Alpharetta, Ga.; August 10, 2005: Constructware, a leading hosted project communication and collaboration solution provider to the design and construction industry, announces the development and deployment of the construction industry’s first contractual Communication Specification. The Communication Specification provides a clearly defined structure for conveying the intent of project team communication. It specifies roles, responsibilities and turn-around requirements for optimizing the exchange of documents, project information and data between organizations through procedures inherent to the design and construction process. Additionally, the Communication Specification contractually binds all parties early in the process, facilitating collaboration across the entire project or program team.
Recent industry studies show conclusively that poor communication between companies is the root cause of risk in the design and construction process, which results in cost, schedule, scope and quality problems. The basic communication problem is well documented in a series of national surveys of owners conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the respected industry consulting firm FMI Corporation (FMI), Raleigh, NC, and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), McLean, VA. In 2003, the FMI/CMAA Fourth Annual Survey of Owners rendered this conclusion: “Poor communication and collaboration is pervasive and impacts each phase of the construction process as well as everyone involved in the process – from owners and construction managers to architects, engineers, and contractors. When all of the responses to the survey were tabulated, we noted one overarching theme that stood at the top of the owner concerns, communication.” In 2004, the FMI/CMAA Fifth Annual Survey of Owners again said “more effective communication” is the most impactful change owners can make to improve the quality of their project deliveries.
For years, individual companies involved in design and construction have focused on optimizing their internal processes and project controls. But the handoff of information between companies remains largely unstructured. “In an industry where companies are contractually bound by a slue of documents that define scope of work (contract, CSI specifications, drawings, project specification, etc.); there is minimal instruction or documentation on how the entire team will communicate” says Natalie Cheney, Constructware’s Director of Professional Services, “For example, most specifications today only have one paragraph to address the communication process. When you consider the massive amount of information that is passed back and forth between parties at each stage of the design and construction process, it is easy to see how a lack of communication standards can negatively impact a project.”
“One of the biggest challenges our clients face is getting the external team members to change the way they are used to doing business and evolve to a common team approach,” says Scott Unger, Constructware President and CEO, “The Communication Specification has provided a bridge to make this process easier. By contractually binding project teams and setting expectations early in the RFP stage, clients are seeing no exceptions from bidders and little resistance to adoption.”
Constructware’s collaborative experience in providing solutions to owners and contractors has prompted the insight to provide a framework for specifying how organizations will communicate with each other not only internally but also externally. Implementing the Communication Specification helps owners and contractors better communicate how they do business and it encourages project teams to adopt the same methods as opposed to independently utilizing their own methods. Having all parties working together harmoniously provides an environment with information exchange and accountability for all stakeholders, thus saving time, money and reducing risk to the overall project.
The Communication Specification is currently in practice with three Constructware client companies. Excitement generated at Constructware’s Annual User Conference held in May encouraged many other companies to review sample Communication Specification’s and evaluate implementing them in their organizations. Additionally, multiple site license agreements signed in 2005 have specified the deployment of the Communication Specification�.
Constructware, founded in 1994, is a nationally recognized leader in developing practical technology solutions for the U.S. construction industry. Our clients include constructors, construction managers, engineers, architects and owners in all major vertical market segments of the construction industry. Constructware is the most widely used project collaboration application among contractors of all sizes and types in the United States, with double the market share of its nearest competitor, according to the 2004 “IT Survey for the Construction Industry” published by the Construction Financial Management Association, Princeton, NJ.
The Constructware application is a hosted communication and collaboration solution that increases productivity and improves processes and accountability for all stakeholders throughout the design, construction and facility lifecycle. Constructware also provides its clients with a flexible, proven XML-based data exchange model that allows each client to customize business rules and data flows for interoperability with virtually any application, regardless of the platform. Our clients use Constructware software and services to optimize, standardize and automate their business processes with an easy to use, scalable solution. More information is available at
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