The Right Coach: Why Technology Alone Is Never Enough
By AJ Waters
October 11, 2021
The West Coast, Option and the Spread. The Motion, Triangle and Zone. Possession, Defend Deep and Push Up. What do these words have in common? Each one refers to an offensive style in sports. Yet while many teams have tried these moves, few have been able to succeed on a consistent basis. It turns out that what championship teams really have in common often isn’t based solely on their philosophies, but on how those philosophies align with those called upon to lead and execute the chosen game plan.
The same is true for construction. Pull planning, advanced work packaging (AWP) and earned value management (EVM); these are all forms of planning and control mechanisms that many companies today are hoping can take their project execution to the next level. But what often is overlooked when studying a new strategy is that without the proper coach and support pieces in place, you may be setting your team up for another year of disappointment.
Boots in the Mud
With each year, the number of books, studies and webinars put together on enhancing construction productivity grows exponentially. Moreover, the sheer number of technology providers offering a solution to the challenge construction faces today can be overwhelming. How are we to know what is real and what is simply more air ware? What is there that differentiates one from another, and do they really relate to the daily struggles on a construction site?
When it comes to understanding what it takes to execute on a construction project, nothing can beat the experience of putting that hard hat on and getting your boots dirty. This is what has made it difficult for Silicon Valley to disrupt the industry; it is not built by construction for construction. Being able to say “we know construction” before saying “we know software” is vital, and, ideally, that should be backed up with centuries of combined experience swinging hammers and running work.
Equally as important as cutting teeth out in the field is the experience of going through a transformation of execution philosophy as an end user. Call it a “digital transformation” if you will but understanding the struggles companies face when looking to implement a new system because you have been there yourself creates an empathy that cannot be trained. Whether doing so in the role of a contractor, subcontractor, or owner, the best partner will have dealt with the data silos, pushed through the process assessments and overcome the challenges of change management.
Innovation at Heart
With all that being said, what good is this construction experience if you can’t provide the right solution? In the same way that you need a solid defense to support a potent offense in sports, a proven track record of robust technology innovations behind the scenes supports the dirty boots. This unique ability to integrate the field perspective with the talented experience of a seasoned technology research and development team is a rare find.
While startups may pop up looking the part, it is decades of cutting-edge experience in product and development that offers true depth in functionality and intuitive user experiences. The fully integrated, robust project controls platform is emerging as the next evolution in an industry of point solutions. Look for construction technology software that is breaking down the data silos, ensuring project stakeholders have all the information they need, when and where they need it.
But don’t stop there. The best companies keep innovation at their core with significant investments in research and development programs. A sustained commitment to improvement, with developers working hand in hand with industry professionals, continues to change the future of work and challenge how capital projects leverage data to realize project certainty.
A Winning Tradition
From increased forecasting accuracy and reduced planning time to increased clash resolution and reduced rework, connected project controls platforms are developing winning traditions and a proven track record with capital projects. Technology is supporting the implementation of EVM, AWP and the like for customers around the globe and the successes are following. Look behind many of the largest projects and programs in the world and you are likely to find a platform of support doing the best to walk alongside the project, collect vital data and grow productivity.
The question is, who is next? Who is ready to put down the playbook on today’s popular project management philosophies and partner with a proven coach that can deliver on project certainty? This year can be that year for your project execution. It’s time to move past the revolving door of outdated or ill-fitting construction software and partner with an integrated project controls platform led by a team of people that have been where you are – and come out as champions on the other side.
Ready to take a deeper dive? Find out how InEight can help you enhance your teams’ successes by scheduling a demo.