Harnessing technology for AECO coordination

In the first of this series of on-demand webinars, Carl Storms, technical solutions lead at Newforma, explores the role of technology for AECO coordination and project success

In today’s dynamic world of architecture, engineering, construction, and operations (AECO), collaboration stands as the cornerstone of success.

In the first of this three-part series, we will uncover:

    • What is coordination?
    • How do you keep your coordination organised?
    • How do you get a buy-in from all those involved?
    • A case study for AECO coordination.

The case for collaboration: What is AECO coordination?

We need to coordinate to collaborate. Coordination isn’t magic—it doesn’t happen by itself.

In the words of Arthur C. Clarke, ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’.

The definition of coordination is ‘the process of organising people or groups so that they work well together.’

Many AECO professionals manage their daily tasks in various ways: some rely on email and calendar reminders, others utilise shared spreadsheets, and some maintain action item logs.

However, AECO projects demand extensive interdependence, leading to limited visibility beyond individual teams.

Consequently, tasks may be completed by one team without broader awareness until the weekly meeting, which often proves lengthy enough already.

So, how can we coordinate effectively in projects?

The coordination conundrum

To effectively organise coordination meetings, it’s essential to grasp the intricacies of project documentation, whether it’s models, blueprints, or a blend of both.

How do you keep your coordination organised?

Having a clear agenda and sticking to it ensures meetings remain concise, considering everyone’s busy schedules.

Here are five top tips to keep your coordination organised.

      1. Distributing reports ahead of time, especially on contentious issues like clashes, facilitates productive discussions.
      2. Embracing virtual meeting technology enables global collaboration and provides valuable records for future reference.
      3. Leveraging customisable tools like Newforma Konekt streamlines coordination efforts, allowing workers to flag issues for discussion during meetings.
      4. Cultivating a culture of collaboration among meeting organisers enhances participation and fosters positive outcomes.
      5. Creating a list of project improvement initiatives, integrating them into the BIM execution plan, and incentivising their achievement promotes project collaboration.

A case study for AECO coordination: Gamification

The following anecdote from Darren Roos, vice president of BIM/VDC, Bernards, introduces a creative solution for motivating team members and enhancing project collaboration through gamification.

Facing initial challenges in implementing a new software process, Darren took a page from the Book of Positive Reinforcement.

He hid a chocolate bar within the project model, sparking excitement and incentivising participation.

Over time, this simple reward system evolved into a weekly competition, driving increased engagement and collaboration among team members.

Team members eagerly engaged in the competition, motivated by the prospect of finding a hidden chocolate bar within the project model.

As the reward system gained popularity, it evolved into a weekly tradition: the individual who completed their coordination tasks first received the prize.

The initiative’s success led to the creation of a 3D model trophy, further incentivising participation and fostering a sense of achievement among team members.

Choosing the right technology for AECO coordination

Through utilising virtual meetings, companies can streamline their communication by eliminating commute times and enabling more widespread participation.

It is crucial to involve on-site staff and office-based workers in these meetings for collaboration and to select the right technology which aligns with your project needs whilst being user-friendly to ensure effective adoption.

Discover how Newforma can improve your collaborative information management, project management, and BIM coordination: request a demo today.

Be sure to keep up to date with upcoming PBC Today webinars here. 

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