If 2020 was the year of disruption, 2021 is quickly becoming the year of adapting and pushing through new challenges. One of the best ways to adapt to sudden change is to acknowledge the new problems facing your organization, and then taking the time to evaluate any processes that have been impacted.
Let’s look at resource management as an example. The disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is causing operations teams to re-evaluate how they utilize their workforce to ensure they’re getting the most out of their project teams. On top of that, operations teams are also looking internally at their own processes to identify and eliminate inefficiencies.
Simply put, as the construction industry prepares for a longer-than-expected road to recovery, organizations are looking for ways to be more efficient – and more effective – with planning their resources.
Efficiency and effectiveness.
In this post we’re going to explore those two ideas in relation to resource management and provide a few top tips that you can use to ensure you’re getting the most out of your operations and project teams.
Use construction resource planning software
Construction tech has come a long way in recent years. Point solutions for every process in the project lifecycle are being created and it’s almost guaranteed that every inbox in your organization is being flooded with sales emails for the next big thing in construction tech.
So where should you start? When evaluating your different processes and their respective software solutions, be sure to look at each process from a bird’s eye view to get a sense of the impact each process has on another. The reason we’re focusing on workforce management for this article is because it’s a foundational process and not department specific. Your people are your most important (and costly) resource and most core processes are dependent on the availability of those people.
Construction resource management tools, like Bridgit Bench, are also designed to have an impact on both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the resource planning process. Let’s break those down:
Construction workforce management software can help streamline the planning process by eliminating the tedious manual data entry and maintenance that go hand-in-hand with spreadsheets. They can also help to surface valuable decision-making information in an instant.
Workforce management software can also help to quickly identify the best-fit team member for any given construction project role. For example, when adding a team member to a project, Bridgit Bench will sort your team by title and availability to help you quickly allocate your workforce. You can even take it one step further and apply additional filters for experience, skills, and team members from a specific region or office.
As mentioned earlier, construction workforce management tools can help to identify and allocate the best-fit team member to any given project. However, effective workforce management runs a lot deeper than ensuring you have the right person on the right job at the right time.
Construction workforce management tools will also provide insight into your workforce utilization rates. By using utilization rates to your advantage, you can optimize your capacity planning to identify team members that can take on more work.
On the flip side, you can also identify when your team will be spread too thin to help avoid the risk of burning out your team. Everyone wants to get the most out of their people, but overworking your team can also lead to dips in productivity and overall quality of work. For more information about capacity planning, read this article.
Utilization rates also help your organization to be more forward-looking and strategic in terms of the projects you intend to pursue. If you have the resources needed, you can pursue projects more aggressively. If not, your HR team will have enough notice to make an informed recruitment strategy. For more information about utilization, read this article.
2. Increase organizational transparency
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your resource management, it’s crucial for your team to be pulling in the same direction. Improving the transparency of your resource strategy can help to:
Optimize your resource planning process
Drive planning efficiency
Keep your team engaged with their work
Uncover new methods of problem solving
Identify leaders within your team
Creating a culture where your team is aware of the decisions being made and how decisions are being made allows for open discussions about potential risks. Clearly communicating high priority tasks will also help your team manage the resources needed to get the job done.
How do you increase transparency? Centralizing your workforce and project data is the first step to ensure everyone is on the same page. The second step is giving your team access to that data. Resource management solutions, like Bridgit Bench, help to consolidate your project and field operations and give leadership full control over the level of access by creating custom permission groups for every work team. Read this case study to see how one of our clients has improved their organizational transparency.
3. Put your people first
Your people are your most valuable asset. Resource management is as much about human relations as it is about business strategy. Take some time to get to know the people you’re allocating to projects and find out:
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Do they seek out opportunities for career development?
Do they really like/dislike performing specific tasks?
This information can be used to build stronger project teams and also provides insight into team members that would appreciate career-building opportunities. By putting your people first you’re having a direct impact on your team’s engagement and motivation. The more engaged and motivated your team is, the more likely they are to stay with your company for the long haul. In fact, LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report suggests that 93% of employees will stay at a company longer if it’s engaged in their career development.
Bridgit Bench allows for complete customization when it comes to tracking your people. Users can create custom fields to track employee performance, experience, skills, or any field that helps better understand their resources. For more information about resource management, check out our Ultimate Guide to Construction Resource Management.
Michel Richer is the Product Marketing and Content Manager at Bridgit. He got his start in the construction industry at an early age with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, inefficient processes. Connect with Michel on LinkedIn.