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5 easy steps to start your organization’s digital transformation

Kelly Choi
By Kelly Choi on Feb 29, 2024 6:00:00 AM

The construction industry represents about 14% of the global economy. It’s one of the last industries left to adopt digitization. There has never been a better time than the present to go digital to help your organization find its competitive edge.

Construction teams have already discovered and are adopting digital technologies such as CAD and BIM. However, in economically challenging times, many are also looking for efficiencies to get their projects completed on time and on budget. With ongoing issues such as skilled labor retention, price escalation on supplies, bizarre weather conditions and supply chain disruptions, regardless of the type of company, we’re undoubtedly operating in a difficult business climate. As the industry experiences a dynamic shift, teams are starting to look toward implementing digital planning, data analytics and associated lean practices to help them weather the changing landscape.

For many teams, they just don’t know where to start. Lucky for you, we’re happy to share this easy 5-step process to help get your organization started on its digital transformation.

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1. Identify the problems you’re trying to solve

Many teams will be looking to improve operating efficiencies and their bottom line. There will be added pressures for organizational leaders to remain competitive. But you won’t find a solution until you’ve clearly defined what the problem is.

Does your team have issues with keeping track of project schedules? Or is it lacking dialogue? Maybe it’s both. With lots of focus around digital transformation, teams will sometimes begin to throw in whatever tech they can implement quickly and easily.

However, that’s not the best-case scenario. You’ll just be spending money and effort on a platform you may or may not need. Getting to the root cause of your problem will help you define whether it’s a people, process or technology deficit that’s keeping your team from high performance.

2. Find solutions to the problems

We should have warned you. This next step requires some research. Given the rise in demand of SaaS (Software as a Service) for construction teams, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Do your research into the organizations that are building these platforms. Conduct a demo with the software development team. This is your opportunity to understand how their software will solve the problems you’re focusing on.

Don’t be shy. Ask all the questions you need. If you find you’ve a few options, we suggest using the Choosing by Advantages decision-making process.

3. Build a team culture to support change

Not every team member will be excited or supportive of change. Remember, lean construction isn’t just about reducing waste. It’s about adding value and inviting team members’ input to root out problems and uncover the most effective solutions.

To drive organizational change, leaders must inspire a cultural shift. This requires providing the team with the vision. You must sell the sizzle, not the steak. Ask them for input and support along the way. That way they won’t be surprised when the time comes for you to make announcements about innovation adoption.

4. Involve your external team members too

Just as you’re involving your internal team members, let your external team members know of your vision for digital adoption. Your external team members might be subtrades, vendors and other construction professionals. Include them in communications about your organization’s vision and let them know how they’ll play a role in the success of your digital transformation.

Don’t forget to explain the why. Team members who don’t work within your organization might not understand why you’re implementing digital transformation. When you share the why, they’ll feel valued and naturally want to become part of the solution.

5. Start implementing

You’re almost at the finish line! The hardest part is identifying the problem and sourcing a solution. But now you’ve done all that, the implementation requires you to rely on your IT team. Lean on the training opportunities that your vendor has to offer to help actively engage and prepare your team.

Now’s the time

As we look ahead, there will be increasing pressure to embrace new technology. For smaller businesses, this added up-front capital investment might be a lot to handle. Especially for those juggling scheduling and production issues, recruitment and retainment. Canadian small and medium-sized businesses can check out the Canadian Digital Adoption Program to see how they can access up to $15,000 in federal grant funding.

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Topics: Digital Transformation Collaboration High Performance Teams