Since the industrial revolution began, advances in process and technology have transformed countless industries – reducing human errors, improving safety, and driving efficiencies. The industrial construction market has yet to complete this transformation because it is hampered by a cyclical market that focuses on human capital over continuous improvement through process optimization and innovation. While productivity has remained flat for the past 50 years, there is significant change underway with the shift from traditional waterfall project management to the modern, agile approach of Advanced Work Packaging (AWP).
Certified as a best practice by the Construction Industry Institute in 2015, AWP has become the standard project delivery method for industry leading owners, EPCs, and contractors. With this change in process came the need for a change in systems. Traditional construction software solutions were designed to follow the existing, siloed approach to project management. “What has been lacking is a tool designed to view and optimize the entire project as a single system from beginning to end,” begins Josh Girvin, co-founder, and CEO of O3 Solutions. “AWP provides the framework for structuring the work and data to allow managing the entire project in a single collaborative solution.” The serial entrepreneur joined forces with fellow industry leaders Mandi Coker and Jared Elliott, combining over 30 years of industry experience to deliver O3, a modern SaaS Project Management Solution purpose-built to bring the best of Advanced Work Packaging and agile methods to the construction market.
As a modern tool designed with current technology, O3 is easy to configure, deploy, and use. It addresses the challenge of connecting and managing disparate legacy systems that incur project delays due to incompatibility. In addition, O3 leverages agile project management in the delivery and implementation of its software. Girvin explains, “Our implementations for mega projects and portfolios are measured in weeks, not months or years, and the services investment is a small fraction as compared to the less modern solutions.” O3’s flagship solution, O3’s Solution suite, is designed for total project and portfolio optimization and has been adopted by leading organizations for use as early as the concept phase through commissioning and startup.
Instead of the status quo of the construction industry’s siloed processes, O3 provides an environment for all project stakeholders across the owner, EPC, contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors to collaborate and organize, plan, track, and manage their work. Additionally, O3’s “unlimited users” pricing model approach drives the adoption of the tool for all of the non-client stakeholders working on the project.
Ultimately, this innovation increases communication, transparency, and positive accountability for all project contributors – delivering better project outcomes via better processes. Summing it up, Girvin adds, “Our customers have documented as much as a 25% increase in productivity in the field with little to no rework as a result of using processes that were driven by O3.” Hosted on Microsoft Azure, O3’s SaaS application leverages best-in-breed tools to offer the most intuitive and engaging user experience.
O3 offers a proven, hyper-disciplined approach to software innovation and delivery to the construction space for the first time. As a result of this commitment to agile, clients enjoy new production software releases every 2 weeks, rather than years, as is common. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, the SaaS provider has retained its impressive growth trajectory by consistently delivering cost and time savings to its clients and supporting 100% virtual implementations.
With the planned development of its product roadmap, O3 is leading the industry in innovation as they continue working with clients and subject matter expert partners to develop additional solutions. The company has gone beyond the industry standard definition of AWP to build tools that support the entire project lifecycle – with 10+ work package types currently available out of the box – and drive value to every stakeholder.
What excites O3 most about the future of construction is the introduction of data-driven continuous improvement. The use of Advanced Work Packaging and agile project management are game-changing in how they improve the productivity on a single project. Even more exciting however, is that these methodologies provide a platform for organizing project data that facilitates meaningful cross-project comparison. By analysing a project’s ability to plan the work and execute against that plan, O3 is able to abstract away from the project-specifics such as scope, location, technology stack, company, etc. that normally impede comparisons and contribute to the “every project is a snowflake” mentality.
O3 is leading this space with its ability to structure data and manage work across every project or portfolio stakeholder as well across an entire organization. On an end note, Girvin concludes, “Our competitive advantage lies in our ability to listen to our clients and simply move faster. Our rate of out-innovating others in the space continues to increase.”