ProjectCentre: Central approach to projects

ProjectCentre: Central approach to projects

ProjectCentre enabled the integration of correspondence, documentation and data for post-earthquake design, planning and construction phases to lift efficiency, lower costs and improve decision-making.

An integrated, web-based collaboration workspace was central to the success of SCIRT.

SCIRT selected an off-the-shelf software package, ProjectCentre, to enable the integration of correspondence, documentation and data for post-earthquake design, planning and construction phases to lift efficiency, lower costs and improve decision-making. All formal project communications remained in one, central system. Each system interaction was tracked and information was easy to access.

The central Integrated Services Team (IST) could access all information across all projects.

Users could capture, report and review all data, documentation and communications throughout each SCIRT project. The high level of integration greatly aided planning and construction work.

Scope of use

ProjectCentre was used to house and co-ordinate:

  • Sequential To do actions
  • Correspondence
  • Files
  • Timesheet submission

Each interaction was recorded and there was no "delete" button. All discussions, requests for information or changes were tracked and auditable, ensuring accountability on each project. All projects could be monitored remotely in real time.

The highly adaptable and configurable ProjectCentre grew with SCIRT demands, supporting multi-million-dollar projects and allowing for the transfer of information between the delivery teams and the IST.

"ProjectCentre was the backbone of SCIRT," document controller Meredith Wain said. "It was a flexible, transparent and comprehensive central repository that was easy to customise and access remotely."

ProjectCentre was the system of choice because of its flexibility, easy configurability, and collaborative processes. There was no need for countless emails relating to a project and all the data was accessible. All forms could be customised and the system was easy to audit.

"With all correspondence in one place, it was a one-stop shop," business systems administrator Margaret Arrowsmith said. "Our first task was to take all the correspondence and documentation that had been gathered in the early days prior to the start of the SCIRT programme, and load that into ProjectCentre."

Users could customise communications and track project progress as ProjectCentre adapted to changing workflows. Users could also identify the cost and construction implications of project changes in the intuitive system.

The collaborative information transfer between the different groups involved in the SCIRT programme played a major role in the timely and cost-effective horizontal infrastructure rebuild.

Lessons learnt

In retrospect, having the five delivery teams operating independently within ProjectCentre, without visibility of each other's projects, was not the best decision. To further lift rebuild collaboration, having all five delivery teams operating in one area of ProjectCentre would have been a better option.

"Operating within one big site and using individual security for delivery teams would have encouraged greater collaboration, and saved time and duplication in the long run," Arrowsmith said.

In summary, the biggest lesson was the need for all delivery teams to operate on one site within company security "walls", rather than five delivery teams operating separately within ProjectCentre.