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 database with 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, aeronautics, transportation licensing and registration was in need of a software solution. More specifically, their goal was to have a software for their bridge improvement program, through which personnel could store and retrieve information and track and manage construction assignments. The organization was using a wide range of manual processes such as paper-based reports and multiple spreadsheets. These methods were inefficient and time-consuming, and they offered limited visibility into real-time reported data. The firm reached out to Aciron Consulting for assistance with streamlining and automating these processes in one simple, integrated system where users could manage construction schedules and assignments, conduct schedule reviews, track issues, and generate analytics reports.
Aciron began the project by collaborating with the client to validate and analyze the requirements and strategic direction for the application. In initial meetings, Aciron and the client evaluated all the options and the recommended solution was be built a custom 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 to allow users to gain access to the system sooner. After each phase of development, also known as a "build," the application was tested thoroughly through a 3-test cycle, including system, integration, and user testing. Both the Aciron team and the client team participated in this testing process, ensuring 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, including schedule management, assignments, project controls, basic reporting, and administration. Subsequent phases have added more advanced reporting functionality and enhancements based on client feedback.
Our team developed a web-based application with a SQL server back-end database to allow the organization to manage construction schedules more efficiently. The multi-functional application is comprised of several 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 all tasks manually. • A schedule management module allows users to upload and store schedules, which then 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 based on 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 has been so pleased with the application that they presented it at their regional industry conference and 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 and changing needs.