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UniPhi Blog

With UniPhi - Implement Project 13 Governance Pillar

UniPhi Software, 20 Jun 2022

The UniPhi platform provides support in implementing governance into the project environment for project 13 organisations (and any organisation for that matter). It has a range of features that enable organisations to configure their governance models then track compliance. One of the most valued add to this mix, and probably the least recognised, is the data governance UniPhi provides. 

It is very hard to have bad data when using the UniPhi platform. Whether the data source is external to UniPhi and imported in or is captured via the broad interface range of cost, time, contract, resource, documents, issues and risks, you have to work very hard to have bad data come out the other end. This is because the UniPhi platform (while highly configurable) is a structured system that forces users to follow the bouncing ball of document version control, variations management, issues management, risks management etc and hence is always capturing data in a contextual way that makes it good.


UniPhi provides the transparency to magnify any governance issue.

Another left field support of governance UniPhi provides is transparency. Audits undertaken at our clients whether they be for ISO compliance, Government policy compliance or financial governance are a doddle as the auditor can review reports showing full compliance at the click of a button. This not only saves our clients thousands in compliance cost, it provides assurance that the system designed is the system being followed.

Partially complete invoice with remaining users flagged as awaiting sign off.

Leaving the outside the box areas aside, UniPhi also provides a host of features that support the governance pillar in project 13. Included in this is:

  1. Sophisticated party/role model controlled by user based encrypted logins that gives full audit history of all records across the system
  2. Digital signatures for approving key documentation like project management plans, budgets, contracts, change requests, invoices and variations.
  3. Configurable delegations of authority that enable the organisation to input approval workflows for all of the above documentation
  4. All the above documentation is auto generated with the content coming from the relevant modules that provide the interface and the quality control to capture the right information. 
  5. Fully configurable roles with documented responsibility and the ability to embed these responsibilities into features of the system like sign off of documents, contract instructions, issues and risk strategies
  6. Fully configurable cost and contract modules that control budget change, contract approval and more. 
Contract permissions configuration page in UniPhi, giving comfort to the "C Suite" that your governance model is being complied with. 

If you like to sleep at night and you're a project director or "C Suite" executive, it might be worth checking us out, Project 13 or not.

Contact us via chat at https://uniphi.com.au or email us at sales@uniphi.com.au

 

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With UniPhi - Project 13 Digital Transformation for the Capable Owner is more than BIM and the Digital Twin

UniPhi Software, 09 Jun 2022

Sadly, most of the talk in the Project 13 arena around digital transformation focuses on digital design elements like BIM and the digital twin. We believe this is further paving of cow paths that has been the scourge of the construction and infrastructure industry for years. 

If you look outside of construction and infrastructure and see how other industries do projects, while not perfect, you will not see any of the debate and management theories prevalent in construction. Jira, Slack, Basecamp, Monday, Trello etc are all incredibly successful pieces of software used to manage projects. These products are worth significantly more than the most successful construction project management software products like Procore and Aconex and yet, these products are rarely used in construction. 

Digital transformation should focus on better collaboration aligned with traditional project controls automation

 

There is too much focus on the design model in construction. Most products that capture BIM and digital twin information do not work well with non-industry gurus who are the ones paying the bill and providing the outcomes required. Like a lot of construction software, the drivers of these products are few in number and the systems are often closed, accessible only on the machine installed. 

Even when published online, large file sizes, complex interfaces with little room for comment threading and issue/risk management mean that these models are great visualisation tools but do nothing to track how a design is evolving through new outcomes, requirements and capability conversations. It is these conversations that must be passed down the line to contractors and sub-contractors to ensure the outcome is kept in mind at all times of the build. This is the key elements of agile collaboration, sprints and value-based project management implemented by users of collaborative tools.

What is lost in the world that uses the collaborative tools referenced above is the control of program, cost and resource allocation. These elements, so heavily focused on in construction, could definitely be adopted by non-construction industries to assist them in delivering on time and within constraints of cost and quality. Combine these two elements (Collaboration and Project Controls) into one holistic platform and you now have the ability to create true digital transformation on any type of project, and this is what UniPhi has done.

