Digital Transformation at the Supervision Level for Electrical Contractors
Digital technologies represent a powerful construction industry opportunity for process and performance improvements. However, successful selection and deployment of software depends upon several key factors, some of which may not be immediately obvious to practitioners of construction management. For example, timekeeping is a common area of construction workflow automation. In many cases, it is still managed using paper timecards. Timekeeping has been shown to deliver significant value and efficiency gains to organizations that adopt a digital solution.
Timekeeping is an important process, with limited capacity for latency in data processing and significant downstream impacts in the event of errors or omissions. While there are numerous solutions that automate this process, the process itself must be carefully assessed to assure that the technology selection supports current and future workflow requirements. The technology deployment process can be as important as the selection process in achieving long-term success.
Automation of construction workflows requires internal change management across the construction system. Process changes must be managed synchronously, with upstream and downstream impacts clearly understood by all parties. Managing change in these functional systems is uncommon in construction companies, where software solutions may have been in place for extended periods of time, and high levels of familiarity and comfort with extant processes have developed.
A key criterion for successful technology selection and deployment – as identified during this study – is the creation of a formal approach to innovation deployment and the management of change associated with technology. This process must be undertaken prior to, and during, the technology selection to ensure that both the form and function of the technology and the anticipated changes are mutually supportive. This process of validation and ongoing self-checking is outlined in this study and serves as an outline for other firms seeking to formalize their internal processes to change management associated with technology deployment.
The challenges of digitizing timekeeping should not be underestimated. Successful implementation requires significant organizational commitment. This study includes outcomes from a contractor who successfully deployed a digital timekeeping solution and achieved significant process improvements and time savings.