Recapping CII's Annual Conference

CII celebrated 35 years of capital projects innovation at the CII Annual Conference in Indianapolis in July. The CII Annual Conference is the premier event of the capital projects industry, where CII research findings and developments are presented by some of the brightest minds in academia and industry experts from owner companies, large contractor companies, and original equipment manufacturers.

The conference was attended by over 600 delegates representing many well-known owner, contractor, and original equipment manufacturer companies, as well as academia and government agencies. CII comprises over 145 different industry member organizations.

Driven by the rapidly changing environment in which construction and capital projects take place, CII research and development of best practice methods and tools is becoming focused on shorter development cycles and more immediate benefits appropriate to specific industry sectors.

The members of CII represent some of the most successful companies in the world. CII provides a unique industry collaborative forum for researching and sharing best practices within the capital projects industry. As such, CII participation provides a tremendous advantage to member organizations. The vision for CII is improvement of the capital projects sectors and CII member companies are helping to drive that success.
Stephen Mulva CII Provides the Platform and Structure

Dr. Stephen Mulva, CII Director, opened the conference with topic “Imagine what’s possible.” He set the foundation for the conference by asking: Is your organization prepared to embrace emerging technologies and the new opportunities they bring? Will you volunteer to lead the industry and your company in doing things differently? If the answer is “yes,” then you’re ready for the next step: to imagine what’s possible!

Stephen highlighted the underutilized services and resources of CII: Online training and other training services; performance assessment and benchmarking; the implementation and deployment of the many CII best practices; participation in research teams (RT) to identify industry needs and develop improved practices; industry networking, and university collaboration opportunities. CII provides the platform and structure to support industry capital performance improvement – the industry needs to make use of it to gain the full benefits.

CII’s 2018 Award Recipients

Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence –
Melissa Herkt, GlaxoSmithKline, Exxon, Coreworx, Auburn University

Richard L. Tucker Leadership & Service Award –
William O’Brien, The University of Texas at Austin

James B. Porter Award for Technology Leadership – John Fish, S & B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd. and Ford, Bacon & Davis

Distinguish Professor –
Dr. Yong K. Cho, Georgia Institute of Technology

Outstanding Professor –
Kristen Parrish, Arizona State University

Outstanding Researcher –
Fernanda Leite, The University of Texas at Austin

Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant –
Phil Barutha, Iowa State University

CII Implementation Award –
award winners
Research Team meets
Research Teams

The CII Annual Conference is primarily a platform for the member organization Research Teams (RT) to share new research, best practices and implementation tools.

It is important to note that CII research teams are motivated by the industry member companies of CII and the teams’ members comprise personnel from owner, contractor, academic, and public sector institutions. They are not solely academic-driven. In addition, the participating team members carry out the work of the research team in a voluntary capacity.
RT-341: Integrated Project Delivery for Industrial Projects: Collaborate. Integrate. Succeed.

Collaboration plus Integration equals Certainty. This in turn has been demonstrated to translate into better performing industrial projects. The importance of collaboration and integration in capital projects is essential to aid in the successful delivery of industrial capital projects. Over the past decade, integrated project delivery has been used successfully to deliver a number of large construction projects, but it has not been widely adopted for industrial projects.

Examples of how the industry is failing in delivering capital projects successfully were provided. For example: 98% of projects over $1 billion exhibited cost overruns of 80%. Sixty-five percent of large-scale industrial projects fail to meet business objectives. A number of factors affect productivity on large projects, but the three most significant ones are Management factors (36%), Organizational factors (29%), and Labor factors (19%).

Improving certainty through I2PD (Industrial – Integrated Project Delivery) is a delivery method that fundamentally enhances project collaboration and integration. It has been shown to significantly promote enhanced collaboration and integration, thereby delivering capital project success.
Research Team 341
Research Team 335 RT-335: Improving the U.S. Workforce Development System

Even with dramatic increases in infrastructure funding and stronger development of innovations, the U.S. no longer has the skilled construction workforce necessary to build the physical and technical infrastructure required for future generations. Over the past three decades, they have seen an emerging shortage of skilled construction craft (trade) professionals. The skills shortage has worsened to the point that it is not only hard to find qualified craft professionals, but the shortage is affecting capital projects’ schedules, costs and safety.

