Standardise as you go: The key to better and admin-free processes

Standardising the way you design, communicate, and eventually build is a valid option. Under one condition: you have to use digital tools that are tailored to construction and can seamlessly connect the site back to the office.

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Keeping track of what is happening on construction sites is challenging if you don’t have the right processes and tools to help you. The result?

  • Information overload and excessive admin workload.
  • Increased waiting time between tasks.
  • Non-conformities are discovered during handovers.
  • Never-ending disputes that put your project in danger.

It doesn’t take much to understand why standardisation has become such an important buzzword for the construction industry during the last couple of years. By investing in the element of repetition, project managers can regain control over their projects and mitigate risk.

Free ebook: Why WhatsApp and Excel aren’t enough for running complex construction projects

Now you might think that each construction project is a completely different universe and that standardising its processes is nearly impossible. But that is actually incorrect.

Regardless of their purpose or size, 80% of the processes in all projects are almost identical. So standardising the way you design, collaborate, and eventually build is a valid option. Under one condition: you use digital tools that are tailored to the construction industry and can seamlessly connect the site back to the office.

It’s the only way you can ensure that you see everything on site and give your teams the power to report critical issues in a single source of truth. Like that, all project stakeholders will stay on the same page and project managers won’t have to spend 40% of their time writing reports, making phone calls, or attending endless meetings.

This connection between the field and the boardroom will eventually pave the path for improved and repetitive processes. With the help of the collected data, project and site managers will be able to prevent mistakes before they appear or flag critical problems at an early stage.

But more importantly, they will be able to submit and receive updates with context. In other words, updates that are inextricably linked to the planning and instantly inform you about the impact of the new information on the development of the project activities.

Many project and site managers trust tools like WhatsApp, Excel, or email to communicate with their teams ending up lost in a sea of disconnected data with no indication as to whether their programme reflects reality.

This happens not because WhatsApp and Excel are bad tools but simply because they aren’t built for construction and are unable to bridge the gap between the office and the site.

Like that, administrative tasks quickly become a black hole that sucks most of a project manager’s productive time on a daily basis. This is why construction-specific tools matter and why building repetitively is a solid step towards more visibility, more control, and less admin.

How to standardise your construction processes

Now that we got an idea of why standardisation is part of construction’s new normal, let’s take a closer look at how you can actually start introducing repetitive processes into your projects.

Without further ado, here are the three things you need to keep in mind:

1. Connect your teams

First things first, you need to keep your teams connected at all times. To achieve this, you should consider construction-specific tools as your most valuable ally. By giving your teams the opportunity to directly report progress from the field, you accelerate the decision-making process and add more clarity to the day-to-day communication.

Read more: How to bring your construction schedule straight to the site

At the same time, you should be able to monitor progress with ease just by using one tool instead of juggling from one app to another. Simply put, as a project manager or site foreman, you need to rely on digital tools that are made for construction to construct a clear communication path for all project stakeholders.

This consistent connection between the office and the field is the first step for better understanding the pain points of your processes and will allow you to start collecting accurate data to improve your processes. So, long story short, before you get busy standardising, make sure that you lay the right foundations with a construction-specific digital solution.

2. Connect your data

Once you have implemented the right software, it’s time to take the next and most decisive step. It’s time to connect your data. By bringing all your information from the site together in a single source of truth, you can gain a unique overview of your processes and easily find where there is room for improvement.

This is, of course, a continuous process that will be evolving from project to project opening the way for iterations and more repeatability.

Data collection and analysis is one of the main obstacles to spreading standardisation across the construction industry. In a typical project, task updates are coming and going in different apps and spreadsheets leaving no room in the long term for tracing the roots behind problematic operational patterns.

And the problem becomes even bigger if we take into account that construction produces more data than almost any other industry around the globe. By putting all your attention into connecting your teams and the information you receive from the field, you gain a significant advantage against your competitors.

3. Invest in digital adoption

Last but not least, you should always remember that digital adoption is king. In that sense, you need to find the right tools and people who can convert what’s happening in the field, into something really digital.

In the beginning, you might encounter some resistance from a few stakeholders as there are always people who don’t like changing their working routine. This is where early adopters can really make a difference. It doesn’t have to be people who are digital experts. On the contrary, it should be people who work on site every day and understand the struggles of the different field teams.

Find also: How to increase the speed of response in your construction sites

These early adopters can be the digital adoption evangelists you need. It goes without saying, though, that to find these people you need to have the right tool. An intuitive yet easy-to-use tool that people on site can trust in order to collaborate with others better and more effectively.

So all in all, digital adoption is one thing all construction companies absolutely need to focus on. If you are not able to collect the data from the field, all your efforts will eventually go to waste.

See where you stand and start standardising your processes!

Improving and standardising your construction processes is a challenging but very rewarding journey. In an attempt to help you, we have put together a detailed guide that shows step by step how you can see more in your projects, design repetitive and data-driven processes, deliver sooner, and many more.

It’s completely free and you can download it here:download whatsapp ebook

Topics: Project management
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