Smoothing the Adoption of Construction Management Software
October 14, 2021
It’s been said that the only constant is change. But that doesn’t mean such change is easily accepted. For example, when construction companies migrated from paper-based project management practices to computer spreadsheets, there was pushback. Then once everyone became comfortable with computer spreadsheets, along came industry-specific point solutions and the promises of more efficiencies, and there was pushback again.
Now, things have moved beyond point solutions, with integrated platform solutions representing the latest advancements in further improving capital project efficiencies. As more and more construction companies are seeing the value in embracing today’s best construction management software, how can you ensure a smoother adoption process and reduce natural pushback? By employing certain steps early on to proactively quell fears and smooth adoption.
Communicate plans early, then keep communicating
As with any large-scale change, it’s natural to have to overcome the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. The first step to countering fear of the unknown and unfamiliar is to communicate as soon as possible not just the intentions and plans, but the why. Because this is not just about the technology; it’s about the people who will be using it.
That means directly addressing the critical definitions: what construction management software is; why an integrated platform is necessary; what problems it’s meant to solve; what efficiencies it will introduce; when it’s being implemented and the timeline leading up to it and what kind of training will be provided. Laying things out like this can help squelch rumors and misinformation that may feed fear and resistance.
Once the initial announcement has been made, keep the messaging going and the communication open. Sharing progress updates and milestones hit throughout the implementation timeline — whether by email, or online or in-person meetings — can create a sense of momentum and accomplishment among the broader team.
And don’t forget that communication goes both ways. Invite and welcome any feedback — positive kudos as well as constructive criticism — especially from those who will be using the platform the most. When input is sought out, those individuals and teams are more likely to feel they’re part of the process and that any questions, opinions, challenges and suggestions they share are valued.
Emphasize how construction management software can make their day-to-day jobs easier
A big part of that communication is going to have to address how using construction management software will benefit them. Make sure to outline the business case for making such a big technology shift: maintaining competitiveness rather than playing catch-up later, getting a higher return on investment and profit plus enhancing reputation as an efficient construction company.
Yet, people may still wonder what makes construction management software, even an integrated platform solution, worthy of adoption. Those in the field and the back office will be the heavy users, so the benefits to them in their daily jobs and productivity levels must be surfaced from day one. Where communicating fosters understanding, individualizing fosters buy-in. In other words, the question you want to answer from their perspective is “What’s in it for me?” This can make the biggest difference in acceptance and lowering any walls of resistance.
What are some of the benefits they can anticipate with an integrated platform? Improved accuracy and productivity for one, because there’s less repetitive data entry and fewer mistakes to fix. Plus, there are more opportunities to collaborate in real time using the same up-to-date data that everyone can access, which improves workflow. In addition, more accurate project performance tracking and more informed decision making with the ability to connect actionable data across functions.
Assure everyone they’ll get the construction management software training they need
Everyone processes information and learns differently. So they’re also going to have varying levels of comfort and skill levels with advanced technology. Especially for the technology-challenged — no matter the technology — they may appreciate a bit of hand holding as they go through this transition.
How do you take all of this into account? Offer different kinds of training. This can be in-person training, asynchronous webinars, live demos and online PDFs. Also consider having key project team members — particularly those who support and champion the implementation — designated as the go-to people for real-time questions. It can provide a bit more reassurance that everyone will have the support they need as they need it, reinforcing what they’ve learned from the structured training methods.
Acknowledge potential challenges while expressing confidence in everyone’s adaptability
As with anything new, anticipate a few bumps in the road as the platform is being implemented. But equally as important, reassure everyone that making mistakes is part of the learning process.
To counter any frustration and fear of potential mistakes — even with training — it can help to reframe the transition by comparing it to something most people know firsthand: smartphone technology. Everyone has adapted as smartphone functionalities have evolved. Though the original cell phones got the job of a phone call done, the added conveniences and capabilities more than made up for the new learning curve, any mistakes that were made and any initial hesitancy surrounding upgrading. It’s the same idea with construction technology, albeit on a larger scale.
The right software solutions, coupled with the right training and support, can smooth the construction management software adoption process. When you’re ready to transition from point solutions to an integrated platform, InEight can help guide you. Our construction management software can make a measurable difference not only for individual productivity, but for your entire business operations. Request a demo to find out what our platform can do for you and your team, and how our team can support you through your transition.