Whether we like it or not, disruptive technology is shifting the traditional landscape of infrastructure capital projects. When unstructured and unexpected, new technology does little more than disrupt and distract. However, a holistic innovation strategy may unlock substantial project schedule and cost savings. An innovation strategy should be premeditated, clear and consistent, rather than an ad-hoc collection of flashy technology. Too often, projects run on a mix of discordant or undeveloped technologies. To avoid this, a project innovation strategy should be developed early on, with expert input and key stakeholder buy-in, to support principles of best practice project management across the entire project lifecycle. 
Examples of potential elements at each stage include: 
- Initiation: Establish project governance that positions technology personnel as key decision makers, rather than back office overhead. With this progressive mindset, the role of technology shifts from fixed overhead to key driver of project success. 
- Planning & Design: Building on BIM 5D throughout the lifecycle, technology such as virtual reality (VR) can be deployed to unlock the design vision, allowing stakeholders to share it, shape it, agree upon it and deliver it. Stakeholders can don a VR headset and view different design options and how they fit into the local landscape. Contractors can do a virtual “walk” through to spot design conflicts before a single pair of boots hits the ground. 
- Delivery: Increased “offsite” construction lends itself to Robotics and Automation for higher quality accelerated construction. Leverage augmented reality to blur the line between human operator and machine, unlocking improvements in safety, precision and efficiency across the most critical construction activities. 
- Operations: Harness big data and AI to optimize investments over the asset lifespan. Asset owners have been slow to introduce advanced-analytics into asset management decisions, yet doing so can unlock increased value.

Chris Sainsbury is the National Infrastructure Lead for Smart Cities and Disruptive Technologies for KPMG in Canada. Based out of Vancouver, Chris advises clients in the municipal and Transportation sector on strategy and policy development, business transformation and infrastructure management. Working with high profile clients in major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, London and New York, Chris brings global insight and expertise into a challenging sector with a rapidly changing landscape, bridging the gap between traditional infrastructures and emerging technologies. Prior to joining KPMG, Chris worked for the UK Department for Transport where he was a senior policy advisor, heavily involved in the rollout of regional transportation strategies.
Gwendolyn Tian is an integral member of the Infrastructure Smart Cities and Disruptive Technology Team. Graduating with a Bachelors in Statistics and Economics, Gwendolyn leverages her strong understanding and proficiency in data and analytics, strategy, and financial analysis to deliver strategic advisory services and innovative solutions to key public and private sector clients across Western Canada, primarily in the Municipal and Transportation sectors. She has a passion for solving complex problems, leveraging data analytics and business intelligence to deliver tangible benefits to clients, to ultimately inform key decision making at the C-suite level.
Ross Ryken is an infrastructure innovation and strategy consultant for KPMG in Canada. Based out of Vancouver, Ross advises both public and private sector clients on major project delivery, business strategy and technology. With a background in civil engineering and industrial construction, Ross brings insight into the challenges faced at the front lines of major capital projects. Ross’ team, a partnership with a prominent tech start-up, strives to disrupt traditional infrastructure practices with emergent technology. They are at the forefront of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) technology, and have been engaged by a global mining company to develop and rollout augmented reality solutions.
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