ITcon Vol. 9, pg. 35-63,

Benefits of centralized digital information management in multipartner projects

submitted:October 2003
revised:February 2004
published:February 2004
editor(s):Dana Vanier
authors:Kristiina Sulankivi
VTT Building and Transport, Tampere, Finland
summary:Centralized digital information management is used to support project management, management and distribution of project information, and to promote cooperation in the building process. Today, a common interface to centralized information storage is an Internet-based, project team collaboration application developed for document and project management and provided by application service providers (ASPs). Commercial applications have been taken into use at a remarkable volume and in recent years the construction industry has recognized the need for assessment of benefits of them as well as benefits of ICT in more general.This paper presents results of VTT’s ProCE research (Project Management and Organization in the Concurrent Engineering Environment) carried out 2000-2002. One objective of the Finnish-American research project was to measure the impact of different Concurrent Engineering (CE) environment features in multi-partner projects, showing the available benefits. A framework for measuring the benefit of using the CE-environment was created to evaluate benefits in case study projects. With respect to related research carried out earlier, a specific development is the qualitative benefit measurement. The model was developed and tested mainly in the first analyzed case study, which, in August 2000, was completed and handed over to the client in Finland. Additionally, the framework was used in three other case studies, in Sweden, Great Britain, and the USA. A fundamental conclusion of the study is that by using digital information exchange and a modern CE environment, significant qualitative benefits can be reached in a multi-partner project. The CE environment makes it possible to change the traditional information flow, thereby radically improving it at the design and construction stages. In addition to qualitative benefits, benefits measured in terms of time and money can be reached. However, the study showed that indirect cost savings are difficult to quantitatively measure in practice.
keywords:collaboration, document management, Internet, construction, concurrent engineering, measuring, re-engineering
full text: (PDF file, 0.875 MB)
citation:Sulankivi K (2004). Benefits of centralized digital information management in multipartner projects, ITcon Vol. 9, pg. 35-63,