Sensat News

Learnings from a Successful Proof of Value Project

Short read: 3 mins

February 20, 2024

Delivery times for National Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPS) surged by 65% between 2012 and 2021 reported the UK government.

For project managers the call for innovation rings louder than ever. With net zero ambitions steering the course, civil infrastructure cannot afford to lag. 

In this blog series learn how teams are leaning into productivity and sustainability gains. Explore the role of proof of value projects for Project managers. Plus, learn from a recent proof of concept project with on of the UK’s largest transmission organisations. 

5 Benefits of Proof of Value Projects in Infrastructure

In the infrastructure sector, embracing new technologies is essential yet challenging. For Project Managers and Innovation Managers, the introduction of untested technology demands validation of its value to both their teams and senior management. This is where proof of value projects prove to be crucial.

Proof of Value project enables:

  1. Sandbox Environment for Testing: Proof of value projects offer a controlled environment for experimentation and validation, allowing teams to explore and test new technologies safely.
  2. Concrete Data on Performance: These projects enable managers to collect tangible data on the technology's performance and its overall impact on project efficiency, providing solid metrics for return on investment.
  3. Test Interoperability: It's vital to assess how new technology works with existing systems before a wider rollout, ensuring smooth integration and minimizing usage friction.
  4. Identify and Address Challenges: Proof of value projects offer a low-risk setting to pinpoint and tackle potential obstacles, preparing teams for broader implementation.
  5. Demonstration Tool for Stakeholders: Both qualitative and quantitative evidence gathered through proof of value projects are a compelling demonstration to upper management, who require proof of investment returns, and from project teams, who need confidence in the new tools' ability to improve project delivery.

Learnings from a successful proof of value  project: UK Energy Transmission Company

Faced with a pressing deadline, the Transmission Company sought an innovative path to speed up its early-stage planning. Partnering with Sensat to create a detailed 2D and 3D visualisation of the substation. This move was not just about overcoming geographical and time constraints; it was about ensuring every stakeholder, technical or otherwise, could visualise and engage with the project's potential outcomes.

What made it a success?

  1. Having a champion 

A crucial aspect of the success was having a champion within the company who worked closely with the software vendor. This champion facilitated communication and justified the software's use to managers and senior executives.

  1. Measuring return on investment from the get-go

The return on investment (ROI) for the Transmission Owner wasn't just about financial gains; it also included improvements in project efficiency and clarity. The team assessed both qualitative and quantitative measures, estimating costs saved from trips to the site, meeting expenses, and decision-making timeframes. By keeping track of these from the get-go, teams could demonstrate the ROI of the technology on their project. 

  1. Clear use cases 

The success of the proof of value project was attributed to its clearly defined use cases, addressing specific gaps in their workflow. These use cases have been used to showcase Sensat’s potential to other team members. 

Off the back of this project, Sensat has since been rolled out to multiple projects across the UK. 

Read the National Grid case study

The role Proof of Value projects have to play in the future of Infrastructure

As the infrastructure sector evolves to meet the demands of sustainability and efficiency, proof of value projects emerge as pivotal tools for driving innovation and progress. By embracing proof of value projects, organizations can more confidently invest in the adoption of worthwhile technologies to support a more resilient and sustainable infrastructure landscape.

For more information, read the Infrastructure Guide to Productivity and Sustainability in 2024.