HOW TO PREPARE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT FOR THE FUTURE
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
By Adrian Johansen
Nothing changes quite as fast as technology in the modern era. For construction site managers, advancements in technology can offer transparency, safety and coordination never before seen in the industry. But to take advantage of these benefits, managers must first prepare themselves for the future of management and what it means when coordinating construction and technology.
Evolving Tech and Construction Roles
As technology evolves, so too have the roles of construction management personnel. The blend of software solutions, wireless smart devices and communication procedures on the job is transforming what the day-to-day functions of construction management look like, and these transformations may give us a glimpse of what is to come in the future. Already, growth in the construction industry has pivoted towards roles that focus more on the management and technology aspects of the job. For example, project managers, machinery operators and installers are some of the fastest-growing career paths within construction. These roles increasingly depend on software systems and data communication for success.
Now, construction managers (CMs) have to learn and apply all-new skills in the course of managing sites effectively. Hard skills for CMs include agile software, data analysis and other technological know-how. Where previously these experts had to rely on in-person monitoring and strenuous coordination, now a set of powerful tools help guide the process.
The trade-off is that the new workflow requires a new and often technical set of skills that can create challenges for CMs. Without the opportunities to acquire and grow these skills, CMs will find themselves at a loss when it comes to managing both technology and people for ideal solutions on the construction site.
Making the most of evolving tech and construction roles takes preparation. To successfully manage industry trends for the future, you’ll need to double down on the technical aspects now.
How to Prepare Management for the Future
Fortunately, preparing construction managers for the future doesn’t have to be as complicated and arduous a process as it might seem. A thorough overview of the tools at your disposal and a plan for using them effectively can be enough to get you started down a more modern path.
The rewards will be construction management projects that flow effectively, keep workers safe and save money by reducing inefficiencies. To prepare for such a future, consider the following tips and tricks:
1. Gain an understanding of modern construction management tech.
The suite of tools and resources you have at your disposal in modern CM makes for boundless opportunities for advancement. Construction sites these days use tools ranging from hand-held laser measurement devices to blockchain systems that store and share information in a secure decentralized environment. For any CM, understanding these tools and how to use them can go a long way towards future success.
2. Keep up to date on technological developments.
But knowing only the tools of the day won’t help you prepare for the future. CMs have to stay current on their knowledge of construction technology and advancements. For example, construction exoskeletons are becoming more common and usable, bringing with them transformative implications for any construction site. By being aware of developments like these, CMs can prepare for greater success.
3. Build an open and inclusive communication style.
No amount of technical know-how is going to ensure a successful construction project, however. For that, you need excellent communication skills. Every good leader practices clear and inclusive communication that encourages team cohesion. As the workforce becomes increasingly integrated with robotics, ensuring that all team members are operating on the same page with the same goals in mind will continue to be of vital importance.
4. Apply software solutions.
There are too many variables across a construction project for any CM to rely on filing cabinets and sheets of paper. Instead, comprehensive software dashboards can help connect you with real-time information regarding your site. This can include read-outs from machinery or even Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that warn you and your workers if danger is present on the site, like fall hazards or electrical malfunctions. Finding and cultivating the right software tools for the job now are great ways to prepare for the future of construction management.
5. Invite feedback and employee engagement.
Finally, you’re bound to miss something in future-proofing your management style if you don’t take employee feedback into the equation. The input of the people you work with will be vital in applying and integrating modern technology with effective procedures. Keep an open-door policy and invite suggestions for how your management style can improve.
By applying these strategies on the job, you can cultivate a more forward-focused management style. This integrates all kinds of new tools and information to produce more efficient results. In the days of rising construction costs and commonplace construction accidents (nearly three per day), such insights are necessary when creating a safe and effective construction site.
Building a Better Management Style
Right now, the best thing you can do to future-proof your role as a construction manager is to build a better management style for the modern age. This means creating a suite of software and tech tools and cultivating an inclusive approach to management.
Understand the value of technology and people as you search for solutions to the pressing problems of the future, like where to automate. From there, you can keep accidents and risks on the job at a minimum while saving on all kinds of project costs. Consider these tips and begin preparing for a better future, today.