Commercial Assurance vs Engineering Assurance

February 23, 2022
Understand why, how and what Raildiary captures to deliver structured commercial intelligence to clients.

Why, How and What Raildiary captures to deliver structured commercial intelligence

The famous time, cost, quality project management triangle, devised by the late Dr Martin Barnes has led to entire management systems, processes and software which aim to capture data and improve project management in relation to each of those metrics.  

Existing field data capture systems have generally evolved through meeting the engineering requirements of a project and are focused on quality (or sometimes described as scope).  They ensure an audit trail is created providing a robust record that works have been completed to the required standards and specifications.  Where software is used to support this it’s generally described as engineering assurance software.

Raildiary has been developed to focus on the time and cost elements of project management - the purpose, type of data and subsequent outcomes is aimed at supporting commercial assurance.

There is clearly a connection between these disciplines however they are aiming to solve different problems.  A simplified comparison highlighting the differences is shown below -

Raildiary was created from the personal pain of not having access to the right commercial data at the right time.  This is an age-old problem in the construction and engineering sector and particularly critical in rail where minutes, and even seconds, on site may result in a safety, operational and commercial risk.

How does Raildiary support commercial assurance?

We capture data to support commercial assurance in order to provide confidence that the project will result in commercial success.  It’s imperative that this data is consistent and structured.  Linking data capture to a Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS) and typically a standard method of measurement (such as the Rail Method of Measurement, RMM) provides the foundation for assurance.

This allows for standardised reporting across the duration of a project and also across projects within a programme.  Data-led insights are produced in dashboards and bespoke visualisations allow for trend analysis and proactive commercial risk management.

Detailed, contemporary shift records and aggregated resource allocation linked to planned activities provides best practice supporting information for contractual notices and accelerates the resolution of compensation events, variations, claims and disputes.  Ultimately, payment and cash flow through the supply chain is underpinned by objective cost data linked to the contract payment schedule.

Real time earned value management is available through measuring progress on key metrics against planned performance and this leads to predictive trend analysis indicating when works may finish and estimates at completion.

What does Raildiary do to capture data in support of commercial assurance?

At the heart of Raildiary’s data capture process is our installed mobile application.  Available for iOS and Android across all mobile devices and able to work offline this is the essential tool for site teams to capture data.  Our web application allows similar functionality and includes  planning, reporting and dashboard features.

A key ingredient to high quality data is minimising the manual data input required by the end user and we achieve this by allowing 64% of all shift entries to be completed prior to the shift using our Shift Planner feature.  Planning shifts in advance results in a clear link between the planned programme and actual works whilst mitigating user error and reducing administration for those on site.

We utilise time stamped and geotagged images and document resources further increasing the integrity and resilience of the commercial audit trail.  Structured, self-service data source configuration results in pre-defined selections enabling consistent naming conventions for report creation.

Data import and web service integration with planning, ERP, contract management and CDE tools is the final part of the process for delivering a connected knowledge base for commercial assurance.

Commercial Assurance vs Engineering Assurance

Nick Woodrow

Operations Director

A positive and outcome focused chartered civil engineer with over 20 years spent in a broad range of businesses successfully delivering complex projects & leading teams at C-level.

Raildiary LinkedIn
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