Coursework for ECM40IS: IS/IT Strategy- Strategic Implementation of It/Is Projects in Construction

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ECM40IS: IS/IT Strategy

Strategic Implementation of It/Is Projects in Construction


General overview of given tasks

The construction industry of an individual country in recent times is experiencing a globalized perspective of change management demands. Change management is situational in this industry due to increased market capitalization along with dynamicity in cross-border activities that is required to have a sustainable profitability in this graved scenario. Under these circumstances, it is contextual that a real estate organization having a concrete focus on protruding in the concurrent industry with increased market share has to be eligible enough for implementing suitable, sophisticated and strategic Information System (IS) and Information Technology (IT) measures through which this vision can be fostered. In this relation, it is worthy of being noted that compared to other industries, construction industry holds a reluctant attitude for acknowledging importance of IT and IS attributes. As a result of this reluctance to embrace new technological interventions, it is observable that construction industry of many countries across this world is on a threshold of disruption with several negative consequences such as decreased productivity and reduced innovative approaches. In accordance with that, following study is particularly significant for reflecting need for implementing strategic implementation

Planning in the construction industry is having a peer focus on Information Technology and Information System applications. On this ground, it is further approachable that the following study is being responsible for analyze critically the apprehensions being perceived by a specific construction company with respect to suitable IT/IS strategy. It is notable in this context that in part A of this task, suitability of strategic decision-making being entertained by the company is critically analyzed in this study. Moreover, strategic choices along with plausible barriers are also identified so that appropriate decision-making model with response to IS/IT project implementation can be proposed for that company. In part B of that task, specifically adopted IS/IT strategies based on the given case study are entailed followed by critical evaluation of those strategies. Peer understanding about the case study-based IS/IT strategies are being demonstrated in this paper having allowed their critical reflections as well.




Part A

Task 1


Theoretical framework

Decision-making process

Decision-making process for IS/IT strategy implementation in construction largely depends on investment size, interest areas and affected employees. In this vein, it is arguable that degree of risk being involved in such projects is also influential in this decision-making. Reasonably, large projects need approval of governing body. However, IT/IS strategy implementation projects of medium range are observed to be under responsibility of budget holders. Rationally, entire decision-making procedure has to be transparent so that apparent barriers can be overcome coming in this pathway of strategic move for IT/IS implementation. Nevertheless, understanding level in this process has to be improved with holistic involvement of all employees.   

Implementation process

The implementation process for this strategic incorporation of IT/IS-enabled tools needs to be well-structured and effectively managed by respective organizations. In this context, it is observable that globalized construction industry is complicated with many critical responsibilities that largely influenced by rapidly changing business concept as well. Thus, top to bottom level of employees are taking concern to facilitate that implementation planning. Indeed, as evident from previous studies, a sophisticated IT/IS strategy implementation procedure needs to consist an upward progression via the medium of organizational hierarchy. Need of technology implementation is generally found to be initiated by lower or middle level hierarchies in a construction company. After that agreement of implementation need, middle level hierarchies has to undertake responsibilities for evaluating benefits and potential impacts of this implementation with identified solutions. Such approach is ultimately forming the basis of formal proposal which is to be assessed by senior management of that construction organization. Potential implementation procedure may be discussed at this stage followed by cost evaluation and implementation approval for that project.  

Need identification

Construction organizations need to be proactive in seeking and uptaking change initiatives in technology implementation. However, it is been found that compared to other industries, construction sector is far behind in uptaking technological intervention and that is much due to majority of construction companies are too small to afford technological supervision. This is responsible retardation of this industry worldwide compared to others. Hence, it is required that this industry has to feel an urge for keeping pace with other industries and identification of need for technology adoption by individual construction companies would be a suitable pathway.  

Proposal procedure

Proposal procedure being adopted by majority of construction companies has to be started from the need identification stage for technology adoption which may be in the reduced rate in a construction company. As perceived before in this article, a proposal for IS/IT strategy implementation can suitably follow a chain structure starting from the bottom level and ending at the top level of the organizational hierarchical structure. However, in this vertical transition, construction organizations should be capable enough for overcoming the significant barriers that can reduce pace of this strategy implementation. As for example, disagreement about this planning at superior level, or time limitation, or difficulties regarding resource allocation at hierarchical level has to be ruled out. 

