INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION ORGANIZATIONS AND PROJECT PRACTICESIntroduction Construction organizations certainly generate huge and multifaceted sets of information. Evidently, managing this bulk information efficiently to guarantee its availability and accuracy is a significant managerial duty (Bergeron, 1996). Studies have evidenced that, missing or poor information has resulted to making of uneconomical decisions, project delays, or even the total collapse of the set up facility (Heinrich, 2002). With better information management, such problems as delays in deliveries of materials are identified on time and alternative sought to prevent the project from failing.
Project design and control are significantly reliant on timely and accurate information, on top of the capacity to use such information efficiently (Heinrich, 2002). Simultaneously, presentation of unorganized information to managers can lead to paralysis and confusion in decision making. For years, construction organizations have been managing information informally, but the challenges facing industry in the contemporary society imply that most firms necessitate a more structured logical approach to information management. The re-use and capture of learning from projects is deemed hard since teams frequently progress to the next project before completing the current one.
Generally, these factors restricts effective flow of information, generates barriers to learning and habitually results to poor performance. Typically, construction projects necessitate substantial efforts, capital outlay and time. Information management offers a way for improving the management of the project, proper coordination of team effort, and also ensures reduction of cost and time used (Heinrich, 2002). This report discusses the main standpoints and arguments relevant to information management in construction organizations and project practices. In particular, the report will offer a literature review, analysis of pertinent issues, discussion on the impact of the issues for businesses and a general conclusion.
Literature review The practice of information management is a key focus for most organizations both in the private and public sectors. This has been driven by an array of factors such as a need to deliver better results and a desire to advance the efficiency of the organizational procedures (Robertson, 2005). In most circumstances, information management has implied the employment of novel technology solutions including data warehousing, document management systems and portal applications.
Studies have indicated that effective information management is a hard task due to the complexity of organizations, numerous systems to be incorporated and a wide array of organizations needs to be met (Robertson, 2005). Information management encompasses people, processes, technology, and content, factors which have to be addressed if organizations and their projects have to succeed. The start of a construction project encompasses four development phases which include the initiation phase, the design and development phase, the implementation phase, and the termination phase (Chassiakos, 2001). Furthermore, the organization of the project includes various external participants such as the financial institutions, consultants, suppliers, and the subcontractors and the construction organization.
Research has indicated that due to the increased number of processes and a wide range of persons involved in the projects, proper communication and information management is essential to ensure the success of the project (English, 1996). Moreover, studies have indicated that, data, information and communication play vital roles in any construction organizations and its supply chain and the projects they engage in.