We have a bold vision to reinvent how we deliver projects, but one of the greatest barriers to data driven project delivery is….data. We are swimming in it, but it is often poor quality and misaligned to the questions that we’ll want to answer in the future. Questions enabled by AI.
There are lots of companies out there who see an opportunity to help to solve this problem. But are we inadvertently making the situation worse rather than better? Is the proliferation of apps confusing those who we are trying to help? Some companies see it as an opportunity to hoover up data, to give them an advantage. But users will ultimately be faced with apps, underpinned by black box AI, trained by an unknown and unvalidated data set.
Reimagine the problem
Rather than feeding the app arms race, lets break the cycle. Most organisations have an Microsoft O365 subscription. This comes with Powerapps, forms, PowerBI and a degree of automation. Shouldn’t we be leveraging the tools that we already have, rather than bolting new ones on top?
The challenge for the industry is that it takes time to create apps, dashboards and the underlying infrastructure. Its not intellectually hard or laden with unique IP; it just takes time and resources.
However, if we pool our resources and work collegiately we can open source these capabilities for the benefit of all and move a lot quicker towards an AI enabled future. Project:Hack is helping to do this where we have >100 people working together on 7-8 March 2020 to develop apps, code, dashboards and similar.
We’ll still need scheduling tools and high end automation tools, but lets share the capabilities that we can easily create in O365.
Lets take safety as an example. There are dozens of different apps that collect data, store it and visualise it. This data all sits in different places, with different fields. One company commented to me that their clients mandated use of a specific safety app, which resulted in them having 9 different systems. Surely this isn’t really in anyone’s interest? Would it be better for the community to develop an app, open source it and securely pool the data that emerges from it. The Construction Data Trust is one way of creating an ecosystem to manage this data, working on behalf of those who own it.
Developers can then access the data (subject to rules) and derive high end insights from the data. Insights that have the potential to save lives. Not just looking for patterns in audit or incident data, but understanding the correlation between data culture, behaviour and safety outcomes. They plug in their models into the ecosystem to identify insights that are truly unique rather than competing at the commodity end of the spectrum.
By disrupting the status quo we encourage people to be involved in shaping the questions that they want answered in the future. They attach a higher value to their data, which drives up quality, alignment and volumes; underpinned by an emergent data culture. We standardise, which eases the burden with data integration. We work collegiately on the simple stuff and bring innovation to insights that we derive from data. We use data to automate and improve productivity. We reduce the outliers and black swans; 1 bad project can reverse years of productivity gains.
We also create the volume of data to inspire a whole host of academic research. Analysis that is led by the industry, grounded in the challenges that they aspire to answer. We develop a new cadre of professionals who leverage insights from data; they develop a crystal ball.
I was challenged recently why would Projecting Success want to give things away rather than selling apps? The answer is an easy one for us. We’ll only get to the high end and transformational services when we have sufficient data volumes. Selling low end apps is a business that will not endure as more people gain expertise in data analytics. We need to disrupt, democratise data and reinvent how we deliver projects. We want to continue to lead the way on on how we do this.