Project controls: the key to unlocking AI's potential for construction projects

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Frédéric Debouche
Frédéric Debouche
The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in construction and engineering is not just an innovation but a revolution. As we embrace this transformative era, the role of data becomes increasingly central. AI's capability to process and interpret vast amounts of data is revolutionizing how we approach project management, design, and execution. In this dynamic landscape, data is the new cornerstone of technological advancement, especially in AI applications.
Included topics
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Project Controls
  • Data-Driven Project Management
  • Construction Innovation
Applied knowledge

Why project controls is fundamental for AI?

The field of project controls is instrumental in modelling and analyzing project data to deliver the project within its objectives. As explained in our article "Project Controls - A Definition", project controls techniques ensure the accuracy, standardization, and structuring of data, which are crucial for AI applications.

In complex industries like construction and engineering, project controls play a pivotal role. Project controls tools do not only track and manage costs and schedules but also maintain the integrity and consistency of project data. This consistency is key in creating a robust foundation for AI technologies.

The need for structured data

Our video "Creating a simple project with ChatGPT" highlights a critical point – the challenges AI faces when data is unstructured. This scenario is common in the industry, where data is often disorganized and inconsistent. Structured data is crucial for the effective use of AI in project controls because of the following reasons.

Impact on AI Efficiency: Unstructured data can significantly hamper AI's efficiency. It requires extensive cleaning and preparation, which is time consuming and resource intensive. Conversely, structured data is immediately accessible and usable for AI, enabling more efficient and accurate analysis.

Project Outcomes and Decision-Making: Projects with structured data are more likely to benefit from AI's advanced analytics, leading to better outcomes and decision-making. Unstructured data, due to its unpredictability, can lead to inaccuracies in AI predictions, impacting project performance.

Cost and Time Implications: The cost and time implications of preparing unstructured data for AI use cannot be underestimated. Structured data, on the other hand, reduces these overheads, leading to more cost-effective and timely project completion.

Creating a comprehensive data warehouse

In line with the Project Management Institute (PMI) standards, storing data for all knowledge areas of project controls is essential. This includes scope, schedule, cost, quality, resource, communications, risk, procurement, and stakeholder management. A comprehensive data warehouse that encompasses these areas provides a rich source of structured data for AI analysis.

Structured data is essential for project controls and for AI's predictive and analytical capabilities. It allows for more accurate modelling, forecasting, and decision-making. Without structured data, as demonstrated in our video "Creating a simple project with ChatGPT", AI struggles to be effectively utilized for project controls. Also, having these data sources scattered over multiple tools and database might limit the value of the data.

AI transforming the future of project controls

These are five areas where AI is going to transform project management:

Benchmarking: Benchmarking is something we can already achieve without the help of AI. However, if we add AI to the equation, we can benchmark data that are similar but that are not recognized by a usual “condition” as similar. This is crucial in projects where repeatability only happens in the details of the projects.

Predictive Analytics and Risk Management: AI's role in predictive analytics and risk management is set to grow exponentially. By analysing historical data, AI can forecast potential issues, allowing for proactive risk management.

Enhanced Decision Making: AI's ability to process vast amounts of data quickly enables more informed and timely decision-making. This capability is particularly beneficial in dynamic and complex project environments.

Automation and Efficiency: AI's potential to automate routine tasks (also within project controls) will significantly enhance operational efficiency. This automation frees up human resources for more strategic and complex tasks, driving productivity and innovation.

Preparing for AI-Driven Project Controls: As discussed in our article "Is AI going to disrupt the world of project controls?", the industry is on the verge of an AI-driven era in project controls. Companies that are prepared, with robust project controls and structured data practices, will be at the forefront of this transformation.

Embracing the Future with Proove

The journey toward an AI-driven future in construction and engineering is not just inevitable; it's already happening. The adoption of structured project controls is essential for harnessing the full potential of AI. Prepare yourself now, so that you are ready for the future.

At Proove, we understand this evolving landscape and offer expertise in project controls and data management, guiding companies to not just prepare for but lead in this AI-driven future.

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