Change Impact Intelligence Tool (Ci-iT)

An AI-enabled platform to help project teams respond to change and adopt innovation more easily.

Last updated: 10th August 2021

Date uploaded:

Approved for use

Innovation Lead: Sherrie Rad
Project number: 105868
UKRI funding: £726,438

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Website:
skanska.co.uk/


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Summary

Change is not always easy to plan for or navigate around, especially on large complex programmes. But the Change Impact Intelligence Tool (Ci-iT) developed by Skanska has the potential to help project teams quickly understand the impact of design changes and any possible knock-on effects to cost, time, resource, waste and re-work. A cloud-based, AI-enabled platform, Ci-iT can integrated multiple data sets and apply different change scenarios to it, to provide real-time impact intelligence. This makes changing a management workflow quicker, easier and more productive, not less. It will also help the industry incorporate innovations more readily into programmes as the positive impact this kind of change will be more easily seen and understood.

Innovation type: Digital
Organisation type: Construction tier 1 contractors, Innovative SME, Manufacturer

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Project pioneers

Skanska is a major global construction company that wants to better understand the impact of changes to major projects so it can minimise adverse impact. By incorporating innovation into live projects, it can help remove the fear of unknown implications, which can often slow down the adoption of new ideas.

The problem

Changes to projects are frequently needed at all stages, from conception to handover. These changes arise because of potential improvements that could be made, or the discovery of problems that emerge along the way. Understanding the impact that these changes have on timings and cost is currently a labourious manual task. Understandably project teams try to avoid changes, even when they may result in a better whole-life outcome for the build.

Vision

The Change Impact Intelligence Tool (Ci-iT) can quickly understand the impact of design changes during a project and the knock-on effects, in terms of cost, time, waste and re-work. Using machine learning, impact models and new visualisation technology, Ci-iT will support near real-time change impact intelligence. Optimal decisions can be made more easily and quickly to improve a project's outcomes or minimise emerging issues. Importantly, innovations can be more readily incorporated into a programme to improve productivity, resource efficiency and the performance of the final building or infrastructure. It will also help increase the capacity for innovation across the construction industry.

Key Insight

The need for a tool to assess the impact of change on major projects was conceived at the cross sector innovation partnership, i3P. Member Skanska took the project forward.

First step

Skanska partnered with the Manufacturing Technology Centre and two SMEs - Enable My Team and UNIT9. The team committed to developing the Change Impact Intelligence Tool (Ci-iT) - an automated tool that could understand the impact of changes during a project, using an AI driven platform that provides clear visual data to help make better decisions.

Barrier

The impact of design changes in a project are hard to evaluate and so cautious approaches are often taken even when there is a good case for change. Easier evaluation of impact can overcome this resistance to change.

Digital Innovation

A knowledge management platform like Ci-iT works by integrating and analysing structured and unstructured data from multiple tools across a construction programme's management workflow. This means bringing together complex datasets around project scheduling and BIM in one place and applying machine learning to incorporate near-real-time changes in information, such as project duration, cost, resourcing, and materials waste. The tool should then be able to assess project duration, cost, resource requirements material wastage and provide options to the project managers - such as 'the project will overrun if we do X' or 'costs can be reduced if we do Y'. Skanska has been using historical data from two projects in the development of the Ci-iT application. One is a large infrastructure project (Crossrail, Paddington) and the other is a medium size building project (a secondary school). These have been selected since they represent some of the diversity of projects that Skanska are involved in. The data sets are being used by the consortium to identify sources of project changes, and what direct/indirect effects they have on the various packages of work / project programme. The data has been applied to Ci-iT, an Azure-based cloud infrastructure, to test how the information management and data exchange could be improved to support real-time optimised decision making around change. EMT is assessing this data and providing Skanska with change impact intelligence. Ultimately, it is envisaged that the developed application will use live project data and proactively flag potential impacts of changes and allow better project controls/predictive analysis to avoid wastage and programme or budget slips.

Collaborators

Skanska led the programme with support from Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), UNIT9 and Enable My Team (EMT), who set up the cloud based infrastructure and are analysing the datasets.

  • Enable My Team (EMT)
  • MTC
  • Skanska
  • UNIT9
  • i3P

Lead support

The idea was conceived at the cross sector innovation partnership, i3P. Transforming Construction Challenge and Innovate UK supported with funding and helped connect the partners together.

Long Term Vision

The Change Impact Intelligence Tool (Ci-iT) will help clients and contractors in complex programmes understand the impact of design changes during a project and the knock-on effects, in terms of cost, time, waste and re-work. This will improve real-time decision-making and increase productivity, resource efficiency and the performance of the final building or infrastructure. It will also help increase the capacity for innovation across the construction industry.

Powerful Processes

A knowledge management platform like Ci-iT works by integrating and analysing structured and unstructured data from multiple tools across a construction programme's management workflow. This means bringing together complex datasets around project scheduling and BIM in one place and applying machine learning to incorporate near-real-time changes in information, such as project duration, cost, resourcing, and materials waste. This improved data flow enables real-time optimised decision making about the impact of change on a programme of works.

Fascinating Facts

EMT has undertaken investigative work on the retrieved datasets to better understand the existing change management process and how it can be optimised. In June, EMT started to setup an Azure-based infrastructure to host and investigate the large dataset received from Skanska project - C405 Crossrail Paddington Station.

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