ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 745-760,

A Value Map for Communication Systems in Construction

published:November 2011
editor(s):Turk Z.
authors:By Ballan, S. Project Manager,
Metrus Properties, 30 Floral Pkwy, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Formerly,
Graduate Student, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
University of Toronto, Canada.

El-Diraby, T. E. Associate Professor and Director, i2c,
Dept. of Civil Engineering,
University of Toronto, Canada
summary:The use of ICT in construction has progressed over the last two decades. This paper summarizesthe results of a survey that aimed at testing the usability of major communication tools and future mobilecommunication systems in the construction industry. In addition to documenting industry utility regarding thecommunication tools, the survey also tried to address the main issues that could hinder the use ofcommunication systems in the industry. Three fundamental issues limit the usability of more advanced ICT tools.First, Software: the fundamental problem facing more use of ICT is not the devices themselves. Rather, it is thein-suitability of software systems. This is mainly due to the lack of interoperability between software systems andthe low relevance to industry needs. Second, weak process structures: communication takes place in an ad hocnature in many cases. The weak formalization of work processes is the main reason for this problem. For it to becoherent and relevant, communication has to be blended in a consistent stream conducive for information flowthat matches the progress of work process. Finally, culture: construction personnel tend to favor oral and faceto-face communication. However, new entrants to the industry are more perceptive to ICT tools. Three valuesgeneratingcomponents are key to overcoming such barriers. First, content: making the content beingcommunicated more meaningful to industry. Second, access: assuring ability to access such information atdifferent contexts. Finally, usability: ease of use and interoperability.
full text: (PDF file, 0.407 MB)
citation:Ballan S, El-Diraby T E (2011). A Value Map for Communication Systems in Construction, ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 745-760,