IT tool for construction process management, process protocol toolkit
The Latham (1994) and Egan (1998) reports identified fragmentation, poor co-ordination and communication as major weaknesses in the UK construction industry. The Generic Design and Construction Process Protocol has been developed to address these problems and help the industry to improve their business. The need for an IT solution to combat the obstacles and problems in implementing the Process Protocol in the industry has emerged. This PhD research focuses on developing an IT solution to support and help the implementation of the Generic Design and Construction Process Protocol to enable the fundamental change in the construction industry. The IT solution, named The Process Protocol Toolkit, aims to assist the creation of the process model and to manage the information of the project based on the Process Protocol framework. The Process Protocol Toolkit is composed of a Process Protocol Map Creation Tool and a Process Information Management Tool. The first tool will automate the process map creation process by using the Process Protocol as a framework and allow users to create and customise their specific project process map, and the second aims to manage and develop project information based on the project process. It will enable the construction managers to understand the construction process and facilitate the management of the construction process. The prototype of the Process Protocol Map Creation Tool is developed incorporating this research. Literature Reviews are used to understand the Process Protocol, process modelling and construction IT development. A questionnaire is employed to establish the IT usage and awareness within the industry. Information associated with the Process Protocol framework is modelled by a data modelling technique and transferred into a relational database. Subsequently, the data model is used in the development of the prototype of the Process Map Creation Tool to automate the process map production. A series of web based project information management systems are reviewed to identify the requirements of the project management system. The solution for knowledge integration with the Process Information Management tool is proposed for future development. The main contribution of this research is the establishment of the data model of the Process Protocol framework and the development of the Process Protocol map creation tool. It demonstrates how the Process Protocol framework can be customised and integrated into the project information system. The secondary contribution is the IT framework for knowledge based construction project information system. The framework of the system is demonstrated and validated through workshops and questionnaire. The concept of process driven project information system has also been taken by a software firm for their future product development.