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Boosting the productivity of Architects, Interior, and MEP Designers- by developing & using Configuration tables

For efficient performing of designing related activities for large construction projects, the development and use of “Configuration tables” and “Master data tables” along with appropriate “Fields” s in design function are very crucial. This blog highlights aspects related to developing and using “configuration tables.”    What are Configuration tables? The Configuration tables are primarily data tables that store information representing multiple choices that exist in business and are required to be chosen frequently by project teams and building designers, such as below. ·       Types of packages (e.g., civil, interior design, MEP, and further drill down within each of these packages) ·       Types of project organisation (Housing, Commercial, hospitality, etc.) ·       Types of vendors (e.g., consultants/contractors/service providers/business associates) ·       Types of business documents (Design brief document, sanctioned drawing, Good for construction, As-built drawing, etc.) ·       Types of materials /BOQ items for various works (e.g., civil, electrical, plumbing, etc.) ·       Types of inspection frequency for BOQ/Constructed packages (e.g., none, % sampling,100%, etc.) ·       Types of Inspection attributes (dimensional, metallurgical, chemical, etc. vis a vis BOQ in various packages) The configuration tables are usually created by ERP consultants when designing the overall systems for the organization, usually within the ERP systems (like SAP) or and “Customised Designed solution” as appropriate   Activities to develop configuration tables: Usually, seven activities are required to be performed to develop configuration tables as below.   1 Identify the key “configuration Tables” names that need to be developed based on functional requirements  2. Assign a unique number to each identified configuration table  3. Identify the “fields” as relevant for each configuration table 4. Assign “field codes” as relevant. 5. Identify various “field choices” available for each field. 6. Assign “field choices” as relevant. 7. Design and Populate the contents of configuration tables having columns as proposed below ·       Col 1. Key function  ·       Col 2. Configuration table number ·       Col 3. Description of “Field” ·       Col 4. “Field” number/code  ·       Col 5. The Field choice description ·       Col 6. Choice code (as applicable) Active dialoguing is needed among designers (Architects, Interior, and MEP Designers) and the IT and systems team, Project functions, and other interfacing functions for designing the contents of respective Configuration table tables. This is because “Field choice,” though designed by a specific function, is often used by many functions besides design functions for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of functions.  Illustrations of contents of configuration Tables One illustration for each design function is captured below.   The code numberings (for configuration table, field, and field choices) mentioned in the below illustration are simply for an easier understanding from a digitalization perspective. They can be changed 100% at organization’s absolute discretion. Coding schemes are usually configured by the ERP vendors/software solution providers. More details about coding schemes are included in chapter 9 of my book. . Key function Configuration Table Number assigned.  Description of Fields in the configuration table and No tables with code range  Field number Field Choices Abbreviation for Field Choice Designing of Architecture of buildings CT211 Type of packages in Civil works F501 Structure   A01 Civil works A02 Façade A03 External development A04 Softscape A05 and so on AXX Designing of Interiors of buildings CT221 Type of packages in Interior design works F531 Finishing B01 Furnishing and Fixtures B02 Interior design equipment B03 Artworks B04 And so on BXX Designing MEP and Engineering services CT231 Type of packages in MEP works    F556 External electricals C01 Internal electricals C02 Air conditioning C03 Plumbing C04 Firefighting C05 Fire protection C06 Lifeworks C07 Fuel supply C08 Sewage treatment C09 And so on xx   Architects, Interior designers, and MEP designers can identify and develop many more configuration tables based on the above illustration. The number of configuration tables can be expanded to as required, say, @10 for each design function depending on the size /complexity of the project or organisation. Similarly, the number of field/field choices can be expanded out of more fields listed in Annex 1F in the handbook.  Activities that can adversely impact business. Inaccurate fields and field choices configuration while developing/populating the configuration tables. Undiligent selection of “field choices” by the building designer, leading to inappropriate design of Architect or Interior or MEP. Not updating configuration tables in design functions promptly as and when changes occur in fields/field choices or additions/deletions take place in the number of packages vis a vis relevant function. Continue using conventional design methods rather than effectively using configuration tables (usually residing in ERP –modules) by not integrating ERP software with “Design software.” .    Handbook of the author  You can read more about the 21 activities(@7/function) that can adversely impact business as summarised below from chapter 5 of the author’s handbook ETHICS in the real estate and hospitality industry, Volume 1- Architectural, Interior design, and MEP services. “