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People, Process, and Standards are Crucial for Document Management Success

Jeff Siegel, VP and Director-Technology Solutions Center and Aaron Ford, Program Controls Section Manager, HNTB
Jeff Siegel, VP and Director-Technology Solutions Center

Jeff Siegel, VP and Director-Technology Solutions Center

When considering the software tools and systems to best support efficient and collaborative document control in distributed cross team environments, having a proven approach grounded in people, process, and standards is critical in producing a sustainable solution and single source of truth for document and records management as well as team solutions for collaboration and business process automation. The following paragraphs provide case study examples of effective document management solution implementations for large programmatic teams delivering key transportation infrastructure programs.

People

On the $8.2 billion Valley Transit Authority (VTA) BART Silicon Valley Extension Phase II Program in San Jose, CA, the VTA assembled a multidisciplinary team to assess, evaluate, recommend, implement, train, and support a comprehensive document control and collaboration solution capable of scaling with this very complex transit program. The team comprised of civil engineers, IT and project controls professionals developed a proactive document control plan defining how the system needed to perform, business processes, file naming convention, document organization, and metadata management. By having early concurrence on initial functional needs, the result was the rapid deployment and effective configuration of SharePoint Online to serve as the solution. Operational day-one of the program providing document control functionality, it rapidly evolved over the first 90 days as the document controls team trained users, collected use cases and user feedback, and scaled the system accordingly based on need. Program participants experienced authoritative and user-friendly interfaces to the program documents they needed, organized securely by administered roles and permissions. This was accomplished by taking a user centric approach, starting small, leveraging the industry’s best software platforms and proven program management/construction management practices.

  ​Having a proven approach grounded in people, process, and standards is critical in producing a sustainable solution and single source of truth for document and records management   

Process

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge Replacement Project, a public-private partnership (P3), successfully delivered the design and construction phases of the project to act as a web-based, Electronic Content Management System (ECMS) for over 75 thousand documents. This collaboration portal leveraged business process workflow automation for receipt and distribution of all formal project-related documentation, responses to and from the developer and provides an electronic repository for “soft” copies. The portal, in conjunction with the Port Authority’s requirements verification system, allows authorized users to perform audits, search records, print reports, export information, retain information in designated “Workspaces” and provides interactive submission reviews and responses.

Aaron Ford, Program Controls Section Manager, HNTB

Standards

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) leveraged geographic information system and SharePoint platforms to deliver a Right-of-Way and Utility Information Management System (RUIMS) for the I-15 CORE design build project. This sophisticated approach for tracking, reporting and management of the projects land acquisition activities provides integrated performance standards measurement, ability to proactively track project schedules, critical letting dates and costs. This was achieved through data and process standards for ingestion and tagging of right of way and utility design documents, land records, and construction photos within the project corridor.

Schedule adherence allows staff to negotiate the land acquisition process in a strategic fashion with a minimum of revisions and delays. GIS-based ​visualization and analysis allows for examining data spatially to understanding issues, work scheduling and task assignment based on location. Custom reports are used on a routine basis by the management team to analyze schedule performance, cost variances, workload balancing and interim product review responsiveness. Based on document tagging, RUIMS also integrates with current UDOT systems, including SharePoint to provide direct spatial access to pre/post construction images and videos, appraisal and title reports, legal descriptions, plat changes and conveyance documents reducing the amount of physical site visits required.

Direct support of project team roles and work processes are integrated into RUIMS as the daily management of parcel tracking, progress reporting and data input. Integration of consulting staff into program delivery team through web-based access allows all team stakeholders to access/view the system for reviewing quality and status. Built-in quality controls and data standards proactively identify when variances occur that could result in delays or loss of work and allow for those variances to be corrected. RUIMS can provide up-to-date information that is easily “quality controlled” in an automated, database driven environment.

With increasingly complex projects, distributed teams, and regulatory mandates for document management, putting the best industry solutions into a common information systems environment and applying people, processes, and standards provides for better operational decision. Other benefits include improved issue response, ability to plan and program for future needs; and increased knowledge of resulting assets and their criticality to successful delivery.  Having a proven approach grounded in people, process, and standards is critical in producing a sustainable solution and single source of truth for document and records management.

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