Learnings from Digital Construction Week 2019.

Hear from Sarah Crawford regarding how we can help the industry adopt tech more successfully.

Sat on the train home last night, I pondered my key takeaways from the 2019 Digital Construction Week. Having spoken to many people – doing varying roles across the construction industry – about everything from Chalkstring, digitisation and diversity to skills shortages and industry pain points, my highlight was the reaction from my presentation on how to introduce new technology successfully into a business.

It got me thinking.

Based on the responses from my audience, it’s really made me question how we can better educate the industry on how to implement and adopt technology successfully, so that companies can reap the benefits much faster.  I’m not convinced it’s being approached right at a high level – people seem to consider an implementation as ‘training’ and forget that by virtue of introducing technology, processes will often need to change. To me, training is simply one part of the implementation jigsaw.

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With full attendance, I asked the audience how many people were currently implementing software, of which only 4 of around 40 were doing – the rest were considering it. I then asked how many people thought of a software implementation as a ‘change project’ and only those who were currently implementing software put their hands up.

Telling, right?

Only 10% of my audience thought of software implementation as a ‘change project’

For me, as a Director responsible for supporting our clients adopt Chalkstring, it’s ALL about change. Think about it, a company has invested in software because they want to change – they want the benefit of the tech. And change is good, as it means they can improve working methods. It might sound a tad scary but in reality, if you have a good framework that focuses on people and process, you can easily get it right. And as a software vendor, we believe it’s our responsibility to help our clients get it right.

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Having seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to software implementation, my presentation focused on best practice techniques to help the industry approach it effectively.

I explored how can they bring their employees on the journey, after all they are the life blood of any business. Below is a short excerpt of the practical tips, I discussed in detail.

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From the process perspective, I explained the importance of management support throughout the whole implementation and shared experiences of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to project planning, internal communications and changing processes. Below are some key takeaways.

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In summary, I really recommend that those companies introducing technology consider their implementation as more than just training. Change really doesn’t need to be onerous if you ask the right questions, consider the right factors and plan it properly, covering both people and process. To me, these are the success factors for any business wanting to reap the benefits of tech.

If you’re thinking of implementing Chalkstring or any other tech and would like a chat, feel free to reach out.