CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractMany companies in the construction industry have recently expressed a particular interest in undertaking digital transformation by adopting new technologies in an attempt to increase productivity and quality. In responding to this new reality, these companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), face multiple challenges. Software vendors have recently been developing a large range of digital solutions, such as project planning and control software. Nevertheless, target companies are not generally guided in their choices and cannot find the support they need. The delays seen in these companies’ adoption of new technologies can be attributed squarely to a lack of references allowing them to understand their real needs and manage the main challenges they face. The project reported in this article was carried out with an industry partner specializing in construction mechanics. The first step was to understand and characterize the partner’s current project planning and control processes. Then, different information technology (IT) solutions were compared through a number of criteria defined with the company in order to choose the most appropriate software solution. Finally, new processes were proposed, and a prototype was developed and validated with the company in order to ensure the effectiveness of proposed changes. Using research action methods, the research brings a new perspective on the needs of specialized contractors, highlighting the challenges related to the characterization of the needs due to the difference of perspective of the different practitioners in the company. It also showed how it is important to define new processes to map the complementarity between the selected tools and the existing ones. The research finally highlighted the importance of an active involvement of the practitioners in order to validate the proposals and avoid resistance to change.



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