The focus of this element of the Roadmap is on the people aspects of advancing and implementing technology within the capital projects industry. Much effort is needed to develop a knowledge enabled workforce including technical skills training at the craft level and managerial level. Technology adoption and training is necessary throughout the organization as well as the project life cycle to improve the efficiency of facility operations.
The vision of the Technology and Knowledge-enabled Workforce element is one of a committed, integrated team skilled in working with advanced, user-friendly technologies that enable high levels of quality and productivity throughout the life cycle of the capital project. This element works across all other elements to deliver a capital projects workforce that interacts in a distributed electronic commerce environment with seamless integration between project design professionals, project management and control professionals, finance professionals, field management and trade teams, and operations and maintenance. Intelligent integrated systems training provides a workforce skilled in self monitored equipment, sensors and decision support systems to manage the actions necessary to ensure safe, secure, and continuously optimized facility operations including intervention. A "knowledge supply chain" will assure the ready and consistent supply of the right workers in all functions of the capital projects enterprise enabled by technology that assists them in doing their jobs more effectively.
The benefits and opportunities in this element apply across all other elements. It has been estimated that ineffective interoperability between project tools and project partners costs the U.S. capital projects industry $15 billion per year. A properly trained labor supply with improved skills and knowledge empowerment will improve productivity, safety, and health as well as reduce our impact on the natural environment and improve our national security.
Emerging technologies will drive the evolution of new workforce paradigms transforming a low technology industry into one empowered by knowledge, advanced information delivery mechanisms, and next-generation automated systems across the project and facility life cycle. Integrated workflows enable improved project management systems, demand-based resourcing, and total information visibility into the capital project that significantly reduce the time and cost of construction. Much of the time compression will result from on-demand pre-process training, access to accurate information, and task guidance mechanisms. Improved coordination between workers at all levels will enable far more operations to be performed simultaneously rather than sequentially.
Improved tools, equipment, and materials will enable all workers to perform their tasks faster, easier, and with assured quality and safety. Wearable computers, heads-up displays, wireless communications, and smart tools and equipment will be integrated with site monitoring and control systems. The coordination of stepwise tasks with extremely high efficiency will guide each worker in the task at hand. These systems will assure accurate performance, alert workers to problems and provide on-demand guidance and training as well as provide for tools, materials, and other resource availability as needed.
The goal of the Technology and Knowledge-enabled Workforce is to define the steps necessary to improve technology assimilation in the construction industry and to transform the workforce into a highly productive resource where rapidly evolving technology, tools and process are quickly adopted.
This will include identifying specific skills required for the workforce, innovative application of non-traditional and on-the-job training tools to improve speed of technology deployment, and development of tools for knowledge and technology transfer.
A faster rate of technology assimilation will create opportunities for construction projects to implement technological advances within the life cycle of a project. A vibrant technology friendly construction industry will enable rapid improvements in productivity, attract better talent and provide challenging career options.