By Donna Campbell

In part 1 of this Q&A with Adeaca’s vice president of market innovation and project business evangelist, Matt Mong, we spoke about Project Business Automation, a new category of software solutions designed to help project-based businesses, including AEC, to integrate all core project business processes into one comprehensive system.

We also covered the importance of identifying as a project business and why focusing on the business side of projects is key to ensuring AEC projects are delivered on time and on budget. Now, I want to take a deep dive into Project Business Automation, or PBA, and how PBA could be the future of project business. 

MCS: What is Project Business Automation?

MONG: Project Business Automation is a new category of solutions designed to help project-based companies integrate all core project business processes into one, end-to-end system. PBA is a new approach in solutions for project businesses. It rejects the status quo of disparate, disconnected applications in favor of one integrated business system. More specifically, one that includes support for all project business processes and connects them seamlessly in real time. The PBA approach is the future of project-based industries.

MCS: So, how is PBA different than other ™apps∫ claiming the same thing?

MONG: Great question. Let’s break it down. In order to create a complete business system, it must tie together support for all major business processes. For project businesses, including AEC, this not only includes backend ERP functionality, such as accounting, general ledger, customer management, HR, supply chain and MRP, but also project-driven processes such as project financials and accounting, project management and operations, project sales and proposals, project insight and analytics, as well as customer collaboration.

PBA is the only system that reaches this level of comprehensiveness. 

Other apps only address part of these business areas, not all of them. Yes, you could implement a sophisticated project management application, but if it doesn’t connect in real time to your backend financials, you’ll have a difficult time running an enterprise based on projects. Most likely, you’ll employ a hoard of IT and financial controller resources to maintain these applications separately and integrate the data between them. It’s not only time consuming, but tedious.

MCS: Makes sense. Can you tell me how PBA works?

MONG: There are essentially three core elements of PBA: Project Financials, Project Operations, and Project Insight. Beyond these central functions, there are further enhancements and extension to PBA, but I’ll just focus on the main three right now.

The first is Project Financials. PBA provides the financial structure for any AEC company to operate. Effective financial management of AEC projects requires much more than what traditional project accounting systems provide. PBA closes the gap between what AEC companies need and what mainstream ERP solutions offer. 

While a solid accounting framework is required to track actual costs and invoices, revenue recognition, accruals and budgets; when it comes to securing AEC project profitability and support effective decision making, it’s much more important to track cost and profit variances, contingencies and productivity while at the same time identifying trends and maintaining a full audit trail.

The second main component if PBA is Project Operations. PBA goes beyond project management. For AEC companies, projects are not simply an internal exercise in productivity improvement. When delivering projects to your customer is how you generate revenue, your project operations are the lifeblood of your company. 

AEC companies know how critical it is to be able to accurately plan those engagements while managing resources, subcontractors, risks, deadlines, and related supply chain activities. A lack of real-time insight into your delivery operations will result in increased risk and decreased profitability. 

Project management applications were originally built to manage standalone projects. They are not meant to run your entire business. PBA is a completely different approach to managing project operations. It offers a complete and real-time integration between back-end ERP functions and your operational project management activities. With PBA, all critical operational business processes are executed within a single solution with built-in processes and audit control. This means AEC companies can control process flows throughout the enterprise, establishing an enforceable and repeatable business model.

The third core element of PBA is Project Insight. PBA brings leaders of AEC businesses the real-time insight they need to transform their companies into high-performing enterprises. It gets the right information to the right people instantly. When you bring all essential project functionality into one system, AEC companies have access to project and business intelligence faster than ever before. When you have access to the financial and operational status of all projects and the enterprise simultaneously, managers and executives are able to make decisions with the most accurate and updated information available. 


The bottom line is PBA for AEC companies is all about making the business more effective. That means delivering more projects on time and within budget. PBA helps AEC companies produce better outcomes for their customers, which ultimately leads to increased revenue and profitability. 

For more information:

Matt Mong is a project business evangelist, leading thought leadership efforts for Adeaca. Matt has worked to define and expose the fundamental issues plaguing project-based companies. He coined the product category term Project Business Automation, now adopted by Forrester, as a new approach to digital transformation for project-driven businesses. For more, visit

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Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2021
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