Handover of Digital Asset Information for Owner and Operator Value

This briefing sheet is written by Professor Jennifer Whyte who is a member of the ICE information Systems Panel. The report focuses on the handover of digital asset information at the end of complex projects, and how that can add value to owners and operators.

Information integration and hand-over.
Information integration and hand-over.

Importance of digital asset information. The project's dual deliverables: physical and digital

Digital information about physical infrastructure, such as airports, roads, railways and stations can be used by long-term owners and operators to improve operational performance and sustainability. Thus owners are beginning to procure both physical infrastructure and the related digital asset information. They see their investment in infrastructure projects as adding value through this dual output, with both a physical and digital deliverable.

This requires changes in the supply-side, as it becomes an information-intensive, and seeks to collate reliable digital asset information during the project; to handover this information to owners and operators and to work with them as they takeover responsibilities for management of this information. Such handover is vital to achieving the ambitions of the UK government BIM agenda

Information integration and hand-over

Where infrastructure programmes have an organization that operates as the delivery client, this handover can have two parts, with: first, a handover of as-built information from project or sub-project supply-chains; and its approval, collation and integration at the programme-wide level; and second, a handover of as-built information collated at the programme level to the long-term owner and operator.

Effective handover of digital asset information

1. Systems integration

Challenges of the first handover of as-built information from project supply-chain to the programme-wide level are:

  • Obtaining high quality information from the supply-chain towards the end of construction;
  • Collating and checking information before teams disband; and
  • Controlling changes to requirements and information.

These challenges can be addressed through progressive build-up of information through the life of the project, with a structured set of meetings; deliverables; and responsibility matrices understood through a 'time minus' process to manage timely delivery of digital asset information.

Training is needed to ensure the supply chain understands information requirements; and can implement meta-data and content checks for document compliance. This process should start early in the project. Assumptions regarding the time taken to check and approve information from the supply chain need to be tested. In the systems integration phase, a change control process is needed to control changes to requirements and digital asset information. Completeness of documentation should be monitored with different resource scenarios to avoid resource escalation as key people and organizations leave in the project close-out phase.

2. Handover to the owner operator

Challenges of the second handover of as-built information from the project or programme to the owners and operators are:

  • Extraction of data to owner-operator systems;
  • Establishing practices for managing change and maintaining the "single source of truth";
  • Understanding (evolving/shifting) requirements for operation; and
  • Timing of data handover

The takeover of information by the owners and operators is different from the handover of information from the supply chain. There is a need for the supply-side to work with and help owner-operator teams in upskilling to takeover digital asset information; and in the extraction of data to owner-operator systems, which should be piloted and checked before batches of information are transferred.

The operator needs information to be delivered alongside physical assets. The operator needs understanding of the project as an investment, with a business plan beyond infrastructure delivery and interests in operational readiness; commercial launch; change control; and planning for next generation support for digital asset information.

For further information please contact the author: Jennifer Whyte (j.whyte@imperial.ac.uk).

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