Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

The Common Data Environment (CDE)

As we’ve also mentioned in previous modules, however, when it comes to producing information, tasks teams in the industry tend towards a siloed approach, based on their own respective markets, office, sector, or the type of assets they construct. 

Regardless of these apparent divisions, having a focus on assets and not disciplines is critical to adopting a collaborative approach.
The challenges of working in a siloed fashion are as follows: 

• Information is produced many times and often never reused.
• Information is not often trusted or shared.
• It is unclear what the history and validity of the information is. 
• Permissions and access to information is uncontrolled and unsecured.
• Information is shared before it is checked and approved. 
• Information is used for something other than what it was intended, leading to confusion and liabilities. 
A common data environment, or CDE, is, as its name suggests, is where all information common to an asset is stored and managed, so that the right people can access the right information, at the right time. 

A system used only by an individual task or delivery team means that the environment isn’t actually common at all!
It is the CDE which is the key to the production of an asset information model, as it allows information to be versioned and federated so as to represent the asset as closely as possible, at the level of the asset. 
Contrary to popular belief, the common data environment is not one system, but a collection of IT Systems integrated together, which could include: 

• Engineering Management Systems
• Relational Databases
• Geospatial Information Systems
• Document Management Systems
The fundamental principles of the common data environment are as follows: 

• Information is produced once and re-used many times
• Information is to be continuously shared and trusted
• Information has clear provenance and ownership.
• Permissions and access to information is controlled and secure
• Information must be checked, reviewed and approved before it is shared with other members of the delivery team
• Information shared by others is only to be used for the suitability it was intended.
To better facilitate collaboration, a CDE needs to be set up in such a way that it:

• Provides a disciplined approach for the collaborative production of information that is transparent, auditable and controllable
To achieve these ends, a common data environment stores and manages information in what are referred to as ‘containers’. Once created, the life of the container is tracked within the common data environment, to provide an auditable history of the information within it, in terms of who generated the information, who approved and when etc. 
The key driver behind implementing project CDE is to ensure clarity in terms of information purpose, suitability security and currency.

It allows project teams to develop and progressively share their information for better coordination and ultimately more timely and efficient information delivery.

Work in Progress
• Visible to all members of the Task Team (with appropriate permissions)
• Can be edited and the information within them created or amended by the Task Team
• Should be considered as “UNAPPROVED” and therefore not used for any purpose

Prior to sharing the Task Team must:
• Check container (against the Project Information Standard)
• Review information within the container (technical content)
• Approve information within the container is to be shared.
• Designate what the information is suitable for.

• Visible to all members of the Delivery Team (with appropriate permissions)
• Cannot be edited and can only be viewed as READ ONLY
• Can only be used for the suitability for which the information within it has been approved
• Are the most current approved revision on the container

• Visible to all Project/Asset Team members  (with appropriate permissions)
• Cannot be edited and can only be viewed as READ ONLY
• Are the most current authorized revision of the container

• Visible only to CDE administrators  (with appropriate permissions)
• Cannot be edited and can only be viewed as READ ONLY
• Should be considered as ‘out of date’ as they have been superseded

Tasks for the Lead Appointed Party:
• Review information within the container
• Authorize information within the container for the Appointing Party acceptance

Task for the Appointing Party:
•Review information within the container
• Accept information within the container as a contractual deliverable
• Identify the container as an accepted contractual deliverable
For example; composing, sharing and sending an email.
Single project – Multiple Project teams and CDE software systems
Project Client – Multiple Project teams, CDE systems and one main Client CDE
Client Hosted – One main CDE system for all projects to use
An unconfigured CDE system.
A CDE must have the following:

• Workflows
• Application Programming Interface (API)
• Access rights
• Security
There are various CDE software systems available on the market as shown.

Examples of the folder structure are shown, you will see it is like Windows Explorer. You will also see the main folder structure for the different disciplines is the same.