Digital Asset Delivery and Project Management

Automated Project Scheduling

Challenge Statement Owner:

Penta-Ocean (Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.) is an industry-leading Japanese Construction firm that has a widespread business presence globally. Thay have offices in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand, Middle East, Myanmar, Africa and Delhi. In 1965, Penta-Ocean established their International Business Unit in Singapore, where they served as a major contractor for multiple land reclamation works such as the Marina Bay, Tuas, and Singapore Changi Airport reclamations. Since then, their business has grown to include land civil engineering and building construction works.


When developing a detailed schedule for a new construction project, the planner needs to manually input the details of every task to be performed. A typical construction project involves thousands of tasks, requiring planners to handle and provide large amounts of information, from duration and sequence, to resource type and quantity.

Typically, the planner relies on past productivity figures compiled by their own company as well as their own expertise, to provide estimated figures for each project. Not only is this a very time-consuming and laborious process, it is also prone to errors in judgement that can result in less-than-optimal schedules. For instance: 

  • Inexperienced planners may not have any past experience to reliably assist them in a new situation;
  • The database of productivity figures maintained by the construction company may not be precise, relevant, or sufficiently updated; and
  • There is no easy way to gather insights from large databases of past data.

Given the above, planners often find themselves relying on guesswork to produce detailed schedules, resulting in potential productivity losses, hidden costs and risks associated with poor scheduling.

The Challenge

Penta-Ocean is looking for a solution that can automate the manual scheduling process and generate accurate, insightful construction project schedules based on past project data.


The solution should:

  • Be able to read and edit Oracle Primavera P6 (.xer format) and Microsoft Project (.mpp format) files;
  • Be able to handle multiple files from multiple projects (can go up to several hundred .xer and .mpp files) at any one time;
  • Collect data on estimated and actual time taken for completion of tasks;
  • Maintain an updated database of productivity figures for various projects (see resources for more details);
  • Provide insights and recommendations to improve the accuracy of project schedules;
  • Input productivity figures to modify new project schedules in .xer and .mpp formats;
  • Allow results (productivity range, evolution over time, based on resource number,etc) to be exported in Word and Excel formats;
  • Allow users to customise and select categories, items, and task groups for each project (for example, “group by civil, electrical, MEP disciplines” or “group by detailed tasks: rebar installation, formwork installation, finishing”).

Proof-of-concept (POC)/Pilot Support

Penta-Ocean will identify a project site in Singapore for test bedding. They will offer a database of past project schedules to help  the innovator develop the solution.

Penta-Ocean is open to work with early-stage solution providers on a proof-of-concept. If the POC is successful, they would be keen to work with the innovator on commercialising their solution.


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Recording from Q&A Session