Build Better: Through the Lens of Transparency & Accountability

By Michael Tooley, Senior Director, Industry Strategy, Aurigo Software

As our nation winds closer to a significant infrastructure bill, anticipation by state and local government agencies continues to rise. The universal hope is that this investment will be a springboard for a true modernization of our roads, bridges, water/wastewater, energy, and communication systems.

It’s an exciting time…if your internal data infrastructure is equipped to handle the demand, and the parallel expectation of transparency and accountability.

A $2 trillion investment captures the attention of the public and brings with it all kinds of scrutiny by decision makers and the community. Just telling these groups that the investment will reap long-term benefits of improved access to services and goods and improved economic development, as well as more holistic benefits of health, safety, and quality of life is not enough.

Many government organizations look to their architectural, engineering and construction partners to deliver quality, productivity, and efficiency. Are you looking at your organization through the same lens?

The response to a few questions provides an assessment baseline. Are you managing capital projects with spreadsheets? Approvals by email? Do you have to re-enter data as projects move from design to construction to handover?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then you might need to prepare your data infrastructure to facilitate fast, efficient project delivery.

Capital planning and execution is all about data, or, more specifically, access to data. The many silos of conventional government-driven workflows create a disparate flow of information, which makes it difficult to document and share plans, progress, costs, and schedules. Performance monitoring data that is siloed in different departments becomes a search and sort exercise rather than a click of a button.

To get the best value out of monies available as part of the federal infrastructure bill, your systems and processes must be ready to not just fund capital projects but manage them with efficiency and quality in a timely manner. Often these are much more difficult investments because the customer behind the customer can’t directly see benefits—but it’s probably the most important first step to ensure that your team is set up for success.

An enterprise level system can help foster that unified vision across the whole organization. It’s been well documented in our industry that the right platform can help deliver higher quality programs with accountability and transparency.

For example, the Utah Department of Transportation performed a comprehensive evaluation of their statewide transportation improvement plan (STIP) process to find an end-to-end software backbone that could improve the business outcomes of their highway construction program. The system would enhance their users’ ability to interact with the data efficiently and dynamically, from planning through to operations. The benefits derived include cost savings in financial, schedule, electronic data, field data and risk management along with the automation of business processes. A well-known, independent program management firm estimated that the DOT would save approximately $20m per year with a platform that unified their capital lifecycle in this way.

If your desired outcome is quality and speed, then having an enterprise level capital program management system can help.

Bring order to the chaos and set your team up for success—prepare your data infrastructure to make the best use of the investment and increasing workload to come.

Mike Tooley

Senior Director, Industry Strategy, Aurigo Software

For more information or questions, contact our team of capital program professionals at http://www.aurigo.com/request-a-demo/.

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