Benefit realization and evaluation

Benefits of technological interventions has to be evaluated effectively by individual construction company by taking into account benefits of several categories such as financial, informational, functional, direct, indirect, long-term, short-term along with internal and external. Apart from that, inter-organizational as well as cultural organizations may also be evaluated for potential beneficence of respective organizations. In this relation, it is arguable that since benefits are more compact in present business situation in construction industry, thus, a more structured framework for evaluation purpose would be suitable. Such approach would serve the purpose of a construction company to evaluate both quantifiable and unquantifiable benefits of projects relevant to IT/IS strategy implementation.   

Formulation of implementation strategy

It is evident that having a strategic focus towards implementation of technological supervision has to be embraced by every construction companies to be on a competing edge in this competitive world. However, focus has to be given on whether there is any lack of IT leadership or lagging in terms of strategic planning inside organization. On this ground, it is arguable that construction organization management has to support extensive attempts for aligning overall business strategy with designated IT/IS strategy. In many occasions, specifically in smaller construction firms, it can be viewed that IT/IS budget holders have a reluctance to concentrate on business needs. That eventually makes IT strategy a basic hindrance for proposed business strategy instead of powerful tool for that business. From this perspective, it can be stated that strategic harmony is required in all aspects of construction business functionalities. Nevertheless, this strategic harmony has to be fashioned in such a manner so that major implementation difficulties can be overruled. As a result, observations along with improvements with respect to misalignments being perceived within construction firm can be kept aloof from. Moreover, such visionary approach would be suitable for discarding misalignments existing in between a construction firm and its surrounding business environment.  

Barriers to technology implementation

Barriers to IT/IS strategy implementation is concurrent within the global construction industry. In this context, technology implementation in a construction firm may experience major hindrance at the project level due to fear of change being perceived by employees at superior or inferior level. Apart from that, reduced technology literacy of employees along with lowered enthusiasm in IT expenditure may also be exemplified herein. Besides these, higher cost with lower profit margin being associated with IT/IS application is a prime barrier to uptake technological intervention.  

Change management

Change management for embracing IS/IT strategy implementation projects in construction organizations can be managed if employees at all level feel an urge for that implementation. Therefore, the entire process needs to experience extreme involvement of employees of superior level. Such initiative would leverage for reducing uncertainty level as well as reducing impact of resistance to change. Indeed, hierarchy needs to influence subordinates to involve in this process and that purpose can be achieved through training, education and communication at superior level. This change management has to flow from pre-implementation to post-implementation stages.  

Empirical analysis techniques and data sources

For having a satisfactory outcome of this research progress, the researcher has taken into account macro-level investigation. Empirical analysis technique being approached in this study has undertaken semi-structured interview process so that construction industry-specific factors that are influencing success of the IS/IT strategy implementation can be identified. For having reliable data and conducting a stronger rapport with respondent, face-to-face interviews have been conducted involving participants from large construction companies. For convenience of this empirical analysis, random sampling is been chosen followed by linear regression method involving SPSS software. The interview questionnaire has covered different aspects such as decision-making procedure, implementation process, formulation of implementation strategies, implementation barriers and obviously, change management initiatives. 

Key findings and conclusion

From above study, it is been found that IS/IT strategy implementation is inevitable in construction industry since this can facilitate upgrading of organizational procedure. However, due to lack of knowledge or lack of competence, IS/IT leadership is still a myth in this industry which is responsible for declining of this industry. Moreover, overrunning cost of technology implementation is a drawback of this system that is somewhat responsible for increasing reluctance of construction industry to adopt projects relevant to IT/IS strategy.

On this ground, it can be concluded that it is the high time for the global construction industry to go hand in hand with technological intervention so that a competitive advantage can be gained in the concurrent industry along with other similar industries. Nevertheless, such vision can be entertained only when employees of all level in a construction firm is energized to embrace technological supervision with a feeling of urge to adopt latest technologies. Indeed, such initiative at organization level can heighten industry productivity along with can make this industry fast forward in this competitive business environment.  

Research importance from theoretical viewpoint

This research is important in the sense that it can give peer insights for the future researches in this similar discipline. Since this research has taken into account construction firms of different sizes, so insights can be gained about contrasts and similarities followed by their reasons relevant to research subject matter. By allowing result of this study, future researchers can conduct researches regarding how to better align different levels of a construction firm so that change management cycle for fostering technology adoption can be managed.





Part B

Task 2 

Strategy adoption by ABC Company

ABC Company of Australia holds a vast mobile phone network that requires acquisition of numerous site locations in the range of Gold Coast to Brisbane. Numerous visual and text information relevant to site locations are to be stored into the current information system of ABC. Thus, upgrading of their information system is required that is comprehended to be managed by implementation of PMIS (Project Management Information System). Definite strategies are being adopted by governing body of ABC that primarily directed towards establishment of IS/IT Review Committee (RC). For ensuring addressing of strategic SWOT factors being associated with PMIS, diverse cross-functional group was established. As evident, ABC Company had adopted six-step IS/IT implementation strategy for their convenience.

