Construction is a very complex industry. Regardless of the type of project you are working on, there are always so many different parameters and factors that should be taken into consideration.
Normally, there is also a vast number of stakeholders involved in the project and each one has different tasks and specialisation. In that sense, every construction project is a chain of activities and decisions which should be followed with high precision in order to ensure the successful delivery of the project within the agreed timeline and budget.
The good news is that with the emergence of digital solutions, in the course of the last few years, staying on top of your project has become easier. Of course, there is still plenty of room for improvement given the lack of trust in contractual relations and the fragmentation of the supply chain.
For that reason, it is of paramount importance that you have a solid plan in place before you choose a digital tool for your projects. Only then, you will be able to make the right choice and find the software that is the best fit for your organisation.
Without further ado, here are five things you should always keep in mind before you pick a construction software solution for your project:
Before you even start looking for a digital tool, you need to standardize all your systems and processes. In that manner, you will be able to understand the needs of your project and look at the right place for the solutions that you will have to implement.
If you try to start the implementation process before defining your processes, there is a high chance that the chosen software will bring even more chaos to your project and will confuse the members of your team.
In a sentence, without the right framework and digital culture in place choosing a digital tool for your project can be a waste of money and resources.
Many see data as the oil of the new era but that’s not correct. Data is much more than that. It is a continuously updated source which can be the catalyst for meaningful changes in the industry.
Based on these valuable pieces of information, stakeholders in construction can acquire a better overview of the challenges in the various projects and build a better future for the entire sector.
Despite the implementation of digital solutions, there are many project agents who fail to see the true value of data and either throw it away or not capturing it at all.
Before you choose a construction software for your project, you need to take this parameter into account. You want a tool that can effortlessly connect with other digital solutions (through integrations for example) and which can facilitate your effort to exchange project data and know how.
On top of that, data is the number one tool you need in order to standardize your future projects, improve the margins of your organisation and minimize delays and rework time.
Being able to share the latest project updates in real time can get your project a long way. Monthly or weekly reporting is simply not enough when we refer to a construction project. Only through daily reporting, you can increase productivity and manage to put out fires before they even emerge.
That being said, it’s extremely important that you choose a digital solution which allows you to bridge the gap between the construction site and the office and eliminate communication misunderstandings.
Furthermore, you want to be confident that everybody in the project works on the same version of the project and that there are no stakeholders that do their planning based on an outdated version of it.
This is also one of the main reasons why pen and paper, or even excel, don’t work anymore when it comes to construction. The right software can eliminate your admin and emotional burden and empower field reporting.
By now, you might have found the right tool for your project but there’s still a vital element you need to examine before you make your final decision. That is, of course, the support and on-boarding services that the digital solution of your choice offers.
Implementing a new software on your team isn’t as easy as some think. There might be many workers or stakeholders who don’t have a digital mindset like you do or that they need additional guidance during the first steps.
Ideally, you will have selected a tool that is easy to use but the human guidance is still very important. Keep this in mind, and make sure to ask your software provider what type of training plan they will prepare for your team once you seal the deal.
Depending on their response you can see whether they take your project seriously and how many resources they intend to invest in it.
Last but certainly not least, always remember to start small with the implementation of a new digital tool. As we already mentioned in the previous point, getting a new software up and running is always a challenge. Especially in construction where the complexity of a project is huge.
In that sense, before you roll out a digital solution across the entire organisation start by training a few members of your team and give them the time to get used to the new software.
Such an approach will increase your chances for a successful implementation as it will be the first step for a gradual shift of your organisation towards a more digital future.
As soon as you see that your team starts to understand the software and use it on their daily working routine on site without any problems, then you can scale the implementation to the whole company.
All in all, it becomes clear that choosing the right construction software for your project is a demanding process. There are too many parameters that need to be taken into consideration before you make your final choice. Data and real-time communication lie in the heart of this process as well as customer support and impeccable on-boarding.
Regardless of your final choice, always make sure that you give your team enough time and resources in order to understand the new tool and use it in the best way possible.
About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild.