As Australia’s infrastructure industry experiences major growth, capital portfolio management organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver. Project complexity and quality expectations are rising, and budgets are under more scrutiny than ever.
Too often in capital portfolio management, problems may arise for all manner of reasons. Problems might occur due to unplanned requests to expand the project budget, stretch the schedule, change the project scope, or it might simply be due to materials delays, or suspicion of fraud and quality concerns. Safety incidents, revisions to architectural drawings, multiple change orders from the project owner, delays in contractors’ response to questions … all of these may also slow down the process, increase costs and impact the quality of the building.
Unfortunately, the capital works industry has a reputation for responding to problems in a knee-jerk fashion, such as slashing costs that are out of control in order to meet budget, or speeding up activity on the project to meet interim deadlines. According to a report by Infrastructure Australia, this can erode the quality and reliability of many assets and cause higher costs for future asset maintenance and renewal. And that’s making capital portfolio management more challenging than ever. Asset owners are under pressure to ensure that each of their projects meet cost and budget imperatives while also delivering the quality of results anticipated in their original business case.
To boost the chances of success of capital portfolios on all three fronts—cost, schedule, quality – managers need to respond to early warning signs of issues and make necessary changes to the original plans. As part of that, companies must adopt a rigorous, integrated approach to capital portfolio management, that can help them become an exceptional capital delivery organisation.
That approach starts with establishing the right controls, procedures and choosing the right software tools for anticipating, identifying, and mitigating risks. An industry report by KPMG in 2019 highlighted that among the top innovative leaders in construction, 69% of them have integrated reporting systems. Moreover, asset owners should collect data on and learn lessons from past projects to reduce the number of future risks and increase efficiency in their capital portfolio management.
“Immediate responses are particularly crucial for time-poor portfolio managers who are responsible for complex portfolios of work and receive their project status updates 30–60 days after an event has occurred,” said Doug Vincent, Managing Director of Mastt, an emerging capital portfolio management platform.
Mastt provides a framework for best practise in automated data validation and complete transparency to start unlocking the value of data-driven decision making for owners. The profiles of those who trust the platform say it all. Mastt’s capital portfolio management software is currently powering over $10 billion of projects managed by Australia’s federal & state Governments, Jacobs Engineering, RPS Group and Aurecon.