In this context, identification of SWOT factors was of fundamental importance. Consecutive meetings were conducted by the organization management for addressing strategic factors relevant to PMIS implementation. In the first meeting of RC, opportunity and threat factors are collated having engaged with macroscopic level of concurrent industry. Second meeting was held for examining impacts of strengths and weaknesses on proposed PMIS implementation. Subsequently, enlisted SWOT factors were utilized involving SWOT/AHP hybrid technique. Factor prioritization was accompanied with Eigen value computation using AHP software. 

Next forward, ABC had taken into account SWOT analysis step. ABC had considered IS/IT diffusion strategy involving RC team followed by prioritizing SWOT factors enlisted previously. Ten predictors were being addressed in this regard that would support strategic IS/IT implementation. Comprehensive analysis of processes, benefits and changes are being aligned in this scenario. At first, perceived benefits that could be elicited from PMIS implementation were identified by taking into account organizational relevance, project environment and user utility. Secondly, belongings of ABC Company such as processes and assets that could be benefited from PMIS implementation were identified so that responsibilities could be assigned, user involvement could be increased and resource could be utilized better (Gusakova, 2018; 225). Lastly, change management requirements that were required to be addressed for gaining total advantage of PMIS implementation in ABC Company were highlighted so that management support could be ensured followed by assuring minimal resistance and optimum understanding of beneficial technical factors of PMIS. Nonetheless, diffusion strategy being perceived and practiced by ABC was found to be situational for mitigating threats relevant to successful implementation of PMIS project (Willar, 2017; 350). In accordance with that, it can be signified herein that this particular strategy was beneficial for ABC Company for minimizing threat relevant to financial losses that could be happened if PMIS project was not managed properly. 

In this context, operational strategy being taken into account by ABC was significant with respect to diffusion ‘storytelling’ strategy being adopted by this organization. Analysis of diffusion strategy was done having involved business systems, hierarchies, technical architecture and organizational structure. On the other hand, operational strategy detailing was furnished by aligning implementation strategy of construction projects with implementation strategy of PMIS project. Each component being assigned to operational strategy was excessively engaged with project conception, planning, designing, constructing and commissioning. In this way, ABC Company had virtualized detailing of PMIS project implementation. 

The subsequent strategy being adopted by ABC Company was relevant to planning actions for implementation strategy. For serving that purpose, RC had defined implementation requirements followed by elaboration of project objective, project cost, required timing and resources for coordinating functional dimensions of PMIS implementation (Shelton et al. 2016; 180). In this regard, installation and networking was found to be the primary stage of this process. In addition to proper action planning, RC team of ABC Company was convergent with respect to development of diverse coping strategies so that risk factors that could originate from procedure and outcome gap could be minimized suitably (Sim and Putuhena, 2015; 245). As evident from the following case study, the RC team of ABC Company was essentially competent to identify several risk factors that would have a detrimental impact on effective and efficient implementation of PMIS project. In this context, it is observable that RC had been able to draw a parallelism in between developed action plan and developed coping strategies for strategic mitigation of identified risks. Such apprehension had given this organization sufficient scope to control the deliverable that were intended to be gained through realized processes and process outcomes (Belkina, 2014; 578). 

Finally, the RC team had decided to incorporate a suitable performance monitoring plan so that implementation and utilization of proposed PMIS project could be evaluated uninterruptedly. In this connection, different performance indicators relevant to IT/IS project and relevant measures were considered by RC team. Detailing of measurement tools were done for grasping a knowledge regarding developed measures (Zhao et al. 2014; 825). The RC had also undertaken data collection throughout proposed construction period so that a constructive summary of information could be developed at end.        

Critical analysis

From the above discussion, a critical analysis can be elicited that can figure out that all the steps being involved in this PMIS project implementation planning were extremely situational with respect to organizational functional overview. The majority of measures and indicators being gathered during these six consecutive stages of strategic implementation planning is pointing towards the fact that the plan being considered by ABC Company  for successful implementation of IT/IS measures within their organizational information system was not eventually signified with any major detrimental impact or major deficiencies. Rather, it can be signified herein that intentional implementation of PMIS in this organization had not facilitated this company to reduce their overhead costs of project. This may be traced as a lagging indicator since significance savings with respect to overhead cost of a project is desired for any organization (Hackman et al. 2017; 90). Rationally, that perspective of this organization can be realized and served if ABC Company would utilize the PMIS tool in their future construction projects. In this concern, it is arguable that first project outcome after PMIS implementation has to be acknowledged by ABC Company as a benchmark that would be further beneficial for this organization evaluate future plans regarding IT/IS implementation (Yusof et al. 2016; 550). That would definitely serve as an effective tool for improving organizational performance induced with IT/IS strategies.         

