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Why Owners Need
Project Controls Tech

 

Originally aired on 09/01/2022

43 Minute Watch Time

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Transcript

Matt Macaras:

… Everyone. Thank you for joining us here today. We are here today with a panel of seasoned experts in the project management industry. Just a couple of reminders before we get started. One, let us know you’re here by using the chat box. So you can use this feature to chat with other participants, with the speakers, or just leave any comments. Feel free to ask questions at any point in time, and we will try and address those before the end of the session. The chat and question features are located on the right-hand side in the same box on your screen, and you can toggle between those by clicking the icons at the top of the box. Also, don’t forget to rate the webinar and give us some feedback. You can rate the webinar at any time using the heart scale rating above the broadcast screen.

 

Matt Macaras:

For today’s session, we’re going to be focusing on a recent white paper developed and researched by Frost & Sullivan titled, Value Realization Using Project Control Systems to Effectively Manage and Operate Assets Across the Project Life Cycle. Today I’m joined by a panel of industry experts. Wes Horwood, head of future energy projects for CS Energy, and Jason Lancelot, senior solution engineer at InEight. Wes, I might hand it over to you to just give us a brief introduction about yourself.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, good day, everyone. Thanks, Matt. Look, seasoned expert, I’m not sure about that. But I’ve been around for about 30 years in a number of different roles, from government, and government and corporation roles, to consulting owner-side participant in the construction industry and in the operations and maintenance. I think I’ve worked in every state in Australia so far, and across the water and utilities, mining, transport, energy. So I’d like to think I know a little bit, but I’ve had some great mentors along the way to help me out, and looking forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences with everyone.

 

Matt Macaras:

Great. Thanks, Wes. Jason, if you could just introduce yourself briefly?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah, sure. Thanks, Matt. Yeah, Jason Lancelot, senior solution engineer with InEight. I’ve been with InEight for about just over a year and a half I think now. My background’s really in that design space, so I did quite a bit of work sort of with different consultancies, with different asset owners. Had various roles, from starting off as a drafter back in the old days on the drawing board, all the way through to sort of working on CAD 3D modeling, then digital twin, that whole sort of gamut of things that we’ve had over the last 30 years or so. Yeah, about 25, 30 years in that environment, before effectively I moved into software probably about four years ago. But yeah, it’s really that design background that I’ve got, Matt.

 

Matt Macaras:

Thanks, Jason. And my name is Matt Macaras. I’m the director of solution engineering for InEight here in Asia Pacific. My background is in the capital projects industry, specifically on the industrial side building iron ore mines, power plants, L&G facilities, those types of projects. So gentlemen, let’s go ahead and get started. Where I’d like to start out today is really just discussing some industry trends that we’re currently seeing, that are really propelling owners on their digital transformation journey. And Wes, I might lead with you on this one. What type of trends are you seeing in the industry, whether it’s sustainability trends or changing workforce demographics, or maybe even just internal trends at CS Energy around just workforce shortages and operational practices?

 

Wes Horwood:

Well, what can I say, Matt? I think we’ve just about got all of those things happening at the moment. I guess a couple of the big ones that I’m observing or I’m part of at the moment, so within CS Energy for example, the work that we’re doing here is we’re principally an operating company, operating and maintaining organization with some very large assets that have been in place for … I think the last one finished its construction about 20 years ago. And so the group that I’m heading out, we’re about to … Well, we are embarking on a construction program of major capital assets again.

 

Wes Horwood:

So the organization itself hasn’t delivered a major capital asset in more than 20 years, so there’s a lot of … There’s, I call it a cultural piece there, and experience piece for the organization, that we’re moving into a new area. An old but new area, if you like, at the same time. And it’s quite challenging to make sure that you’ve got the right resources around you, the right information, and people truly understand the differences, the nuances, between operations and capital construction.

