The opening week of a new year is a great time to reflect on the actions taken and outcomes achieved in the previous year and, at the same time, commit to the changes required to attain new goals.
Looking at the markets we serve, 2022 brought a post-pandemic rebound to 2019 activity levels. Additionally, global inflation is at a level not seen for two decades, meaning that maintaining schedule velocity with essential staffing continuity will be a critical factor in delivering expected project outcomes.
Learning from Past Project Results
Looking back at what we can learn from past project results, the Project Management Institute (PMI) published a report last year entitled Beyond Agility: Flex to the Future. Pulse of the Profession. It revealed improved project results in 2021 across many sectors, but it also showed overall only 55% of projects that went ahead were completed on time and only 62% were completed within budget. Shockingly, the report also showed that in 2021, more than 33% of projects were stated as failed projects with lost budgets or experienced scope creep.
The article identified trends between the organizations delivering more successful projects which included their focus on customer value and the implementation of digital solutions. Those that delivered on these trends achieved "higher levels of organizational agility, more standardized risk management practices, and less project scope creep, among other benefits, all contributing to better project performance."
When reading the supporting text, it's apparent that some companies are still lagging when it comes to implementing digital platforms that support collaboration, emphasize agile processes, and remove ambiguity or uncertainty with respect to project communication.
Figure 1 - Source PMI Beyond Agility: Flex to the Future. Pulse of the Profession.
Digital Transformation in 2023
Digitalization and digital transformation are not new concepts and "despite the implications of reduced capital risk, increased sustainability, and heightened safety," recent survey results show only 40% of capital projects employ digital solutions. If successful project trends have pointed to digitalization as part of the overall solution to improving project results, why are 60% of capital projects failing at leveraging these solutions?
To help shed some light on why this is, the recent Developing a Pathway to Capital Project Digitalization webinar had experienced industry leaders from Dow, Shell, and Lyondell Basell Industries sharing their thoughts on the importance of digitalization on capital projects, the related struggles of achieving successful digital transformation, and their recommended pathways to success.
Key Requirements for Digital Transformation Success
Listening to these industry experts discuss their experience, I summarized some of the key requirements that aided their pathway to success with digital transformation:
- Choose purpose-built tools made to solve your specific challenges instead of solutions that claim to solve everything
- Choose systems with open data that can be readily integrated with existing company ecosystems and can provide accurate information across systems at all times
- Choose technology partners who understand your challenges and are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals
- Choose solutions that are user-friendly
My additional bonus recommendation given our years of experience deploying successful information management solutions: Choose solutions that accelerate time to value using pre-configured SaaS infrastructure with standardized role-based views that improve adoption and reduce training effort.
Listening to these leaders speak about how they've been able to make improvements by leveraging successful digital solutions had me nodding in agreement throughout most of their presentation. We have made it our business to understand the unique challenges of these organizations and assemble our solutions, expertise, and talent to deliver on the exact requirements they discussed above.
In the summer of 2022, Vela Software merged 3 companies under the Ascertra brand, with a mission to release the power of information, so clients can successfully deliver quality projects. And we're delivering on that promise!
Ascertra business operations have grown in each of the seven international locations that allow true global coverage for our customers. Positioning ourselves in closer proximity, we offer solutions on hosted Cloud infrastructure to address mission-critical challenges like interface management, document control, and project cost management.
The learnings from the past are clear and the time to achieve better project results is now. Our experienced team would love to help you improve your 2023 (and beyond) project outcomes by leveraging our purpose-built information management solutions. We have the right experience and the right solutions to help you create your own pathway to success with digital transformation this year.
Learn more about our information management solutions that can help with your organization's digital transformation goals:
- Proarc EDMS for Document Management / Document Control
- Mpower - Project Controls and Cost Management
- Coreworx Interface Management for Projects
1. Project Management Institute (2021). Beyond Agility: Flex to the Future. Pulse of the Profession.
2. Developing a Pathway to Capital Project Digitisation [Webinar]. [Online]. Reuters Events, December 12, 2022.