BC information system

Illustrating the changes to the BC information system

With the concept explained and business cases for development discussed, this section discusses the changes this can bring to BC.

By the proposed development of a national bcoWeb and related BC web services, the BC Information System can finally and gradually change from its current paper-based nature into an electronic document based Information System. Paper-based documents and `dumb' electronic documents will be produced, if desired, as representations (mark-ups) of BC Ontology data.

bcoWeb and web services allow innovative changes in BC. These changes take place at the system, project, company and task level. The changes at these levels are discussed below.

System level innovation
On the system (or industry) level, the actual mechanisms for projects that fulfill Clients' wishes are in place. In this system, strengthening the knowledge chains is important. BcoWeb enables the industry to get better use out of existing knowledge and information: knowledge and experience from previous projects; improved utilisation of suppliers' knowledge; improved capture of Clients' requirements, coupled with a better retaining of these requirements; a contractor that stores knowledge for reuse in later projects; knowledge of the research institutes that is, currently, only transferred through regulations, which is only a weak transfer mechanism as paper documents can only hold so much information. BcoWeb enables a promising start for system level innovation.
Project level innovation
On the project level, bcoWeb allows for more cooperation possibilities. Information and knowledge sharing among project partners is made easier and more powerful. Likewise, the cooperation between the various phases can switch more from a sequential mode of cooperation to a more concurrent one. Within a project, possible alternative solutions can be compared and weighed more often and more easily, possibly resulting in better solutions. Web services, for example, provide a way to compare the costs and the value, providing rapid feedback on design decisions or change requests, which is vital for innovative kinds of contracts.
Company level innovation
On the company level, the innovation is mainly regarding knowledge. On the one hand, a company can sell their own (practical) knowledge, something not currently feasible except for specialised consulting companies. On the other hand, they can get more specialised support through web services, integrated with their own applications. This might lead to a more knowledge-driven BC with a higher value adding capacity.
Task level innovation
On the level of the individual task, an improved information dissemination and information access possibility allows tasks to be more knowledge-intensive. Workers can be provided with better instructions, tailor-made for the task at hand8.8. Workers on their part can, through the Internet-accessible information systems, provide much more feedback on tasks and on the design. Likewise, their progress reports can be much more instantaneous, removing a few hours or a day of time lag out of the system. Good companies can use this to innovatively reduce failures and rework. The knowledge gained at the task level can be used in further projects.
Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13