Know Before You Go: Vetting Your Construction Project Technology
May 19, 2022
The evolution and proliferation of project management technologies in the construction space is a positive sign of its rising demand and social proof of its value and viability. In fact, it’s been shown choosing the right construction project technology can even influence future hiring. Those entering the field want to know that the technology they use every day will make doing their jobs easier.
But then there’s the question: How do you make the right choice for your business? Assuming you’ve already determined the types of project technology that make the most sense for you, it’s essential to put each one through a vetting process. This is one step that cannot be skipped or rushed through. Such a process helps make what could be an overwhelming decision about a large investment more manageable, while also helping to remove preconceptions or undue biases that can hold you back from your best decision.
Besides total costs as an obvious yet essential criteria to factor into your decision, here’s what such a vetting process might look like when you’re choosing construction project technology.
- Involve end users. Invite those on your team who will be prime users to be a part of the vetting process. These power users can give you a real-world assessment of what process inefficiencies have proven detrimental in past projects that they’d like to overcome. Find out what features are most needed. Determine what bottlenecks they’d like to remove to be more productive. This can also help with buy-in once the technology is chosen.
- Narrow your choices. Using the power users’ initial feedback in combination with any other criteria you need each construction project technology to meet, try choosing no more than a small handful of solutions. Having a lot of options to choose from might sound like a good idea but can actually make the process cumbersome and lead to “analysis paralysis.” And, it could also make it harder to arrive at a consensus on the preferred solution. To get the most value, look for technology that is designed specifically for the construction industry.
- Schedule demos. You read the specs and product reviews and it sounds like it’ll do what you need it to. Seeing it in action, though, is the only way to know for sure before you make your decision and invest in it. Going through a detailed demo of the construction project technology with each vendor can give you a better feel for how well it can meet your needs.
- Ask a lot of questions at the demos. As you go through the demos and subsequently compare the software options against each other, make sure you’re evaluating each set of solutions using the same criteria. Prepare a list of your core requirements, key considerations and technology-specific questions ahead of time so you can use them throughout your vetting process with each vendor. Some of questions these might include:
- What business processes or project challenges is the particular construction project technology meant to tackle? Does it address all of yours or at least the most critical ones?
- Is the technology customizable to your business and project needs? No two construction companies are exactly alike, and neither are their particular needs. So straight-out-of-the-box solutions may not work for you as effectively as you need them to. You’re more likely to get the most out of your software if you have the ability to make some modifications.
- What kinds of data and insights does it deliver and in what format?
- What processes does it automate that will save you time while increasing accuracy?
- Is it easily and intuitively navigable not just for back-office employees but for workers at the jobsite who may not have the time or opportunity for in-depth training?
- What is its reliability record in terms of uptime? Security? Cyberattack protocols? How often does the provider test and update them?
- What security features does the technology have? Are you able to control access with role-based permissions, dual authentication, etc.?
- Is it flexible enough to work in the back office, the jobsite and remote offices? Does it have a companion mobile app that allows everyone to access what they need no matter where they are?
- Is the tech able to scale with your own projected business growth? Will it be able to help you manage multiple projects simultaneously? Can it handle the kinds of projects you anticipate taking on in the future, especially as projects become more complex, more regulated and more expensive?
One thing to keep in mind as you’re going through the vetting process: Choosing construction project management technology isn’t just about the technology, it’s about the provider, too. If you plan on using your chosen solutions for the long term, you’ll want reassurance that the respective vendors are reliable, responsive and available when you need them.
There’s no single construction project technology solution that’s ideal for every business. That’s why the vetting process is so important for you to find the one that’s right for your business, goes trendy beyond bells and whistles, and answers your particular goals and challenges. The InEight cloud-based integrated platform is one such technology we invite you to consider. Schedule a demo to learn how it can answer your specific business needs.