Autonomy is the way construction companies have traditionally operated. If they could deliver on time and within budget, they could basically do the job their way. Likewise, autonomy has become key to remaining competitive in today’s technology-rich environment.
When it comes to a successful technology transition, the large company’s idea of success is quite different from that of a small company. What’s innovative for a Fortune 500 company contrasts to what is innovative for a sole proprietorship. Tech innovations cannot reliably be compared to each other. There is a wide range, because differentiation is important in attracting investors. The wide range of innovation available requires careful but continual steps forward, no matter where a company is on their technological journey.
The last couple decades have shown a wide range in technological evolution. Innovation has gone from pagers to mobile phones and tablets to AI. For some people it has been a quantum leap. You can sense the technology fatigue today. There is so much innovation coming at people, it’s sometimes hard for them to wade through it.
Technology has especially had a huge impact on jobsites. When a tech implementation plan involves the corporate office dictating tech down to the field, the result can be distrust in that technology’s value. How can an office worker know what a field worker needs? Implementation may be better achieved by enabling some autonomy in choosing from a few products, allowing space for creativity and innovation. Presented with a choice not only gives field workers input, but it also ensures consistency and provides a safety net to balance change against reckless autonomy.
A limited tech stack helps guard against the risk that can be inherent in tech adoption. Developers go out of business regularly, and having too many tools raises a company’s risk exposure. With a few chosen tools, your company can have a transition plan if one ceases to exist. Sometimes it’s helpful to ask, “What happens if we don’t use this?” If it will affect the amount of work you qualify for, then that is a prime motivator. Tech implementation often becomes a business decision.
To align the office and field and unite teams to get excited about the company’s tech stack, following are valuable actions:
- Clear, frequent communication with everyone in the company.
- Predictable cadence so everyone knows what, when, why, and how.
- Educate everyone involved about the tech being implemented.
- Enlist power users who will join others at their level to champion the implementation.
When you make the process of adding technology a collaborative one, with communication across the entire company, you will take the guesswork out of why the implementation is taking place and how it will affect each person’s job, their quality of life and improve their work experience.
Tune in to episode 217 of Bridging the Gap Podcast with guest KP Reddy, a published author and venture capital specialist, to hear more about autonomy, communication, consistency, and successful technology implementation in the construction industry.