I’ve previously written some of my thoughts related to Data Integration and Digital Strategy, however, perhaps I haven’t made it absolutely clear what I mean.
Digital Strategy is an enabler to allow you to tackle problems, however, unless you have a clear vision for the required data integration that follows, it doesn’t make a difference what your strategy is. What follows is a worked example that really dives into the heart of where your head needs to be in using the smart technologies that exist today
I’ve created a companion video that allows you to see this in action. The focus to have a user managed data integration layer is just awesome in my mind and allows for a seamless integration experience for a major project.
Commissioning Test Sheets
Here is a typical commissioning report. We are looking into the projects key systems. We see the number of subsystems, number of tests and total completed for each system.
We can follow the link on system to view what will will be subsystems
In our subsystem view we are obviously looking a bit in dept, and as we can see, this is our Integration Level. Each Subsystem/Disc pair is linked to a P6 Schedule ID. This is integration. However, we really need to dive into this and understand the process. We have 3 groups
- Project Controls
The commissioning team will be updating our commissioning database, usually by close interfaces with engineering to define all the tests. They will be the hands on users of the commissioning system.
The project controls team will own the schedule, and will be responsible for updating and maintaining the schedule.
The construction team will know the detailed sequencing and duration that would be required.
Obviously each team will have discussions related to schedule and scope, however, your commissioning database is likely NOT updated with P6 IDs. Additionally, and here is the rub, when things change and perhaps more detail is added to the schedule, what is the mechanism for those changes to filter into the schedule. And when the magnitude and status of actual commissioning work changes, what is the mechanism for that information to be visible to the project controls team (in an smart way)
In the above example, all commissioning activities are assigned to 1 schedule ID. This is quite common when schedules are initially developed as projects enter execution. However, when additional detail is needed, it becomes hard to ensure systems STAY INTEGRATED.
Updated Data Integration
The biggest weakness I see in many data integration efforts is they do not incorporate the step above. They do not allow edit capabilities into the data integration layers of the project.
In our worked example, we want to update the mapping between subsystems to schedule ID. We have added detailed activities into our schedule (I have left that step off, but imagine you have updated your schedule with additional commissioning activities), but do not yet have that new schedule information available in our commissioning system.
Enter Edit Mode and the world is your oyster. In the above screen we can now update the schedule ID mapping for each subsystem.
Now that we have updated our mapping between our SubSystem / Discipline pairs, we can exit our edit mode and now see what we are left with
Now this is what proper Data Integration is all about. We have empowered our users to be able to flexibly manage their schedule, their commissioning system tree and update the mapping between the 2. Not to mention having everything at the fingertips of everyone involved in the process.
Extensions – JIRA
When we talk about Digital Strategy, we want users to be engaged and empowered to communicate. In the examples above, hopefully it was hard not to notice the “Jira Task” link that was available on the pages. Each of the subsystem discipline pairs is a critical discussion topic and as such deserves a Jira task page. This allows the team to openly discuss requirements and status. Indicate blocking tasks and interfaces (both preceeding and after completion of the task) is vital information.
Again, we want our users empowered to manage and communicate information on the project. This example really blows down barriers that I have seen. It is my passion to push the boundaries in the way we execute project. It is my passion to engage people and extract their knowledge as best as possible. Never before has technologies been so readily available to achieve these ends and I am really looking forward to seeing our business embrace some of my passion.