Roll Out New Construction Software (without stressing out subcontractors.)

11 August 2020

How do you roll out new construction software successfully?

You’ve done the research, sat through product demos, and finally selected a new piece of construction tech or software to drive productivity and help reduce project costs. Congrats!

Now that you’ve cleared that first hurdle, it’s time to conquer the next; using your software on the job site, and getting your team to use and love it. Here’s how you can roll out new construction software so you can see a return on your investment.

It’s safe to say that implementing any new construction software, even straightforward, user-friendly tech like ours is never a walk in the park. Why? Because people can be resistant to change, especially when it interrupts their workday. 

Asking your team, managers, and subcontract workers to adopt new tech and processes can be an uphill battle. But if you set yourself up the right way, and introduce with clarity the what, why, and how regarding your new software, you can win over skeptics and even better, avoid all-out resentment. 

How do you successfully roll-out your new software, so your subcontractors welcome it with open arms?

First: You have new construction software. Now what?

Identify who will lead your administration. Find your champions.

Teamwork makes the dream work. I hate to sound like your 6th-grade basketball coach, but the over-used motivational saying holds up. 

When we think about where to start when rolling out new construction software type on the job site, identify who to partner with to make sure this solution takes off.

Start by looking at your team and identify who will manage and champion this new software. Who on your team is tech-savvy, knows that software will solve efficiency problems, and is excited about change? Who on your team is responsible for managing the work your new construction software will replace or enhance? Identify who, both within and outside of your organization, will work closest and use your new construction software the most. 

After you identify your group, select an administrator, or a team of administrators, who will be responsible for leading and managing all administrative and technical work for your new construction software.

Require and encourage that this person becomes well-versed in how the new software works. This person will be a point of contact, handling all administrative questions and concerns regarding your new construction tech on the job site. Identifying an administrative lead will save you time and money.

Here are a few action items your administrator will need to begin working on after familiarizing themselves with the product:

  1. Identify and build a list of users and their emails (who will be using this tech?)
  2. Plan, create and execute an internal team training
  3. Plan, organize and complete an external team training

Second: Introduce internal teams to your new construction software.

You or your administrator will need to communicate the implementation and use of new construction software with your internal employees.

This is an excellent opportunity to get those you work with excited about a digital transformation that will make their workdays better. 

Once employees complete training on how to use the new technology, ask them to share their experience and help one another out. This could be discussed in a meeting or through an anonymous survey. 

Educate those within your team on what the software is, why you’re using it, and who will be responsible. Get everyone excited about your new software and ensure everyone is adequately trained on how to use it. Ask employees to share their experience in both learning and using the latest software. Ask that they help out any employees they see struggling. 

Stress to your employees the purpose behind this software, what problems it solves, or how it provides a significant benefit. Explain to your team why you chose this software over others. 

When your team has a solid understanding of why you are using this, they can share the value with the rest of the group.

Third: Get your subcontractors, or any external partners, onboard with the new construction software

Communicate externally to those you work with who will be using your new software

This conversation can look very different on many construction sites, but the fundamentals should ultimately stay the same. 

Introduce your subcontractors and external partners to your new processes and software clearly and in a straightforward manner. Be direct in your communication, providing absolute clarity on the process and technology, the problem it solves, how to get started using it, and where to go with questions. 

An easy way to always be straightforward in your communication, whether in email or in-person, is to apply the popular military communication technique, BLUF or Bottom Line Up Front.

This transparent communication style allows for precision when communicating. Forget small talk, when introducing technology or new processes, avoid lengthy introductions and get straight to the point.

It might sound like it lacks the art of persuasion, but that’s a good thing.

The people you work with appreciate honesty and clarity.

Below is an example email that shows how you can introduce new technology to a subcontractor you work with:

Sample Email:

Hi Mark,

On our upcoming project, we will be utilizing a contractor management software, GoContractor.

This software ensures all workers are prequalified, trained, and compliant to be on the job site. This software allows us to ensure safer projects and avoid major delays.

Please have your workers sign up and register with our contractor management software using the link here.

Signing up is easy. Here is a link to FAQ’s should you or your workers run into any issues. Feel free to pass this along or bookmark this page.

I sent you a meeting invite for a live-streaming training on how to use our contractor management software next week. Please share this link with anyone who will be using the software. If you or your crew can’t make it, no worries. We will record this training, and I will send you and your team a link.  

Let me know if you have any questions.

Fourth: Create training 

How will your subcontractors learn?

No matter how tech-savvy each of us thinks we are, chances are training will be required for a deep understanding and, ultimately, successful adoption of any new construction software. 

Identify how you will host or roll out training of the new product, and how you can ensure that those who received training comprehend your new software. 

Holding a training event of some sort can give subcontractors peace of mind. Blindly using a product is never an enjoyable experience, so ensure that subcontractors receive training on your new construction software. Encourage subcontractors to ask questions. We’d encourage you to do this training through video on free meeting applications such as Zoom or Google meetings. This familiarizes subcontractors with using a smart device for work (something many may not do on an everyday basis) while also allowing you to record the meeting and send the meeting link of the recording to others who may have missed the training.

You can even use this recording of the training when onboarding new workers and introducing them to your new construction software. This will save you time down the line. 

Fifth: and final.

Get started, what are you waiting for?

Now that you know what you need for a successful roll-out of your new construction software, get to work! Use the checklist below to ensure you complete each suggestion in this article.

Effective Tech Roll-out In Four Easy Steps:

  1. Identify my team/champions, appoint an administrator
  2. Introduce to other employees, facilitate training
  3. Introduce to subcontractors, facilitate training
  4. Collect all necessary documents, information, and content required for the platform.

Your next step now is to ensure you have all of the items you need before the tech goes live.

If you are using GoContractor, for example, you may need to ensure your orientation content is up to date and uploaded to the platform. Make sure you’ve enabled any additional features, such as Daily Screening Checklists, and listed the certifications you may require. 

Once you have teams trained and an administrator identified, your final step is ensuring the product will be used. You can do this by holding those around you accountable. Set deadlines to encourage training is complete, and you can use this new construction software on the job site with little to no delays. Give your team a chance to feel familiar with the new construction software, but once comfort sets in, identify a deadline for implementation so you can see success!

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Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.

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