Document Detail

Title: FR-TC-04 - Challenge Teams: An Innovative Path to the Future
Publication Date: 7/1/2020
Product Type: Final Report
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 40
CII's Technology Committee designed the ?Technology Path to the Future? initiative to imagine the future of capital projects delivery and to inspire a technological step-change in the capital projects industry.

This report describes the Challenge Teams Program that this initiative used to generate and collect ideas about compelling drivers of change, as well as identifying new and exciting technological trajectories.
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Abstract

Can we imagine the future of capital projects delivery? What will a project look like in 2050 – 30 years from today, when an entire new generation of professionals will lead our industry, and new technologies and processes that we cannot image today are in place? CII’s Technology Committee designed the “Technology Path to the Future” initiative to answer these questions and to inspire a technological step-change in the capital projects industry, and it created Research Team TC-04 (RT-TC-04) to make these things happen.

CII’s charge to the team was ambitious: envision the future of the capital projects industry with a vigor that challenges that industry to think boldly. To this end, RT-TC-04 carried out a series of innovation workshops and brainstorming sessions with next-gen rising stars and established industry leaders. This report is a compilation of all of these efforts – ideas from the Mars Industries workshops, 12 technology enablers, and Challenge Teams’ vision for the future – and is the team’s Technology Path to the Future.

In this report, RT-TC-04 presents the Challenge Teams Program, which it developed in two phases:

  • Divergent Phase – During divergence, the team tapped into the wisdom and diversity of the crowd. It carefully designed two innovation workshops that targeted participants who were unencumbered by past experience in the capital projects industry. The workshops overcame two central cruxes of transdisciplinary crowdsourcing:
    1. Ensuring participation.
    2. Ensuring coordinated focus, in this case on capital projects innovation.
The team used these workshops to generate and collect ideas about compelling drivers of change, as well as identifying new and exciting technological trajectories. 
  • Convergent Phase – During convergence, RT-TC-04 aggregated the collected information and synthesized it into a Viable Paths Framework in consultation with the Technology Committee. The team used the Viable Paths Framework to generate ambitious objectives and chart viable paths to their achievement.
Throughout its development of the Challenge Teams Program, RT-TC-04 remained cognizant that severe capital constraints are the reality of organizations in this industry. Therefore, its primary practical consideration was to limit the investment of time and capital it required from each innovator it invited to participate. To this end, the Challenge Teams Program had at its center the Innovation Sprint.

Each Innovation Sprint involved a short time commitment and required no travel or capital expenditure. During a Sprint, the host set up a temporary innovation environment where a challenge team could immerse itself in an intense innovation activity guided by the Viable Paths Framework. The deliverable of each Sprint was a slide document consistent with the Viable Paths Framework.

The team performed a trail run of the program, assembling five challenge teams and conducting five Innovation Sprints. The results demonstrated a substantial departure from the incrementalism that typically surrounds innovation in the capital projects industry. Ultimately, this research demonstrated that experienced practitioners are not only capable of radical innovation – they actually enjoy thinking in this way. Finally, RT-TC-04 issued a vision board that summarizes and celebrates the innovative ideas it gathered through the initial Challenge Teams Program.