The UniPhi platform can replace numerous systems and integrate with others to streamline the number of tools, improving the volume, quality and value of project information

 UniPhi brings the following use cases to the table of digital transformation:

  1. Web-based access open to any stakeholder in any business
  2. Captures and manages the version control of new design documentation
  3. Links design documentation to design issues and the conversations that lead to their resolution
  4. Links cost impacts on these same design issues to contract variations budget variances and change requests
  5. Formalises the approval of original budgets via digital signatures based on delegated authorities
  6. Formalises the approval of budget change requests via the same digital signatures on delegated authorities
  7. Fomalises and controls the assessment of progress invoicing with one workflow from supplier to project manager to accountant and to accounting system via proven delegated authority digital sign-offs.
  8. Automates the updating of cash flow and program based off signed off progress invoicing and earned value assessment
  9. Automates the multi-functional reporting of project, program and portfolio cost, schedule, quality, risks, issues, resource and contractual performance, providing time for analysis and course correction
  10. Eliminates the need for progress meetings to find out the status of tasks
  11. Enables the collaboration around risk mitigation and the drawdown of contingency to meet emerging risk demand
  12. Facilitates the communication of outcomes to new stakeholders as they are onboarded into the project/program
  13. Transparent forward-looking utilisation of human resources across the value chain to identify bottlenecks in the supply
  14. Captures time against tasks and assesses earned value for those tasks to generate real-time and accurate earned value performance reporting
  15. Captures in field data including defects, surveillance, daily diaries, toolbox talks etc etc
  16. Rolls this data up into trends and uses this information for early warnings on new projects via AI and machine learning

And, and, and, and.....

UniPhi's 11 standard modules that integrate with each other and provide a platform for true digital transformation


The integration of the 11 core modules to facilitate the above use cases is total blue ocean for capable owners who leverage this software to its fullest

 

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With UniPhi - Project 13 - The Capable Owner

UniPhi Software, 08 Jun 2022

As referenced in our previous post, the capable owner is the key foundation pillar for project 13 to have any chance of success. It is, by far, the most complicated and difficult to achieve. This may sound offensive to owners of construction and infrastructure assets, but when you consider the current culture of these industries, you can see the challenges that lie in creating capability. Traditional practice in construction and infrastructure worldwide is to establish an adversarial contractual relationship and hire contract gurus (otherwise known as bullies) to make sure the company they represent wins in a win/lose contest.

Managing the value chain is coming via Project 13's capable owners to construction and infrastructure

The key principle for capable owners in their attempt to address this cultural destruction is to develop long term B2B relationships, built on trust and transparency. Various contract forms have been developed to assist with this (ECI, PPP, NEC etc), but the key to success is having business relationships that value the partnership first and the contract second. The contract should only be there in the event of divorce, not as the driving management document of the project.

The value that can be unlocked, when this type of environment is established, is massive. Labor costs can be dramatically reduced due to reduced administration, reduced re-work, and more efficient planning. With focus on outcomes, the total life costs of the asset can be dramatically reduced as more efficient fixtures and materials are invested in and installed effectively to reduce long-term maintenance. Combine all these elements and you have a lot of $ to play with. If this is distributed effectively along the value chain so that all players share in the success, then relationship bonds should be strengthened, and hence the next investment should unlock even more value.

With UniPhi, being a capable owner doesn't have to be a pie in the sky
 

Of course, for any grisly grey-haired player in the industry, this is pie in the sky stuff.  BUT, just like the value unlocked from the use of cross-functional teams on collaborative platforms on projects WITHIN a company, those owners who do succeed (and their associated suppliers) are going to be swimming in blue ocean.

With UniPhi, we believe capable owners have the system that can support a lot of the leg work that goes into making the pie appear in the sky. UniPhi has both the transparent project controls framework that clearly displays current turnout costs, profitability, and resource load. It also has collaborative elements that foster complex adaptive teams. It is this second element that really drives the value. Unlike other construction collaboration tools that have effectively "paved a cow path" on RFIs, UniPhi's issues and risks modules provide a platform for multiple companies to comment on, rate and escalate key items that are going to endanger the successful outcomes the team is aiming for. Our issues system is the simplest module across the software, and yet supports the development of teams to manage complexity and allow for the emergence of two key principles in a complex project management environment.

With UniPhi, your reports are instantly live and viewable by all, with transactional data one click away
 

Imagine a dashboard that shows accurate, live earned value performance that formulates instant estimate at completion forecasts alongside of key issues and risks that are being addressed with conversations on those issues and risks one click away. Milestones, achieved recently and about to be achieved, are also displayed as are resources that are near or over capacity and key supply contracts that have to be let, if lag items are going to be delivered on time.

