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COMMENTARY


We need to identify common challenges in construction projects such as poor communication, scope creep and an overall skill shortage of construction project managers.


cost effective and hence, likely to stay. For example, an enhanced focus on worker safety could bring substantial change to current job sites and help accelerate the industry’s move to modularisation, prefabrication and off-site construction methods, which Singapore is already moving towards, especially for public housing projects.


We are also seeing the pandemic pushing more companies to use drones for remote surveillance and inspection of project progress. Coupled with AI- powered solutions, a safer working environment can be created by tracking workers’ behaviours as well and prevent accidents in real time.


Artificial intelligence may represent the largest opportunity for the industry moving forward. Ninety-five per cent of all data currently captured in the construction and engineering industry goes unused. We can imagine the improvements in productivity and efficiency if the data can be used to improve processes and not just digitise them for the sake of it.


If the concern is about jobs, digitalisation of construction is actually creating more appealing value-added jobs for everyone. These jobs are not all tech- based as we still need someone who can bring it altogether across the digital and physical, geographies, functions and the many moving parts in a construction project. As we continue surfacing and shaping local talents for the future digitalised construction industry, we can expect even more demand for project management and for project managers.


28


NEXT STEPS Organisations and individuals need to work smarter in the ever-changing and dynamic world, especially in this ‘post- pandemic’ economic recovery. Markets around the world are investing heavily in infrastructure and construction projects as they look to grow their economies7


. US$3.7 trillion will need to


be invested globally per year on these projects to keep pace with projected GDP growth8


.


To address key challenges faced by the global construction industry and to better equip professionals with the skills needed to bring these projects to life, we need to identify common challenges in construction projects such as poor communication, scope creep and an overall skill shortage of construction project managers. What the construction industry needs is innovative learning methods and practices that are designed by construction experts, for construction experts. Project managers, for example, could be equipped with overarching certification and upskilling so that we can establish a global community that can lead projects and organisations forward.


BEN BREEN Ben Breen is Managing Director, Asia Pacific, and Head of Global Construction at Project Management Institute, where he oversees business development and represents the chapters in the region, as well as spearheads the Construction Working Group. Originally from Australia, he moved to Singapore in 1994 and has since supported or led hundreds of projects including iconic developments such as Marina Bay Sands and the award-winning Suntec Convention Centre. Previously, Breen served as Managing Director, South East Asia at Space Matrix Design Consultants Pte Ltd, Singapore, where he led the company’s digital transformation—moving it to the forefront of digital technology for interior design and building firms.


C M Y CM MY CY CMY K


report-11884 2


gymnastic-enterprises-12973 6


our-insights/imagining-constructions-digital-future 7


1https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/2020-signposts- https://www.mnd.gov.sg/newsroom/parliament-matters/q-as 4https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/forging-future-focused- https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/beyond-agility- https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/ https://www.pmi.org/learning/thought-leadership/megatrends


3https://www.pmi.org/


culture-11908 5


8https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/


our-insights/bridging-infrastructure-gaps-has-the-world-made- progress#section%202


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