In discussing the “information-centric organization,” the research firm Gartner notes the new value placed on information assets and the people who manage them. To realize that value, employees and partnering organizations must have immediate access to information when and where they need it. This is especially true on construction and engineering projects involving many different organizations, each with their own processes and work flows. In just 18 months, even a relatively small $200-million project can generate hundreds of thousands of documents that typically flow among more than 250 participants from 40 organizations.
Slow and incomplete information flow forces project participants to use outdated documents, which can cause project delays, partner conflicts and potential lawsuits that add risk and expense. As a result, “information flow” is now a key driver of return on investment. The document controller, once considered a paper pusher, is becoming a high-profile manager who plays a strategic role in his or her company’s success.