We’ve heard it many times: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Beginning at the design stage, construction projects can have a multitude of details, small to large, and you never know which one could bring your project to a screeching halt.

In order to prevent that from happening, someone has to be responsible for those thousands of details and be accountable for their successful completion. That’s where careful preconstruction practices can spotlight those critical details, help control outcomes and avert potential problems before the project even breaks ground.

When the project’s scope of work is coordinated by both the project owner and the contractor, better estimates of the schedule and cost can be developed. This can also help an owner decide in advance if the project is achievable, financially feasible, risky, or even too complicated.

The greatest benefit of preconstruction is when there is a common data platform for all of the activities on a job. This is far better than having a dozen applications at different stages of the project all pulling data from different locations and speaking a different data language, which runs the risk of data loss. Instead, with a common data platform, everything gets tied together in a single source of truth. And when that common platform functions in the cloud, it can be even better, especially for the sake of collaboration on a project. There are a lot of industry watchers out there who believe this scenario is the future of the construction industry.

When the stakeholders are involved in preconstruction decisions, the process can frame expectations and the specifics about the job. These expectations can ensure everyone involved is on the same page and referring to the most up-to-date information about the project.

Discussing project features in advance may also detect places where money can be saved or practices that might be used to achieve labor efficiencies. These opportunities for savings can be particularly useful in times of strong competition. Bids might be on a short turnaround, as well as the projects themselves, and time waits for no one. Slipping deadlines, once almost anticipated by everyone involved, will be tolerated less and less. Companies will be expected to be more efficient and have technical expertise moving into the future. The successful companies will be those that are most resilient in adapting to changing conditions.

The larger the construction project, the more likely there will still be unanticipated issues. But putting preconstruction practices into use will put you ahead of the curve, from saving money and economizing on labor to deciding responsibility, accountability, achievability, and expectations. When you add to those benefits the ability to avert problems, you can see how preconstruction planning and cooperation will enable you to be more resilient to deal with issues if or when they arise.

Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 78 with guest Zac Hays of Autodesk Construction Cloud 

Zac Hays, Director of Research and Development of Preconstruction Products for Autodesk Construction Solutions, joined me on episode 78 of Bridging the Gap podcast to talk about preconstruction, a single source of truth and the future of common data environments. Listen today!

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