Looking at how construction takes place in Africa, it kind of reminds me 20 years ago, how things were in Greece. As a new engineer then, coming from the tech-savvy Anericas, I immediately realized -working as a junior site engineer- that “things” were not going well with the construction business.

Scheduling was made just because … it had do. Daily logs were written weeks even months after the due dates. Resources were either under or over the needs. Planning was poor and to make the long story short … Greek construction was based on heroism. After all is a Greek word and my country breeds nothing other than … everyday heroes.

Well other countries -the well developed ones- use methodology instead. Another useful Greek word that takes most of the pain out from everyday work. Methodology is about creating processes, procedures, milestones, deliverables and at the end of the day we can deliver good quality projects, in-time and on cost. Needless to say that avoiding accidents and protecting the environment should also come hand-in-hand with this Methodology.

20 years ago along with a fellow engineer we decided to digitize these processes. We did that to ease our everyday supervision work and to record and monitor construction, quality and safety on our sites. As technology-freeks we created a web-database application. The first one at that time that was able to harness data from our sites and turn it into useful info.

This revolutionary wed-based innovative system allowed the monitoring and advance reporting on all projects executed and managed through an organization, centrally. Users (designers, engineers, suppliers, contractors, inspectors etc.) contributed data into the system from their local offices/terminals. The system securely and according to standardized process associated data and transformed it into useful info, via advance reporting mechanisms.

Information then could be displayed on digital geomapping (like Google maps) where inspectors could monitor the progress and the costs, real-time. Accidents, Quality inconsistencies, time schedule discrepancies and billing issues could be managed and resolved via this System.

After 20+ years of experience in engineering and technology, I feel that this the way to go for any public entity or company. The way to monitor construction should be based on digitization of ISO based processes.