All of this information on one page, with the underlying transactional data one click away. That's how you become a capable owner.

 

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With UniPhi - Deliver on Project 13 Principles

UniPhi Software, 06 Jun 2022

Project 13 is a documented set of principles and processes to support a more integrated project delivery for infrastructure and construction projects. It's idealistic goal is to be able to create a collaboration across organisations that works towards a common outcome. Construction and infrastructure projects can be very adversarial and focus on the letter of the contract significantly more than projects conducted in other industries. Each company working on the project is in it for themselves (quite naturally) and often those that win are at the considerable expense of others that lose, with the largest likely to be the owner of the asset being built.

From https://www.leanconstruction.com.au/blog/project-13-a-new-approach-to-infrastructure-delivery/
 

Many contractual concepts have been developed to try and deal with this issue, including the NEC suite of contracts, that try to force organisations to get together more often and earlier to focus on problem-solving rather than variation gouging. Their success, however, is limited by the fact it is still centred on the contract. 

Project 13 tries to change this by encouraging owners of assets being built to build collaborative enterprises that have strong long term relationships with suppliers. While there are 5 pillars to Project 13, this is the key one. A client needs to build trust between them and their supply chains, focus on collaboration, not mediation and remove the emphasis on the contract. Building these values of trust, transparency and common purpose is a significant hurdle and is the key foundation for project 13 to work. From there, the challenge becomes more about process than cultural values, and systems like UniPhi can make these processes a doddle to implement.

The five pillars of project 13 are:

  1. Capable Owner
  2. Governance
  3. Integration
  4. Organisation
  5. Digital Transformation

Each of these pillars has a set of principles to guide people in achieving their key outcomes. Over the next 5 days, we will explain how UniPhi's web based portfolio, programme and project management application can support these principles, allowing owners to focus on the cultural change and letting the processes take care of themselves.

The simplest thing that UniPhi does is it provides an enterprise project management system to on-board any project team member from any company within a second and allows them to then collaborate with other team members from other companies. This then fosters a total transparent data architecture where everyone knows what the goal is, where the design is at and the reasoning for decisions made along the way. You could say that the principles of UniPhi are the pillars that support the processes of project 13. 

Anywhere access, global collaboration = total transparency

 The key principles of UniPhi have always been:

  • Transparency of information
  • Integration of cost, time, quality, risk and issue data
  • Access anywhere, any time
  • A system people want to use

These principles, when implemented by a capable owner, dramatically increase the chances for successful investment in any asset.


 

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May Wins

UniPhi Software, 01 Jun 2022

 

Dreams of the end of lockdown

The last two months have been wild ones for us at UniPhi. The beginning of April saw numerous staff run for the hills to long awaited travel holidays, as Covid lockdown ending freedoms finally kicked in. And of course, this happened at the same time as many others fell ill to this dreaded virus.

May has seen a continuation of this massive loss of people on the ground as a lovely flu to end all flus wiped out not only our systems architect but many others. Covid continued to have its say too with our CEO finally succumbing despite having dodged it from his OS travels two years earlier.

Bleugh

But, despite all this, we're proud of what we've achieved. UniPhi's software will go live in June as the core application for project controls on the Sydney Metro EDS. This has been a massive undertaking and we are delighted with the results. Hopefully, we will be able to share the outcome as the switch is flicked and over 100s of users start using the system in anger.

 


We have welcomed a host of new businesses onto the UniPhi platform over the past couple of months and are pleased to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from the sponsors and end users. UniPhi is a very transformative product with one CEO once describing it like having a triple heart bypass with a lung replacement at the same time. Challenging to implement the change but once achieved the benefits are life changing.

Raj Deo joins us as our new COO


We also welcomed Raj Deo back into the business. Raj is an old colleague, who has returned from his sojourn into the corporate head office world, to bring his learned and wiser brain back into our business as chief operating officer. Welcome back Raj and thanks, you're already making a massive difference to the business.



UniPhi 18 is to be released on 15th August this year and our dev teams (the ones not in the Bahamas or on a sick bed) have been busily completing the key features of this release. The focus of 18 is on user experience with many existing screens being streamlined or removed to make it simpler to navigate and use our software. We will be posting more about this release over June and July on the blog.

Well, that's about it for this month. We've got plenty of news that couldn't quite make the deadline this time but we're looking forward to telling our community all about it in our "June Wins" post.

 

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