 

Matt Macaras:

Great. Thanks, Wes. Jason, any trends that you’re seeing or anything you’d like to add to what Wes has just covered?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah, I think sort of touching on where Wes was talking about the resourcing side of things. I think the main thing that I’m seeing is, it’s almost this aging workforce or demographic at the moment whereby most of the guys who really know what they’re doing on projects, really know what they’re doing from an operations and maintenance point of view, they’re really starting to get older now. So you’re starting to see those guys are sort of in their late 50s into their early 60s, and it’s sort of where that labor force seems to be getting older. That almost has another effect from the point of view of trying to bring the younger people through.

 

Jason Lancelot:

So you’ve got the older people who have more experience in that. We’re trying to bring the younger people through, and I think with the lack of sort of really good technology that’s just not being used to the level that it can be used, the younger people aren’t really coming through because they want to use really good technology. They want to use all the smart stuff, you know what I mean? These guys are all into the iPhones and the MacBooks and all that sort of thing. But when you look at the demographic that you’ve got in the workplace at the moment, that older end, they came from the same data as me when I was working on a drawing board. So they still use that sort of technology, so I feel that’s probably the biggest thing for me in that workplace, is that aging demographic in the older people, and then the younger people trying to come through.

 

Matt Macaras:

And as part of that aging demographic, how do you see that knowledge being transferred? I mean, you just mentioned that it is difficult to do because of just the generational gap and the different ways of working that the different generations have. How do you see that knowledge being transferred currently?

 

Jason Lancelot:

So currently, it’s actually really difficult. I think one of the problems that certainly a lot of clients that I speak to, and it’s right across all different industries as well, they’re trying to get that knowledge passed down from the guys who are almost ready to retire, to the younger people. It’s really hard. What they almost have to do is just have the younger people working with that older group, so they almost have to work … They’re almost like a graduate, is the best way I can describe it. So they’ll work alongside the older person, but the difficulty is that again it comes back to that technology piece. The younger people work alongside the older person, but you’ve got this new technology coming through.

 

Jason Lancelot:

So the younger people are trying to utilize the new technologies that are coming through, to do what the older guys used to do on pen and paper or spreadsheet. So what’s happening is, I think we’re finding that the older people are passing the knowledge of what’s there in the systems, of what’s required and what’s needed. But the way to actually do that is gradually starting to change as the younger people come through. So I think the knowledge sharing is just from in the mind, just passing that information on, but I think the way that they do it is starting to change.

 

Matt Macaras:

And Wes, from your perspective, how have you seen that play out in CS Energy? Especially because you’ve kind of got it on two fronts, the demographic difference, but also moving from that operational side into actually building and constructing large-scale assets. So, how have you seen that knowledge transfer being taken place?

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, look, at the end of the day I think Jason’s right in the sense that we’ve got an old industry, both in the construction and in the operational sense. Indeed, a lot of the knowledge transfer and so on that really happens is, if you like, on the job. There’s a lot of information that the guys have got, the older guys have got, that it’s in their head. It’s experiential. They’ve seen it before. They’ve seen it 100 times before. They know what to do. And for the newer people coming through, or the up-and-coming guys coming through, it’s really hard to capture and write down that information and share that information.

 

Wes Horwood:

It’s not just the operators, either. So I’m used to all the … The space I’ve had a lot of experience with just recently is in the operations space, where we were doing overhauls of power stations and so on. A lot of the people involved there, they know those power stations backwards. They can talk about where things are, and explain it to you. As a new kid on the block walking into some of those power stations, you don’t have any idea, but and yet they know it really well. And the same thing … I see the same thing on the construction side as well, for like the contractors that we’re using. These are tier one contractors as well, and they again … You’ve got the older hands. They know it pretty well. They know what they’re doing. They’ve been around for a long time. There’s a sense of real trust, almost, you get there.

 

Wes Horwood:

But the written verification, the backing up, the transfer of that knowledge, the clarity of those discussions to the younger crew in the field, but also up the chain to guys like me, who need to make decisions. Give me options, give me things to really get my hands around and understand, so I can make an informed decision. A lot of it relies on conversation, and I think we’ve got a really big missed opportunity here. A lot of information we also handle every day, that in that construction phase, which we actually need that to roll through in a seamless sort of way into our operational phase as well.

