Saudi Arabia is setting the stage for an unprecedented economic transformation in line with Saudi Vision 2030. An ambitious roadmap of infrastructure projects totaling over a trillion dollars has opened up opportunities to diversify beyond oil and become a global hub for investment, logistics, smart cities, tourism, and clean energy investments.
Saudi Arabia has a vision for the future and it’s made clear through the Kingdom’s revolutionary giga-projects. Neom, Riyadh Metro, Makkah Public Transport Programme, Al Widyan, Jabal Omar and Diriyah Gate Project are groundbreaking initiatives that are strategically located across the country. By creating hubs of potential and innovation in multiple locations, Saudi Arabia is paving the way for greater success not only nation-wide but also on an international level. With these giga-projects, the Kingdom can solidify its global standing as a business powerhouse that is ever evolving and progressing towards new levels of growth and development.
While KSA’s infrastructure implementation is top-tier, the increasing demand for sustainability and efficiency calls for better infrastructure project management systems. This blog post explores the challenges faced by construction companies handling infrastructure projects and how infrastructure project management software keeps them on top.
What is infrastructure project management?
Infrastructure project management involves planning, coordinating, and accomplishing projects related to developing, maintaining, or improving infrastructure systems, including urban and rural roads, pipelines, and water treatment plants. It requires the application of project management principles and techniques to oversee the entire project lifecycle, from inception to completion.
Regardless of the size and complexity, infrastructure projects require the management of multiple stakeholders, timelines, budgets, and resources. Effective infrastructure project management involves defining project scope and objectives, identifying and mitigating risks, developing project plans and schedules, managing project budgets and resources, tracking progress and performance, and communicating with stakeholders.
Challenges of infrastructure project management
Construction companies managing infrastructure projects often face challenges arising at any point in a project’s lifecycle. One is complying with regulatory requirements, such as environmental regulations, building codes, and safety standards. This involves comprehensive resource and risk management, quality control, and quality assurance. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in project delays, legal disputes, and reputational damage.
Another is managing multiple stakeholders, including government agencies, private companies, local communities, and other interested parties. Addressing these stakeholders’ concerns and interests can be challenging, particularly if they have conflicting priorities or perspectives. In addition, infrastructure projects often have long timelines and multiple phases, which proves difficult, given the intricacy of scheduling, resource procurement and allocation, and meeting milestones amid potential setbacks.
Advantages of using infrastructure project management software
Infrastructure projects can be more complex than typical construction projects because they are usually large-scale, and project managers are held liable for any unnecessary overheads. This is why contractors use tools like Agile infrastructure project management software for all their operational needs, including project documentation, requirements gathering, stakeholder management, risk mitigation, quality assurance, and resource allocation. Below are some of the advantages of using this technology.
With so many stakeholders involved in an infrastructure project, tracking progress and mitigating potential problems can be tricky. Infrastructure project management software can provide real-time visibility into project progress, budgets, and other metrics, allowing stakeholders to stay informed and make cognisant decisions. Some powerful products like PlanRadar are built smart and present data straightforwardly, which makes it easier for stakeholders to see progress and defects. Critical reports, such as construction
site diary, snag list and risk assessment are stored with photos and descriptions to fill all the gaps and unknowns that might slow down defect management or rework.
Communication and collaboration
This software can also be integrated with BIM to further enhance collaboration among the key players in the project. BIM enables stakeholders to create a shared, collaborative model that can be used throughout the entire project lifecycle, from design to construction and beyond. In contrast, the infrastructure project management software provides an avenue for other essential functionalities, such as correspondence, file sharing, reporting, and sign-offs. With infrastructure project management software, team members can collaborate more quickly and effectively by sharing project updates and exchanges in one central location.
Infrastructure projects are usually government-funded, so there’s very little wiggle room. Therefore, project managers must be extra careful when allocating resources to avoid cost overruns. Infrastructure project management software helps them allocate resources more efficiently by tracking budgets, timelines, and resource availability, informing their decisions, and optimising resource utilisation. Complying with strict financial requirements is much easier with the help of a data-driven tool like this.
With multiple stakeholders involved, some not even in the construction field, infrastructure projects are beset with more risks than typical construction projects. For example, they usually come with complex contractual arrangements between multiple parties, which could lead to disputes, delays, and legal risks. There are also political and regulatory risks, which aren’t factored into standard risk assessment and management systems. Infrastructure project management software allows contractors to identify and manage risks more effectively by tracking policy changes, dependencies, and other factors.
Complying with building codes and regulations is also nerve-wracking for project managers. Working with the government that imposes those regulations make the job even more challenging. Infrastructure projects may also have unique requirements that must be incorporated into the plan, design, and construction process. Last-minute design, procurement, and scheduling changes are also typical in infrastructure projects, and multiple stakeholders are involved. Thankfully, this latest construction tool allows project managers to structure the construction strategy and process according to existing regulations.
Infrastructure project management software has many other uses. For large projects with multiple subcontractors, it can be used to track their performance to determine if there’s a need for intervention. Subcontractors can even be given access to the system to track their progress. The software can also be used to manage health and safety to protect workers and ensure compliance with regulations. The flexibility of this tool far exceeds Excel, Spreadsheets, and other traditional project management systems.
Managing infrastructure projects is challenging, but it’s become more straightforward and stress-free with the help of new technology. Infrastructure project management software optimises construction by simplifying and streamlining processes, connecting complex teams, and ensuring compliance. This tool’s flexibility enables contractors to scale up by smoothly integrating new capabilities into their existing construction project management systems. It is also user-friendly, which ushers collaboration and communication among all stakeholders.
Using the right digital tools is critical to the success of any infrastructure project. Contractors must find infrastructure project management software that allows them to take on projects of all sizes and complexities. Find out why PlanRadar is your best choice for infrastructure project management software. Start your 30-day free PlanRadar trial or contact us to explore its vast selection of advanced features.