Why We Need Change in the Construction Industry
Change is a constant in the construction industry. The ability to recognize changes, and pinpoint solutions to adapt to them, allows forward-thinking companies to stand out from their competitors. Talking about the subject of change, without taking action, doesn’t help construction companies or the industry advance.
The Advancing Preconstruction conference provides a space for industry insiders to collaborate on preconstruction trends and problems. Beck Technology posed the question, “Why do we need change?" and a panel of speakers who have real-world case studies of tough, actionable change shared their stories.
Real-World Change Management
Ray Miller, Vice President of Preconstruction Services at Balfour Beatty Construction Services US, says his company saw the need for change and created a systematic approach to finding a solution.
Across the enterprise, Balfour Beatty was using four estimating tools and seven takeoff platforms. While sharing preconstruction data across divisions was a hassle, the information was valuable and key to winning work and becoming more efficient. Miller shared how Balfour Beatty created a project charter to streamline its preconstruction change initiative and gain company buy-in.
Andy Leek, Director of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) at PARIC Corporation, and Brent Pilgrim, DESTINI Applications Manager at The Beck Group, share how their respective companies adapted to and implemented change. Leek notes that while he led the implementation effort, he worked closely with senior estimators for PARIC’s new estimating platform, and for good reason. He didn’t have the years of experience to make sure the software was implemented correctly. A key takeaway is to start with the end in mind. Having well-developed goals of what the change will allow the company to do is the driving force that keeps the implementation on schedule.
Pilgrim says managing expectations is a major aspect of recognizing that something needs to change, and then acting on it. Being able to communicate internally, both up and down a company’s hierarchy structure, sets the tone for expectations. Each company should expect speed bumps through an implementation process. Having a plan in place for how to handle those bumps along the implementation path sets the company up for long-term success.
The role of estimator has evolved during the past 10 years—what was once a position tethered to a desk has grown into a client-facing role. More pressures are put on estimators to deliver complex estimates faster and more precisely.
To encourage and facilitate innovation and change in your preconstruction team and your company, ask your coworkers:
- Why are we doing things the way we do them?
- Are our actions in the best interest of our firm?
- Could our approach or process be done better?
- If we are hesitant to change, are we missing out on building a better industry?