The construction industry has not adopted cutting-edge IT developments as rapidly as other industries. However, this is now changing as more and more construction companies are now implementing cutting-edge construction field management software to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.
At the same time, general contractor management software is evolving at a rapid rate and providing cost-effective solutions for more rapid adoption by construction companies. Customized cloud solutions are available to reduce the operating costs, enhance reliability and reduce investment in IT assets.
However, buying the latest and greatest construction software is just the starting point of your quest for excellence. You will also have to adopt requisite best practices to make the most of your software. To do so, you will have to consider the three main facets behind successful construction management and optimize these assets so that you can get the best return on your software investment. These facets are processes, people and technology. Adequately addressing these key resources will boost the value that your digitization venture is providing.
While focusing on the technical points of construction software implementation and use is vital, it is equally important to address the people and processes that will be relying on this technology. Many companies make the mistake of focusing singularly on technical aspects without prioritizing their people and processes.
Here are the best practices for construction management software.
Training and Education
To get the best possible feedback and acceptance from end-users, adequate training in software use is necessary. Comprehensive training will help your organization and personnel to seamlessly transition from manual towards a digitized workflow. Adequate training will ensure that the end-users face as little inconvenience as possible and are able to extract the full value of the software through skillful use and operation. Focusing on educating your personnel and managers will also mitigate the possibility of interruptions due to mistakes and inexpert use.
It is not enough to hand out abstruse and highly technical documentation to your personnel. A better approach is needed so that your personnel may feel a greater sense of motivation and support during this time. You should arrange seminars and training sessions under the guidance of experts who are fully adept in the use of the software that you are implementing. While providing training on key aspects of the software, you should also make sure that you adequately highlight benefits that the end-users will accrue. Focus on interactive sessions and demonstrations so that your personnel become adept at operating the software in a shorter time span. Using the software will mean that many personnel will have to work outside their comfort zone. You can lessen the impact and discomfort through interactive and face-to-face training sessions where end-users are free to ask questions and provide their opinions.
This ViewPoint article about managing technology change also provides some insight about how to get your team onboard with new construction software.
Before implementing any software for construction management, you must be clear about your objectives. Not only must your objectives be well-defined, they should also be realistic so that your personnel can attain these targets with reasonable exertion and feel motivated in the process.
You must gather stakeholders for a high level meeting and discuss the targets and operational objectives that you wish to achieve and improve upon through software implementation. Those using the software must have a good idea of its capabilities and should be well-versed in its use so that they have realistic expectations. They should also be cognizant of the benefits that the software can extend so that they are well-poised to judge the impact of the software on day-to-day operations.
The implementation should be deliberate and gradual so that personnel don’t feel overwhelmed by the sudden transition from manual to digitized processes. Also, make sure that you anticipate the key drawbacks of implementation so that you can mitigate them before they transpire. Make a note of all critical areas that can hinder implementation and what you can do to address them. A smooth transition will help to boost the morale of your workforce and enhance their motivation level.
Taking these steps will help to improve the chances of successful implementation so that your workforce can feel the improvements in daily activities.
Protocols and Processes
Protocols are necessary to maintain the same high standard of output for all of your processes. Consistency is the key for sustained quality and protocols can help to ensure that your processes are executed with the same optimized methods each and every time. To get the most out of your construction management software, you must take care of this key facet early on. Top management should sit together to discuss how the software implementation can be best adapted for the company’s unique circumstances and process requirements.
Meticulous deliberation on how new technology can boost process standards will improve the performance and efficiency of your team. For improving the value provided by the new software, you should establish a dedicated project team that will oversee the implementation, training and use of the software. The governing body will reflect on their most pressing concerns and how the software can help them to better address these issues. By vesting a team with responsibility and authority for software implementation, you can improve the effectiveness of IT adoption endeavors.
The team should be clear on how all processes stand to benefit from software use. They should also establish metrics as well as more qualitative measures if necessary to discover the level of benefit that the construction management software is providing.
It is also necessary to maintain a continuous and active communication channel to chart daily progress. You should hold daily meetings with the team and request reports to understand how the project is moving.
Trimble is proud to provide cutting-edge and sophisticated construction project management software that can help to streamline your processes and bolster the efficiency of your project team and improve coordination.
Feel free to get in touch with us so that we can provide you a demonstration of what to expect from our next-generation software. Contact us today.