DC RUG Series: Audit Compliance and Managing Adoption
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Author: Sergio Aranda
In this blog, we continue our DC RUG series with the next topics — audit compliance and managing adoption.
In DC, customers discussed ways in which they’ve benefitted from enabling e-Builder and changing how they execute projects. One example that resonated with all participating customers was how the system can improve audit and compliance requirements. At its core, e-Builder is a system that allows an agency - public or private - to standardize how information and communication is managed in their capital programs.
Submittals, change orders, budget approvals—essentially, any process requiring data collection and reviews must flow through the system. As such, it acts as a great tool to demonstrate how the organization is complying with various regulatory requirements.
At e-Builder, RUG stand for regional user group. RUGs are engaging opportunities for e-Builder customers to learn from each other face to face by sharing business challenges and solutions.
Better Audit Results
I recall a story from a conversation several years ago with Alexia Nalewaik, who is an expert on project change management, risk management, and claims management. She shared that when a company undergoes an audit, auditors will ask for various types of information. If the information is provided right away, it usually means it will go well and be completed fairly quickly. If the information takes hours (or worse, days) to be provided, the auditors know they’re in for a lengthy process and will ask for a lot more information than usual.
At our DC RUG, one customer described how e-Builder has helped them achieve better audit results. By simply providing auditors with access to their instance of e-Builder using role-based controls, they allow the auditors to review the desired information—project communications, financial data, etc. And this information is already organized in a way that supports the complete audit trail, thus resulting in better audit results.
e-Builder can then be an ally in developing trust and compliance.
This customer has also relied on e-Builder as a tool to support the enforcement of policies and controls. e-Builder can then be an ally in developing trust and compliance. This in turn leads to a powerful ally (auditors) who will support policy changes to leadership, who then have additional reasons to promote use of the system and drive adoption.
In our last DC RUG post, we reviewed the topic of Continual Process Improvement. This is a key concept that all e-Builder customers work to master. To get to this point, customers have to deal with the inevitable resistance to change. At e-Builder we refer to this as ‘driving adoption’ of the system. Every customer deploying e-Builder has to master - or at least develop - the art of persuasion. It is not easy to get your stakeholders to buy into the concept of changing how they manage projects today.
Driving Adoption of e-Builder Enterprise
Of course there are many ways to drive adoption of e-Builder in addition to enforcing policies. Here are some methods that were highlighted during the DC regional user group:
- Engage early and often - commit to engaging various stakeholder personas to provide input on new initiatives, or to submit their own ideas.
- Develop a vision and SMART goals - everyone in the organization should be able to answer the questions: Why are we changing? What results do we expect?
- Measure - we previously discussed the concept of data analytics and dashboards, thereby confirming that customers understand once information is flowing through e-Builder (vs. email, spreadsheets and external servers) they can analyze metrics to track improvement.
- Set realistic expectations but share successes with your teams - improvements will manifest over time, and it’s important that stakeholders are aware of the improvements.
At the same time, customers in DC shared that if a stakeholder has an idea or request, they are careful to validate whether switching to e-Builder to execute a specific task may not be worth the time investment.
Upon adoption of digital project delivery technology, such as e-Builder Enterprise, customers find their ability to design, build, operate, and maintain infrastructure assets to be greatly improved.