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Phil Russell
 |  December 03, 2019

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It's easy to get stuck in a "business as usual" routine, but the construction industry is seeing a lot of growth though through the adoption of innovative digital technology. Digital transformation, however, can take a bit quite a bit of work. That’s because digital transformation isn’t a typical IT purchase or upgrade but an ongoing process.

With that in mind, here are some tips that you can use to inspire digital change in your construction company:

Make it a team effort 

At most companies, technology decisions are made by IT administrators and distributed across the company.

Digital transformation, however, is much more comprehensive. It involves breaking down barriers between technical and non-technical workers. As such, close collaboration and communication is required for success.

All department heads and managers should therefore be brought together to discuss digital transformation, identify needs and goals, determine project leaders, and form a game plan. Don’t attempt to go it alone when implementing digital transformation. If you do, you will almost certainly encounter push back from employees and department heads along the way. And the point of implementing these changes isn't just to make your business more efficient, but to also allow your workers more options and connectivity between each other.

Focus on change — not outcomes

Another reason why construction companies tend to struggle with digital transformation is because the process is fundamentally different than that of construction. In other words, construction projects always come to an end with a finished structure. Digital transformation, however, is a process that is never complete. 

That might sound like a downside, but it's actually a benefit!

The end goal is not a finished product but rather a state of agility where the company is constantly collecting data, analyzing its processes, and looking for better ways of doing business. With digital transformation, you have to have a growth mindset. Not everything is going to be perfect, but that just means you can be flexible in how you deal with problems.

Target small wins

The phrase digital transformation always sound great around a boardroom table. But beyond that, the term can be vague and confusing. Digital transformation projects can drag on for months or years with limited results simply due to a lack of cohesion — and a lack of action.

For this reason, administrators are encouraged to start small with digital transformation. Set up “lighthouse” projects and assign teams to explore various departments, identify challenges, and experiment with digital projects.

Here is an example of what this might look like: A lighthouse team could meet with a site manager and ask for a complete rundown of how the department operates. Then, once the team has a clear understanding of every process and individual involved in the unit, they can drill down into potential areas of waste or inefficiency and identify possible ways of automating the process.

The key thing to remember is that implementing digital transformation into your company, while incredibly value, is not a quick process and you must take your time going through the proper steps to make your efforts worth the investment.


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