tie into the PCO, the potential change order log, and then eventually into an official approved contract change order.

So this may look familiar. This is that change order. That issue that I first identified in InEight document. And these issues could be anything at all from the project worth noting, whether they are small or large. Basically anything that could possibly provoke further discussion, or negotiation, or eventually budget change. And again, they can originate in document or mobile field applications or within the change itself. And basically this issue log, the beginning spot helps you weed out issues for further investigation before you graduate them on to further steps.

So I’m going to go ahead and I will open up this cooling system design issue. And then at the top, you’ll see some important stuff about the value and the status of this change. And then in the second section, we’ve got that details tab again, where I can now capture additional information, the description of the issue. In this case, for example, it identifies that RFI as the original source of this issue. You can see and capture, schedule impacts, responsible parties. If you want to tie this back to an existing WBS item in your control budget, then you can do that here and assign it there. And then of course, you got all these other options and information deals where you can capture additional data. From here I’m going to move into the pricing tab.

And this is where you’ll see how I might collaborate or negotiate with the contract without pricing. You can see that I can graduate here from maybe a rough order of magnitude number to an estimate number to a proposal, and a final agreed upon price here, that will then contribute back into control as part of the official budget.

Now, you’ll see here, this various construction LTD. By clicking this link, I can actually jump right into InEight contract where I can look at all the initial data, all the initial agreements that I made with Gary’s Construction LTD. And that’s where I’m going to head next, is I’m actually going to jump right into InEight contract. And we’ll talk about that initial contract and how we’ve tied that information from change now into contract. Again, I’m logged in through our web interface here. And to introduce InEight contract, I’ll just say that InEight contract increases efficiency by integrating field contract management activities with your contract financials. The benefits here include controlling the contract life cycle and enjoying total visibility at all the stages in that process. And then using that same system to track contracts from the field and from the office.

Also, you can integrate with your ERP system to submit and receive payments, to communicate more effectively and automate document workflows and to create custom contracts and onboard subcontractors and vendors with ease. And then finally, this also allows you to improve your process with auto filling contracts. So you don’t have to waste your time creating things from scratch. You can work from past templates and customize them very, very easily. But again, in this case, we’re focusing on this change process. And so we’re going to associate that change back to the original contract and briefly reference some key information to understand its impact here.

Now, in this case, I’ve navigated into contracts and I’ve jumped right into this contracts register. And this will show me all the contracts on this project, but it’ll also reference any master agreements or vendor change orders, supporting documents, invoices, accruals, and so forth. And this does it across the entire project. So in other words, I don’t have to navigate into a specific contract in order to find an accrual or change order. I can see all of those across the entire project from these tabs across the top. So, for example, if I go into the vendor change orders, I can immediately see this familiar CO429, the added scope for chilled water cooling system. And I can see how it’s associated back to that original contract with Garry’s Construction. And let’s go ahead and open that example here.

So this is the kind of information that you would’ve captured originally. Again, I’m primarily showing this to show how you can go backwards through that change order, see how it’s associated with this contract. But this is some of the information that you’ve generally captured in contract, details including the status of the contract, it’s effective date, your bid package budget, and so forth, here in that header section. We also see how this is all broken down into a schedule of values. Again, referencing now we’re in a specific contract. And so now I’m seeing a register that includes all vendor change orders associated with this specific contract and some of important information here. The change order amount, some of the responsibility information here, along with other data that’s useful to capture and associate back to back contracts. And then I can also capture and track payment forms here or payment progress. Of course, I can always include in referencing supporting documents here as well and a link to those back in a document.

Additionally, I can drop down here from the actions menu to generate contract documents, payment forms, change orders, and so forth. But you can see here that the budget and pricing information is captured from change into contract. Also coming from change in contract, that same information is captured from change into control, where now I can review the impacts of that change and accept them as part of our control budget. And so that’s where I’m going to head next is from contracts into InEight control. Now in general, again, to introduce InEight control, InEight control surfaces an accurate picture of your project’s health based on actuals from the field and from your accounting system. It serves as a construction budget created straight from your estimates and allows you to forecast remaining work with a variety of different methods. Some of the benefits here include automating the tracking of your earned value management based on the actuals and providing a live percent complete status of your project.

