The construction industry is notorious for working in a fragmented and siloed manner.
Several organisations assemble for an infrastructure project. And within the individual organisations there’s probably even more silos – design, stakeholder engagement etc.
Silos within silos.
And silos hinder communication. Hinder progress. Silos are inefficient. Silos are costly.
Silos are bad for business.
But what is a silo?
It’s where people in the same organisation working towards the same goal (building a bridge, a road upgrade) but don’t share information the way they should. The end result? Duplication in work, duplication in effort, uneven client experience, misinterpretation of valuable information, missed opportunities, lack of progress and improvement in how things are done and on and on.
Take an infrastructure project, for example.
How do we create what is known in the“Jack Welch era” of GE as the “boundaryless organization” or in our case a “boundaryless infrastructure project”?
(BTW if you hadn’t heard of Jack Welch, he was the early 1990s CEO of GE. Think disruptive CEO. You can read more about him here.)
The GE Work-Out process as it was called was / is a method for cutting bureaucracy and solving problems quickly. How it works:
…series of structured and facilitated forums, bringing people together across levels, functions, and geographies to solve problems and make decisions in real time.
There’s lesson for infrastructure projects in this quote.
Bring people together.
To make decisions.
In real time.
New technologies like AI and XR are helping organisations across infrastructure projects right now achieve the “boundaryless infrastructure project”.
Helping organisation’s engineers and designers collaborate in real time on design. Helping organisations collaborate and communicate with end users – the public – and key stakeholders.
Helping break down silos.