Construction Owners need to focus more on construction and less on IT. Getting the IT processes right can accelerate the design and construction processes. However, carefully evaluating the available Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) and choosing the best solution for your business is only half the battle won. The other half of the puzzle is navigating the implementation phase, which turns out to be a big roadblock for most owners and general contractors.
Like any other enterprise software solution, implementing PMIS can sometimes be quite a complex undertaking for a construction organization. Some of the most notable reasons that make implementation daunting include – resistance to change, reorganization, leadership changes, office relocation, employee turnover, and decision-makers not being empowered or present.
If you look carefully, you will find that none of these common challenges are related to technology. So, even if you are meticulous in planning and selecting the best technology platform, there is still a high possibility of failing to implement a successful PMIS. But the good news is that most of the issues faced during PMIS implementations can be resolved through proper change management and project management. What do we mean by that? Let’s take a look.
Here are some of the most valuable lessons we learned after years of PMIS implementations.
1. Don’t Wait to Choose Value
Break up the functionality into small work packages to pilot and go live. We know from several studies that waiting a year to go live with software is never a good idea. During that time, organizations and project teams will experience many changes that may delay the project – re-organizations, turnovers and re-prioritizations. Consider going live with some functionality instead of waiting until the entire software is configured. Having quick wins in adopting some of the software will lead to your organization getting some value throughout the implementation, allowing for less implementation fatigue, and higher adopt
2. Training, Adoption, and Change Management are the Hardest
Your software consultants can configure the system based on requirements, instruct you on its limitations, and produce a working package for your business, but that means nothing if the end-users never actually use the software. The most difficult part of any implementation is not white boarding sessions in windowless war rooms or designing and configuring system requirements; instead it’s about getting the end users to use the system that your organization has invested (or will invest) a lot of money and hours into. Consider investing in a robust training program and adoption support to allow for smoother transitions. If the end-users cannot get quick assistance when performing their tasks, they will likely revert to the old systems and processes
3. Document the Important Stuff
Today there are many streams of thought when it comes to documenting the requirements. Those in the AGILE camp would say that documentation is like an encyclopedia – documents get outdated as soon as they are printed. Those from traditional waterfall methodologies would say that documentation keeps everyone accountable and ensures that the documented requirements are approved. Both are right, but don’t let documentation slow down your implementation. Document the critical things – decisions made, opportunities for improvement in the future, and business processes or standard operating procedures (SOPs). When you are audited or a new employee joins, you won’t want to hand them a bunch of technical specification requirements. Your organization will need something functional to show employees and staff how business is done for your department or organization.
4. Get All the Help You Can
In the age of “YouTube® University” many believe that they can learn anything, including how to lead enterprise-wide digital transformation efforts from blogs, like this one. Additionally, for many project teams, software implementations are the side jobs in addition to their regular day jobs. Consider adding technology experts to your team who have implemented the software that you have chosen. You can lend their expertise to pre-plan, test, and execute the implementation process without facing common obstacles.
We hope the above lessons will help you move forward in your PMIS journey. To understand how OnIndus can help your team successfully implement the right PMIS solution and adopt smart design and construction practices, contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us directly at +1 786 472 4840.