We’ve all been there – you’re noticing inefficiencies in your process, but it’s too late to turn back and implement processes now. Suddenly, you’ve lost some trust, team members are frustrated and it’s on you as a leader to rebuild a sense of morale and understanding among an entire team of consultants, contractors and designers. So how do we back-step? Or more importantly, how do we begin to implement processes in the early days of a project, so we don’t have any backing up to do 6 months in? It’s going to take a monumental shift in our industry, but it can be done! Let’s break it down piece by piece.
Investigate best practices being implemented by your peers.
With construction on a steep incline in today’s markets, general contractors and design firms are adapting by bringing technology to the forefront of their team’s workflows. With an enormous pool of software platforms to choose from, how do we decipher which ones are best suited for you and your team? It’s important to remember and keep in mind your true pain points prior to investigating what’s out there – be slow to swoon over the bells and whistles of a platform, and quick to identify which tools can truly drive greater accountability, transparency and efficiency in your projects. It’s important to also keep in mind that while your general contractor or design firm might be bringing software to the table, you’ll want to implement something that you can take ownership of for yourself, if possible. In order to track down what your peers are doing, we would recommend joining a few different associations that encourage peer to peer discussion and interaction with a shortlist of proven vendors in the market (AAAE, COAA, APPA, etc.).
Get your facilities maintenance team involved early.
Construction is only half the battle. As exciting as it is to cut the ribbon on your new building or roadway, someone has to step in and maintain what you’ve just constructed for the foreseeable future. So, what’s the benefit of getting their weigh-in early? If they can offer best practice in terms of preventive maintenance solutions, then you as a construction leader can ensure that your design team is providing the information necessary to import into a facility management system – whether that information be embedded in your submittal process, or inside your BIM model. If any of the above-mentioned information doesn’t ring a bell, the internet is chalked full of resources to further investigate preventative maintenance solutions and processes - we can offer some recommendations as well!
Mitigate your risk by communicating your expectations from day one.
If you have a specific vision in mind for your project, work with your team to communicate that vision in your design and bid documents as clearly as you possibly can. Get involved in your submittal approval process, and make it known in your specs early on that you expect some kind of tracking mechanism to be embedded in that process in order to drive transparency and efficiency. If we want to stay ahead of problems and change orders, we’re going to have to be as involved as possible! Having difficult conversations and the acceptance of accountability isn’t always easy, but as a leader you will be thrilled that you made those investments when you’re cutting the ribbon on a facility or roadway that finished on time and under budget.
In summary, If the desire is to bring to our projects new levels of efficiency, transparency and accountability, then these three tips can truly help usher in a new era for your team. So, let’s begin to take ownership of our projects and processes, and watch the money spent on course corrections and quick fixes pour right back into our budgets!
MySmartPlans brings with it a new level of efficiency for your team, along with a wide array of tools and modules to do everything laid out in this article. For more information, sign up for a webinar using the button below: