In the projects which are carried out by businesses in the Infrastructure Building sector, the parties involved communicate constantly.
With the DEMO methodology the various collaborating roles have been defined and agreements have been made about the format and meaning of messages exchanged between parties involved. These agreements have been dubbed VISI, which stands for the creation of conditions for the implementation of standardisation ICT in Infrastructure Building.
The benefit of VISI is the increased effciciency of collaboration, thanks to the clear communication process.
The Infrastructure Building industry is characterized by changing cooperation relations between the different parties involved. During the entire process - from the first idea until finally the use and operational management - new cooperation relationships are constantly being formed. Some parties stay involved in the project over a longer period of time, while others come and go. Good communication between the parties involved is paramount for the efficiency in the project. The quick agreement on changes by all building partners, and the prompt availability of the last version of a drawing at the building sight, has great influence on the quality, the time span and the costs of a project.
Project partners experience that poor communication is an important bottleneck in the infrastructure building sector. In early 1998 a number of organizations from the infrastructure building sector came up with the plan to formulate agreements about communication between partners in infrastructure building projects. This plan constituted the foundation for what is now known in the sector as 'VISI'.
What does VISI stand for?
VISI stands for 'creating conditions for the establishment of standardization ICT in the infrastructure building sector' and its goals can be defined as follows:
It simply comes down that VISI aims to make unambiguous agreements about the (digital) communication at the points of contact or interfaces between parties in infrastructure building projects. These agreements should lead to the ability for the parties to find each other at will.
The agreements which have been developed are related to communication which is needed to securely register the formal transactions between the partners in an infrastructure building project. For example for the settlement of alterations or the submittal and approval of a budget.
The agreements that VISI has developed are grouped according to areas of application. A group of agreements is referred to as a VISI-framework. The first area of application for which a VISI-framework is made available is in the communication between the principal and those employed by the principal in an UAV-agreement (UAV is the Dutch acronym for uniform administrative conditions). This framework is simply referred to as VISI-framework UAV.
What are these agreements about? The most important component is a collection of messages, made-up as forms. These messages are ready to be used in practise. Every message has specific data elements, independent of the goal of use. Thus in the VISI framework UAV we find a message for the submittal of a budget; in this message we see data elements to indicate which part of the budget it refers to, and which amounts are applicable.
Finally, in communication it is important that it is clear from who messages come and to whom they go. In a VISI-framework this is fixed through roles. In a transaction there are always 2 roles involved. If we take again the example of 'submitting a budget', then the two roles involved are the principal and those employed by the principal.
Five large government principals in the building industry decided to introduce VISI in phases. The five principals are Rijkswaterstaat, Dienst Vastgoed Defensie, Rijksgebouwendienst, ProRail and Gemeentewerken Rotterdam. They signed for this in December 2006 in an implementation decision. The implementation took place in phases. In 2007 the principals carried out a number of their infrastructure building projects, which were placed in the market based on the UAV89, with VISI. This way the individual organizations and their building partners could get used to this form of communication. From 2008 onwards the use of VISI in all UAV89 projects has been made compulsory. For the B&U 2008 was the introductory year and the obligation to use VISI counts from 2009 onward. It was expected that from mid 2007 the contract model UAVgc would be introduced. The principals had to make a decision about this independently.