Change Management: How to Implement Construction Software Effectively

Implementing construction software can be challenging and requires employee buy-in. Without it, you’ll end up with a shiny new software solution—that everyone finds ways to work around. That’s why using change management principles during software implementation is so important. 

Change management helps you focus on People, Processes and Technology (PPT) rather than hyperfocusing on the software alone. This makes it much more likely that the people in your organization will embrace the new construction management software and the workflow changes it brings.

In this article, we’ll focus heavily on the “People” part of change management. We’ll give you straightforward tips to help your teams get comfortable with new construction management software. So your company can successfully adopt it and scale to meet the ever-increasing data and scalability demands of modern construction projects.

Start earning buy-in during the software selection process

Laying the groundwork for successful software adoption starts during the software selection process

During the software selection phase, involve end-users and other important stakeholders in the decision-making process. Not only will you gain valuable insights into the pain points in your current workflows, but you’ll also begin to build a community around the upcoming change.

Involving stakeholders at this stage also helps manage expectations. As end-users help compare software solutions, they’ll begin to see what technologies can and can’t do. Moreover, they’ll be able to inform the organization on how long the construction software implementation process will take. 

This helps prevent unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment and frustration and allows for a smoother transition for users. 

Involving those who are affected by the change will create trust, build buy-in from the get-go and accelerate adoption. According to Gartner, involving employees in the selection and implementation process can speed up change by 33%.

Communicate well and often

Develop a communication plan. Clear and transparent communication is the cornerstone of building company-wide buy-in and helping stakeholders prepare for change. 

Here are a few avenues you can use to communicate with stakeholders about the change:

  • Group workshops
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Slack or Google Chat groups
  • Live Q&As
  • 1–1 conversations

In your communications, explain why you’re implementing the construction software. Emphasize its benefits to them personally and explain how it aligns with the company’s overarching goals and vision. Employees need to understand not only what the new software does but also why it’s being implemented and how it’ll impact their work. 

Ask questions to encourage feedback

True communication is a two-way street. So, when discussing the change, don’t just tell people about the change. Ask questions to encourage feedback and help employees take ownership of it. 

Ask questions like these to help them think deeply about the change and how it’ll impact them:

  • How will the new software change the way you work?
  • What new skills will you need to apply or learn to make software adoption possible?
  • How will the change affect your peers and how you work with them?

These questions encourage people to actively pursue information about the change rather than feeling bombarded by it. They can feel like they’re fully part of the onboarding process, as opposed to feeling out of control and automatically building up resistance to the change. 

Address resistance

Fear is a natural response to change. People often fear change at work because they worry they won’t be able to perform as well in a new environment. Instead of stopping employees from sharing their worries, encourage them to talk about them. This way, they can acknowledge their feelings and start thinking more logically about the situation.

Internal champions play a critical role in addressing resistance during construction software implementation. They’re part of the group most closely affected by the change, which gives them greater credibility and influence. They can empathize with apprehensions better, making them more effective in overcoming resistance. Additionally, they can provide proactive support and coaching as your organization rolls out new software, enabling a smoother onboarding flow.

By ensuring employees’ feelings and experiences are validated, you can help alleviate resistance and create a more supportive environment for adopting the new software. 

So, listen to concerns, address misconceptions and provide training and support.

Provide comprehensive training and support throughout the software implementation

Learning how to use new software can be intimidating for employees, especially if they’re accustomed to older systems—or pen and paper. To ensure that employees have the knowledge and skills they need to use the new software effectively, take advantage of your software vendor’s training programs. 

The best technology vendors understand that your construction teams can’t put their projects on hold just to learn new software. They’ll help you strike a balance between efficiently learning new software and maintaining your construction project timelines. 

Ongoing support is key during the transition phase and beyond to help employees navigate the new systems with confidence. Make sure to put check-ins in place for your team once onboarding has been completed. 

Leverage online resources and webinars provided by the vendor to continuously upskill your team. Rely on your internal champions to stay on top of product updates and changes that may impact your team.

RedTeam offers construction management solutions with superior support

Trusted by over 850,000 construction professionals, our construction management solutions are designed by experienced contractors, for contractors. Our solutions were created to help you tackle the everyday challenges of construction, from preconstruction to closeout.

We provide extensive training and support during onboarding and beyond to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your investment. You and your team can get help through ‌dedicated CSMs, live chat and phone support, training webinars with our dedicated specialists and virtual office hours.

To learn more about RedTeam’s solutions today, watch a free demo