Benjamin Franklin famously quoted “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” However, we think change is right up there as a constant, especially in preconstruction. For example, in the past three years, the following things have caused mass changes in how projects are pursued and built: inflation, supply chain, material costs, and labor shortages. And those are factors that are largely out of an individual’s control.
Beck Technology has successfully helped implement our technology at hundreds of construction companies. To say we are master change agents is an understatement. As change agents, we have a deep understanding of preconstruction teams and processes and help navigate the nuances of improving precon workflows. That also means we have seen and survived every way a person (or entire team) is resistant to change.
Change has a lot of benefits which is why pushing through the resistance is a must.
Innovation: Change spurs innovative and creative ideas by challenging people to think differently to come up with new solutions.
Growth and development: As you learn new skills and take on new challenges, personal and professional growth occur.
Improved performance: As you adjust to new circumstances and adopt more effective strategies, you improve your performance and outcomes.
Better decision-making: You create opportunities to review and evaluate existing processes and practices.
Greater flexibility: The world around us is constantly changing and by being flexible to those changes you become more adaptable.
We have clearly laid out the benefits of change so why are people still resistant to it? Because change is hard! Trust us…we are change agents after all. Let’s break down the realities of change.
Lack of Awareness of Why Change is Needed
Estimators are never at a loss for projects. Either pursuing work or getting the project team ready to start a new build, work is constantly humming. So, when you have done estimates the same way, in the same estimating system, since the first day at the company you may not realize the way you are estimating is inefficient.
If you are overseeing the preconstruction efforts for your company while managing that business unit you may not know your team is struggling. Being open-minded and having open communication with your estimators is key. They may be hesitant to bring up some frustrations with their process because it was hammered into them “this is how we do it here.” Be sure you are asking your team members “How can we be the best at what we do?” and giving them a work environment that encourages challenging the status quo.
Unlike general resistance to change, which may be rooted in fear or anxiety, change-specific resistance is often based on specific concerns or objections related to the particular change initiative. For example, if you have a team member that prides themself on being an Excel pivot table genius, but your company is switching to a true estimating software like DESTINI Estimator then your team member may be resistant to change because your company will not rely heavily on pivot tables going forward.
The key to combatting this change-specific hesitation is to over-communicate the benefits of improved workflows. Get the team member engaged and excited about the future of what the company will be able to do with an improved platform and workflow.
Too much change all at once is overwhelming, exhausting, and confusing. Imagine your construction company is changing payroll systems, has hired a new HR leader, and is going through a company-wide rebrand. None of these things seemingly impact preconstruction but, in fact, they do affect each person at the company. Compound those changes with personal life changes (kids graduating high school, a sick family member, buying a house, etc.). At a point, it is all exhausting and you just want a break. Change saturation may be a sign of a deeper problem such as a lack of alignment between change initiatives and organizational goals.
To address change saturation, it is necessary to prioritize and sequence changes more carefully when possible. This will allow teams to have the resources and support they need to manage the changes effectively. It may involve allocating additional resources to support the change management efforts. And, if you work with Beck Technology, it means leaning on a team of change agents to lead you through implementation, training, and technical support. You are never alone when you are using the DESTINI preconstruction platform…you have a whole company here to support you.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Clearly, he was never under deadline and was being asked to provide some alternate costs on a construction project at the 11th hour. Kidding. This quote suggests fear is a powerful force that can hold us back and prevent us from acting. Fear can lead us to avoid taking risks, making difficult decisions, or pursuing opportunities that we may perceive as risky or uncertain. Did you know fear can be contagious? If you aren’t careful, you can spread this throughout your preconstruction team which leads to a cycle of negativity and inaction.
By confronting our fears and taking decisive action (even if they are baby steps...like requesting a demo of the DESTINI platform) you can break through barriers, stop negative cycles, and create a productive environment. Our brains like to create “mind monsters” from our fears and have us believe the worst-case scenario will happen. But the forward movement of action squashes those worries and get us back in the driver’s seat of change.
Lack of Support from Management or Leadership
If your company management is not on board with change then it is VERY difficult to prioritize it and get the support you need to make necessary adjustments. In our hundreds and hundreds of enterprise implementations, we have picked up on something especially important that not a lot of people realize. Your company leadership are people, too. They have all the same worries about change that have already been mentioned. And they feel it exponentially because they are involved in a lot of areas of the business.
To get your management onboard with change put the benefits of the changes into a vernacular that is important to them. If you know your estimating efficiency and accuracy will be improved by switching to DESTINI Estimator, then explain to them how your company will be able to successfully go after 20% more projects with the estimating software. Or how that historical cost initiative the company wants to get to “eventually” will automatically happen with DESTINI Estimator. Getting aligned on company goals and being excited about the future will align everyone.