Research Programs

In 2018-19, the Funded Studies Committee commissioned a project with the objective of identifying critical research areas for the future of the capital project industry. The Future of the Built Environment project, executed at the University of Houston, engaged CII members in two workshops and identified a number of critical research areas and topics. The FSC used the output of the project to develop research programs that will drive the CII’s overarching research in the coming years.

Research programs aim to drive innovation and improve CII members' businesses. Programs bring together standing committees, sector committees, and Communities for Business Advancement (CBAs) to work toward common goals. A first pilot program was launched early in 2019 with the long-term goal of creating an artificial intelligence engine to optimize projects through Advanced Work Packaging. The CII BOA prioritized additional programs in April 2019 and this pages describes the ongoing research programs.

  • AI Engine to Optimize Projects through AWP
  • The Workforce of 2030
  • Integrated and Collaborative Delivery for Better Business Results
     

AI Engine to Optimize Projects through Advanced Work Packaging

logo for AI Engine to Optimize Projects through Advanced Work PackagingThere is substantial evidence that the current production approach for the capital project industry has had shortcomings in terms of cost and schedule performance. RT-272 set the foundations for the development of an alternative production model by laying the framework for Advanced Work Packaging (AWP). This research program leverages the momentum around AWP in the capital project industry and aims to transform AWP into a next-generation production system. (For more on this subject, see Stephen Mulva’s recent article in The Voice : Next Generation Advanced Work Packaging.)
 

Challenges

  • The AWP Framework needs to be improved in terms of supplier integration and planning for startup.
  • AWP adoption is still not the norm and implementations are only partial (for certain disciplines, sometimes)
  • The lack of an established and systematic approach to optimize AWP execution
     

Vision

Integrated and collaborative delivery becomes the norm of the capital project industry. This is enabled by changes in the adversarial culture and by leveraging data sharing and analytics to effectively integrate the suppliers, contractors, and owners.
 

Objectives

  • Address current gaps in the AWP framework related to supply chain integration and planning or startup.
  • Develop guidebooks that help companies promote the implementation of AWP.
  • Make the business case for the use of AWP.
  • Design an AI platform that can use past project data to optimize (or support the optimization of) capital projects.
     

Ongoing Projects

The following teams are participating in this CII research program:

  • RT-363, Integrating the Supply Chain with AWP Practices
  • RT-364, AWP-Integrated Practices for Construction Completions, Commissioning, and Startup
  • RT-DCC-04, Promoting the Use of Advanced Work Packaging
     

Past Projects

  • RT-272, Enhanced Work Packaging: Design through WorkFace Execution
  • RT-319, Transforming the Industry: Making the Case for AWP as a Standard (Best) Practice
     

The Workforce of 2030

logo for The Workforce of 2030Workforce-related topics have been common in CII research and continue to challenge the capital projects industry. Rather than reacting to workforce issues faced today, this program aims to address workforce issues in terms of the needs, demand, and supply envisioned for 2030. This vision of the future, rather than current workforce challenges, should drive this research program. In essence, the program will develop a model for the 2030 workforce, including drivers associated with technology, the impact of modularization, increased offsite manufacturing, trends toward additional virtual work components, and other industry changes to be addressed by other/separate programs. This program will ultimately help companies to perform better strategic workforce planning.
 

Challenges

  • The workforce landscape in capital projects is changing at an unprecedented rate.
  • Technology (robotics, automation, prefabrication, social media, remote assist) is creating risks and opportunities that need to be identified and addressed.
  • Workforce planning needs to be proactive (rather than reactive).
     

Vision 

Jobsites with substantial improvement in safety and productivity as a result of the adoption of new technologies that augment human capabilities, and of use of offsite production.
 

Objectives

  • Improve the business of member companies by providing the means for better and more strategic planning of their workforce.
  • Provide a framework, practices and define tools that can improve the planning, development, assessment, and retention of the workforce.
     

Ongoing Projects

No teams are currently participating in this CII research program.
 

Past Project

  • RT-335, Improving the U.S. Workforce Development System
     

Integrated and Collaborative Delivery for Better Business Results

logo for Integrated and Collaborative Delivery for Better Business ResultsIntegration and collaboration have been recurrent research topics across CII (see RT-341 and RT-362). The FSC’s Future of the Built Environment project also identified collaborative business models, or the lack thereof, as a key factor playing in the capital project industry in the next 1-15 years. Along with increasingly integrated and collaborative approaches, significant changes can be anticipated in the ways organizations communicate and share information. Therefore, this program will address collaborative business models, along with the communication and information (and data) flow that will required in the next 10-15 years.
 

Challenges

  • Fragmentation of the sector
  • Adversarial culture negatively affects project and business outcomes
  • Disruptors like Katerra integrate parts of the process and pose a risk to established companies.
     

Vision

Integrated and collaborative delivery becomes the norm of the capital project industry. This is enabled by changes in the adversarial culture and by leveraging data sharing and analytics to effectively integrate the suppliers, contractors, and owners.
 

Objectives

  • Define methods and practices to enable integrated and collaborative delivery. This may be done by addressing specific aspects of the project (e.g., planning, scheduling, controls).
  • Make the business case for collaborative delivery.
  • Understand and leverage technology for collaborating in planning, design, procurement, and execution.
     

Ongoing Project

The following team is participating in this CII research program:

  • RT-362, Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Collaborative Scheduling
     

Past Projects

  • RT-102, Partnering II
  • RT-341, Integrated Project Delivery for Industrial Projects
     
Daniel P. Oliveira, Associate Director for Funded Studies
(512) 232-3050
daniel.oliveira@cii.utexas.edu