Board Prioritization of CII Strategic Initiatives

At the Fall Board of Advisors meeting in Austin, CII Leadership participated in three, interactive workshops to understand more about CII’s strategic initiatives planned for 2020. Upon the conclusion of the workshops, the Board voted to prioritize the remaining “unallocated” spend from 2019, in support of the five initiatives below. The most funding landed in favor of CII’s Data Warehouse and Research Portfolio.

Research Portfolio

In 2019, the Funded Studies Committee (FSC) commenced multiple projects within three research programs, engaging more than 90 CII members in research. The FSC developed these programs in coordination with the Strategic Planning Committee with the intent of creating research platforms to drive innovation in the Capital Projects industry. Each program had a long-term goal and intentionally created research threads that will enable step changes. These ongoing programs and projects are illustrated in the first three programs in the figure below and you can read more about them on the Research Programs webpage.

The FSC also defined a five-year timeline for the overarching research portfolio, including programs that have not yet received funding. The figure below shows these three programs, which are the committee’s recommended priorities for 2020. At the 2019 fall Board of Advisors Meeting, the committee proposed this timeline as a plan for the 2020 research funding allocation.


Beyond the five overarching programs, the plan also includes funding for standalone topics, which are research ideas proposed by CII committees other than the Funded Studies Committee and that do not fit any of the programs above. For instance, these may include modularization, risk management, or safety projects proposed by Communities for Business Advancement (CBAs). Given enough funds, the FSC intends to fund one project in the standalone category in 2020.

Board Prioritization Results (based on 70 votes)

The board prioritization determines the extent of the funds allocated to pursue this research portfolio. As a path forward, the committee will work with this feedback to refine the timeline, further develop the topics, and commence new projects in 2020.

Project Data Warehouse (PDW)

CII has been a leader in benchmarking and project performance assessment since 1995. All systems, with the exception of 10-10, have reached their end-of-life. The purpose of funding the Project Data Warehouse (PDW) is to deliver a system that leverages new technology to enable cutting-edge project analytics, research, and visualization. 
The vision for the Project Data Warehouse is to create value for CII and its members by providing a project data research and development platform that supports and drives innovative solutions. Moreover, the PDW tangibly improves business outcomes through analytics, research, and an academically-based, disciplined approach. A key objective of the system is to provide support for CII’s CBAs, sectors, and research teams, as well as traditional customers of the legacy 10-10, Performance Assessment, Healthcare, and Pharma platforms.
Deliverables for summer 2020 include:
  • A modern industry project data platform that builds on CII’s 20+ years of project assessment experience
  • Infrastructure to support a rich, data-centric picture of the built environment
  • Data migration and transition of existing customers to the new PDW platform
    • CII’s Facilities and Healthcare (FH) Sector’s Healthcare Benchmarking program
    • CII’s Manufacturing and Life Sciences (MLS) sector’s Pharmaceutical/Biotech Benchmarking program
    • CII general benchmarking program
The system is being developed by the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and will allow CII to capitalize on TACC’s high performance computing capabilities and tap into their expertise as world-class data scientists and computing experts. The new PDW platform will be able to support advanced techniques such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, user-driven custom analytics, and, over the coming years, real-time data visualization as well.
A Project Analytics Community for Business Advancement (CBA) has been approved for launch in conjunction with the new Project Data Warehouse. This CBA will provide a forum in which participants can meet, discuss, and consider collaborative actions to achieve the vision of enhanced project delivery through performance assessment, benchmarking, metrics, and data analytics. The Project Analytics CBA will promote the use of the Project Data Warehouse (PDW) both within CII membership and elsewhere, communicating to the broader CII community about data collection campaigns, new reports, and findings published by various studies and groups. It will also provide a space for participants to share lessons learned. 

Digital Thinking Ecosystem

CII continues its mission to integrate leading technologies and innovations into delivery and capital assets for members. CII is embracing the path of digital transformation through its vision of a “Digital Thinking Ecosystem.”  
An initial proposal of connected processes and systems can be seen in the figure below. The figure is not intended to be comprehensive; but rather, indicative of what could be possible to be included in the Digital Thinking Ecosystem. Each process and system will require evaluation of applicability and effectiveness to live in the ecosystem.