 

Wes Horwood:

Historically, and not picking on any particular organization, I think just about every one I’ve worked in doesn’t do that particularly well. You finish the job, and then you spend the next six months to a year processing the data as a result of the job that you’ve generated, trying to put that into some sort of system or format or structure that’s going to be beneficial and useful going forward. It’s a common thread across multiple industries, multiple organizations, that is a hard one to break. Old habits are hard to break.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah, they are. That, they are. And is software helping in that regard? As in I guess kind of from my personal experience and the way I’ve seen it work in other organizations is, you pair up kind of that older … That person with the experience that maybe doesn’t know the software, with a graduate engineer, someone who is fairly young and still has that energy and wants to do things, and can use the technology in a way, and use that as a way to transfer that knowledge ownership. Not only from the people that have been doing it for years to the younger engineer, but also use that as a way to get that knowledge into the system. So the younger engineer, in working in the system, is now entering that data, whether it’s capturing quantities, cost, updating drawings, that kind of stuff, but ensuring that’s in the system so that it can be handed across.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, look, there’s a generalization you can put the … And I’m guilty of it a fair bit myself, too … That sort of says that the younger guys tend to pick up the technology faster than the older hands. And I’ve just been thinking about that aspect a little bit, and it’s true, but there’s plenty of exceptions to that rule as well, I would say. I think, and so generally speaking, the younger guys that are coming through, they are more familiar with the tools than the older guys, because they’ve been learning it through university and things like that. I think you have a lot of hands-on in that context.

 

Wes Horwood:

The way to get the older team, the guys who have been in the field for a while, they’ve got the rungs on the board and the scales on the back sort of thing, because they’ve been doing things in a certain way for a long time and it works for them, right? They’ve been using their spreadsheets or what have you, and it works for them, and they understand it. So the trick really has to be, is whatever alternative that we’re putting on the table in front of them that we want them to use, that it makes … We have to answer the, “What’s in it for me?” question for that end user. If the, “What’s in it for me?” is, “It makes my job easier in some way,” then they’re more likely to embrace it and engage with it and run forward with it.

 

Wes Horwood:

If it’s, “The executive or the management just want me to fill in more forms, and use a new, fancy piece of software but I really don’t see any benefit, and it’s making my life harder because I’m on a learning curve as well,” then we really struggle to get that engagement. So in my experience anyway, we’ve really got to … You’ve got to work harder on that supporting the guys that transition through, by putting …

 

Matt Macaras:

I think we lost you, Wes. Well, what we might do is change tack just a little bit, and Jason, I’ll go to you for this next one. It’s really about creating transparent relationships, and I think we can kind of go off the back of what Wes was just talking about in terms of connecting data and doing the, “What’s in it for me?” But as part of … Or, “What’s in it for the users?” But as part of creating those transparent relationships, do you see any apprehension between I guess contractors and owners in the market, and what’s the cause of that apprehension, if you’ve seen any?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Oh, I think there used to be a lot of apprehension, so I think it was almost … Unless you had an alliance around you, the contracts were all in a relationship just never worked at all. Really, it was a case of the asset owner would say, “Look, we’ve got this new project that we want to work on. You guys are going to deliver us a set of drawings as PDFs, and you’re going to give us a set of documents, and just hand it over once you’re finished.” That was almost it. The old way, I think the only collaboration if you want to put it that way, would be just some reviews of drawings between the owner and the contractors, right?

 

Jason Lancelot:

So there was just no sharing of anything else, and I think the way sort of contracting models and the way contracts are starting to get written now is starting to change. That’s so the owners or the asset owners are certainly starting to take more ownership of the projects. So whether that’s right from the start, all the way through, doing the whole design, construction, getting into the operations and maintenance field. The owners are basically saying, “Look, we need this information.” So they’ll ask for certain data from the consultants or from the contractors. They’ll say, “We need this for when we need to go into the operations phase.”

