With a reputation for forward-thinking and agile problem solving, Hansen Yuncken is always looking for new, digital ways to run projects better.
The Australian company has been at the forefront of commercial construction for more than 100 years, and its latest project management innovation has been delivered by the New South Wales team, spearheaded by NSW Planning Manager, Craig Lee: a custom analytics dashboard driven by Powerproject BI.
Migrating to Powerproject for more efficient project management
Hansen Yuncken’s company footprint spans five Australian states. Each state has its own office and Regional Planning Manager, who is in charge of local construction programmes and reports into the National Planning Manager.
When Craig Lee joined Hansen Yuncken as New South Wales Planning Manager in 2016, his first act of innovation was to explore new project management software for the regional planning teams.
Previously, Hansen Yuncken had been using Microsoft Project, but it wasn’t very user-friendly. Craig had used Powerproject by Elecosoft in a previous role and he knew it could deliver rapid value by enabling updates from site managers to be automatically shared across the company – something that was proven within three months of rolling out the software.
“One Project Manager told us that switching to Powerproject saved him one day a fortnight. Project updates he previously needed to block out a whole day for could be done in an hour.” Craig Lee, New South Wales Planning Manager, Hansen Yuncken
Increasing insight capabilities with Powerproject BI
With Powerproject providing immediate benefits, Craig was keen to explore how else Hansen Yuncken could innovate using Elecosoft technologies.
Powerproject Business Intelligence (BI) had been on his radar for some time, and Craig could see that its insight capabilities could be integrated with HYway, Hansen Yuncken’s in-house management platform, to provide real-time, visual feedback on project progress.
“All our important information is logged on HYway. It’s a really great tool that people can access from anywhere. But the time reporting section was outdated; people were still having to upload PDFs.
“Powerproject BI gave us an opportunity to fully digitise our analytics and create a dashboard that brought project reporting up to speed with the rest of our business operations.”
Creating a new model for measuring project progress
Building a bespoke dashboard from scratch is a very ambitious plan, and Craig enlisted the help of an experienced BI developer and Solid Support, Elecosoft’s partner through which Hansen Yuncken purchased Powerproject and Powerproject BI, to get things moving in the right direction.
One of the team’s immediate innovations was to change Hansen Yuncken’s project management model. Most Australian construction companies map progress in critical paths. However, Craig was keen to introduce the S-Curve model for managing costs and progress.
“We used customisations to unlock Powerproject BI’s full value. For example, we created a formula that allowed us turn data into S-Curves to evaluate performance and estimate cash flow.”
Using insights from Powerproject BI, Craig wanted to start tracking project contingency, continuously monitoring drawdown to make sure every construction is completed on time.
The real-time visibility delivered by Powerproject BI has also enabled Craig’s team to create critical task lists and analyse progress month-to-month, to understand the knock-on effect of any challenges or setbacks.
“We now have a complete overview of all our regional projects: when they start, when they are due to finish, and how far ahead or behind we are, colour coded in green, amber and red.
“We also have the capacity to click into each project and drill down into the data, to understand what’s going on. As soon as the metrics show us a project is starting to struggle, we can fast-track solutions to emerging issues. And because the dashboard can be accessed remotely, we can make these decisions from any location.”
Changing real-time progress reporting from the top down
While the prototype dashboard is being rolled out in New South Wales initially, it’s already caught the eye of Hansen Yuncken’s other Regional Planning Managers. Craig and his team are currently in the process of creating prototype dashboards for a couple of construction projects in Tasmania.
In fact, the BI work Hansen Yuncken is doing is so innovative that it’s capturing the attention of the wider business industry as well; Craig and his partners at Solid Support recently presented a guest lecture to MBA Statistics students at the University of New South Wales, demonstrating how real-time analytics dashboards can enhance company performance.
Hansen Yuncken’s ultimate goal is to enable five-dimensional project management, using 5D BIM to add cost information to the progress model, so all regional teams can monitor cash flow alongside time management.
And although Powerproject BI’s functionality is being targeted towards regional and on-site teams initially Craig believes the value it delivers will go all the way to the top at Hansen Yuncken.
“My vision is for our CEO to have their own dashboard where they can click into each state and see which projects are behind versus on time. They need a real-time view of what tasks and/or subcontractors are holding up progress – instead of having to call each State Manager for an update.”
Craig also wants to use the company’s new intelligence capabilities to provide more transparency to Hansen Yuncken’s customers.
“We want to start producing dashboards for our clients, so they can see how efficiently a project is progressing without having to view the same detailed data that we need internally. Finishing on time is so important to us; that’s what builds our reputation and wins us future work.”
Powerproject Business Intelligence delivers real-time insights on project performance in the format that suits your company. Book a free Powerproject BI demo to find out more.