Validating Value

As a response to the grand challenges, the UK Government provided funding for the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) which is considering four key work streams: 

  • Value; 
  • Manufacturing; 
  • Assurance; and 
  • Digital 

While the DT Hub forms part of the digital work stream, other elements of the CIH programme, such as the development of a value framework, are relevant to our discussions around enabling digital twins to realise value. 

Of course, considering the breadth of organisations who are members of the DT Hub their approach to value will differ, as each organisation will have different social, environmental, and economic priorities.  Having a value framework allows this variety to be articulated in a structured way so that all approaches can be expressed consistently.  Shown below are the categories being considered as part of the CIH Value Framework, which was presented at a Generation4Change (G4C) event in May


Based on The Five Capitals approach, each category within this framework is intended to be weighted to articulate an organisations’ definition of value.  For example, an organisation such as the Environment Agency may wish to place a stronger weighting on natural values than an organisation that primarily operates within a large urban centre.  Once the value categories and their respective weightings have been identified, the indicators associated with those categories need to be identified and measured.  This is what we have tried to begin exploring within the DT Hub during June via our Pathway to Value conversation starters #1 and #2. These use cases were then developed into 12 horizontal use cases which can be broadly mapped onto the Five Capitals as shown: 

Data  Sharing 

Asset  Registration 

Scenario Simulation 

User/Occupant Management 

Process Optimization 

Asset  Management 

Carbon Management 

Resource Management 

Environmental Management 

Resilience  Planning 

Traffic Management 

Risk  Management 

NOTE: Data Sharing and Scenario Simulation are considered applicable to all value categories. 

In turn, we did further research to demonstrate that these use cases can be attributed to performance indicators.  For example, organisations who prioritise financial categories may wish to manage their assets.  To manage these assets, they need to measure indicators such as: 

  • Asset Utilisation;
  • Capacity Utilisation;
  • Mean time to failure; and
  • Mean time to repair.

To measure these indicators, several tasks will need to be undertaken; constituting a use case.  Therefore it is reasonable to assume that, to realise value, each category that an organisation prioritises will need underlying use cases.  It is these use cases that enable the respective indicators to be measured to determine whether value has been realised. 

Value > Indicator > Tasks > Use Case 

In addition, digital twins can themselves provide deeper insight into the value of multiple use cases. This is because of the way they connect to physical assets and systems, providing an ability to analyse and model what might happen next. 

For example:  Replacing a piece of plant within a system may impact on all of the five capitals as it may use less fuel (+ natural), perform to a higher efficiency (+ manufactured), reducing the operational cost of the asset (+ financial) with improved access and installation procedures (+ safety), but manufactured by an organisation with questionable ethics (- social).   

It is only through the use of a digital twin that all of the indicators, for all of an organisations’ use cases, can be considered holistically.  As the datasets develop they could even establish correlations that allow potential decisions to be measured against several value categories simultaneously to determine the outcome that provides the greatest overall value.  These decision therefore will be data-driven; validating the value they intend to provide. 

And there we have it.  By determining which categories an organisation prioritises within a value framework, the associated indicators can be identified and measured to realise value.  This helps an organisation to determine which of these indicators are most critical, which of their assets can be considered exemplar, as well a method of measuring the impact of future interventions and investments which in turn can support business cases.  How suitable do you feel the CIH value categories are for your organisation? How does your organisation currently measure value?  Are you aware of any alternative value frameworks that should also be considered?  


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