Digital Thinking attributes:
  • Dramatically improved time-based components of delivery through the use of digitally-connected processes. 
  • Member assets will live and “grow” (i.e., develop) through an artificially intelligent overlay that constantly evaluates conditions and provides feedback for current and/or future opportunities. 
  • CII’s Project Data Warehouse will be foundational in storing, organizing, sorting and modifying data for the ecosystem.
  • Processes will be integrated through automated, intelligent data exchange.
  • The ecosystem will function and operate independently of traditionally sequenced project delivery with an intent to minimize or eliminate “sequential bias.”
  • Basing delivery on a Digital Thinking Ecosystem will be a catalyst to re-imagine processes that support the vision.

Additional Sector Allocation

CII’s Strategic Plan calls for expanding membership into more diverse areas within the capital projects industry to improve CII’s overall impact and reach. In 2016, a CII task force identified 12 industry sectors and created five committees to represent these sectors, with an overwhelming response and approval by the Board of Advisors. Each sector committee is tasked with determining their individual programs and delivering research and development initiatives in line with their key business imperatives. As one of the hallmarks of CII, this is accomplished through meaningful collaboration between owners, contractors, service providers, and academia within each sector.   
The first round of research initiatives from each of our five sectors has completed their work and presented at the 2019 Annual Conference in San Diego. We need to continue this trend! Consequently, the Sector Leadership Committee (SLC) is requesting that a pool of additional funds be established to ensure that our sectors can continue to be successful in 2020. The funds will be disbursed by the SLC for specific projects designed to expand member engagement, provide more focus on deployment, and enable them to deliver more value through another round of R&D initiatives beginning in 2020. 
To clarify, the CII’s base budget for sector funding for 2020 is $530,000 – or, $106,000 per sector. By comparison, the 2019 budget for sectors was $850,000. The reduction in base funding is necessary as some sector committees have struggled to identify and fund projects that advance a key objective(s).  As a result, if the BOA prioritizes funding for an additional allocation for sector R&D, these funds will go to specific high-value projects identified by individual sector committees and approved by the SLC. As with overarching research, sector R&D programs can span multiple calendar (budget) years, requiring consistent funding support from the CII membership.
The SLC acknowledges and appreciates your commitment and support of CII’s sector program. Sectors currently represent the largest percentage of member company participation in CII. If authorized by the Board of Advisors, the Sector Leadership Committee – through its oversight and financial stewardship role – will allocate funding to sector R&D initiatives that will deliver the greatest impact and engagement value to its members, in alignment with sector business imperatives and their related strategic objective(s). Let’s keep the sector program vibrant and moving forward!

Educational Programs

A primary strategy for CII to increase its impact within the capital projects industry is to promote a culture of continuous innovation in a diverse and inclusive setting. The Institute desires to expand its reach to industry participants by engaging them and helping them to develop the management, leadership, business and technology acumen needed for the future.
The 2019 member survey clearly identified that active member company participants in CII desire to have increased access to more online learning modules about CII practices and best practices.  In addition, the members voiced that there were challenges on finding information on CII’s website and in the Knowledge Base. CII is aware that the search engine optimization on both the website and Knowledge Base are in need of improvement.
Board prioritization of Educational Programs would provide funds to the Deployment Committee for them to be able to advance the development of member company employees. The committee would also study the viability of newer pathways such as online educational videos. The objective of additional funds for Educational Programs is to elevate the understanding and thought leadership of the employees at the CII member organizations.
Potential Examples of New Educational Programs:
  • Create new online learning modules (PDH’s) for emergent practices and best practices
  • Update existing online learning modules (PDH’s), possibly with new types of content
  • Refresh / redevelop the CII website so that content is easier to access
  • Improve search engine functionality for the Knowledge Base
  • Increase access to CII publications and services
  • Advance new educational programs and objectives as required
The Institute appreciates the Board's prioritization of these strategic initiatives. We are excited about running with these new projects and leveraging the industry for success.

Date posted: November 26, 2019