Centralizing construction schedule review with a custom database application
How Aciron does it
Using an iterative story-boarding and multi-phased process, our team was able to build a custom database. It was a SQL server for a massive transportation company. The program was so well received that it was presented at a regional industry conference.
The Massachusetts Department that oversees roads, public transit, and transportation licensing was in need of a software solution. More specifically, their goal was to have a software for their bridge improvement program. It would determine which personnel could store and retrieve information, as well as track construction assignments. The organization used a wide range of manual processes, such as paper-based reports and spreadsheets. These methods were inefficient and time-consuming.In addition they offered limited visibility into real-time reported data. The firm reached out for assistance with automating these processes in one integrated custom database. Users needed to manage construction assignments, conduct schedule reviews, track issues, and generate analytics reports.
Aciron 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. 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 initial phase of development established the core functionality of the application. Functions included schedule management, assignments, project controls, basic reporting, and administration. Subsequent phases have added more advanced functionality and enhancements based on client feedback.
Our team developed a web-based application with a SQL server back-end database. This granted the organization ability to manage construction schedules more efficiently. 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.
Since implementation, the application has been adopted for all scheduling activity in the client's scheduling department. The client was so pleased with the custom database application that they presented it at their regional industry conference. It received rave reviews from conference attendees. We continue to work with the client to add new functionality based on user feedback. Thus, expanding and updating the application according to the client's growing needs.