Software slashes DMA-Works costs

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Agriculture – Works (DMA–Works) is set to slash costs by 15% and cut project times by up to 20% with a massive multi-million dollar e-government project.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 10, 2005

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Agriculture – Works (DMA–Works) is set to slash costs by 15% and cut project times by up to 20% with a massive multi-million dollar e-government project. At the heart of the department’s automation drive is its Project Collaboration and Management System through Project Specific Website Technology (PCMA-PSWS) system. The web-based portal, which will allow different members of a building project team to collaborate even if they are in different parts of the world, is already in use but it is expected to be officially unveiled later this week. Based on Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server, the PCMA-PSWS was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and local partner Emirates Computers. It also uses Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition and Microsoft Project Server 2003. The PCMA-PSWS has already been used to manage construction on the Sheikh Zayed Bridge project, a 1.1 billion dirham transportation initiative that includes bridges and road links between Abu Dhabi and other emirates. Also due to be officially unveiled this month are an infrastructure maintenance and management system, an online tendering service, a facilities maintenance and management system, and a registry and workflow project. “This is an e-government project that should automate the DMA-Works from A to Z,” said Shayne Hakki, DMA-Works e-government project manager. “So that means whether it is in the design field, tendering field, execution field, maintenance field or any contractual area in between, it is being automated.” The project will also include a financial system and a human resources element, Hakki added. International companies that have already used the PCMA-PSWS include two design firms in the UK. According to Hakki, the portal allowed architectural design work to viewed by both the London and Abu Dhabi based parties, thus accelerating communication and the decision making process. “You can see everything to do with the project on the portal,” he said. “You can see if you may be getting into a bottleneck, you can see on the spot what is going on. You don’t need to wait until the end of the month, you don’t need to wait for a project review document, you see it on the spot when you log in.” By reducing inefficiencies, DMA-Works expects to make massive savings on its massive infrastructure projects, Hakki said. “This technology should save tens of millions of dirhams on this project alone... That is why the department is planning to haul it out into all of the work, to save hundreds of millions of dirhams,” he explained. “As part of Abu Dhabi’s e-government initiatives, DMA-Works is committed to using new technology to improve efficiency... We are confident that we have a solution which will cut project times by up to 20% and create cost savings of up to 15%,” added His Excellency, Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaiedi, acting chairman, DMA-Works. In addition to accelerating construction projects taking place today, the data gathered via the PCMA-PSWS is being stored for future use and being made available to other department staff working on different projects through a wireless network and mobile devices. “We have installed a wireless network onsite, so anybody with a PDA or a tablet PC can access the PCMA-PSWS,” explained Hakki. “Let’s say I am at a big site and I need to pull a detail related to water proofing treatment. On the spot I can now do that.”

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