Information Delivery Specifications in Infrastructure [3 reasons why]

public transport australia

How can Australian asset owners, contractors, and design firms overcome the siloed nature of their supply chains in infrastructure projects? This blog describes the use of structured data in Open Standards to improve effective and efficient communication of requirements.

Now that more than A$218 billion (1) is (to be) invested in public infrastructure in Australia, a little cost saving on a project will become a large saving overall very fast. One of the things to save on is waste caused by inefficient and ineffective information handover during the life-cycle of civil structures.

At a certain point, stakeholder requirements are handed over to a contractor to derive design solutions and prove that the outcome fulfills the requirements. Although requirements are mostly communicated as documents, a contractor, and its subcontractors for that matter, would much rather receive information in a more structured form, suitable for use in their software applications. It would save time, and it would avoid human errors. 

The problem is that clients, if they have their requirements in a structured form at all, can’t tell upfront what tools their future contractors will be using. So even if a client has been using requirement management tools, their data isn’t directly suitable for ‘consumption’ by the contractor. So how can organizations smoothen the flow of information throughout their supply chain?

Our solution uses Information Delivery Specifications (IDS) to hand over structured data within a supply chain. And to be sure to be agnostic regarding software vendors and specific applications, we use Open Standards: agreements on formats that anybody can use at any time. Making sure the level playing field is guaranteed and ready for the future.

By using such data delivery agreements for requirements, we can help clients share requirements as structured and ready-to-use data by contractors and contractors with subcontractors.

“By improving traceability and consistency of information throughout the phases of a project, and making it easier to find and reuse information, we avoid manual errors as early as possible to prevent them from compounding” – Anusha Pai, SESA Engineer (2)

The main benefits of using Open Standard data delivery agreements are:

  • Ability to communicate requirements and their interdependencies
  • Time savings on processing requirements by contractors
  • No vendor lock-in by dominant software suppliers

Want to know more about using an IDS? Reach out to James Harvey of Arcadis or Niels Kooiman of Semmtech.

(2) Harvey, J. (2022), Presentation on Model-Based Systems Engineering, Arcadis