You can also access real time construction, budget and performance data to stay ahead of those project delays and help mitigate some of those cost overruns. It also helps you identify trends using live forecasts and making critical adjustments earlier in project execution, those forecasts based on what’s going on out in the field. But again, in this case, we’re just going to focus on the review and final approval of that change adjustment that we’ve been working with, and we’re going to associate it to a specific cost item and the control budget. So, first of all, I’ve access now in a control in the cost breakdown structure. And this is basically just a flexible WBS that I’m using to track my project. You can see, again, I mentioned earlier, this includes some aspects of engineering, procurement, construction, startup, and conditioning, owner contingency and so forth, all captured in this hierarchy in this CBS structure. But I’m going to jump straight into what we call the change register in order to find some additional information coming from that change module.

So, for example, you can see here exactly what we’ve been working with so far, that cooling system design change. And when I click on this, I’m able to surface additional data here, the status of this change coming from InEight change. Approval information, you can see that this was approved by AJ, for example, back to May. You can see additional pay and cost item details. And this basically serves as the final workflow step or the final approval before these details are accepted into the cost breakdown structure as part of your official budget. So in fact, as we come back here to the cost breakdown structure, after the change has been approved, we can find that new item here in the CBS. If I come down construction, if I come down to mechanical, you can see that I’ve added a new item for the chilled water cooling system. I could have assigned that to an existing item if that fit better, or if it made sense to assign it there. But again, in this case, I’ve created that new item and now I can start tracking actual costs and performance against this part of the budget.

Now, I can also change my views here. So in this case I’m looking at a budget overview, which shows, again, if I come down to the chilled water cooling system I can see the approved budget changes here, that $4,250,000 that carried through. I see the total cost. I can see my committed remaining cost, for example, and so forth. But I can also jump from here to take a look at my forecasts, for example, and I can see that same item and take a look at how I’ve chosen to forecast that to the end of the project and where I’m going to be at completion with my costs. And I can also use these views to jump into many other options, to take a look at my progress or my earned value management metrics, my current estimate, my current budget and so forth, again, as this change progresses and as I track performance against that change.

Okay. So now, everything that we’ve covered so far has really been within the scope of a single project. Again, we’ve walked through identifying a change in document, capturing that information in change in contract modules, and then reflecting that information here as part of the budget in control. But now we’re going to take a look at how we can create reports and dashboards for all of this disintegrated data and not just for the project, but across multiple projects across the program, across a portfolio, for example. Using the connected analytics of InEight reports and InEight explore.

Now, InEight connected analytics in general, just as an introduction, again, allows you to make real time decisions with great visibility into those key metrics and KPIs and trends. Some of the benefits include automating your construction reports with faster access to that information. You can also use these industry leading dashboards that can be customized and shared with the team, and you can very easily blend large amounts of data for broader exploration and analysis. You can actually pull this from our own solutions, but you can also pull this in from side spreadsheets and other solutions as well into connected analytics to use this for further analysis. InEight report allows you to run more tabular reports, but in this case, we’re just going to jump right into InEight explore and take a look at some valuable dashboard information related to this design change.

So here in the owner portfolio dashboard in the change summary, it’s just a very, very simple example that shows some of that data that we’ve pulled over. It’s shown that we’ve got an initial issue that’s graduated to a change order. We’ve got some information about how much the value of that change order and those issues, and the created date here, obviously with this being the primary issue and the primary change order example on this particular project. Again, with the owner portfolio dashboard, I can jump into my cost performance tab, and here we can dive into some of the budget and actuals data coming in from control. Showing kind of my earned value curve, showing my S curve for the project, to take a look at that earned value and the cost to date, the effect of paid to date, for example, and get some key metrics out of this.

Again, this is all project related data. Now I’m going to jump to this portfolio level dashboard. Let’s jump over here into this change. Actually, let’s jump in first to this cost per tab. Again, showing a lot of this earned value information coming in from control, taking a look at my earn versus burn, and my budget cost, my actual cost date and so forth. The key thing that I want to point out here though, is that you can use this to take a look at these metrics across your entire portfolio. It’s like I got to sign back in quickly. Across my entire portfolio, back here, once again, across my entire portfolio or I can dive into specific divisions and I can open up and take a look at specific projects, for example, and see that data across and visually represented, slice and dice however I need it into those divisions.

Another great example here, referencing back the change event that we’ve been following, is the change management tab here. Where I can track some key information, my original budget, my approved change order amount and current budget, rejected change orders, approved change orders, change orders by discipline, for example. And again, the key point here is that I can look at these across my entire company, I can dive into specific divisions, I can even dive into specific projects here. And really, at the end of the day, this is what we’re trying to get at. Is bringing all this data together from document and changing contract and everywhere else, from all of our other modules and other sources, from accounting, from other places, together into InEight integrated solutions to help make those real time decisions with visibility into your most important metrics. And this connected analytics does an outstanding job bringing that all together at the end of the day to provide that support for those processes.

