Effective engineering document management lies at the heart of successful construction and capital projects

Effective document management is key to ensuring successful construction and capital projects. From initial design documents, to work orders, to contracts, to compliance documents, every stage in the process is determined by the quality of its documentation. OpenText™ Extended ECM for Engineering is an Engineering Document Management System which brings accuracy and control to facilitate fast and efficient information sharing and collaboration in engineering capital projects.

In this first in a series of blogs on Engineering Document Management in capital projects, I am going to discuss the key principles to reduce cost and risk in capital projects.

Large engineering and construction projects are notoriously challenging. McKinsey reports that nine out of ten large infrastructure projects go over budget. The company has found that the spend overrun is caused by poor project execution in 73% of the cases. At the center of poor execution is poor document management. In one study, three quarters of respondents said that project document issues caused overruns on many of their projects with a further 25% saying that poor documentation had led to construction delays. 

Document control in capital projects

The goal of Engineering Document Management Systems is to support capital projects in delivering the required documents completely and of a high quality standard to fulfill each milestone of a capital project in time.  Goals include:

  • Optimize document control in complex projects that are planned with thousands of documents and drawings
  • Manage hundreds of project members and contractors who are working across the globe
  • Accelerate review and approval processes of documents to comply to SOPs and regulations
  • Deliver project documents in time to the customer to ensure sign off and payment
  • Ensure that contractors deliver high quality document revisions in time
  • Monitor official revision stages of documents to meet project milestones

Enterprise document management solutions such as Extended ECM for Engineering provide a powerful, central document repository developed for the specific needs of engineering and construction projects. Key principles include:

Reduce waste and risk

With large projects involving thousands of documents it is all too easy for the wrong set of documentation to be used. Different people create changes and markups to the original document but these are never properly reconciled. A central repository (Mater Document Register) provides a single source of the truth for all documents, where all documents are kept up-to-date and accurate and are far easier to locate and access.

Improving version and revision control

Design work takes place simultaneously which means that mark-ups and changes to documents take place where people work. As revisions happen, multiple versions are created that others are unaware of and can’t immediately access. Engineering document management solutions give engineers and contractors guidance and Cloud access to the documents they need and allow them to mark up and amend the documents to reflect their activities. These changes are immediately reviewed and once approved checked into the master document repository as a new revision.

Keeping projects on schedule

Inefficient processes, whether manual or digital, add cost and delay. Without effective process state control and progress reporting project managers and document controllers have no insight into whether documents of delivery packages or project tasks have been accomplished by the responsible person and reviewed and approved by the accountable discipline leads.

Document expediting and progress tracking in accordance with the project plan in Primavera or SAP PLM is essential to keep the project in time and within budget.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

More and more engineering companies and engineering departments of owner/operators are introducing BIM to improve efficiency in collaboration and quality in delivering construction projects. Engineering Document Management is an important pillar in the BIM methodology which is derived from regulations like ISO 19650, PAS 1192, CFHOS, and VDI-2770. Companies who want to establish BIM standards or have already established the same have to consider a change in the way Engineering Documents are currently handled. Engineering Document Management Systems must be BIM compliant by supporting model information in specific attribute categories, process state and expediting information.

Improve and accelerate collaboration

There are many stakeholders involved in modern construction and engineering projects. Owners and operators, contractors, sub-contractors and authorities need the right information at the right time. The engineering document management system must be able to make all project information and documentation available in real-time to everyone who requires it.

Leading through best practice

If you’re planning an initiation and investigation project to establish the scope and high-level design of your Extended ECM for Engineering project, we offer an exciting Proof of Concept service. With the service, you have access to pre-configured prototype systems that can be adapted to your requirements. Without installing the system or purchasing licenses, you can identify how your organization can benefit from this solution.

If you’d like to know more about Extended ECM for Engineering, our FasTrak service, or our prototyping service, please contact us.

Author: Jens Friehmelt – Jens is Senior Manager in OpenText Professional Services EMEA leading an international team which combines multiple OpenText technologies to serve customers with best practice solutions for the Engineering, Construction and Maintenance processes. 

Professional Services - Industry

The Professional Services Verticals team focuses on specific industry processes, often within regulated industries e.g. Life Sciences, Government, Energy & Engineering. The team helps organizations within these industries find the best solution for them and consists of certified experts with many years of industry domain expertise. The team operates on a global basis leveraging predefined industry solutions based upon best practices.

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