We talked to Clare Kovacs, who is a 4D Planner at @one Alliance for Anglian Water and implemented SYNCHRO to digitalize its workflows. Get a sneak peek in the video and read the complete story in the written interview below.
Interviewer: Karina Teichmann, Product Marketing Manager, Construction, Bentley Systems
Karina Teichmann: Can you tell us more about the @one Alliance partnership? How does it work and what are the benefits?
Clare Kovacs: The @one Alliance is a great place to work because you leave your badge at the door. It's all about who is best for the job, and that brings together knowledge, expertise, and people who you wouldn't normally work with. We can tap into the expertise within all the partner organizations. From a 4D side, we've developed a 4D knowledge sharing group. We present what we are working on in the alliance, but then discuss it with all the partner organizations and get their views on best practices. It's that collaboration and that culture and behavior that we've been trying to drive with SYNCHRO. It's a powerful place to be. We have so much information to access.
Teichmann: On which projects did you use SYNCHRO and how did you use it?
Kovacs: We apply SYNCHRO to as many projects as we can. Our aim is to apply it to every project in the alliance, which will soon be over a thousand projects. We're looking at about 150 projects a year that SYNCHRO will be applied to. The only time when we don’t apply it is when the project is simple, like a valve being changed or another simple task. We believe that the little jobs, which we think are easy, can actually be the most complex. Therefore, we want to apply SYNCHRO to everything and drive the right behaviors and culture, in our company, to challenge how we can most efficiently deliver projects.
Teichmann: What do you think was your greatest outcome as a result of using 4D?
Kovacs: It was about getting teams to think holistically about how they deliver projects. Not only are we starting to get detail into our schedules and making them more reliable and accurate, but we can now use that detail for commercial forecasting, procurement, design elements, and all the other enabling and environmental issues. All those details are now in the schedule. SYNCHRO in 4D has helped drive a real culture and behavioral change in our company. Also, it’s one schedule for all. Everyone owns that schedule. It's no longer a reporting tool; it's everyone's input. The site manager is inputting to it. The designers are now inputting into it. It's a good collaborative, centric tool that everyone can use. We've applied SYNCHRO to the software, creating a real organizational change and not just a little silo change, which often we get with innovations and technology.
Teichmann: Tell us more about this organizational change. How was the organization before and how is it now?
Kovacs: Before SYNCHRO, we used P6 as our reporting scheduling application. Now, we’re linking it with the model. We're fully immersing teams in the scheduling, having them look at dates and the impacts. Teams can see the impact plans, operational interfaces, temporary works, work zones, and continuity of work for tier twos and the supply chain, which is something that we've never done before. Site managers own the schedules because they can get the information out of it. It makes the schedules so much better, and people are using the application because it helps with project delivery. It's a holistic approach to project delivery management, which we've never done before.
Teichmann: You recently digitalized your company by implementing SYNCHRO into your workflows. Why do you think that other companies hesitate to implement digitalized or 4D workflows? What do you think the barriers are?
Kovacs: If we look at how digital innovations get implemented, they are often siloed. We applied SYNCHRO’s 4D capabilities to a whole organization and that was always in the forefront of our mind. We applied digital rehearsal and 4D modeling technology across every project that we deliver in the alliance. This application was something really different and quite unique. We always looked at educating the wider delivery team, collaborating and bringing everyone on that journey from the start. We began with no projects using 4D but now, the majority of projects are in 4D. As our portfolio grows, we will continue to use 4D on every project. We've trained planners, supply chains, projects, teams, and everyone else involved on the project. They can fully understand the benefits that they get out of it and we'll see those benefits for years to come as we get better at delivering projects in 4D. Because we didn't think small and we've pushed for it, 4D workflows have really worked well for us.
Teichmann: How has using SYNCHRO benefitted your client Anglian Water?
Kovacs: We used 4D to show Anglian Water what the output solution will be. The good thing about SYNCHRO is that it's so transparent. When we show the schedule and how we built it, the client knows all the dates and that it is the best delivery solution for this project. They're also able to comment on it. We've had input from operations, site managers, and treatment managers. But it’s that transparency that is good with SYNCHRO. It's one point of truth and everyone's free to input it. That's where the collaboration comes from. As the schedules become more detailed and more accurate, we can fully rely on forecasted dates and the client can become more confident in us delivering to those dates. They are confident that we really thought out how we’re going to deliver this project, as well as trust in the end dates and what we’re delivering. It’s a powerful tool.
Teichmann: Any final thoughts or comments?
Kovacs: From our experience with SYNCHRO, it feels like a family that really works with us. We have great contact and communication with them. They have a real passion for their products, and it really shows. There is always someone who you can contact, and they will be there in your office to help you. You always know the people you are dealing with, each and that's really powerful. I think that's a credit to SYNCHRO.