Greg Lawton, Co-founder and CEO, Dr. Christos Ellinas, Co-founder and CTO
As projects are becoming more interconnected and complex in today's construction world, project managers are looking for ways to manage and control their overall construction-related processes. Traditionally, the construction project managers were able to oversee all aspects of the building process based on their experience and working closely with engineers and architects, getting valuable inputs from them to develop plans, establishing schedules, determining labour and material costs, etc. This is where the problem lies; the massive elements of human input and the manual approach often hindered project managers' creativity in critical decision-making processes. Besides, the industry is still a labour-intensive one assisted by non-automated machines that consume a lot of time and resources. The need of the hour for construction project managers is a robust system that can automate crucial building processes, eliminate repetitive tasks and work as a smart assistant for the project managers to free up their time while increasing operational efficiency and cutting down on costs.
To simplify construction project managers' lives, London-based Nodes & Links has developed a cloud-based project management platform, Aegis. Having been in the project delivery space for a long time now, Greg Lawton and Dr. Christos Ellinas recognised the need to change the way projects were delivered and modernise the economics of projects so that everyone could benefit. "We believe that robust systems should be developed to help project managers get creative when evaluating risks, identifying newer build opportunities, and more," says Greg Lawton, co-founder and CEO at Nodes & Links.
The duo pitched the idea of a smart project assistant at a VC accelerator program in 2018; within the first year of its inception Nodes & Links raised a seed round of USD 2 million. The company's Aegis platform is specially designed to help project managers identify their most critical activities and milestones, track project progress, simplify the scheduling of regulatory checks, and increase overall visibility.
Apart from the construction industry, Nodes & Links delivers its project management platform to the energy, aerospace and defence industry. "Aegis combines sophisticated data models with automation and a smooth user experience to help users make better decisions, minimise delays, and drive cost savings in capital and infrastructure projects," adds Dr. Christos Ellinas, co-founder and CTO at Nodes & Links.
Aegis helps project managers gain a holistic glance at their project, having the ability to instantly provide an s-curve to accurately track the progress. Similarly, from a work breakdown structure (WBS) standpoint, Aegis recognises the delayed activities and allows users to get the detailed report on the same with a single click. Alternatively, with its cutting-edge AI core, the platform also helps users prioritise the most critical project-related tasks and reduces scheduling risks. Above all, Aegis is built to drive enhanced collaboration across the board, allowing many collaborators onto a project with just a quick and easy permission-setting process.
Aegis combines sophisticated data models with automation and a smooth user experience to help users make better decisions, minimize delays, and drive cost savings in capital and infrastructure projects
Discussing the core scientific elements of the Aegis product, Dr.Ellinas draws parallels between a pathogen that spreads through social interactions and an inefficient project-related activity that propagates delays throughout the project due to the interconnected nature of today's tech-driven project management and delivery. "We understood the pros and cons of an interconnected project management infrastructure; and with that in mind, we developed a model that can not only boost productivity and accuracy, but also giving users the benefit of transparency and auditability.
With such unmatched capabilities, Nodes & Links has ignited several success stories since its inception. In one instance, the company helped a customer better identify and manage the risks in their high-value project-related activities. In this partnership, Nodes & Links helped the client accelerate their project-related decision-making, thereby reducing the customer's original workload on a project worth USD 1.4 billion and saving 16,000 man-hours of work. In another instance, Nodes and Links helped a customer handle their cumbersome and repetitive activities, thereby allowing their project managers to utilise their time in mitigating more critical issues. At the end of this collaboration, the client was able to evaluate their risk significantly faster with a quarter of the effort and with increased accuracy. As a result, the customer was able to drive cost reduction in their project budget and complete the project in a timely manner.
Moving forward, Nodes & Links plans to enhance the breadth of its platform to further help project managers in leveraging their tech-driven implementations and gain faster and more accurate insights to identify risks better and develop more mitigation options. Simultaneously, Dr. Ellinas predicts the future of project management to be driven by intelligent machines that will act as smart assistants for managers. And to capitalise on this imminent opportunity, the company aims to develop an affordable product with a comprehensive feature set to help current and future project needs.