“This is the way we’ve always done it.” If you’re involved in the construction industry, you’ve probably heard this many times.
When things are working for a construction company, there isn’t much motivation to change. Competition and survival are two incentives to change mindsets and alter workflows. They just need to learn about their options.
Not every technology is appropriate for every company. Some companies are earlier adopters of innovation because they want that competitive edge. Every company looks at technology using a different set of criteria, and sometimes a name can affect their perception of an innovation.
As technology changes, the world describes new innovations a certain way that may not resonate with companies that could potentially use it.
Augmented reality is an example. The name “augmented reality” sounds like a toy. In practical terms, it is project visualization. It also has a project management component. These are the practical descriptions of augmented reality, and they sound less like a toy and more like technology to be used on a construction project. When you’re looking to implement technology, call it something that makes sense to you and your team.
With certain technologies, like virtual or augmented reality (visualization), the number of trips to a jobsite can be decreased. When you have a question about the job, you don’t have to go there, you just need to loop in the right person who can answer that question using visualization. There are opportunities people might not be aware of for making tech practical, for instance saving time and reducing rework.
It is important to be intentional with implementing innovations. Your job in implementation will be easier when you make teams aware of the tech. This gives them a chance to try it, get excited about the transition and stick with it. User feedback and research are important.
Often when schedule pressures are on there is the temptation to go back to “the way we’ve always done it.” Sometimes it’s just plain easier and faster to do that in the short term. However, the ultimate goal is to change behavior for the long term good of the company.
Tech on mobile devices is a game changer for construction. Nearly everyone already carries around a mobile device all day long, including on the jobsite. Even the staunchest resisters of change have learned to use a cell phone. This is technology that a vast majority of people – on and off the jobsite – are already accustomed to. It’s easier to implement tech using delivery methods that people are already used to. In this example, you don’t even have to change people’s workflows. The implementation is easier when you can adapt the tech to their existing workflows. It enables adoption to happen faster and makes it more likely the adopters to stick with it.
Tune in to episode 139 of Bridging the Gap Podcast to hear from Maret Thatcher about being intentional while making it easier for teams to implement technology innovations.