Construction project management is a difficult task – we’ve mentioned this in a previous blog and to help project managers find their way to a successful crew handling, we recommended some good reads. Today, we’re going to share with you trends in construction project management that you shouldn’t ever neglect.
The construction industry is starting to become technologically-advanced. So when it comes to trends, it would always involve technology. For project management, firms started relying on software to manage everything in the field from tasks to budget, and resource scheduling to risk management.
The simple construction project management software that came out a few years ago now evolved to an ultimate management tool that can connect with AI, drones, AR/VR, and surveillance systems, and other technological products used to collect data from the field.
In a previous blog, we discussed some trends we’re expecting to see on construction project management software. Today, what we’re going to look at are the trends in construction management that involve technology, especially construction software.
But first, let’s try to look at some challenges being faced by construction managers at present.
Challenges Faced by the Construction Industry
Too many jobs but not enough workers
The construction industry needs a lot of workers but the problem is, only a few people would dare work in such a dangerous workplace. Well, that’s how most people see the construction site. But like we’ve mentioned, technology helped transform the site into a safer workplace than it used to be.
There are still fatalities recorded in the field but the number has been greatly minimized. In fact, firms that capitalize on technology are able to zero-out deaths in their projects.
Another reason why people hesitate to work in construction is that some firms still use archaic methods that tend to bore them easily. Again, the answer to catching the interest of the millennials is to employ the latest technologies designed for the field.
Now, this scarcity forces construction managers to give more workload to each of their crew members. While this isn’t a proper construction management practice, leaders don’t have the choice but to do so. This is why they use technology to fill in the lack of workers. In our blog about robotics and AI, we discussed how these tech products can be of help in this kind of situation.
Software is Available but it isn’t regularly updated
There are two scenarios here where software can affect the efficiency of construction project management.
First, the software used by the firm isn’t construction-focused so the contractors and project managers aren’t able to efficiently manage the project and the crew members.
Second is when a construction project management software is used by a firm but it won’t update the software. This only makes the firm miss out on new functions that were designed to further enhance productivity and improve management in the field.
On the other hand, construction project management software developers need to be careful in designing solutions. They have to see to it that they do their case study well so they can bring solutions to new needs and problems that arise in using the existing versions of the software. It will be helpful to understand where there are opportunities to improve workflows or capture meaningful data and then use that knowledge as the basis for the software they create.
So what can construction software developers do to solve these challenges?
1.Make a more User-Friendly Software
For the software to be effective at improving the management procedure in construction, it should be user-friendly and easy to learn. To take full advantage of the functions of the software, the project manager or contractor should become proficient in using it, but what if they aren’t tech-savvy?
The software that vendors should develop should be something that can be easily understood even by the less tech-savvy group. The user interface should be simple and the important tools should be accessible via the main page of the software.
Another way to help construction managers become proficient in using the software is for vendors to take an interest in education. A comprehensive help section that covers most commonly asked a question or a manual and virtual training on how to use the software can be added inside it so managers can refer to them anytime they find themselves lost in using the software.
2.Explain the Benefits of Tech Adoption
Some firms are still not on software because they are not confident that they can gain benefit from it. This is because there will always be naysayers when it comes to embracing technology. But this doesn’t mean the software developer can’t change the tide.
Software vendors need to explain the benefits of using the software. A demo will also help convince them that the benefits aren’t just imaginary. An ROI analysis can be what will convince all the stakeholders so they should prepare case studies and real-life situations where a construction project management was able to improve management procedures in the field and led to higher profitability.
It is also helpful for decision-makers if they see the hard and soft savings they’re able to make with the use of the software so they’ll see that a dollar spent on technology is every bit as efficient and beneficial to their business as a dollar spent on a piece of equipment.
3.Explain the Purpose of the Software
While construction project management software has a common goal of making management easier, each of their additional functions has its own unique purposes. For instance, Pro Crew Schedule allows the scheduling of multiple tasks for multiple days. This makes it easier for a project manager to complete the planning stage and make it faster to disseminate the tasks to crew members.
Software vendors should then declare the purpose of each of the functions of the software. This will help stakeholders decide whether the software is good enough for their needs.
Explaining the purpose will also help construction managers learn the proper use of the software.
4.Help Firms Make Sense of Their DataWe mentioned in our blog about AI about how data is one of the most important aspects in construction. Data is used to track the progress of the project so it is important to record every movement on the site and this can be done accurately and effectively through construction project management software. As artificial intelligence and IoT bring together data, the software, on the other hand, should work on processing and interpreting them so that it will be easier for construction managers to make sense of the information. For instance, the data on whether the equipment is being used or not will help the manager decide if they should just send it back to the rental to save money. Another example is whether a worker hits his targets every day to determine whether he is being productive or not or whether the tasks assigned to him are too much or just right.
Construction Management Trends: What Does the Future Hold?The trend in construction project management will change as the technologies involved in this task change. Here are what we can expect this year:
1.Greater Technology AdoptionMore firms will realize the benefits of using technology to improve management procedures. The software will be enhanced by connecting it with other tech products for monitoring like drones and surveillance systems, or analytics like AI. This will make the software smarter and more powerful, unlocking new opportunities that will revolutionize procedures in the field.
2.More Efficiency in Managing the Field
It’s already efficient but it can be more efficient. The software we use today will still see more improvements in the future. This year, it is expected that AI and ML will take more roles in management and integrating them with your current software, as we said, will unlock more opportunities. One of these opportunities is for more efficiency.
By more efficiency, we imagine AI to collect data from previous projects and from that thread of information, the software will be able to automatically suggest schedules, budgets, and plans.
Automated messages will be streamlined so that in case the AI senses impending trouble, it will automatically send messages to concerned members so that they can do preventive measures before the problem becomes a reality.
…But Some Things Will Never Change
The core responsibilities of a construction manager will never change. No matter what new technology is introduced to the industry, the fundamentals remain the same. Contractors need to do their contracts right; they need to do their daily reports right; they need to manage progress and cash flow accurately. Technology is just a tool to help make all these tasks easier and prevent errors.
Even the smallest firm can now afford a piece of technology to help it improve its project management. The use of construction project management like Pro Crew Schedule is one. It’s steadily become a cornerstone of construction, and a trend that will continue this year and beyond.
Technology is not only helpful; it’s vital to success. So if you want to manage your projects more efficiently to ensure profitability, then go with the flow of this modern world and start employing technology in your firm.