 

Jason Lancelot:

So they’re thinking more about what the operations phase needs, rather than just the projects, right? So I think passing that information through to the contractors who are working on the projects, and effectively explaining the reason, the need. “That information is for this reason,” so there’s a reason for it aside from just any litigation things, which is always what I think is part of the problem for a contractor. I think that is breaking down those barriers, but the barriers are still there. So you’ll still see, the contractors will be working on a system of their own, where they’ve got all the information. They’ll then pass over what information they have to pass over to the owner. So there’s still a feel … I don’t know if Wes feels the same, from [inaudible 00:29:53]. But there’s definitely still trepidation I think from the contractors to give too much information to the asset owner.

 

Wes Horwood:

Oh absolutely, mate. There’s a certain … There’s always a little bit of tension there. We all work really hard on those personal relationships and try and … Get into that, the classic win/win sort of scenario and so on. But I think it’s fair to say we all … To some extent, we’ve all got our caution that we take into that, and don’t necessarily share everything. But as much as we can, I’ve certainly always found if you can get in closer to the contractor regardless of the agreement, whether it’s an alliance agreement or a lump sum EPC, if you can get that personal relationship, you can get that sharing piece happening better. You’ll always get much better results by doing that, and just keeping things as transparent as you can. But as you said, there’s always that layer of information, I think, which doesn’t share fully.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah, and I think if I could just add a little bit on to that, Wes, and what you talked about there. When I think of projects that I’ve worked on in the past, certainly the bigger projects, you tend to find that it’s more the relationships that make everything work, than sort of contracts and stuff like that. So I agree with what you’re saying with the relationships. When the relationship’s between the whole group, it’s really good. Then you find that that collaboration between the contractors and the consultants and the owner just works a lot better, and I think it really is all about those relationships.

 

Wes Horwood:

Absolutely.

 

Matt Macaras:

And do you think the contracting models have anything to do with those relationships, maybe help foster them or not? Thinking of things like P3, early contractor involvement, or even things like the NEC contracting framework? I might throw it over to you for that one, Wes.

 

Wes Horwood:

I think it’s got an influence, absolutely, because you know some of those contracts are written specifically to get that involvement and engagement, and you’ve got KPIs. There’s commercial incentive to work better together with those contracts, so they absolutely have an influence. I guess the key thing I’d say there is regard … I would also say that I’ve been involved in, it must be close to 10 alliances now over my career, something, in one form or another. I would consider maybe half of those would be considered a “successful alliance” contract, and half of them revert back to that adversarial style of engagement.

 

Wes Horwood:

I think that’s driven by a couple of things. One is the people involved, attitudes you take into it, and oftentimes it’s reflected straight back at you, whatever attitude you take into it. And also the challenge that … And overlaid across the top of that is the complexity or the difficulty of the challenge that you’re facing. As things get really tough people tend to revert to type, if I could put it that way a little bit, and as they’re trying to manage that whole piece as well to get the right outcomes. So the contracting model does help a lot, and especially if you can get the transparency.

 

Wes Horwood:

I was just going to … I was just thinking about some work that I’m doing now, right? I’m running a significant project at the moment. They did a monthly report the other day, and I’ve got five open RFIs on a 100 million dollar-plus project; five open RFIs. The reason that we’re able … I think a big part of the reason we’re able to do that is because we’re managing that whole thing in the same place. We’re all accessing that same [inaudible 00:33:55], and that’s a lump-sum contract as well, right? It’s not a relationship-based contract. But we’re all working in the same space. We’re all collaborating. We’re all talking well together. We’re all monitoring the same information. We’re all looking at it through the same lens. I think that’s an example of how good tools and good processes can help us to manage the project a lot better going forward. A handful of RFIs open at this stage, as my designs are approaching IFC, that’s not a bad spot to be in, touch wood, in terms of issues that we won’t have later.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah. Great point, Wes, and Jason, I might throw it over to you to continue this theme around that connected environment, that single source of truth between all stakeholders on a project, and how that can help break down some barriers.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah, and I was going to say, sort of adding on to what Wes was talking about, I think the early contractor engagement side of things works really well. That certainly helps, because the contractor is feeling that they’re getting involved a lot earlier in the project, so they can influence a lot of the things that are happening, and a lot of the things that the owner wants. And then when you think of that sort of connected data environment as well, and as Wes was saying, once you’re starting working on a single source of truth, and you’ve not got contractors working in their system, designers just in their system, the owners in their system. When it’s completely separate, it’s just really difficult.

