Managing Renewables Construction Projects with Construction Viz
Here is a case study detailing how Lydon Solutions collaborated with a top-five contractor in the utility-scale PV solar EPC space to implement a construction progress tracking solution using Construction Viz.
In early 2020, an industry leaving EPC/O&M contractor tasked Lydon Solutions with delivering a customized construction progress tracking solution to manage utility-scale PV solar construction projects. By leveraging our Construction Viz platform, we rapidly deployed a solution specifically tailored to this client's needs. The client selected Lydon Solutions for this project because our Construction Viz platform delivers ready-to-go solutions integrated with Microsoft 365 and SharePoint while also being fully customizable.
Project Requirements and Challenges
Like any software development project, this effort came with its challenges. Lydon Solutions needed to:
- Develop a solution within a tight budget.
- Successfully implement within an aggressive timeframe.
- Integrate the solution with existing legacy systems.
- Provide complex dashboards and paginated reporting.
- Include project-level permissions management.
- Deliver field daily progress tracking per project.
- Provide a templatized project setup.
- Leverage the Construction Viz platform for future functionality.
Before Lydon Solutions' involvement, the contractor used a combination of spreadsheets, databases, and graphing/plotting tools to deliver daily construction progress and performance metrics. This cobbled-together approach worked, but the time-consuming manual process was not sustainable long term as the contractor's business matured. Their goal with the new solution was to simplify the data collection process, reduce the tools and maintenance, eliminate as many manual steps as possible, and ultimately reduce overall reporting costs.
The Lydon Solutions team collaborated closely with the client to gather requirements and develop a design that could reduce the touchpoints and external systems while utilizing Construction Viz's apps and reporting capability to their fullest. The final design allowed the client to set up projects with varying levels of complexity and depth. It also provided them with various construction metrics for detailed tracking, weighted progress percent completion, and complex real-time daily reporting for multiple stakeholders.
“We were impressed with the Lydon Solutions’ ability to learn our business quickly and how they applied that knowledge to their approach in developing our solution.” -Client Feedback
Building the solution followed Lydon Solutions' standard Agile F.O.C.U.S methodology to keep the development and release cycles nimble. We successfully delivered the solution within five months using an 'innovate and build' approach. Our team held weekly design review meetings with the client to ensure that development remained on schedule and provided the ability to pivot when new information became available, processes changed, or opportunities emerged to leverage the latest technology.
Customizing Construction Viz for Renewable Project Management
A critical deliverable that the client needed was a way to track planned versus actual quantities completed, which required us to create custom applications in Construction Viz. The customizations integrated Construction Viz with the client's master task scheduling systems in Smartsheet to import, analyze, and apply various schedules to each project using a custom automated cloud-based process built by our team. Next, the app automatically factored daily expectations for every tracked metric and overall start and finish dates into the schedule to calculate the progress. To ensure consistent metrics tracking, we provided pre-defined project types for the client to use during project creation.
Project Setup – Unique project templates for automating new project creation.
Defining Task and Subtask details – Level of detail build-out to a subtask level of tracking.
For daily progress tracking, Lydon Solutions developed a new Construction Viz Daily Progress form app. The app captures daily progress, weather, and construction constraints against each task detail level while simultaneously providing expected productivity totals, current cumulative values, and links to preview reports.
Daily progress tracking details – capture quantities completed every date for each metric.
Finally, to deliver real-time dashboards and paginated reports for the project team, subcontractor, customer, and executive stakeholders, Lydon Solutions integrated data from Azure SQL, Smartsheet, and Construction Viz (SharePoint). We also implemented separate permission-controlled reports and distribution lists. The app automatically generates paginated reports at specified times, and the project team can pull these reports at any time using the tool.
Robust progress reporting – Push-button reporting for project status across stakeholders
“Lydon Solutions built exactly what we asked for while putting in place the infrastructure for future growth (offline daily forms, drone integration, etc.).” -Client Feedback
This project's success came down to Construction Viz's power as a platform that delivers a turnkey product while also providing unequaled flexibility to accommodate customization to meet a client's requirements. Construction Viz users do not have to mold themselves to the way the system works. The platform allows for custom development to start on the forty-yard line, minimizing risk, cost, and effort and ensuring success.
While this project was technically challenging, working with this major EPC/O&M contractor was a fantastic and incredibly rewarding experience. The solution continues to be implemented across the company to manage its renewable projects portfolio and has saved significant time and cost while providing better project transparency to all stakeholders.
Get a Flexible Custom Construction Project Managed Solution for Your Organization
Can't get an off the shelf construction management solution that fits your requirements? Manage your projects in Microsoft 365 and SharePoint your way with Construction Viz. Contact the Lydon Solutions team today for a free consultation and demo.