Why Is It Necessary?
A construction project if you think about it is a well coordinated dance. A finely choreographed team coming together to create something from nothing.When a project goes right everyone is happy. The owner feels they received value for the money they have invested. The architect has watched their creative vision come to life. The engineers made sure everything works as it was designed. The contractors took the concept from ideas on paper to living breathing structures of magnificence. Oh and the project manger has stayed engaged and on top of the entire process making sure project stays on schedule and on budget.
It's magic when it happens...
The goal of every single owner, architect, engineer, contractor, and project manager, is to play their important part to insure a successful project outcome. Most projects involve a lot of people, a lot of moving parts and a very real threat of problems to arise. Without a defined process and approach that the right collaborative construction project management software can provide, a project can quickly come off the rails.
The reality is when people are involved, issues are inevitable. Issues surrounding communication, documentation, understanding and acknowledging what is being asked of each project stakeholder, are all these things which can have a significant impact on a project's success. The orchestrated effort to get everyone on the same page, singing from the same hymnal and minimizing the potential for issues to arise and errors to occur is avoidable.
That's where construction project management software comes into play.
The right construction project software should contain four essential elements:
1. Every team member should have access to it
2. Should be easy to use and understand
3. Will make everyone more efficient at their job
4. Should not cost an arm and a leg
In today's market there are nearly 175 different types of construction project software on the market. 175! That's crazy. Imagine if you were trying to buy a new truck and there were 175 different types of trucks to choose from. Bet you would feel overwhelmed. We sure would.
The reality behind what works for a team and what doesn't comes down to a few simple things to evaluate as you look to engage construction project management software on your next project. Those things revolve around people, process, leadership and accountability.
You need a software that is simple enough for the entire construction team to use or they simply won't. That means you have to select a product that doesn't require a ton of time to learn and is intuitive enough to use. Any software that takes more than 30 minutes to learn is not an easy construction software for your team so don't even think about it.
The software that you choose should be scalable to adapt to any size construction project or team without further cost. Any software salesperson who starts a conversation with you by asking how much your firm does in construction volume is someone you should run from. Software shouldn't be predicated on the number of users or how much money a vendor thinks they can extract from you simply because of your annual revenue.
Any software that you use should be geared around common construction processes that are the entire team at every level will understand. RFIs, Submittals, Daily Construction Reports, Change Orders, and simple but powerful project Budget Tracking are all essential elements that should be easy functionality of any construction project management software. Let's face it, if you put the tool in front of your least technical user and they look at you with that blank stare of confusion, you've got the wrong project management software.
Finally, any software that you use for the construction team must have two essential elements as a byproduct of it's use. Leadership and accountability. I know what you are thinking, leadership, how does that play into my consideration of what construction software to choose? Actually ties into the accountability thing as well.
Good construction project management software gives every member of the team the critical information they need to do their job as efficiently as they can.
- What is expected of them is understood
- What is due or past due
- How to solve problems or ask for help
- Helping every stakeholder easily document, track and historially retain key project data
Construction project management software makes it easy for a project stakeholder to act through action, communicate with efficiency and document their progress. That level of accountability and delivery is, if you think about it, leadership. Good teams become great when they leverage the tool that a good construction software can provide.
Why is construction project management software necessary on a project? Because without it, you increase the odds that someone on your project will misunderstand, ignore or simply fail to comply with something that is essential to insuring your project comes off without a hitch.
The right project software not only keeps the team pointed in the right direction but eliminates a number of areas where errors, issues and miscommunciations can and will occur. Simply put, the guidance a collaborative construction software solution can provide your team is not only useful but invaluable.
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