Transparency is one of the essential goals when marrying governance with construction project management for government agencies. With heightened expectations for accountability, these agencies are under pressure to deliver projects on time and within budget while providing accurate updates to stakeholders.
Technology has emerged as a powerful way to ensure accountability and efficiency in project and cost management. But challenges – including user adoption, security concerns and data access – arise, necessitating comprehensive management of funding sources, costs and project components to maintain visibility.
We turn to Cari Stieglitz, president of Campos Sage – a consulting company focused on transportation and public sector construction – for insight on how the right technology can address these concerns. She said 20 years ago, transparency efforts relied heavily on process, but the limitations of tools like Excel became evident, revealing inefficiencies that led to delayed real-time clarity.
Cloud-based technology adoption is increasing, as it offers secure platforms that often surpass the security capabilities of on-premise solutions. This transition has allowed agencies to enhance data accessibility and take advantage of emerging technologies. To provide optimal security while allowing transparency, government agencies require software vendors to be FedRAMP authorized, such as Kahua.
These agencies are also on the hunt for the most thorough, easy-to-generate reporting and analytics that come with an innovative project management information system (PMIS).
“Reporting is always a huge request for our clients,” Stieglitz said. “When you have analytics embedded directly into the PMIS, that’s real-time data storage as part of your base system. That’s cost transparency. That’s the No. 1 need.”
While some of her customers are embracing this tech and can’t wait to see how better dashboards, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) can improve their processes and transparency, “a lot of folks are still trying to get their data in a digital format,” she said.
“There's still that step that you have to take as part of a digital transformation journey, where step one is getting in a project management system,” Stieglitz said. “You can take advantage of workflow; you can take advantage of using that information for benchmarking. That's a journey that I'm seeing. Everybody I talk to wishes they were further along.”
Kahua Customer Success Director Grant Wruble referenced KPMG’s 2023 Global Construction Survey of 250 organizations, in which only 45% reported using a PMIS or basic analytics for their projects.
“When we look at the foundational components of meeting some of the transparency and cost projection needs of organizations, I still feel like (the construction industry) is a little bit behind in terms of catching up to the foundational technological components,” he said.
Fueling this struggle is that some employees just aren’t excited about tech adoption, or they haven’t been shown how it can improve their output. Buy-in doesn’t happen when stakeholders can’t see the value tech can add to existing processes or key indicators of success.
Stieglitz and Wruble participated in the recent Kahua/GovTech webinar, How Government Agencies Address Transparency Demands, in which they also discussed:
Strategic planning and organizational change management
The design imperative of accessibility
Navigating cost management with technology
Listen today to discover how embracing cloud-based solutions opens the door to collaboration, inclusivity and a commitment to measurable goals while providing transparency into government projects.
Also, read more about how Kahua provides the public sector with accountability that enhances project quality, prevents corruption and builds trust in Unveiling the Truth: The Case for Transparency in Government Construction Projects.