May 5th, 2020

The construction industry as a whole has lagged behind in technology adoption for many years. One of the reasons organizations resist new project technology is the risk of a failed implementation.

Many leading organizations have figured out that taking an enterprise view of technology increases the chances of success. By using a “wide but shallow” approach and rolling out new technology in iterations, you can lessen the impact on the organization, increase adoption and more easily tailor a solution to your needs.

 

 

Transcript

If I think about the construction industry, one of the things that I’m hearing recently is that a lot of companies who are laggards who are late adopters aren’t really in a position to compete. You know, margins are so thin to begin with. And as an industry we’re behind in adopting technology.

Owners themselves are seeing their needs and they’re starting to demand a different level of performance from their contractors. Those companies that aren’t positioned to do that, they’ll start to disappear.

The real pain point is analysts who are meant to be analyzing information, forecasting,
rather than interpreting that information, they’re making sure that it’s accurate and they’re having to look at that based on manual entry of information into Excel.

I think another contributor is point solutions for different roles in the organization as opposed to, you know, a comprehensive approach, holistic approach to what information do we need within the organization to manage the business.

I think sometimes the starting point is a problem. Someone in the organization or the team will say, let’s focus on this type of project. And so they’ll build a deep solution for a specific project type or things that that department runs into as opposed to looking at really the high level processes or the overall processes for the organization.

Then when they take that solution to other groups, it won’t fit, right? And people will become discouraged and say, the solution that you’ve presented to us won’t work for us.

You know, enterprise project performance, it needs to be viewed at the enterprise level. And so it’s not something that a small department, a small team is going to be successful with. It really has to be something that the organization has thought through.

Adoption is always a challenge. You know, hitting organizations with a very deep solution means massive change when you roll it out.

By going wide on a deployment, it’s a lot easier to take an iterative approach. It allows your solution to be absorbed into the organization, and that’s a great way to approach adoption. So rather than changing everything for everyone right away, change a few things, you know, find something that’s going to give you more visibility than you had before. And also allow people to change their behavior, you know, bring the tool on and really make it successful over a number of iterations.

You get several benefits. One, you allow kind of, you know, a smaller impact on the organization. That’s one. Two, you start to get buy in. People look at it, “okay, I can consume this, I can adopt this within my day to day work.” Three, you have the advantage of seeing things that might need to change.

Oftentimes people will really focus on a small set of very large projects instead of typically they’ll also have, in addition to that will be very large set of small projects. And I’ve had clients who realized overall they were losing more money on the small projects and they were on the large ones and they just hadn’t been paying attention there. But with that visibility you get with early iterations of a deployment, you can start to tack and move in different directions once you have enough visibility to see, you know, I’ve got overruns here, or this is profitable.

An enterprise approach is going to put all the information into one system.

Certainly it’s tied back into their business drivers, right? You know, why are we doing this? What do we intend to achieve, right? Having some very specific things in mind that you want to achieve.

I think a big advantage of an enterprise system is being able to have information, you know, fresh information, valid information in a timely manner and feel confident that it’s accurate and not spend your time replicating your checking information from other systems, having that flow automatically.

I think that the companies who have plans, who are already adopting technology and you know in an intelligent way are starting to see the benefits.