Building a Database for Construction Schedule Management
How Aciron does it
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) needed a custom web application to manage the review of schedules submitted by the contractors. The goal of the system was to have a software that tracks which personnel could store and retrieve information, as well as track all the schedules submitted, reviewed and approved.
The team began by collaborating with the client to analyze the requirements and strategic direction for the application. In initial meetings, Aciron and the client evaluated all the software options. A highly complex workflow takes a user through various stages of reviewing a schedule and approving them for external submission. The recommended solution entailed building a custom database application using Microsoft .NET and SQL server technologies.
Due to the complexity of the application, it was decided that development of the system would be broken down into phases. This allowed users to gain access to the system sooner than planned. After each phase, also known as a "build," the application was tested thoroughly through a 3-test cycle. It included system, integration, and user testing. Both the Aciron team and the client participated in this testing process. The end result ensured that the platform was defect-free, easy to use, and met users' specific needs.
The multi-functional application is comprised of interconnected modules:
• An assignment management module allows users to enter, manage, track, and organize data related to assignment of tasks. Customized workflows facilitate system-driven and process-driven tasks, rather than requiring users to manage tasks manually.
•A schedule management module allows users to upload and store schedules. Then they enter an automatic workflow for the schedule review process. Users enter schedule review data via a robust multi-step form, which simplifies an otherwise complex process.
•A project controls module allows users to track issues and to create progress reports for projects.
•A reports module offers powerful reporting features that allow users to generate analytics reports. The report data gathered over time in the system from a centrally managed, easily accessible location.
•Users are able to add and edit owner's representative reports for large projects submitted to the department of transportation. Some of the functionality includes the abilities to add attachments and images, view and manage the contract's modifications in a limited capacity, and generate a PDF version of the report for distribution.
•An admin module that allows an authorized administrator to manage users and their roles as well as to upload external data from other systems into the application.
•The application has been built using the Microsoft .NET Framework and SQL Server. It is hosted by an external hosting provider with security best practices.
Since implementation, the application has been adopted for all scheduling activity within the agency.