A Guide on How to Leverage Technology for Efficient Project Closeout
Incorporating technology into your project closeout process isn't just a matter of savings; it's a strategic move to streamline operations, reduce errors, and enhance client satisfaction.
According to the study published by McKinsey, Global AEC tech grew to $50 billion from 2020 to 2022 which is 85% higher than the previous three years. The shortage of skilled workforce in construction has prompted this growth in the construction technology adoption in the construction industry. So, leveraging technology at all stages of construction is the future of construction, and the closeout phase should be no different.
According to a recent survey from Autodesk and Dodge Data & Analytics, 69% of general contractors have reported having trouble getting off the project on at least 25% of their projects. The closeout process is also complex, time-consuming, and laden with paperwork, but these are the perfect scenarios where leveraging technology is a clear choice.
Here are a few steps that can be adopted to leverage technology to achieve efficient and effective project closeouts.
Step 1: Assess Your Needs and Challenges
Before diving into choosing the technology solutions, start by identifying the team’s specific needs and challenges in the project closeout process. It is important to consider all the stakeholder's requirements right from the contractors to the building owner to the building Maintenance team. This initial assessment and requirements will enable you to choose the right platform and have better buy-in from all the team members.
Step 2: Choose the Right Technology Solution
Now that you know what you need, it's time to explore technology solutions designed to simplify project closeout and address all your requirements. Some of the features such as:
Integration: Compatibility with existing project management or construction management systems is essential as this enables you to avoid additional steps that you have already documented in the project management system during the construction phase.
Document Tracking: The ability to track closeout items and their statuses in real-time gives you an edge and avoids managing one other Excel log.
Process Automation: The ability to automate the workflows and processes is one of the most important points to be considered when choosing the right solution. This feature enables the project team to reduce and save hours of manual tasks.
User Interface: A well-designed, easy-to-use UI/UX is vital as it makes it easy for users of varying technical expertise to learn and adopt the system.
Data Organization: A centralized repository for closeout data which is flexible to be modified to the needs of the project makes the solution more viable for use.
Step 3: Create a Rollout Plan for the Organization
Creating and implementing a well-thought-out rollout plan for the implementation of technology is crucial for the success of the solution. The rollout plan should include a few of the items below.
Objective of the technology being implemented.
Create a team to champion the objective.
The approach to the rollout
User training and support
Evaluation and feedback process
Step 4: Establish Workflows
Define and configure workflows specific to the project within the technology platform. These workflows will automate processes such as document requests, approvals, and notifications, reducing manual intervention, delays, and bottlenecks. Clear workflows promote clear communication and collaboration among the team members.
Step 5: Progress Tracking with Dashboards and Analytics
Leverage reporting and analytics tools to keep track of closeout progress. These insights can help the team identify bottlenecks and problems in the process. This also allows the stakeholders to make informed decisions promptly, keeping the process on track. The analytics and reporting module helps all the stakeholders be accountable and responsible for the health of the process.
Step 6: Client Engagement
The closeout process is significantly important for building owners, as it serves as the foundation for ensuring seamless building operations and maintenance over the entire project lifecycle. So, getting a buy-in from the client in the solution is crucial.
· Educate and engage building owners or clients in the technology's benefits.
· Demonstrate how the implementation of the solution can help improve or assist in their current facility management process.
Step 7: Continuous Improvement
Implementing technology in your construction project closeout process is not a one-and-done endeavor. Actively seek feedback from Project Engineers, Project managers, and superintendents to building owners and subcontractors. Identifying the pain points and providing suggestions for improvement to your technology partner is invaluable. Sharing success stories of improvements or efficiencies encourages a culture of learning and continuous improvement within the organization.
Conclusion: Embrace the Future of Project Closeout
Incorporating technology into your project closeout process isn't just a matter of savings; it's a strategic move to streamline operations, reduce errors, and enhance client satisfaction. By following this guide and embracing the power of technology, you'll be better equipped to achieve efficient and impressive project closeouts, positioning your construction projects for success in the current age fueled by construction tech.
Closing Thoughts: As you embark on your journey to digitize project closeout, explore technology providers, and consult experts in the field. By consistently leveraging technology, you'll transform a traditionally cumbersome process into a streamlined, efficient, and rewarding experience for all stakeholders involved.