 

Jason Lancelot:

But as soon as you’re starting sharing the right information in a connected platform, you’re not really trying to hide things anymore. So I think a lot of it comes down to trying to hide stuff. I think that’s really what it comes down to, and contractors not wanting to be transparent with a lot of the things that they’re doing. As soon as you’ve got this connected environment, as soon as you’ve got it on a single platform, this is where I’m certainly seeing asset owners starting to drive sort of the concepts of the asset owner owning that platform, and then inviting other users into that platform. All the information’s there. You can’t really hide it anymore, so there’s no contractor saying, “We don’t want to share this information with this person,” if you know what I mean.

 

Jason Lancelot:

They can put it into that platform. Everybody can see it. Obviously, you have to have certain permissions and control in there, but the idea is that it’s all in that one place and you’ve not got copies of things in different areas as well. So having that single source of truth that you’re going back to in that connected platform, I think that’s definitely going to keep helping and keep improving the relationships between people as well.

 

Matt Macaras:

So if I were to sum up just kind of what you guys just said, it’s really by having everyone working in the same platform, it turns the conversation on its head from, “What are the issues? What are you not telling me?” And trying to find that out into, “How do we go solve this as a team for the better outcome of all parties involved?”

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah.

 

Matt Macaras:

Did I sum that up in a good way?

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, it pushes the conversation in that direction, into a conversation around solving whatever it is that’s in front of you, rather than trying to unearth whatever it is that’s in front of you, if you like.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah, and it sort of becomes a … Like if you’ve got a challenge on a project, it almost becomes a team challenge then, if that makes sense. It’s not all of a sudden the designer who’s got to do it himself, or the contractor who’s got to do it himself. Because it’s in this one area, everybody starts taking a bit more ownership all at the same time, so I think that’s the other thing that you see happening as well.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, and it’s a great trend to be coming through. I guess the thought that’s coming to my mind is that we still … Even in that space, we still have lots of sidebar conversations. It’s like, you see people going down to the coffee shop and having a coffee with someone, talking it through, and you can solve and have some freeform conversations around all of that. It also takes a lot of discipline then on all parties’ fronts, to make sure that the meaningful conversations that are happening, and the information that it’s sharing, that we’re using the systems and processes that are in front of us.

 

Wes Horwood:

Because as soon as you get too … You’ll always have a little bit of leakage around the sides. It just happens, right? You have to control that leakage as well, otherwise it all starts to break down. So if you can minimize that leakage around the side, where you’re doing the … If it’s not in the system, it doesn’t exist, is an expression that I tend to use a fair bit. “If it’s not in the system, it doesn’t exist. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Get it in the system.” And we encourage that, get things into whatever system we’re using, to make sure that it’s working as intended. It takes a lot of effort, especially as you bring new teams together. It doesn’t just happen by magic. It takes a lot of effort within the teams, as well as between the teams, to get everyone on that same page.

 

Matt Macaras:

I think that helps transition us into the next topic of, how do you even get started on doing something like this? So you mentioned some great ones, Wes. I mean the old quality adage is, if you don’t have the piece of paper that says you installed it, it was never installed. You just turned that into a data thing. If it’s not in the system, then the data doesn’t exist, nothing’s been done. How do you … And I know at CS Energy, you guys have just started and are really starting to roll this out within CS Energy. So, how do you even get started on this new way of working, and working in a single environment, and changing peoples’ thought processes around it?

