Transparency in yacht construction

Jens Meyer looks at the need for professional project management in today’s yacht building industry, where the central focus lies on handling time and cost pressures with the obvious objective to deliver quality products and services

More and more we see lawyers getting involved in the minutiae of contract details, which is why it is important to pay close attention to the agreed contract obligations, especially the agreed milestones. Misunderstandings can lead to interruptions early on, so early detection of possible build and contract risks has never been as significant as it is today.

Together with the general lack of a complete project overview with all the included connections, you can be faced with multiple obstacles presented with a variety of differing software solutions. Keeping track of important KPIs and milestones will be affected and basic project documentation will get lost or misinterpreted.

Other reasons for stumbling with new built or refit yacht projects include the lack of transparency between the involved parties. In particular, the communication between the owner, owner representative/captain, project manager, sub-project leader or from the shipyards perspective, with the subcontractors. The processes are often deficient and no longer up to date. These issues often lead to increased costs and delays in acceptance.

To keep track of a complex value chain, a graphical overview of the plan data is vital. In the best case, these can be changed and shared without boundaries to a location and without much time difference. But, the use of different file formats will pose a risk and potential loss of data.

The solution is the need to adopt Project Portfolio Management software in the modern yacht building industry. Actions for the shipyard, contractors, available resources associated cost and schedule monitoring must be given. The goal should be to create the connection between owner, shipyard and subcontractor. Value Chain Transparency is the ultimate target.

When new software is introduced, there is generally a degree of distrust for the future users. For a successful adoption of the tool, it is essential to take these concerns seriously. The best solution for this is intuitive software that can be taught to users with minimal effort. Supporting this is the need for a modern and user friendly interface following international project management standards. Gone are the days when you would spend hours looking at excel tables and several different tools, with MS Project or Merlin.

At the management level, the successful organization of resources is crucial. The quick detection of bottlenecks and overloads is necessary to control schedules and budgets. From the user point of view, the simple input and display of data must be facilitated. A controllable and flexible user administration dashboard with various levels of roles and admin rights allows a variety of users, which have access to the same project, but can only view and edit the part relevant to them. In the time of 4G/5G the access to this data should be possible globally, 24/7 in real time.

Solutions exist and we have take the chance to adopt them. Digital Project Management is a chance to master today’s challenges and complexities. DPM allows the owner, shipyard, sub-contractors and stakeholders to communicate simultaneously with real data, in real time.

These digital tools and international project management methods in a cloud-based software, allows projects to be completed strategically and in an implementation-oriented manner. You will be able to keep risks like increased costs and delays in acceptance of the yacht to a minimal level. This is the next in step in digitizing the world of yacht building.

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