A lot has changed in the past ten years in the construction industry. Productivity, careers and tech adoption continue to evolve in response to market demand.
One of things that continues to develop is the symbiotic relationship between construction and manufacturing. This is not only causing a shift in construction processes, it’s resulting in new careers that didn’t exist a few decades ago, as well as influencing future careers.
Over the next ten years, new roles will coalesce and further specialize. The job you ultimately want to perform may not even exist today. However, if you have a passion about something, envision how you might match that to a business theme. Look for opportunities in your organization to insert that skill into current operations. Perhaps put forth more effort than just doing your current job and take the initiative to make it part of your organization.
Construction is changing so much, and new and different job functions are coming. For company leadership, it’s more important than ever to develop a strategy for future operations.
This might involve developing standards for the way the company does business. Standards should be organized and communicated to obtain buy-in company-wide. Let people know the reasons why changes are being made.
To bring energy to the process, write down action items and track progress. Plan projects early on, leverage your strategy, get feedback, then make changes and updates to the strategy for future jobs.
One strategy may be around data. Companies should be aware of the throughput required to be profitable, and that requires data. In construction, investment into processes to yield profit is often difficult, because companies typically don’t have the margins needed to make investment into new workflows. Nevertheless, it still needs to be done.
Processes rapidly gaining momentum are industrialized construction and productization, the result of construction gleaning lessons from manufacturing. This includes leveraging lean process management, the gist of which is to make small continuous improvements in processes on a long-term basis. Although there may be resistance in construction circles to manufacturing type processes, lean methods work regardless of what they are called.
If your company is on a journey to productization, you should:
- Get started with one standard you want to deploy.
- Go through the implementation so you can figure out how you want to organize adding future standards.
- Keep track of insights you can use for the next steps.
- Add additional standards.
Understanding change across an organization gives insight into how that change impacts everyone. If the value proposition isn’t linked to a particular person’s work directly, they will have a difficult time buying in. When new processes have value for all stakeholders, they can relate from an individual perspective. And when it goes further and enables people to move into jobs they are passionate about, it can be a win-win situation.
In episode 191 of Bridging the Gap Podcast, guest CJ Best as discusses changes in construction, the career potential in the AEC industry and how to forge your own path toward doing what you’re passionate about.