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, there’s a long conversation [inaudible 00:39:41]. Well I guess, look, at the end of the day a couple of key strategies from my perspective here. It’s like I’ve worked across lots of industries, and so that was the experience I bring to my role here at the moment. The first challenge is, you’ve got to win over the C suite about what you’re trying to do, so the executives need to come on board, or at least accept where you’re going and the outcome you’re trying to achieve. It’s a bit different to perhaps the business-as-usual approach that we’re going through, so you need your sponsor on board. You need your steering committee, all your management team on board with where you’re trying to go. Because if you’re getting pushback in that space it makes it a lot harder, so on board or at least not opposing, and then you can move forward.

 

Wes Horwood:

And then the second approach that we’re using here is, it’s not a big-bang approach. It’s, I have a small team. I start with a small team. We get a nucleus. We bed the systems down. We iron out the wrinkles in the carpet, get the involvement and the engagement of the small team who are keen to give something new a go, keen to try something different and are fully engaged. And then we start essentially showing people how the system works, the benefits that it gives, the transparency that it provides, the integrity in the data that they can feel as it transfers across to the finance system and so on. That’s starting to happen now that we’re really rolling it through this year. This is from about only about four months ago, five months ago, to be honest.

 

Wes Horwood:

But you can already … There are already key players talking about the benefits of the system, and how might we take this forward? So get a core group. Get a nucleus. Get a … I can’t think of the right word, but a group of guys, or guys and girls, people that are advocates and know how the whole system works, and they do it well. By osmosis, you basically have the players around you looking over your shoulder saying, “What have I got to do to get what you’re doing over there? I can see the benefits. I want to start using that.” Big-bang approach, which I’ve seen elsewhere and tried, is really, really challenging organization-wise. I think we underestimate the change management processes, and the extent both in breadth and duration, of change management support that you need to put in place.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah. Yeah, great insights there, and that’s kind of what we’ve seen as well is most of the people that are the right people to be I guess the champions, kind of they almost nominate themselves. They’re the ones that always want to see that something new. They want to become more efficient in their work practice. They almost … You can just pick them out of a crowd, and they’re the ones that we’ve seen to have most success when it comes to adopting new technology. Jason, maybe from your perspective, throw it over to you; how do you get started in adopting new technology and rolling systems out on projects or within organizations?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Well look, I think what you guys have already said is a couple of the key things. You need to have champions, who are going to champion the overall cause, for a start. I think the phased approach is pretty important as well, and from that phasing approach, when we think of any major projects that we ever work on and we put … Between the three of us, we’ve worked on lots of different projects over the years. There’s certain things that always, let’s say, go wrong every single time, right, when we’re on a project? So if I think of even from my design background just with drawings, how often do you end up with the wrong drawing because there was different systems, or there wasn’t a system, or you got the wrong version and all that sort of thing?

 

Jason Lancelot:

So being able to win over a team just from that point of view is relatively easy, because the team has seen all those issues. So the answer would be, “Yes, we need a single source of truth for the drawings and the documents, because we know we always have these problems.” If you think of when you’re estimating a job, and whenever you’re estimating you’re saying, “Right, how did I do the last job? I need the information from this project, this project and this project,” right? So you always have to go searching, trying to find the information so you can bring it in.

 

Jason Lancelot:

If you then look at estimate systems that have got a bit of sort of benchmarking and that sort of thing in them, you can start utilizing that because it’s got that information there. If you can show to the users that, “Look. Instead of having to go and do all this to find something, we can actually just do this and it’s there for you to get.” Again, they’re going to understand that. So I think that’s where the phased approach in different areas would work, but you do still need those champions who want to drive that change. It’s trying to find those champions who are going to do it, I think that’s the key thing, but do it in that phased approach.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah, and let’s go … We’ll call it back in the day, Jason, when you were going from let’s say the drawing board to 3D modeling. Or not 3D modeling even, just doing stuff in CAD, 2D drawings in CAD instead of the drawing board, and even moving from 2D into 3D. How did you do it? How did you identify those champions?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Thanks, Matt. Yes, you just wanted to just show how old I am.