The U.S. workforce development system desperately needs to be overhauled to address these challenges. As a process, workforce development includes the recruitment, training, placement, and retention of individuals in gainful employment opportunities. RT-335 identified a series of policies that affect industry stakeholders and governmental agencies:
  • Establish and strengthen career awareness and education opportunities for students in secondary school.
  • Significantly improve participation in work-based learning programs by removing barriers to industry and company participation.
  • Measure performance and involvement in workforce development when awarding construction contracts.
  • The secondary education system must be provided greater incentive to ensure the career readiness of all high school graduates.
  • Increase the recruitment of underrepresented groups in Career and Technical Education (CTE) through greater outreach and mentoring.
  • Promote industry and company involvement and investment into the secondary and post-secondary CTE programs.
  • Increase funding available to CTE programs most needed by industry
A sizable portion of public education and workforce funding is not effectively allocated to meet the needs of the national economy. To address this issue, the goal of the policies is to increase funding available to CTE programs that prepare the workers most needed by industry.
RT-DCC-02: Construction Readiness Assessment

Research Team DCC-02 focused on identifying the criteria critical for assessing a project’s readiness for construction. Construction readiness is defined as a series of activities and procedures that should be completed or substantially completed prior to construction in order to productively start and sustain construction operations. The team identified 228 factors, grouped into 15 categories, critical to a project to start and sustain productive construction operations. Effective project execution planning, including planning to maximize labor productivity, requires project management to understand the project’s readiness for construction.

The team developed a decision-support tool that can be used to asses a projects construction readiness by utilizing new data analysis methods created by the team integrating other research into improving field productivity. The strength of the Construction Readiness Assessment tool is derived from the variety of previously validated research that focused on constructability, modularization, activity analysis, advanced work packaging, planning for start-up, and preventing out-of-sequence construction activities.

The team demonstrated that those projects that were evaluated to be construction ready significantly out-performed those projects that were not ready. Construction ready project demonstrated a 20% cost saving, 29% gain in productivity, and 22% schedule reduction versus those projects that were not construction ready.
Research Team meets
Research Team 340 RT-340: Corporate Practices for Productivity Improvement

Most previous productivity research has been focused on improvements at the craft (trade) and project delivery levels, but these efforts rarely translated into long-term productivity gains. Using the capital project industry’s success with implementing and maintaining corporate driven safety improvement practices as a model, RT-340 identified six key practices that, when implemented effectively, will achieve enterprise-wide, lasting improvements in productivity. Six key practices critical to driving and sustaining improvements in productivity: leadership; resources; structure and communication; planning for productivity; productivity monitoring and control; and continuous improvement. Within each of the key practices, there are a number of critical elements that have to be planned, managed and implemented.

The research team was able to demonstrate that there was a significant increase in the use of proven productivity practices when organizations effectively implemented actions across these six elements.
RT-344: Improved Integration of the Supply Chain in Materials Planning and Work Packaging

Research Team 344 focused on identifying increasing “visibility” into the extended resource and materials supply chain to improve project certainty and success. Their goal was to improve the integration of the supply chain in materials planning and work packaging.

Depending on the project, 40–50% of the projects cost is attributable to materials and materials impact or control 80% of the project schedule! Siloed stakeholders impede visibility of the complete supply chain and disparate systems and asymmetric data coupled with misaligned incentives further compound that visibility.

The team discovered that “visibility” decreases significantly the further the observer is from the source of the supply node within the supply chain. This lack of visibility creates uncertainty which is calculated and treated as risk with the end result that projects create large buffers to avoid material and resource waiting times. The team also identified 10 key supply chain activities that project teams require for effective and timely decision making, and 76 items of “visibility” that enable the project team to make those key decisions.
Research Team 344
Dan Henderson Other Presentations

The CII conference had a range of presentations in addition to the report back by the various research teams. These presentations provided insight into autonomy and automation in construction industry projects, the management of uncertainty in mega-projects through the application of uncertainty management and the active pursuit of opportunities. One of the more advanced and future-looking presentations was on the future of construction technology, enabling technologies and what we can look forward to post-digitization.

A particularly interesting presentation was given by the Director of Innovation and Emerging Technology at Caterpillar. Dan Henderson presented on Automation and Autonomy in Construction Industries. Automation and Autonomy in the mining industry has demonstrated haulage 20% productivity gains, which are forecast to increase to 40%; underground cycle-time improvements of 44%; drilling 25% productivity gains. The automation roadmap demonstrates the progress from machine control and guidance to, eventually, autonomous machines and the autonomous worksite.
CII’s Technology Sector

CII’s Fiatech sector is the emerging technology arm of CII that is focused on enhancing capital asset value through leading innovative technologies. It is predominantly an industry-led, collaborative, not-for-profit, technology research and development consortium to address breakthrough technology-oriented opportunities to accelerate integration and automation. The Fiatech sector has developed a Capital Projects Technology Roadmap to amalgamate the efforts of industry, industry associations and funding agencies in the development and deployment of emerging and new technologies.
tech devices

Date posted: September 8, 2018