The construction industry is constantly evolving, whether it is new ways to build, better equipment and technology, new approaches to resource management or construction project management, or an increase in the complexity of projects. This industry evolution has made collaborative efforts increasingly important to project success, leading to a surge in collaborative construction software.
The goal of high-level collaboration regarding construction resource management and workforce planning is ultimately to increase project productivity, but it’s easier said than done. Improving collaboration within a construction company requires increasing transparency in decision-making, building trust and buy-in with relevant stakeholders, and coordinating efforts to improve productivity.
With the effort and buy-in required to achieve high-level collaboration for construction, the question quickly becomes – is it worth it? Will there be a tangible improvement in our productivity? In a recent Dodge Data and Analytics study, 91% of contractors agreed that increased collaboration helps mitigate project risks, which can help improve a construction project’s bottom line.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the benefits of collaborative workforce planning to help paint a clearer picture of whether or not your organization should undertake the steps to improve your collaborative efforts.
The benefits of collaborative resource planning
While collaborative workforce planning aims to increase the likelihood of project success, that overarching goal can be divided into several smaller benefits that can help improve efficiency and productivity. Some of the top benefits of a collaborative workforce plan are:
Reduce the workforce planning pressure
When the work required for effective resource planning is assigned to an individual, the pressures of maintaining and consolidating accurate, relevant data can become a major pain point, especially if their data is being housed in a series of spreadsheets. Often, a single team member spends countless hours each week simply preparing their workforce data and reports. Inviting your team to collaborate in this process helps alleviate the pressure on that individual and allows them to spend that time on more productive tasks. This article from the Harvard Business Review explores the idea of collaborative leadership.
New methods of problem-solving
You’ve likely chosen your construction operations team based on their experience, knowledge, and expertise. Inviting your team members with different points of view to collaborate in the workforce planning process will help uncover new problem-solving methods when allocating resources and minimizing project risk. Keeping your team updated on new projects, utilization rates, allocation issues, and potential project changes can help stimulate new conversations about how organizational and project challenges can be resolved.
When your team is asked to collaborate and contribute to workforce planning, team members can observe your problem-solving and decision-making process. This allows them to learn new skills from each other regarding how your organization utilizes data to build strong project teams, balance workloads, and prioritize projects.
More productive meetings
A lot of time in workforce planning meetings is used to update the team on active, high-priority, and upcoming construction projects. Enabling team collaboration for workforce planning typically means increasing the transparency of your workforce plan. This transparency will result in proactive information sharing during meetings and less time getting everyone on the same page.
Bridgit Bench, our cloud-based workforce intelligence solution, can also be used as collaboration software for remote workforce meetings. Bridgit Bench is highly visual, perfect for screen sharing, and allows as many users as possible to help improve collaborative efforts.
Improved company culture
Inviting your team to collaborate and contribute to your workforce planning shows your team that you value their unique expertise and input. When your team feels valued in the workplace, it can help build a positive work environment that team members want to be a part of. It increases retention and makes your organization more desirable to work for when recruiting new team members. Read this article for tips on creating a data-driven culture and getting the most out of your construction management software.
Breaking down silos
Having your team collaborate on resource management lets them see how different teams and departments connect to your projects. This holistic view of your project pipeline and resource allocation strategy helps your departments communicate with each other and understand every team’s impact on larger project goals.
Improve your team’s flexibility
Collaborative workforce planning helps to improve your team’s ability to manage sudden changes in project scope. Teamwork helps general contractors better adapt their workforce strategy to the dynamic nature of the construction industry.
Better alignment with project stakeholders
Collaborating on your workforce planning helps to align your team on the resource decisions being made and why those decisions are being made. Having a clear understanding and participation in the decision-making process helps ensure that all stakeholders have their voices heard and are on the same page regarding the resource allocation strategy beyond their scope of work.
The benefits of a collaborative workforce planning process are plenty, but enabling collaboration can be incredibly difficult depending on the tools used for resource management and workforce planning. Increasing transparency can also mean putting your data and strategic plans at risk of unwanted changes, especially if workforce planning is managed with spreadsheets and whiteboards that lack controls for file sharing.
Construction resource management tools like Bridgit Bench help to relieve the concerns of increasing transparency to enable collaboration. Users can create customized permission groups that allow for full-team access to workforce data but limit the impact that your team can have (including a view-only option). If you’re interested, check out this article to learn more about how to get your team involved in the workforce planning process.
Bridgit Bench is the leading resource management and workforce planning tool for construction because it was built specifically for the industry. It enables collaborative workforce planning through controlled organizational transparency and encourages general contractors to invite as many users to use the tool as they see fit. Bridgit Bench also integrates with popular construction management software and project management tools to help ensure the accuracy and seamless flow of information across your organization. Key features include project and people Gantt views, utilization reporting, smart allocation suggestions, a mobile app, and strategic insight into upcoming project demand.