ConTech solutions are typically discussed in terms of their benefits for contractors, but any technology that adds value to a project’s planning and execution benefits its owner as well by reducing the risk of cost overruns and delays.
The use of a digital collaboration tool like Touchplan encourages transparency, accountability and efficiency. Based on the Last Planner® System, a Lean planning framework for construction, the tool enables all stakeholders to have the same visibility into real-time information as the project team. Owners can see how the project is progressing in full detail, and are able to coordinate more proactively with their project team. This improves the working relationship by increasing trust and satisfaction with the overall experience.
The Benefits of Digitized Planning
In addition to increased transparency, digital project planning boosts schedule and commitment reliability, enabling everyone to track changes in real time. The use of a digital tool makes the plan accessible to everyone, including the owner, and makes it easier to see that tasks are being completed on time. It also facilitates the use of increasingly popular alternative project delivery methods, like integrated project delivery, design-build, or construction-manager-at-risk by tapping into everyone’s best thinking.
Collaborating to execute projects more efficiently and predictably minimizes the chances of conflicts or disputes. Precise and transparent planning incentivizes reliability and lessens the likelihood of one party attempting to recoup perceived losses through change orders, cutting corners, or delays. If a delay does occur, there is a proven system available to the team to rework the plan to create a recovery schedule, maximizing the likelihood that a project will be completed on time or early. Shortening a project’s duration and minimizing risk translates into savings in contingency funds, which can then be used to expand the project’s scope to address wish-list items.
On a recent BOND project to relocate Lahey Hospital’s general internal medicine department to a nearby office building, the team used Touchplan to overcome a delayed start and a major design change that required significant rework to finish five weeks ahead of schedule. By scheduling and coordinating their work more precisely, the team saved time and money, returning four percent in savings to the owner which was reallocated to support end user requests.
Additionally, the early completion allowed the hospital more time for setting up the new space. “The end users were able to spend more time ahead of the move in a finished space doing training and getting supplies and equipment into place. There was also additional time for administration, philanthropy, marketing and other departments to document and promote the site prior to seeing the first patients,” said John Navarro, Project Manager of Planning, Design, and Construction at Lahey Hospital.
What was particularly notable about this project was that it was the team’s first experience with Touchplan and Lean construction. “The project was, overall, extremely smooth,” said Mike Walsh, Vice President of Healthcare and Life Sciences at BOND. “At first, I think a lot of the players were very skeptical, they had not really been exposed to the Last Planner System or Lean construction and by the efforts of our team... [we] got to lay out what our vision was and our goals for the job, and how we were going to get there and to see if we could improve that...and with everyone sitting at the table I think they came around right from the beginning kick-off meeting."
What Is Touchplan?
Touchplan is a web-based, accessible-anywhere construction collaboration tool that quantifies and qualifies areas for continuous improvement. Based on the Last Planner System, a Lean methodology developed for the building process, Touchplan enables teams to improve performance on every project. Ready to use within minutes, Touchplan allows teams to collaborate in real time to deliver projects that finish weeks—and even months—earlier than originally planned. Trusted by over $22 billion of construction on 800+ global projects and ranked by Constructech and G2 Crowd as a top construction management tool, twenty-one percent of the Engineering News-Record top 100 use Touchplan to finish ahead.