New global technology alliance aims to end project overruns

Mott MacDonald, Endeavour Programme and WT Partnership have formed a global technology alliance aimed at harnessing the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technology to prevent potential time and cost overruns on major projects. The alliance aims to bring a new data-driven project management approach to better manage projects of any kind all over the world. 

Motts say that major projects regularly underperform due to traditional systems and human limitations causing outcomes to be inaccurately predicted. The increasingly complexity of modern-day large infrastructure design and construction means that major projects will continue to overrun unless a new approach is taken, say the firm.

Dan Phillips, global practice lead for project, programme and commercial management at Mott MacDonald, said: “There is a huge amount of money and time invested in the delivery of major projects, and despite this, they continue to underperform, deliver less than budgeted benefits and inevitably become the focus of political and media scrutiny. The construction industry lags behind other industries in the use of data and adoption of AI technology will play a big part in helping us achieve better outcomes for project teams, clients and ultimately the end users who feel the effect of project delays and cost overruns the most.” 

Endeavour Programme, a technology firm headquartered in Brisbane, has developed Octant AI, a scalable cloud-hosted, case-based decision-making system. It gathers data and analyses the performance in projects to produce improved insight allowing earlier, more effective, decision making and improving the ability of executives and project leaders to improve outcomes. The new alliance will use this technology, combined with the knowledge and experience of Mott MacDonald and WT Partnership in the design and delivery of large-scale infrastructure around the world. 

David Porter, Endeavour Programme founder, said: “Large projects have become so complex with so many interdependencies and stakeholders, that managing them with tradition methods is ever more challenging. Through our alliance we’re aiming to lead the way in adapting this new technology, and we are seeking to make a measurable change to the performance of some of our biggest projects.” 

Nick Deeks, managing director of international cost management consultancy WT Partnership, said: “We know that the future of professional services for projects has to be integrated with emerging technologies such as Octant AI. Our clients want more certainty, better adaptability and the better value for money that technology can deliver. We want to be leading this field, and this is the most advanced AI technology available in the market.” 

Early applications of Octant AI have been used on civil projects and for large government portfolios and the alliance plans to roll out new modules for other sectors as soon as possible.  

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