The digital age is here and thriving; technology is now well integrated into both our work and daily lives. Even in the construction industry, the use of digital tools has radically changed the way people work with each other and complete projects.
Teams are able to share data online, allowing everyone to see the information they need whenever, wherever and across various devices. These have of course brought about major benefits in the industry. However, the integration of this technology with construction is still somewhat new.
So what can teams do to help with this integration and increase proper collaboration with each other? That is what we will be discussing in this article. Here are 5 tips that will help you when you are using digital technology in construction.
Integrate your data, place it in a common online space
The first thing you should do is to put all of your information in one common space or a “common data environment” (CDE).
By keeping all the information in one shared space, you make it easier for all the concerned parties to access the information they need and understand the big picture. This space could be in the form of a server, a free online program or a cloud service.
A CDE should hold all project data, from drawings to specifications and schedules. Access is moderated by a predetermined admin.
Keep information accessible
It sounds simple, yet project teams that are working across different locations need to use a tool that allows them to access the information about the project wherever they may be.
Time is crucial factor, you cannot expect every team member to go back to an office every time they need new information or they need to update information. That would cause too many delays. You need to take an inclusive approach, allowing appropriate information to be accessible to all team members.
Establish and enforce proper protocols
Protocol is crucial when you have a team collaborating with each other on a project digitally. Simple things such as file naming, folder structures, upload locations, file format types and access permissions need to be discussed among the team and enforced throughout the duration of the project.
Enforcing these protocols may be challenging; however, it enables people to find and use the right documents quickly and ensures a smooth work-flow. Proper access protocols also prevent data theft and misuse.
Build talent and teach your team members
When working digitally, an organisation must have a strong team of IT experts. They are the backbone of a company’s digital platform and help make sure that everything runs smoothly. It is important to have competent IT members in your team. You should also consider teaching your team members more about the digital platforms they use in work, so that they can better use it. Having a digitally savvy workforce goes a long way, especially in this day and age.
Communicate with each other
Finally, the most important point we need to mention is the necessity of communication between team members. Communication is key to a smooth operation in a digital environment, especially when team members are working remotely. We must remember that it is people who drive projects forward and if team members cannot communicate effectively then the entire project may grind to a halt. Communication between members can be through face-to-face meetings, telephone/video conferencing, emails, instant messaging and similar communication technologies.