In today’s connected world, we can access relevant information at any time, communicate with someone on the opposite side of the world, and so much more. However, this technological revolution is still new for many professionals in construction, leading to the stunt of productivity levels in the industry. Paper plans and blueprints that need to be regularly reprinted, confusing long email chains, lost documents, all of this causes delays and misunderstandings that can easily be avoided with effective digital solutions. From fewer trips to job sites to easy access to documents using cloud storage, the benefits of using digital solutions in construction companies are endless.
Unfortunately, adopting digital tools imposes a cultural change in the organization. Many people are averse to change and feel cautious about changing from their old-but-trusted methods to a more dynamic but new solution. This fear is comprehensible but unfounded as current digital solutions offer a vast number of tools that can jumpstart productivity and make work easier for all the organization. However, to avoid the resistance to change, it is essential to prepare your team properly. There are many different approaches for this, here we will offer you some useful tips to achieve a successful adoption of digital tools for your teams and collaborators.
1. Evaluate your possibilities
There is a vast number of solutions available in the market for construction, so many that the choice might seem overwhelming. However, it is crucial for your business to identify the right choice for you. Look at what similar companies in your field are using and research all the available options in the market. Once you have this information, prepare a detailed pros and cons evaluation:
- What are you hoping to achieve with the new solution?
- What are the key features you wish to obtain?
- Are your current digital solutions integrated to the potential software?
- Does the potential new solution offer valuable customer service and training options?
You need to carefully consider this information plus any other important considerations that your company may require. Selecting the appropriate digital tool is the first and most important step of ensuring an efficient adoption of the new solution. Deploying unhelpful tools is not only expensive but also wastes time and causes frustration among your collaborators thus, carefully evaluating and selecting the right digital tools is critical in adoption.
2. Prepare and organize the field
Many construction companies still rely on paper trails for their operations. Evolving from paper to digital takes time and preparation. Don’t expect your collaborators to start using the solution if plans or other necessary documents remain in hard copy. Before the deployment of the solution, all relevant and useful data must be digitized, scan your documents and store them somewhere accessible from the solution. Only by doing this you will ensure continuous operations and increased productivity.
Consider using tags for your documents, they are useful tools for organization. Searching through hundreds of files can be time-consuming. Creating an organized system for your documents that allows a fast and easy access to them, is useful for promoting the adoption of the new software.
3. Educate your collaborators on the solution
A successful adoption is nearly impossible if staff or teams do not understand how to use the software. Most software providers offer educational tools such as support platforms, on-site training or webinars. Take advantage of all of these instruments and verify that everyone understands how to use the new solution as this will ensure a seamless workflow.
On the other hand, only educating members on the functionalities is not enough. Making sure everyone understands how the new solution will improve their work process is essential. Practically explaining the benefits will achieve more than just stating functionalities. Will trips to job sites decrease? Will budgets be more manageable? Collaborators will be eager to use the solution only if they understand how it improves their life.
4. Deployment of the solution
It is possible that after all of these steps you may still encounter some resistance. Fear of change can be hard to overcome, and not everyone is ready to welcome new things with open arms. To maximize the adoption of a new tool, you can try the next recommendations:
- Don’t be afraid to go big: Testing out the software with small teams can discourage collaborators from truly getting involved with the new tool as they may think it is not a permanent solution. Avoid this by directly deploying your new tool in the core of your operations and involving everyone. You will demonstrate the digital evolution of the business and encourage collaborators to incorporate it in their daily activities.
- Focus on what’s important: Focusing on the main functionalities of the software at first will help everyone ease into the solution. There is no need to be an expert from the start, give collaborators time to understand all the capabilities offered by the digital tool.
- Select your digital champion: Identify the users that rapidly understood and used the solution, taking advantage of all its functionalities. They will provide help and coach less experienced users on the best practices of the solution, thus helping everyone get familiar with the new digital tool.
- Show others using it: Construction Software focuses on improving team collaboration and productivity thus, the more people use it the more likely is for others to start using it as well. Promote its use by showing others benefiting from the solution and people will be more inclined to give it a try.
- Support from top management: Have senior management executives promote the solution. This way, it will no longer be regarded as a mere tool but as a task, creating accountability for its use.
5. Evaluation and feedback
How much time or money did you save using this tool? What can be done better? What is the solution missing? What did people like/dislike? Evidence from past successful adoptions can improve future ones. Additionally, this information will give you a better understanding of the effectiveness of the solution and show you whether your investment created value.
In conclusion, adopting a new digital tool can cause discomfort in businesses as people might resist change. Nevertheless, the benefits from adopting useful and relevant digital solutions are enormous. From time and monetary savings to better and safer job sites, there are many digital tools out for any construction need.