So again, today that’s kind of what we wanted to show you. Is kind of introduce a few of our key integrated solutions that could help your business processes. And again, today, we specifically kind of focused on one example. I’ve given you an introduction, and Rick has introduced some of the other modules as well. We’ve talked about some of the more broad features of those modules. But again, we focused today on how you can take a simple change event starting with field and tie that together through InEight document, and a change contract control and connected analytics to support that typical change process. That’s all I’ve got. Back to you, Rick.

 

Rick Rients:

Great. Thanks, Michael. So I guess this is the point. We’ve had a couple of questions in the chat that I’ve responded to. George, thank you for pointing out my spelling mistake. That’s what you get for making last minute changes. What questions do we have?

 

Michelle:

This is Michelle. It looks like you have answered all that have come in. I didn’t know if you wanted to go over any of those questions with your answers with a little bit more detail.

 

Rick Rients:

Sure. I can talk to a couple of them. So one of the questions was related to the folder structure and document control and whether… As I understood the question, the organization has an already defined folder structure that they used. And the question was, could we implement that same folder structure? And the answer is yes. I also added that in the document control system, it has a feature that’s called dynamic folder structures. I think that’s the proper name. Correct me if I’m wrong, Michael. Which allows you to take the metadata within the document control system and define the combination of metadata to automatically generate any number of folder structures so that you have folder structures that reflect the answers to specific questions you may need or have. So that was one question I guess. Did that answer the question correctly?

I’ll take that as a yes. Then the other question was related to cost loading schedule. And it’s been interesting over the last few months as we’ve been working through this, especially from a construction management perspective and a program management perspective, the concept of no longer cost loading schedules. Because inside of the control module, what we’re doing is, we’re able to bring in schedule dates and apply them to the budget structure. And then we have these customizable cost distribution patterns that can be applied to each budget item in the cost structure. And that will automatically distribute the costs over the course of the scheduled dates that are applied to that cost item, which when you aggregated for the project or aggregated across projects for programs, can produce a cost distribution curves for the project or the program. Additionally, you can go into it if you really need to fine tune something on a curve, you can actually go in and manually distribute costs if you really want to. We don’t see that very often, except on very extreme cases.

The other thing that’s going on is this concept of earned value, where inside the control system with the budget, and then you combine the schedule of values tracking and contract for these contracts. You start to see that integration between schedule of values and the budget structure and ability to track completion of schedule of value out this items which results in earned percent completes in the budget. And so you start to get a pretty accurate picture just through those two tools of earned value. Especially when we think about most of the work being done is managed through contracts, this is a pretty powerful tool. And some of my customers now are like, “Well, geez, I don’t even need to cost load by schedule anymore. All of my earned value and my cost distribution are happening in the budget management tool.” And, Michael, if you have additions to add to that, feel free to jump in.

 

Michael Asay: 

I’ve got nothing further.

 

Rick Rients:

Any questions on that? Did that make sense to you folks?

 

Michelle:  

Rick, you do have a few more questions that have come in from George. He says, “I’m a claims consultant and see great value in forensic analysis and recreating of delay issues.” And his second question is, “Has the system been tested in claims?”

 

Rick Rients: 

Hmm. So I’m trying to make sure I understand the context of what you mean by claims. I assume what you’re saying is, I’ve got an event that has occurred, has resulted in either a defect or a delay, and needing to go back and understand what was the cause of that event, who’s responsible, and be able to decipher what damages might be applied or justified. And I would say, to me, the change module and that whole issue, potential change order tracking and the ability to document all of that, and the impact on contracts, schedule, budget is at least a very good starting point for supporting that claims analysis function. I’d be happy to discuss that further, George. I don’t know if they’re able to jump on here. You see my email on the screen right now, which by the way, I invite anybody to send me notes, questions, comments about this presentation or our functionality afterwards. But, George, does that get in the ballpark of what you’re asking?

 

Michelle:

He may have jumped off, I’m not sure. He hasn’t come back in. But we’ll make sure we get the two of you hooked up. He says, “Yes, sir. It does.”

 

Rick Rients:

Okay. All right.

 

Michelle:

Okay. And we had another question come in. What is the typical turnaround time to set up the system for a project in your organization’s program of projects?

 

Rick Rients:

Ooh, is there a typical time? The typical consulting answer is, depends. Depends on what functionality we’re trying to deploy. I’m going to go back to a slide here, this process slide, right? And I’ll give you some examples. I was recently working on a program where the main focus was at this program controls level. And what we were doing was establishing the program budget, which is a pretty simple budget structure that just lays out all of the different projects that make up the program and the amount of funds allocated to those projects. Put together a program schedule. That’s again, a pretty high level schedule, but enough to help coordinate the flow of the projects and the interactions and any dependencies of the projects and the linkage of project completions to key milestones. And then we also have been working with them to implement risk. So the ability to capture risks, and I assign those risks to program schedule structures and evaluate those risks impact on the program schedule. Our first pass through, making that reality was two months, from beginning to end.

And now I will say that that was very dependent on having the team committed to really taking this on and adopting the system. So, is that a typical answer, two months for something like what I described? At a program level, it might be not far off for many programs, assuming the size of the program has a big impact. The program I just talked about was quite sizeable. Some of these other functions, it’s usually a month or two to get document control set up and configured properly. This group here of project controls and contract management at the project level is pretty complicated. So it’s typically going to take three, four months. Now, having said all of that, for the program management firms involved, part of my message to you folks is that if you’re going to go into this, go into this with the idea that you’re establishing a standard that when you’re presenting to your customers, you could present what your standards are, hopefully guide the customer towards what your standard solution is.

And then deploy as close to standard as possible. These types of things, standardizing as much as you can and training your people to understand those things and deploy them can accelerate quite a bit the speed at which you can deploy the solutions. So there’s no black and white answer here to be honest with you. But those are some factoids that might help you understand things.

 

Michelle:

Thank you, Rick. We have a-

 

Rick Rients:

I guess, the best thing I will say about deployment is, it could take a lot longer than that too. I mean, it really depends. I mean, when we’re working with contractors that are a billion dollar firms or bigger, it’s going to take a year or more to deploy this solutions. So you have to kind of look at your situation. But again, that’s part of what I do though, is that you have conversations with customers and help to set those expectations based on the requirements.

 

Michelle:

Thanks, Rick. We have another question. Is the software multilingual?

 

Rick Rients:

Yes, it is. Currently, we’re building out languages as required. Let’s see, I think Michael it’s English, Spanish, I think we have Portuguese. We’ve implemented much of Norwegian. And again, as customers require another language, the possibility of implementing that language is high. It takes time, but it’s doable.

 

Michelle: 

Okay. We have a few more minutes in case there’s any additional questions that want to come in. If there’s any that you think of when we leave, we will have both Rick and Michael’s contact information and the email that will go out tomorrow to include the recording. And if you need a copy of the slides, feel free to email Rick and Michael, they will be able to assist you. All right. So I have one more question that came in. How is this different than Procore?

 

Rick Rients:

It’s way better. No, to be honest, I don’t know much about Procore so I can’t make a comparison. I mean, I think we’ve done market research to try and compare us on a feature by feature basis, but I don’t have access to that information to be honest with you. I think we’d want to defer that to our marketing and sales unless, Michael, you have information.

 

Michael Asay:

No, no, no comments at this time though. There are some key differences I think with the approach that Procore has taken from the beginning and their strengths are a little bit, maybe different than ours, but I can’t speak to details at this point.

 

Michelle: 

Okay. And if there’s anyone who’s headed to CMAA 2022 this fall, InEight will be there. So make sure you look them up when you get there. And I’m already getting contact info to request the slide. So as soon as this is over, I’ll go ahead and send out that information and then I’ll get the recording out tomorrow if that’s okay with everyone.

 

RIck Rients:

Yep.

 

Michelle:

All right. Rick or Michael, anything else that you want to add?

 

RIck Rients: 

I can’t think of anything right now.

 

Michael Acey:

Well, thank you for the time.

 

RIck Rients: 

Yep.

 

Michelle: 

Yes.

 

Rick Rients: 

Thank you very much. And again, your feedback is welcome.

 

Michelle: 

Yes. Thank you both Rick and Michael for taking time out of your day to go over this. You had a very great audience and we appreciate all the questions and we hope that we’ve provided all the answers. And if not, please reach out to us and I’ll get you some contact information real soon. Thank you everybody.

 

Rick Rients: 

Yep.

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