BAM has become the first contractor to use an “advanced” AI solution developed by construction and engineering software firm nPlan.
BAM will use ‘nPlan Portfolio’, which utilises nPlan’s AI and big data capabilities, to quantify and manage risk across an initial portfolio of 50 projects.
The company will also work with nPlan to guide the roadmap for the product.
nPlan says its technology will enable BAM to analyse a whole portfolio through an AI lens for the first time, providing unbiased insight into potential risks to schedule and cost, and enabling prompt preventive action.
Further, it says its machine learning capability will help BAM focus high-level attention on the right areas, to identify the efficiencies and opportunities that can be realised through portfolio schedule optimisation.
Ultimately, this will enable more affordable outcomes for clients during a time of increasing cost pressures and funding constraints, nPlan says.
David Bunn, portfolio director at BAM, said: “As our clients are increasingly moving towards outcome-focused capital programmes, we are seeing a shift in our leadership focus to the risks to delivery of those outcomes – rather than just the risks to project delivery.
“Applying nPlan’s AI capability at a portfolio oversight level allows us to quickly target our leadership interventions to the right areas across a large portfolio of projects, to mitigate risks to outcomes being delivered when they are needed.
“In this initial deployment, we are assessing the capability in parallel with our existing approach to offer an additional view of schedule risk without the influence of typical human biases.
“We expect this to enable greater optimisation of integrated portfolio schedules, which will ultimately benefit our clients.”
Dev Amratia, CEO of nPlan, said: “Accurately forecasting and effectively de-risking a single large-scale project is extremely challenging – doing the same for a whole portfolio of projects is an order of magnitude more difficult.
“It is also arguably an order of magnitude more important, because unrecognised portfolio risk has led to the demise of many contractors–and the loss of the jobs they provided–over the years.
“nPlan made its name solving the forecasting and risk identification problem for single projects – and we’re incredibly excited that we now also have a system which can enable portfolio managers to solve the portfolio risk problem on behalf of their organisations.
“This was a problem which many people said was a fact of life within the construction industry, but we’ve shown it can be addressed – and we’ll continue to work on the really thorny problems limiting growth and development, because ultimately that’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.”
nPlan’s agreement with BAM follows a number of moves made by the company in recent weeks.
In early June, nPlan launched ‘Barry’, its project controls chatbot, which is capable of discussing and working with complex project data.
Last week, the firm was honoured as a finalist at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious MacRobert Award ceremony.
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