Autodesk tackles project collaboration

Buzzsaw service eyes better visibility into construction, manufacturing projects

Autodesk this week unwrapped an updated version of its hosted project collaboration service targeted at the construction and manufacturing industries. Autodesk Buzzsaw lets multiple, dispersed project participants -- including building owners, developers, architects, construction teams, and facility managers -- share and manage data throughout the life of a project, according to Autodesk officials.

The service combines project management features with collaboration tools in order to enable collaboration within the context of specific projects.

Version 6 of Buzzsaw is designed to improve visibility into project details and bolster project control, said Amar Hanspal, senior director of collaboration services at Autodesk.

"In the construction industry there is so much fragmentation. The only way to unite everyone on a common IT infrastructure is to use the Internet," Hanspal said.

Unlike tools such as Microsoft Project that offer a wide-angle view of project resources and end results, Buzzsaw drills into the details of project execution, such as design issues, legal issues, scheduling, and budgets, according to Hanspal.

Buzzsaw 6 features a new project dashboard designed to improve visibility with displays of key performance indicators for projects in progress and the ability to monitor project progress and discrepancies. Also new are enhanced portfolio management capabilities that provide reports on schedule, budget, and project status.

To improve project control, Buzzsaw 6 lets users set specific routing rules by role, group, due date, or individual project member. This feature set helps organizations standardize project processes and workflow, which can keep projects on time and within budget, according to Hanspal.