Scheduling and Information Services is Streamlining Their Schedule Review With Touchstone
Scheduling and Information Services (SIS), a Washington-based project consulting firm, delivers integrated project planning, CPM scheduling, risk analysis and project controls services for diverse projects throughout the United States and globally. As SIS continues to grow and their scope of work on large, complex projects increases, they identified Deltek Touchstone as an innovative solution of choice to not only help scale their business but also provide a competitive advantage.
Labor-Intensive Schedule Review
SIS is currently involved with more than 100 projects—the largest being Microsoft’s Redmond campus modernization project through their contract with the lead firm, CBRE. This multi-year project encompasses a massive underground parking structure, 17 new buildings, a central utility plant, geothermal wells, recreation facilities and a number of onsite amenities. The first assignment SIS received after joining the project was to collect and organize the numerous schedules from all entities. This included three major general contractors, a multitude of subcontractors, five design firms and three construction management firms. SIS was tasked with developing a master project schedule that encompassed all phases of design, permitting, procurement, construction and commissioning.
As a part of their on-going scheduling services on the project, SIS receives approximately 30 schedules monthly from the various entities in different formats, including Oracle Primavera P6, Microsoft Project, Excel and Smartsheet. Of those schedules, 20 are run through Deltek Acumen Fuse for analysis and four also require forensic and performance checks since they are currently in construction in the field. As the project progresses, the number of schedules requiring forensics and performance analysis will steadily increase.
The majority of the review and assessment of these 20 monthly schedules is being completed manually via a combination of Acumen Fuse metrics and Oracle Primavera P6 layouts. This translates to 20 - 30 dedicated hours on the Microsoft project alone depending on the changes/additions required month-to-month. As their scope of work on the Microsoft project increases, along with the growth SIS is experiencing in other areas of their business, schedule review has become a bottleneck keeping the team from focusing that amount of time they would like on the more strategic, forward-looking aspects of their services.
Transformation with Touchstone
Upon learning about Deltek’s newest Project & Portfolio Management solution, Deltek Touchstone, SIS’s CFO & Project Controls Manager, Tony Bolstad, immediately began strategizing how the tool could be deployed throughout the organization in a way that would benefit both his team and their customers.
“Once I realized that Deltek Touchstone could provide a sort of “self-serve” schedule analysis both externally and internally, help us remove some of the subjective steps that always creep into the analysis process and be able to provide much more timely feedback of schedule acceptance for our projects I was sold on the decision to move forward.
We are looking forward to improving our consistency in both schedule development of our in house projects and our consistency in analyzing and reviewing submitted schedules that have been developed by others. While there is always some “art” to scheduling we want to increase the application of the “science” side of this discipline.”
- Tony Bolstad, CFO & Project Controls Manager, SIS
Once implemented, the three Microsoft project general contractors will submit their schedules in Touchstone; providing them with immediate access to scoring/results that will then be disseminated to all project stakeholders. This updated process will not only accelerate the monthly review process and increase consistency, but will also provide cost savings to SIS’s client through the reduction in hourly billing.
SIS’s utilization of Touchstone will not be limited to just the Microsoft project. They also plan to allocate licenses to internal schedulers to submit their own projects more quickly and consistently. Since custom metric criteria can easily be adjusted in Touchstone to meet specific industry and individual project requirements, SIS has long-term plans to deploy the solution across their portfolio, providing them with a key competitive differentiator in the market.
About Scheduling and Information Services, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Scheduling and Information Services, Inc. (SIS) is a Northwest based project planning and project controls firm that supports general contractors, owners and subcontractors with their scheduling and document controls needs. Providing services for diverse projects throughout the United States and internally, SIS prides itself on delivering accurate, timely information in a consistent manner that allows their clients to make better decisions and increase performance.
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