In our conventionally slow-to-adapt construction industry, several organizations are either overwhelmed or unprepared by the magnitude of the emerging and new technologies. But companies desperately need to boost their productivity to meet the growing demands and to deliver projects despite increasingly tight deadlines successfully. With that being said, to make productivity even more productive, technological innovations must be involved.
Meanwhile, the construction industry has the luxury of accessing innovations whose advantages are already extolled without the need to develop any of them internally. From construction crew management software to BIM and drones, the options are endless. However, beyond the decision to purchase one of these technologies, the real challenge that business leaders face generally lies in the adoption of the technology, particularly by their workers, including its integration into the corporate culture and business processes.
Here are the seven critical steps to follow this 2021 to achieve your construction business’s technology adaption successfully.
1. Choose the right technology
The goal here is not to select the best technology but rather the most efficient one. Any construction business needs to pick a specific technology that will help achieve business goals—nothing more, nothing less. To foster implementation and adoption, technology must not require any primary changes in the business process but adapt to them instead.
Additionally, the right technology has to be intuitive, simple, and useful. Make sure you put yourself in your employee’s situation and ask yourself some practical questions. Will this particular technology be easy to use by your project managers, superintendents, site supervisors, etc.?
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2. Follow a results-proven implementation tactic
After you determine the software’s issues to fix, could you find the best tech solution for it? The next step is to integrate it all at once, right? But, think again. Actually, there’s no need to perfect productivity and processes overnight. Doing so is a surefire way to burn the vast majority of your workers, even the ones who are digital-savvy.
To avoid burnout even before you start, take a layered and outlined approach to implementation. It is also essential to consider your employees. Working with them will create a custom action strategy that will address the most difficult challenges they face. They will learn several features. Once everything is mastered, it is the right time to continuously build and welcome innovations in the office or field, presenting more functionalities.
Keep in mind also that technology doesn’t need to be all or nothing because:
- The best technology helps create plans that start with creating a platform, addressing the most challenging issues needed to overcome.
- A good tech platform will proceed with a prepared implementation of features that continuously build, allowing for ongoing improvements in the office or field.
- Companies that successfully adopt technology determine their current system’s most substantial deficiencies, including the areas not working with their current approach.
Therefore, in terms of technology adoption in the construction industry, skip the all-or-nothing approach. To emerge successfully, invest in web-based project management software. This software solution is an all-in-one collaboration platform where every aspect of the project is managed, including the participating crew members.
3. Proceed one step at a time
In the framework of technological backwardness, it isn’t unusual to see construction companies attempt to digitize each process all at once or even obtain a multitude of gadgets and devices that will remain unused. The key to success in implementing new technology is to take time and proceed one step at a time.
- When a new technology is chosen, the new implementation must be done progressively, module by module, mainly if it is new software.
- Breaking down adoption into several phases allows everyone to progress at their own pace, slowly integrating the new technology into their routine.
- Any pilot projects can be considered as an excellent strategy to begin using the new tool. Deploying subcontractor scheduling software is a great head start.
- The outcomes can then be utilized to identify the best way to proceed with the deployment of the technology all over the company.
4. Ensure to Have Employee Buy-In
The technology you buy will only be as decently good as the employees who will use it. When implementing a new solution, user acceptance is one of the most stressful challenges to overcome, regardless of the excellent efficiency upgrades and benefits. Some of your employees may like changes, particularly when it interrupts workable practices. However, most users never enjoy being forced to get out of their comfort zones after a few years of trial and error with current systems.
Today, the vast majority of construction companies, especially those that notice the highest technology adoption rates, start with the bottom-up approach. The approach engages in day-to-day users and builds their insights and experiences to create operative shortcuts while fixing broken processes.
Lastly, always offer continuous training and education. The following are its several advantages.
- Conducting real-time training will make employees learn as much as they can.
- Available refresher courses on new procedures and technologies will let your employees know the latest advancements that positively impact their work performance.
- Training will allow employees to thoroughly understand the company’s organizational needs despite any disruptions and concerns along the way.
Technology implementation in your construction business must not be a time-consuming, painful and disruptive undertaking. Actually, most of today’s applications and advances readily merge with legacy systems, which then provide sufficient info and instant access to accurate project and management data from a single, digitized location.
5. Identify and Include “Champions of Change”
When it comes to technology, not everyone has the same starting point. The introduction of the newest tools often creates a large gap between the tech-savvy and the rest. Firstly, the leader should determine his “champions of change”. A champion is a worker who is coachable, open to feedback, and always ready to modify his ways to improve his performance.
A champion is an excellent conversant, and his colleagues respect his opinion. That is why he is always in the best position to convey all positive aspects of a specific change. The champion must be among the first to utilize the new tools, especially while managing construction projects. For instance, he becomes a resource to which other workers can turn when it’s urgent.
6. Identify Inefficiencies
The productivity gap in the construction industry usually costs the global economy almost $1.6 trillion annually. That’s specific number may feel abstract and massive, but the lack of productivity growth immediately affects all construction companies. Technology adoption will help things to be better.
Construction business owners should know that time is money, and project overruns can cost them both money and time. And since only twenty-five percent of construction projects are completed on-time, the industry has to investigate the reasons behind why overruns occur, leading them to find solutions.
Companies can utilize various technologies and approaches to determine areas where they are most inefficient and focus more on increasing productivity to lessening delays. For instance, companies might adopt better communication processes for communication onsite, rethink the designs or engineering procedures, and address labor shortages that slow down projects.
While all these things can increase productivity, more advanced technologies will go on playing a huge role. The right software and tech solutions can make a massive difference in all aspects of a project.
7. Highlight progresses and celebrates victories
Change is uncomfortable for the vast majority of individuals, and those involved in the construction industry are no exception. The positive reinforcement and consistent encouragement of executives and project managers are critical from the start to the technological implementation.
Human resources experts recommend planning to adopt the new features to facilitate the adoption and acceptance of new approaches and technologies. Doing so will allow your employees to obtain small wins quickly. To do this, your company has to set precise, achievable, and measurable goals during the adoption process.
There is nothing like acknowledging the efforts of your employees to generate commitments and mobilization. Celebrating individual and team victories ensures that you acquire a positive state of mind all around the new technologies to promote its adoption further.
How Does Your Construction Technology Measure Up?
Many construction businesses are taking critical steps to digitize by adopting new technologies to improve communication further and efficiently connect their businesses’ various aspects. As a matter of fact, construction projects are not simple, but technologies can help simplify any processes.
You might start wondering how your company’s digital technologies compared to your competitor, including whether the technology you selected is the right or practical option. It is crucial to assess to get a better sense of whether your company is heading in the right direction, and if it’s not, then what is the next move? Where you need to go next?
The definitive integration of new technologies into your construction company will take place over time. Huge thanks to the dedication and involvement of many key players from all seven steps cited above. Lastly, by following the seven steps and utilizing internal and external resources at your disposal, you can create the standard conditions essential for technological adoption.