Real-time Iteration and Continuous Improvement: Plan, reflect, iterate, repeat

Plan, reflect, iterate, repeat. The iterative process is one of those words that feels more congruent in the context of a room full of software developers. However, all teams and functions iterate in one way or another - including those teams involved in roading and infrastructure program delivery.

Our operating environment is dynamic and this has been exacerbated further by the last two pandemic fuelled years of adjusting timelines, resources and working with more flexibility. Cue the need to ensure teams have the resources at their fingertips to respond and adjust direction quickly to achieve outcomes AND have the tools to easily draft and collaborate on new ways of delivering.

Collaborative planning in real-time drives efficiency

Many people are involved in program or project delivery - often from an array of organisations and stakeholder groups. The opportunity to gain diverse expertise and enable the sharing of ideas with stakeholders in the early planning stages of delivery is invaluable. However, the reality is often problematic; with difficulties in sharing plans easily and quickly across the various organisations.

One way to approach this, which our customers are finding increasingly useful, is to collaborate during program/project planning with a shared draft site - create, edit, review and share potential monitoring plans to inform work hours, detour ideas, community impact and new delivery methods to approach your upcoming project. Creating a combined view is more powerful than each area asking questions in isolation, breaking silos.

With the ability to share delivery plans with stakeholders, you can quickly see if this matches their current plan for delivery and spark fresh ideas for alternative methodologies.

Sometimes these ideas are 'outside of the box' (but hey, so was the 3M post-it note!). We are able to test and inform our thinking in a safe space. Luckily, infrastructure delivery is normally measured in years and decades so we have plenty of opportunities to build both ideas and key learnings into our programs and leverage continuous improvement. See our article here on questions to ask during iteration.

Implementing our best laid plans

Let’s picture the perfect worksite after hours of careful design and planning. The sun is shining, the traffic is flowing through easily, speed through site is at a safe level, work is going to schedule and there have been zero complaints...

It's 10am the following day and now unexpected heavy traffic appears, it's unpredictable, the public is irate, and critical deliveries are about to arrive at the work site.

A Mooven connected Variable Message System giving information on how long a journey is expected to be

This is a recent customer scenario that resulted in the program team leveraging the Mooven platform to understand that the adjacent roads were being impacted by traffic from two distant schools that during project planning weren’t identified as a risk to traffic flows to the worksite.  

With this context, they were able to adjust the site layout quickly and use temporary traffic management so the traffic could flow more easily - nudging traffic away from critical areas and freeing up delivery.  Through this iteration they were able to adjust their plans and add additional monitoring on adjacent roads to gain situational awareness and critical context.  

Had we stuck to the traditional plan, we would have reviewed traffic flows and conditions at the end of the week and struggled to understand why the unusual patterns were occurring.  Impacting both productivity outputs and the community experience of planned worksite.

Collaborative iteration along the way

When striving for continuous improvement we often see iterative or agile planning encouraging contributions from other stakeholders.  At monthly check-ins or after critical work site events, stakeholder feedback is collected and then further adaptation can be made to the program delivery.

At Mooven we are able to support program delivery by enabling tailored reports. For example, the Comms Manager or Customer Experience team may be more interested in a 24hr view of the adjacent school roads described above which can be grouped and created into a shared view, where others may only need a week view of the Site performance.

Giving tailored information to teams allows them to focus on the right information, enabling them to efficiently identify any required changes required along the way in delivery.  A collaborative approach to continuous improvement during program delivery.

Iterating on the go reduces risk, monitors safety and manages efficiency

When we work with our customers to achieve productivity outcomes they often look to use an approach that reduces risk, monitors safety in real time and manages efficiency.  

Using an adaptive, iterative approach to program delivery can certainly achieve these things and we have been promoting Mooven's ability to edit and change routes in a self service manner (and in real time) in order to be truly iterating quickly.

Watch this video to learn how customers can adapt as the project unfolds by changing routes, editing networks, and adding adjacent routes to gather further context. 

The ability to gain visibility over a site then edit, add and change quickly, allows risk identification and mitigation early on in the works. Avoiding speed bumps further down the timeline.

Five benefits of adapting and iterating regularly

  1. Increased efficiency - Because the iterative process embraces trial and error, it can often help you achieve your desired result faster than a non-iterative process and uncovers ideas we wouldn’t have thought about at the start of the process.

  2. Cost savingsIf you need to change the scope of the project, you’ll only have invested the minimum time and effort into the process.  Also, early learnings can be operationalised immediately give you benefit while you move onto the next idea

  3. Reduced Risks - Risks are identified and addressed quickly.  Instead of solving for large risks and reporting on them monthly,  you’re consistently working to resolve low-level risks.

  4. Increased adaptability - As you learn new things, you can tweak your plan to best hit your goals—even if that means doing something you didn’t expect to be doing at the start of the project. This builds confidence and sparks creativity.
    Real time

  5. Increased autonomy - When you can edit and change routes in a self service manner, you provide those program delivery leads and project managers with the autonomy to make real-time decisions based on a solid evidence base - giving all parties the confidence to respond and adapt.

Ready to share plans and iterate?  First check out our article on building trust through collaboration with stakeholders with Mooven here.

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