For most companies, scoping out the right construction management software is a long and arduous process. Why they do this isn’t a secret either. This goes for every commercial operation. Especially when it comes to managing a construction program. So why not make the most of it?
Given the large initial outlay, companies spend months and sometime years getting a feel for their options. Most enterprise construction management software can have a price tag in the $100k’s. If you’re a large enough operation, sometimes in the millions. Recuperating those funds starts with implementation.
The large majority of construction companies aren’t always going have to shell out that kind of cash. Still, enterprise construction management software is a significant investment, so it makes sense to take that much time in vetting a solution that fits your organization.
When you finally decide to take the leap on a construction software, it’s just the beginning. Those next few steps are crucial for getting the most out of your investment. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a great kickoff.
It may feel like it takes eons to pick the right software. Just remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. This is a vital leg of the race. Here are some things to keep in mind as you implement your shiny new construction software.
1. It Starts With The Software
Before we jump into the implementation bit of everything, I really want to stress this one. There’s a reason companies spend so much time coordinating software demo after software demo. That process isn’t fun—it’s like herding cats getting all the decision makers together at once. But, it’s a necessary evil (if there is such a thing).
Whichever software you choose needs to check off as many boxes as possible. Without a software robust enough to conform to the needs of your construction program, it’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole. That situation isn’t fun. There’s no faster way to buyer’s remorse, and everyone ends up frustrated.
As well as flexibility, your construction software needs to have the integrations that are crucial for your program. One of the biggest reasons to adopt a construction software is to streamline your process from start to finish. It makes no sense to spend that much time and money and STILL have to do double data entry in another platform.
The other thing is, the software needs to be scalable. Whether your construction program is running 20 projects or 20,000, it should all flow the same. No additional configuration necessary.
Your construction software absolutely needs to be easy to use. There are going to be too many people in there for it to be confusing to navigate. A bad interface is going to have your folks outside beating their computers like they did in Office Space before you know it.
2. Implementation Team Dedicated To Your Success
Start asking questions about implementation as early as you can. Continue to bring it up. Get a feel for their approach to on-boarding you as a new client. If the responses feel cold or ‘canned’ that’s a red flag.
These folks are going to be the ones who navigate you through these unknown waters. They’ll be working with you to implement and train your team on the software—not just through the initial phase, but for the long-haul.
Whoever it is, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them. These relationships are going to be at the core of your success with a new construction software platform. They need to be invested in your success. They need to be passionate about making sure the construction software does exactly what you need it to do. They need to be working tirelessly through the process to make sure your software fits like a glove.
And really, at the end of the day, your implementation team should make the process enjoyable. Long days of training can be so dry. We all know the feeling of our eyes glossing over in the middle of a lecture. This team should keep things lively so that you and your team stay engaged and enjoy the process.
3. Choose The Right People For Your Internal Training Team
Here’s another fundamental component that will be a driving force in how well you use your software. Who you choose to include in the implementation is going to pass the torch top-down to the rest of your users. They’ll be your go-to players internally if your team hits any snag in the construction software.
This group needs to be intimate with how you run your projects and the workflows behind the scenes. When they first get together with the implementation team, these are the people who will determine exactly how the software will work for your construction program.
It’s important that this group is composed of confident decision makers. At some point, someone from somewhere in your program is going to question the configuration of your construction software. They’ll want it done differently. When this happens, the people from your internal training group are going to know exactly why and how it was set up that way. Then again, you never know where the next best idea will come from. But you’re not going to implement every suggestion, and it’s important that the folks at the top are confident the structure is sound.
4. Your Team Has To Be Bought-In
You know what they say, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Well, in this case, you actually do have some say in getting the horse to drink. And if you want the software to truly hum like it’s built to, your team is going to have to get in the construction software and actually use it.
As creatures of habit, we’re highly resistant to change. People just don’t like to get out of their comfort zone, even if it’s going to benefit them. Just look at the gym on January 1st. It’s packed for a month then everyone goes back to being comfy.
Fortunately, using a construction management software is nothing like lifting weights… or running. The effort to benefit ratio on a construction management software is astronomical. It may be a challenge at first, but when your team starts getting in the rhythm of operating with it, they’ll see the light. Your construction program will see a night-and-day difference. It’ll just take a bit of diligent encouragement in the beginning.
5. Ongoing Support For Continued Success
Getting used to your construction software will take time. Those power users will continue to help coach the team after the training wheels come off. But even they may have questions from time to time.
When that happens, it’s nice to have the confidence knowing that there’s help just a call away. I’m not talking about a knowledge-base (those are a good resource) or some outsourced call center. When you have an urgent situation, it’s nice to have a real person (on our soil) who is familiar with you and your software to help.
These types of software platforms are complex. Plenty of rabbit holes to get lost in. Plenty of switches to flip that might throw something off. When you have a team on standby for this exact reason, it makes life so much easier.
6. Opportunity To Try New Things
Moving your program to a new construction software is a monumental shift. That’s enough change for one year, right? Well, maybe not. This could be the best time to do what you’re already doing, better. You’ll already have some of the leading experts in construction management there with you. It’s always a good idea to ask them, “Hey, what else can we improve on?”
The team you’ll be working with will have implemented construction software for dozens, even hundreds, of construction programs. They’ve seen how construction is run across a multitude of industries and innumerable projects. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to throw a problem at them they can’t answer.
More importantly, they know best practices for 99% of them. These guys are veterans. While you have them at your convenience, it only makes sense to pick their brains and have them poke holes in your processes. They’re happy to do it—it’s their passion. They’re there to help your program run at its best. You first just need to find the right implementation team.
For 20+ years, we’ve been pushing the envelope for construction program management software. You’re not going to find a more intuitive and easy-to-use platform. From conception to closeout, we’ve got you covered.
Our Construction Project and Program Management software is designed to solve the construction industry’s most pressing challenges from the owner’s perspective. We’ve kept a pulse on the construction industry and are constantly improving our software to make sure your projects come in on time and under budget.