Developing Your Digital Execution Plan
This is part 4 of our 5-part series on unlocking the benefits of going digital and maximizing your investment in a digital twin. In today’s post we explore the benefits of creating a digital execution plan. From my experience working in the AEC industry, the top three challenges within a large construction project are:
- poor communications,
- insufficient resource planning,
- and unrealistic expectations.
Why Have a Digital Execution Plan?Digital twins have many uses and can be used to mitigate the project risks I’ve mentioned above. Therefore, having a digital execution plan allows you to identify those risks in advance and align what the uses of your digital twin will be from the very beginning of a project. Perhaps you want to use your digital twin for coordination and precise construction of a ship with a very complex design. Or maybe you want to know accurate quantities of materials needed so you can get better costing.
Planning is Vital to Both Shipbuilders and ShipownersWhile a plan is vital to mitigating risk for shipbuilders, it’s just as vital to shipowners. Imagine how valuable a digital execution plan could be to a shipowner if they were to identify the necessary things to be modeled in order to support their intended use after construction. For most shipowners the intended use of the digital twin is managing asset availability. The shipowner wants specific asset information from their digital twin to maintain their vessel. That’s why a having a plan that aligns expectations and identifies what the uses of the digital twin will be, from the very beginning is key. Properly built digital execution plans encourage communication, collaboration and also help keep teams on track by focusing on the important details, not necessarily micro-details, saving teams hours of time.
Your Digital Execution Plan ChecklistBuilding a digital execution plan is very similar to a BIM execution plan. It’s really about optimizing your digital model and workflow across the project, as opposed to optimizing siloed interests. The framework of a digital execution plans often includes:
- INTRODUCTION & GOALS – What is the mission statement? Why are we doing the project? Is it for training? What’s important for this project specifically? What is our cost saving goals?
- PROJECT INFO – Who’s who on the project? Contact team list, links to project files
- DIGITAL TWIN USES– What are the uses and client expectations of the model on this project?
- PROCESS – How are we going to deliver, what are the steps? Project meetings, digital model delivery, coordination of milestones, processes for 3D coordination during the construction phase, model quality control, etc.
- TECHNOLOGY – How are you going to support the process workflows? Software needed? Does everyone need a tablet? Include links to programs being used.
- DIGITAL TWIN DELIVERABLES – Open file formats for handover to the client? Having a digital twin delivered in a format that allows data sharing is vital for the future maintenance of the ship.
- CONTRACT TERMS – How will you make sure that the digital execution plan becomes contractually binding? Consider adding an e-signature block.
- SCOPE – The most important part of your plan. What scope is required and who is responsible? It aligns back to the digital twin uses.
- OTHER – Do you need a glossary of terms for equipment and materials being used so everyone is on the same page?