In 2023, technology adoption in construction is likely to lead to increased automation in tasks such as site mapping, surveying, and equipment operation, improved collaboration and coordination among teams and stakeholders through the use of building information modelling (BIM) and project management software.
In this article, we explore how technology is driving the future of construction and how it can help improve efficiency, safety, and collaboration. We examine the benefits of tech-enabled transformation and how it can lead to a more positive and less stressful work environment in 2023, as well as how to effectively implement smarter construction practices on your next project.
What are the key benefits of digital-led construction management?
Throughout multiples stages of a construction project, greater use of virtual and augmented reality in areas such as design, planning, and training, increased use of drones for tasks such as site mapping, surveying, and inspection, more data-driven decision making through the use of data analytics and better safety and quality management through the use of technology such as safety management systems and quality management systems.
Advocating for construction management technology is important for project outcomes and worker performance on a construction site for several reasons:
- Improved productivity: By using technology such as building information modelling (BIM), construction managers can streamline processes and improve collaboration among teams, which leads to increased productivity and efficiency on the job site.
- Increased Safety: Construction management technology such as safety management systems can help identify hazards, track safety incidents, and provide training to workers, which can lead to a safer work environment and fewer accidents.
- Better communication: Technology such as project management software can help construction managers communicate more effectively with different teams and stakeholders, which can improve coordination and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and delays.
- Smarter decision-making: Construction management technology can provide real-time data and analytics, which can help construction managers make better-informed decisions and improve project outcomes.
- More accurate cost management: construction management technology can help construction managers to better track and manage project costs, which can help them stay within budget and avoid cost overruns.
- Improved quality management processes: technology such as BIM can help construction managers to better plan, design and construct a building, which can lead to improved quality and fewer defects in the finished product.
- Better team collaboration and coordination: construction management technology can help construction managers to better collaborate and coordinate with different teams and stakeholders, which can improve the overall outcome of the project.
How can construction site managers encourage technology adoption on the work site?
The use of construction management software can improve efficiency, reduce errors and increase safety at all stages of a construction project lifecycle. Implementing technology also enables a better communication and collaboration, reduced worker stress (by automating repetitive tasks) and providing real-time data and analytics to make more informed decisions. Construction site managers can encourage technology adoption in their teams by:
1. Communicating the benefits of construction management software to the workforce
Construction site managers can communicate the benefits of technology to the workforce by clearly outlining how it will improve their daily tasks and overall productivity. They can do this by providing examples of how the technology will streamline processes, increase accuracy, and enhance collaboration among teams. They should also provide clear explanations of how the technology will make their jobs easier and safer, and how it will benefit the company as a whole. Managers should also involve employees in the selection and implementation of new technology, and provide training and support to ensure that they are comfortable and proficient in using it. Additionally, managers can lead by example and demonstrate how the technology is used on a daily basis, this can increase the buy-in and adoption of the technology.
2. Providing training and support to ensure that employees are comfortable and proficient in using the technology
Construction site managers can provide training and support to ensure that employees are comfortable and proficient in using the technology by creating a comprehensive training program that covers all aspects of the technology. This can include hands-on training, online tutorials, and video instructions. Managers should also provide access to resources such as user guides and FAQs, which employees can refer to as needed. Additionally, managers can establish a support system, such as a help desk or a dedicated support team that employees can contact for assistance with any issues they may encounter while using the technology. Managers should also plan regular check-ins with employees to ensure that they are comfortable and proficient in using the technology, and address any issues or concerns that may arise.
3. Making sure the software is user-friendly and integrates well with existing systems and processes
Construction site managers can ensure that new construction management software is user-friendly and integrates well with existing systems and processes by carefully evaluating and testing the software before purchasing it. This includes evaluating its user interface, how easily it can be navigated, and if it is compatible with existing hardware and software. It’s also important to ensure that it can seamlessly integrate with other systems and processes used on the construction site, such as accounting and project management software. Managers should also involve employees in the evaluation and selection process, to get their input and feedback about the software usability. Once the software is implemented, managers should provide thorough training and support for employees to ensure that they are comfortable using it and can easily integrate it into their daily tasks.
4. Involving employees in the selection and implementation of new software to ensure buy-in and ownership
Construction site managers can seek team feedback when selecting new construction management software by involving them in the evaluation and selection process, and creating a cross-functional team composed of representatives from different departments and levels of the organization. Managers should also provide opportunities for employees to test and provide feedback on different software options, and actively listen and incorporate their feedback into the decision-making process. Managers can also conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups to gather employee’s feedback and preferences.
This can help to ensure buy-in and ownership from the employees, as they will be involved in the process from the beginning and have a sense of investment in the technology. Managers should also make sure that employees are aware of the benefits of the technology and how it will improve their daily tasks, and provide opportunities for employees to provide feedback and suggestions during the implementation process. This will help to increase engagement and accountability from the team, and ensure that the technology is used effectively and efficiently on the site.
Additionally, managers can establish a process for employees to provide feedback on the software after it has been implemented, and regularly check-in with employees to ensure that they are comfortable using it and that it is meeting their needs. This will help to ensure that the software is user-friendly and meets the needs of the team, and increase engagement and accountability from the team, which in turn will ensure that the technology is used effectively and efficiently on the site.
What can be done to minimise tech resistance?
Construction site managers can address any concerns or resistance to implementing construction management software by actively listening to employee’s feedback and concerns, being transparent about the reasons for introducing the technology and how it will benefit the company and employees, gradually introducing new technology in stages and allowing employees to become comfortable with it before introducing more, continuously communicating the progress and benefits of the software to the workforce, and providing incentives and recognition for employees who embrace and effectively use the technology. This approach can help managers to build trust with the workforce, increase buy-in and adoption, and ensure that the technology is used effectively and efficiently on the site.
In conclusion, technology utilization in the construction industry is projected to keep growing throughout 2023. Utilizing a construction management platform can contribute to diminished errors, enhanced productivity and improved safety on site – all of this leading to a more productive atmosphere with less stress.
As a construction manager, you can foster the adaptation of technology by emphasizing its advantages to your team, providing guidance and technical assistance, granting access to user-friendly tools that work in tandem with existing systems and processes, and involving staff members when choosing and setting up new technology initiatives.