Digital Project Twins offer new perspectives on the future of data-driven management and opportunities for using digitalization to enhance project management. BearingPoint has produced a position paper that defines the concept and describes the maturity framework in greater detail. With this position paper, BearingPoint draws on its experience as a management and technology consultancy to lay the groundwork for what is still a new concept, to build a bridge between our clients and our research institute partners.
Studies have shown that at least one in six projects fails depending on their type, size, and complexity. The consequences of unsuccessful and, in the worst case, aborted large-scale projects are great, given the amount of investment needed at the beginning of a project. Companies whose business depends on delivering large-scale projects are at particular risk of negative impact on their profitability.
Large-scale projects are challenging by nature, as most are “non standard” in some respect. To ensure that more projects are successful, decision-making must be improved by gaining a more holistic view of KPIs and incorporating all project members’ knowledge. Utilizing what is “known” by the team means going beyond a single project manager’s view and involves connecting the dots between all the people and data associated with a project.
In the future, Digital Project Twins will remedy this situation by means of data-driven project management to achieve greater project success and, thus, improved profitability for the project-driven companies.
BearingPoint has analyzed the needs and experiences of projects in the engineer-to-order, construction or service industries and conceptualized and implemented Digital Project Twins to address capability gaps within projects and the organizations undertaking the projects. A digital replication of all stages of a project, covering the organization’s structure, processes and systems, integrates more people and all real-time streams of data.
Digital Project Twin was conceived with the aim of delivering data-driven project management. It uses data storage and interfaces to integrate tools and methodologies commonly used in isolation with system architectures for the underlying sensor technology and data processing. Whatever its size and complexity, a project run using the Digital Project Twin approach must ensure an orderly process for creating each deliverable – from initiation, through the proposal phase and, specifically, during implementation to completion, delivering a 360-degree view of the project.
Project control can be defined as the function of project management that deals with planning, information and monitoring/analysis of the project process and progress. All tools aim to manage at least one of the three classic dimensions of cost, time and quality – regardless of whether they are used for planning, information, or monitoring/analysis. The three dimensions are also known as the “magic triangle of project control”. A Digital Project Twin should go beyond this perspective and encompass information about the project scope, earned value, risks and resources.
The path to data-driven project management by means of a Digital Project Twin includes several stages that must be undertaken and which determine the maturity level of a Digital Project Twin. The maturity level of a Digital Project Twin increases successively with the individual stages and, in the final step, provides companies with increased business value through data-driven project management.
When defining a software strategy for a Digital Project Twin, a choice must be made between best-of-breed and integrated solutions. Best-of-breed solutions, namely those bringing together different software providers depending on the problem, and integrated solutions from very large software providers (e.g., Microsoft or SAP) offer different advantages and disadvantages.
Different assets and priorities with related action items are owned, managed and developed by partner teams across the Digital Project Twin key focus area. There are four layers involved in the day-to-day running of the project: the integrated management of the project business enterprise, commercial/functional management, core project management and day-to-day operational project business:
BearingPoint offers solutions for Digital Project Twin by helping clients define their individual roadmap, concepts, and application landscapes across the four layers mentioned above. We also offer Digital Project Twin as a product, using our SAP demo systems to demonstrate a state-of-the-art solution to clients right from the start.
Our SAP demo system includes example use cases for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management in the new S/4HANA Environment, including project and financial data. Furthermore, an SAP Data Warehouse Cloud demo shows the possibilities for connecting SAP source systems, such as S/4HANA and third-party systems. One example of a beneficial connection is BearingPoint Swarm, which digitalizes risk checklists and creates data across all project participants. Our SAP Analytics Cloud demo system, which is connected to our Data Warehouse Cloud and data source demo systems, demonstrates the capabilities of state-of-the art business intelligence by showing the combined forces of integrated planning, reporting and analysis.
Bringing people and data together achieves a holistic visualization of the project, enabling a Digital Project Twin to finally deliver a new level of business value. BearingPoint’s SAP demo system landscapes deliver insights to our clients for this from the very beginning.