Throughout my career I’ve integrated technology into my day-to-day, to help me work more efficiently and effectively: from CAD through to customer relationship management tools; from collaborative documents through to using cloud-based servers. I’ve taken this drive with me as I’ve progressed; to the extent that a core focus of my Masters dissertation (written after 5 years in the industry) was the construction sector’s low uptake of many of the digital project management tools that have been embraced by other sectors.
Over the past months however, this digital transformation has become a reality. We’ve seen the world embrace new technologies, and the construction industry has taken leaps and bounds towards new ways to maintain our need for collaborative working.
Pick Everard has run with the challenge of how to keep our 550+ staff connected, motivated, and efficient. The whole company, from our Partners, HR, IT and our project teams have undergone a massive learning curve — yet, crucially, have used this as an opportunity to grow. Many of our developments, such as our online ‘staffroom’, are incredibly creative and add a lot of joy to my week.
This month’s RICS Construction journal explores the benefits of technology adoption. It contains some great insights, and some of the key points are laid out below.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits from technology adoption typically fall into the following two categories:
- Improved commercial performance, for example increased project profitability, improved workforce productivity, and reduced operating costs
- Improved operational efficiency, for example supply chain performance, project and operational control, people management and client relationships
What Do We Need?
It’s obviously important to find the right technology. To do this, you first need to understand the problem you’re trying to solve. These four fact-finding questions can help:
- What’s working well?
- What could be improved?
- How would technology benefit my team practically on an individual and a group level?
- What would success look like?
Once the need has been established, systems evaluated, and a decision made to implement a suitable technology solution, it’s vital to ask; “how do we achieve the most out of this technology, and our people?”
A formal roll-out of the new systems and workflows will help drive home the change. As we have been doing at Pick Everard, this may involve training sessions (software isn't always intuitive!) and easily accessible documentation. Finally, it's important to empower everyone through developing a culture where everyone understands the value of the change.
Abigail Blumzon is a Client Project Delivery Advisor at Pick Everard. There she supports clients and delivery teams in procuring and realising successful projects.