Review of Readiness Assessment Models

An increasing number of readiness assessment tools have been developed over the last few years. On the surface, each tool gauges how ready a society or economy is to benefit from information technology and e-business. However, according to Peters (2001) the range of tools use widely varying approaches for readiness assessment, including different methods for measurement. Each assessment tool or model has a different underlying goal and definition of e-readiness. While some gauge the readiness of countries and economies to adopt Internet technologies on
a global platform, others are more focused on assessing the readiness of specific industry sectors to adopt Internet technologies.
Several readiness assessment models were reviewed as a part of this study, including those that were not construction-specific. Harvard University’s tool called the ‘Networked Readiness Index’ assesses a country’s capacity to make use of its ICT resources. It defines e-readiness as the degree to which a community is prepared to participate in the networked world including its potential to participate in the networked world in the future. On the other hand, APEC’s (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation) E-Commerce Readiness Initiative focuses on government policies for e-commerce. Mosaic’s readiness assessment tool aims to measure and analyse the worldwide growth of the Internet.

While these tools focus on assessing readiness of countries, governments and policies for adopting Internet technologies, some others for example SCALES (Supply Chain Assessment and Lean Evaluation
System) assess the readiness to adopt different concepts or approaches for engineering (e.g. readiness assessment tools for concurrent engineering (CE). SCALES was developed for a specific industry sector – the
manufacturing industry. It was designed to assess a company’s (especially SMEs) readiness for adopting lean manufacturing techniques. RACE, on the other hand, is a readiness assessment tool for CE and is widely used in the software engineering, automotive and electronic industries.
Two other readiness models that are of particular relevance are the BEACON model and the IQ Net Readiness Scorecard.

  1. The BEACON model: BEACON (Bench-marking and Readiness Assessment for Concurrent Engineering in Construction) assesses the readiness of construction companies to improve their project delivery
    processes through the implementation of CE. It consists of four elements, which are Process, People, Project and Technology. A commercial software tool has been developed to automate the process of CE readiness assessment for construction organizations. The software takes the user through a series of questions and generates a diagram called the BEACON model diagram that graphically illustrates the assessment results.
  2. IQ Net Readiness Scorecard: This was developed by CISCO and is a Web-based application that assesses an organization’s ability to migrate to an Internet business model, which gauges the readiness of IT service providers. The application comprises of a series of statements that fall into four categories – Leadership,
    Governance, Technologies and Organizational Competencies. Similar to the BEACON model, companies are required to respond to the statements and on completion, they are presented with an IQ Net Readiness Profile.

The model that is described in this chapter combines aspects of these two models and builds on them. The proposed model adopts a similar methodology where the end-users are presented with a set of statements and an assessment of their e-readiness is based on their responses. On completion, the respondents are presented with a report which includes textual and graphical data. Where the proposed model differs from the two described above is that, while the BEACON model focuses on CE and the IQ Net Readiness Scorecard addresses the readiness of technology
companies (e.g. software companies, vendors and application service providers (ASPs) to develop applications and pro{it from what is termed the ‘e-conomy’, the proposed model assesses the e-readiness of construction
organizations to adopt e-business. The readiness assessment tool that is based on the proposed model is called VERDICT (an acronym for Verify End-user e-Readiness using a Diagnostic Tool).