 

Matt Macaras:

I just had to do it.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Thanks. Yes, I did start off on the drawing board back in the late ’80s. Yeah, that was an interesting time. So yes, when I started off on the drawing board it was the typical sort of, you know the picture that you see with all the drawing boards sort of down the hallway, and all the guys just out there doing all the drawing. Yes, that’s what I used to do. I’d been there … I’d probably only been doing that for maybe a couple of years, then the company I was working for got this new computer thing which was after the AutoCAD release 10, I think it was. It was like, really early version of AutoCAD. We had these big digitizer tablets that we had to use. It was just like completely different to what we have now.

 

Jason Lancelot:

But what happened there was again, I was like the young kid, so I was like the graduate coming through and you had all the experienced guys, so it’s the same sort of thing as you have now. It’s just, like I say, 30-odd years ago. What happened was, I was pretty much challenged with going to work out this CAD system, figure out how the things works, and then to show everybody else how to do it. That was literally how it happened. So again, being at the younger end, for me it was great because I was getting to go onto this computer and see this new thing. It was different than what all the other guys were doing.

 

Jason Lancelot:

So I learned how to do that, and then had the interesting challenge of trying to get everybody else to start using it. It worked with some, but not with others. So the guys that really were at the twilight end of the careers, they just weren’t going to change. But that was the way I sort of went from the drawing board on to CAD. It was really just an age thing. It was a new tool. It was something I was interested in, so I just went and did it. But then it gradually moved from that sort of 2D going into 3D, and again it was always something that was based on, “It’s interesting. It’s something new, and it allows me to do something quicker. So now when I go into 3D, I don’t have to draw all these different views anymore. Now I can just draw the 3D model. And oh, by the way, it looks a lot prettier. It looks a lot nicer than just drawing lines.”

 

Jason Lancelot:

So it’s almost being interested to do it, being the champion to want to do it, but having a reason behind it and getting some results out of it. That’s really the way it works, and that’s now gone on to sort of BIM and 3D models, and digital twins and all that sort of stuff. It’s really going the same. It’s still the same sort of thing, it’s just different stages of sort of where technology’s at. I think that’s all that’s changing. So yeah, that for me is the way that it changed over the years for me, Matt.

 

Matt Macaras:

Great. Thanks, Jason. We might do one more topic quickly before we close out, just really one last question for each one of you before I get some final thoughts. Really, we all play some form of role in the advancement of the industry, but … And this kind of takes what we were just talking about to the next step. How do you become that … I guess that digital transformation leader? And then, what are the benefits of being that leader, and who in the industry would be seen as doing particularly well in that? I’ll give you five seconds to think about that one, and then Jason was last, Wes, so I’ll go throw it over to you.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, that’s a multi-part question [inaudible 00:48:38]. I’m not sure. I think the digital transformation piece and so on, it’s driven ultimately by people that are looking at the way that they’ve been doing things in the past, the way they see people doing things around them, and they see how technology is moving in other sectors. There’s a sense of frustration almost, or at least I can speak from a personal point of view. There’s a sense of frustration, right? “I’m still doing this, on this rotten spreadsheet. I know there’s a better way, and I know there’s … I have an understanding of data. I have an understanding of systems, how it comes together.”

 

Wes Horwood:

The amount of time that you spend, the late hours trying to find that error buried in the spreadsheet somewhere that, “You know, we shouldn’t even have to do this.” It seems to happen on every project. I think as Jason said, something happens … The same thing happens every rotten project. Well, that’s one of the things that seems to happen on every project, is finding the error buried in the spreadsheet somewhere. So it’s sort of a … To my mind, it’s that sense of frustration that you know that there’s better ways of doing things. There’s more efficient ways. You can get more out of all of the things than you’re putting in.

 

Wes Horwood:

And the industry that we’re in, quite frankly, we are on of the late adopters. We are a slow mover. If you compare us to the mobile phone industry, or indeed the computer industry, the laptops and what have you that we’re using now for this presentation and so on, that has moved ahead leaps and bounds compared to say 10 years ago. You look at the construction industry or the operations industry in general 10 years ago, and I will challenge you to say, “So what’s the fundamental shift that’s happened in the last decade?” I can’t think of much, right? It hasn’t changed a lot.

