Managing projects as we well know can be a difficult task for construction workers, as all aspects of the project must be considered and accounted for. Project management software can be used to make this process easier and can improve overall project outcomes.
The Australian construction industry is in the process of rapid digitisation. A recent report by StartUpAus suggests that Australia’s construction sector has been a leading adopter of technology for some time, most notably—cloud software.
The Australian construction industry is in the process of rapid digitisation.
Since subcontractors are responsible for the majority of the work done on construction projects, it is crucial companies learn how to get them to engage with project management software best. Especially as the industry continues to shift into digital ways of working.
There are often many challenges associated with getting subcontractors to use the software on site most efficiently: What if the owner, or general contractor, wants to require subs to use a particular project management software on the project? How secure and confidential is the new system and can the subcontractor keep confidential information from the wrong eyes?
Jobsite ANZ spoke with Adam D’Angelo, the Managing Director for Niche Projects, an Australian business specialising in design and construction projects. We discussed why using project management software is useful for construction workers, and how to encourage subcontractors to use project management software on site
Why Project Management Software is Useful to Construction
It can often assist construction workers to manage the complex set of processes and assets that make up construction projects.
“A good project management software package is essential to a successful construction business as the time, cost and quality deliverables are quite complex."
Construction project management requires keeping track of all information concerning a project and all costs that are incurred, often comprising timelines, contracting and material requirements, and compliance issues. This is a time-consuming process that can be difficult for managers, clients and subcontractors alike—most particularly subcontractors, who must get used to different software and project management requirements of the various job sites they work on.
“A good project management software package is essential to a successful construction business as the time, cost and quality deliverables are quite complex,” says D’Angelo. “Projects require a method of recording budgets and committed costs for both client and subcontractors; safety aspects; time factors, such as extensions of contract durations; and quality management of the end result, such as defect reporting and inspection and test plans.”
Encouraging Subcontractors to Use Project Management Software
While project management software can help manage construction projects and deliver optimal project outcomes successfully, convincing subcontractors of the benefits and encouraging them to use it on site can be a difficult task.
Subcontractors often have their own business processes as they work independently of general contractors. Thus emphasising the benefits of project management software is essential to encourage the adoption of a particular software into their business practices on site.
Informing subcontractors of the benefits project management software can have on client relationships is one way to inspire them to use it, After all, developing client relationships is a vital part of any subcontractor’s role.
Being able to back up claims of enhanced productivity and accuracy is a useful way to get all parties on the same page.
“[Informing subcontractors of the benefits] assists with communication and client reporting which is important for long-standing relationships and repeat business as clients look for consistency and transparency,” says D’Angelo.
Subcontractors may be sceptical about the use of technology in the construction space and how well this technology can improve productivity and project outcomes.
Establishing a dialogue with subcontractors and collecting information on how project management software is affecting the management of projects and project outcomes can go a long way in encouraging subcontractors to use such software.
Being able to back up claims of enhanced productivity and accuracy is a useful way to get all parties on the same page. As employees and subcontractors start to realise they have access to timely information at the right moment, collaboration and communication will enhance immediately.
Getting all the stakeholders on the job site on board with using project management software can be a feat. However, it allows subcontractors and construction managers to work better together and improve productivity and overall project outcomes.