Research Projects

Applying Dynamic Network Analysis and Organizational Behavior Theory to Improve Collaboration for Airport Construction Projects

Develop guidance on how the airport industry can employ new technologies and techniques used in other industries to provide real-time feedback on communication networks and collaboration (who is communicating with whom, about what, how often) in construction projects during delivery.

 

The ultimate objective of employing this type of technology is to enhance collaboration to better meet project / organizational goals, timelines, budgets etc. and work more effectively across divisions.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Airports are complex environments. Everything from large construction projects to day-to-day operations requires the cooperation from multiple different departments, and often both internal and external (consultant) staff. Airports, like many other industries, are often organized based on outdated models and siloes, and are not integrated to maximize performance in the current operating environment. One example of this is the integration of advanced digital technologies in most aspects of the airport environment (facilities maintenance, construction, safety and security, environmental monitoring and compliance, etc.). Despite these technologies affecting nearly every area and department at an airport, airport IT departments are often not integrated well with the professionals managing these other aspects of the airport.

Research is needed on existing and emerging technologies that can better foster cross-departmental and organizational communication and collaboration. Social network analysis and artificial intelligence are currently being used in other industries to achieve similar goals and could be employed at airports, particularly in construction projects, starting from early planning and design stages in project delivery.

Social network analysis is used to identify individuals or organizations and examine communication pathways (email traffic for example). Using automation, social network analysis can be used to objectively map what areas of expertise are interacting with one another during project meetings and via other communication methods, and how frequently, throughout the process. Voice recognition software can recognize topics being discussed. For example, email collection software can pull the subject topics out of emails, identify who is talking to whom and about what. This information can be processed to give guidance to team members on interactions, including drawing network maps based on interactions between team members. The data provided is real time and can be used predict team communication patterns before they occur. This data can be used to make course corrections as needed, and improve communication and team interaction to keep project progress in alignment with shared project goals.

Potential products include:
- Primer on Dynamic Network Analysis Technologies and how Organizational Behavior Theories apply to airports
- Guidance on how to apply these technologies in an airport setting
- Case Studies applying these technologies / theories in a real-world setting
- Lessons learned from case studies and best practices on airport organization, communication and project management

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

"Develop guidance on how the airport industry can employ new technologies and techniques used in other industries to provide real-time feedback on communication networks and collaboration (who is communicating with whom, about what, how often) in construction projects during delivery.

The ultimate objective of employing this type of technology is to enhance collaboration to better meet project / organizational goals, timelines, budgets etc. and work more effectively across divisions."

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Idea No. 80