 

Matt Macaras:

Mm-hmm.

 

Wes Horwood:

But I think it’s reaching that. It’s starting … It’s getting closer to that tipping point where it’s going to be dragged along, in essence. We are moving into that digital environment of digital twins and virtual simulators, of simulation and virtual training and so on. We have to move to a different level to operate in that space. Guys that have done it well, at least I guess to your question there Matt, at least anecdotally I think historically it tends to have been the oil and gas industry, broadly speaking, in the sectors that I’m familiar with. At least on the surface, they have. I often wonder, if I punch in behind the surface layer, is it as robust as it appears from the outside? I’m not sure. I don’t know. I haven’t had the privilege of punching in there to have a look.

 

Matt Macaras:

That might be a good question for the audience.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah.

 

Matt Macaras:

What about you, Jason?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Look, I think yeah, it’s interesting the way sort of things work out. But for me, you’ve got to find … I think you need to find somebody who enjoys technology. I think that’s the best way I can describe it, so somebody who has an enjoyment of technology and what technology can bring, and who is interested in where technology is going, right? So when I think of when I started looking at BIM and digital twin, right? The reason that I did it was because I enjoyed seeing where that could go. I’d sort of done 2D drawings. I’d done 3D models, and the concept of digital twin and BIM, with the data that’s in the 3D models, all that sort of stuff, it was something that I had an interest in. It’s something that I could see providing value, and it was something that I felt could go to another level, even though I didn’t know what that level was yet, right?

 

Jason Lancelot:

So it’s almost knowing that that’s where you can go with it. I think if that sort of person also has sort of more of a wider view of everything that the particular organization is doing, rather than just say like just in the design piece, or just in the estimating, or just in the project management side. If it’s somebody who’s got a really good, broad view across the whole organization, I think that’s an advantage as well because they’re not going to start getting bogged down into the little details that each part of an organization needs. So I think from that digital transformation, those are the key for me; enjoying technology, what it can bring, where it can go, and having a broader view of what the organization’s trying to do.

 

Matt Macaras:

Great. Great insights, and I guess we’ll close out here with one final takeaway from each one of you. We’ll start with you, Wes. I guess if you wanted to leave one final takeaway with the audience, maybe about what the future looks like, or how to succeed in this digital transformation journey, what would you like to leave with them?

 

Wes Horwood:

It’s exciting. The opportunity is tremendous. The knowledge so impressive, don’t push it away. Reach into it. Be measured how you’re going to go forward. Have a vision of what you would like to do, because you probably can do it. Just take measured steps along the way, because it’s quite incredible when you start to show people what you can achieve. They just look at you, and their jaw drops open. “How did you do that?” And honestly, it’s not that hard if you put the right structure and processes in, and the right people around it. So yeah, I actually think it’s a really exciting time to be in. There’s going to be a big transformation I feel in this sector, in the not-too-distant future. It’s starting off a slow start, but it’s starting to ramp up.

 

Matt Macaras:

Yeah, great. Great, and your thoughts, your final thought, Jason?

 

Jason Lancelot:

Oh look for me, you sort of start bringing the younger guys through. Give them some ownership, trust that they do understand the technology side. A lot of the older guys give them that information that’s their experience part, but let the young guys come through and do their thing. Find that person who really does have that interest in technology, and who can try and sort of broaden that view for the organization. And look, from the platform point of view, I still feel that having that single source of truth with a single platform is the way to eventually go. But I think people need to bring the young guys through, to make that [inaudible 00:55:25]. And so for me, that’s really the key takeaway.

 

Matt Macaras:

Great. Thanks, Jase.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Yeah.

 

Matt Macaras:

All right, I think we’ll close it out there, guys. Thanks, Jason. Thanks, Wes. I do encourage the audience to go ahead and visit ineight.com for more information about InEight, or visit ineight.com/webinars to see when our next webinar is, and what the topic will be. With that, thank you all for joining us today, and we’ll see you next time.

 

Jason Lancelot:

Thanks, everyone.

 

Wes Horwood:

Yeah, thank you.