The Belgian federal and local government instances are asking construction contractors to provide additional facility services after the delivery of construction projects. BAM sees this trend as a new and strategic opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. To support this strategy they decided to build custom made software specifically targeted at facility management.
More and more the Belgian government is using a PPS (public private collaboration) contract for their construction and development projects. These contracts define that the construction of a building can be outsourced using a so named DBFM(O) assignment. Where DBFM(O) stands for Build, Finance, Maintain and eventually Operate. This means that the private partner in the project is not only responsible for the construction of the building but also for making sure that it stays well-maintained and operated. The big advantage of this approach is that the government is able to spread it costs over time and gets the assurance that the building will stay maintained and in good condition. For the construction companies this means that they have to specialise in the operational management of these buildings. BAM (the Koninklijke BAM Group) is a Dutch group which is in Belgium known for their daughter companies like Interbuild, CEI Demeyer, Galère and Betonac. They decided to make facility management one of their core-competences to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. The already existing facility management software solutions were for them either to specific or too broad in functionality and scope. Thus they decided to build their own custom made software.
The custom made software we built with BAM was called FMTP. This application was built as an ASP.NET MVC application and was first used in the prison of Beveren. The application has modules for Day 2 Day maintenance, Helpdesk and Quality Control, the direction of the kitchen, laundry and general operations. An integration was set up with FOD Justitie and with different software packages from different subcontractors like Cegelec for all the automation systems and Compass group for catering. After the prison of Beveren, the software was also installed at VAC Gent (Virginie Loveling building). Thanks to the high degree of configurability the software can be installed at new buildings with little effort.
Seen the broad and undefined scope at the start of the project, BAM choose for a Fixed Price – Dynamic Scope approach. This project approach is ideal in an Agile context like Involved proposes. The team comprised of four Developers and one Project Responsible who took on the role of Scrum Master and Proxy product Owner. Apart from that, an external consultant was hired to take on different tasks on the level of User-Centered Design. The team worked in sprints of three weeks and delivered working software at the end of each sprint. Users could test the working software and provide feedback early on in the development process. Thanks to providing working software every three weeks and the regular and fast feedback cycles, the go-live of the software went without many problems or unwanted surprises.
"I was looking for a partner who could guarantee me that the technical and functional specifications were met within the constraints of the budget, but still would leave me enough flexibility to respond to external factors and progressive insight. Involved was the party who was able to offer me this."
Dirk Vanderlinden, Facility Manager, BAMFM