Task 3 

Executive summary

In this era of technological disruption, industries comprising of diverse disciplines are observed to be fast forward with respect to adoption of IS/It strategy. However, construction industry in this relation is found to be going late compared to other industries. Rationally it can be argued that technology is superlative with respect to fast forwarding a specific industry and in this vein, technological intervention such as strategic IT/IS implementation is desired to be acknowledged by all construction firms and that can be visualized from the following case study where a reputed multinational construction firm is relying on PMIS project implementation for better handling their huge information network. This firm being located in South East Queensland of Australia is observed to be operating in the field of constructing mobile phone telecommunication network. The operation of this ABC organization is stretched from Gold Coast to Brisbane and to serve their business purpose, this organization have to be competent to embrace PMIS project so the huge information regarding site acquisition, designing and supply management of required resources can be managed accordingly. As anticipated by the telecommunication department of this organization, adopting PMIS would serve their purpose of instant sharing, visualizing and communicating diverse project information throughout the telecommunication project participants. 

In this relation, the ABC Company had adopted a six multi-step framework so that the proposed PMIS project could be implemented at an optimized level in all aspects for their business functionalities. Reasonably, the ABC organization had formulated an IS/IT Review committee so that the magnitude of success could be rationalized. The six consecutive steps as defined by the RC for fast forwarding this implementation process were identification of SWOT factors, critical analysis of identified SWOT factors, accurate diffusion strategy for enabling IT/IS, suitable operational strategy, action plan-oriented implementation strategy and appropriate monitoring plan.  

In this context, it is observable that first two consecutive steps comprising SWOT factor identification and critical analysis of those factors were essential for ABC to identify possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats being adhered to this firm that could ultimately accelerate or retard the process of PMIS implementation. The subsequent diffusion strategy was extremely reliable and significant with respect to overall beneficence of PMIS project on organizational performance. More precisely, evaluating effectiveness of information management system was focused at this strategic diffusion stage. Additionally, focusing on changes required for getting ultimate success was rational in that stage. Operational strategy being forwarded by RC was also situational in this context since that had afforded to embed PMIS implementation strategy with implementation strategies of construction projects. Action plan-oriented implementation strategy had created excellence since this had provided adequate scope to ABC Company to visualize risk factors followed by developing appropriate coping strategies. The last phase monitoring can be acknowledged as the most important phase since performance monitoring had been practiced in this phase followed by evaluating suitable strategies for maximizing performance productivity.     

Understanding of critical reflection

In present business scenario, construction projects are controlled with different deliverables which are sometimes found to be facilitating organizational productivity. However, in several occasions it can be traced that these deliverables are slowing down the overall functional attributes of a project and such lagging is mostly attributed to organizational incompetence to acknowledge the power of technological supervision. In this relevance, it is worthy of being noted that lack of knowledge in the domain of Information System or Information technology is disrupting the construction business as well as slowing down the motion of this industry. Under this critical situation, it is the high time for the construction firms to embrace IS/IT implementation framework to survive in this competitive business situation. 

PMIS would definitely going to accelerate this process of adopting IS/IT framework. It would be the complete endeavor of the construction firms to embrace different metrics of IS/IT applications such as e-conferencing, e-commerce, Internet and Intranets that can facilitate access of PMIS in construction industry. As such, embracing PMIS framework can work in favor of project optimization through the pathway of proper resource allocation, appropriate manpower management and optimized management of capital investment. However, it can be stated without ambiguity that after introduction of IT/IS framework in construction industry many years back, construction firms are still unable to utilize the holistic benefits of this framework due to lack of IT literacy. Therefore, it can be conceptualized that for facilitating optimized utilization of strategic IT/IS framework, construction organizations need to evaluate changes in tasks, people and organizational structure as well. Rationally speaking, in so doing, organizations first need to identify those areas that require most implementation of IS/It strategy followed by benefit realizations and evaluation of those benefits. Later on, implementation strategy has to be formulated. Undoubtedly, barriers that can hinder this purpose have to be estimated by the responsible people. Such approach of construction organization would facilitate to accept change management pathway through which strategic IT/IS framework can be integrated with organizational functionalities. 

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