When using a gig-workforce to deliver infrastructure services, it is important to maintain focus on the areas of service delivery supported by the company. A company must have a well-defined list of project, work-order, and activity types which can be supported by its portfolio of gig-workers. This is even more important when designing a project management system to support delivery of infrastructure services in real-time using a gig-workforce or any other method of getting work done. Thus, the project management system must have the flexibility to support assigning, tracking, and reporting of all types of workers (e.g., employees, trade contractors, specialized OEM technicians, warranty repairs …) based on the project and/or work-order type. Therefore, we will define both project and work-order types for infrastructure services and unique elements needing support from a project management system.
The following is a list of project types and sub-types in support of infrastructure services delivery. The key to an effective and efficient project management system is to identify and support any unique characteristics, attributes, and/or constraints associated with each project or work-order type.
Project Types and Sub-Types:
- Compliance (ADA, electrical, construction, security, environmental, fire, etc.)
- Inspection (bridges, roads, lighting, pipelines, service poles, etc.)
- Construction/Installation (electrical, mechanical, security, kiosk, site prep, event, etc.)
- Infrastructure Analysis (lighting, electrical, heating, mechanical, transportation, etc.)
- Branding (including signage)
- Storage/Distribution/Inventory Control
- Manufacturing/Assembly (infrastructure and distribution systems and components)
- Data Analysis
- Research and Development
Note that the list of project types drives the types of processing and work-order elements needing support by the project management system. (These elements will be covered in a future discussion.)
Next, we will list the key work-order types needing to be supported and some of their unique attributes. Note that many work-order types align with project types. But the project management system must support the issuing of multiple work-orders and work-order types under a single project and for projects with multiple stages that need to be coordinated.
Work-Order Types [and their unique attribute(s)]:
- Survey (includes compliance, asset analysis) – Objective is to determine condition of a given asset using a predetermined set of actions or steps.
- Break-Fix – Actual actions and/or components required to address issues may not be known at the time of the service request. May require multiple visits to the asset.
- Install/Configuration/Removal – Usually includes a well-defined design guide or process to support actions required to complete the work-order.
- Preventive/Scheduled Maintenance – Often generated based on a predetermined schedule or prompts from a monitored asset (not driven by individual client request).
- Measurements – Primarily a specific type of survey requiring special tools and more unstructured actions.
- Data Analysis and Reports – Does not require a physical visit and often is based on data gathered from previous work-orders or research. Often requires unique high-level technical skills.
- Inventory Management/Analysis – Focused on validating and/or ordering the needs of operations and/or work-orders to available components, tools, and equipment.
- Kitting, Staging, Imaging, Distribution – Focused on collecting and/or delivering the items needed to support another work-order. Often tied to scheduled activities and locations associated with another work-order.
It will be important for the project management system to support 1-to-N projects and project types per client, and 1-to-N work-orders and work-order types for each project. It will also need to detect work-order assignments that may not align with the scope defined for a project, alerting the project management team of any potential anomalies or irregularities. As one can see, the complexity associated with supporting multiple project and work-order types in a single project management system is high. But this level of functionality is needed for a project management system to support infrastructure services delivery with a gig-workforce or a traditional workforce.