One area of construction that is critical to project success is scheduling and project management. As we are on a journey to identify predictions for 2024 and beyond, let’s spend some time at the jobsite to identify some of the biggest trends to recognize what is to come next for the project team.
Here’s the reality. We all know technology can help make project sites more efficient and create greater opportunities for all, but is technology being used to the fullest? Unfortunately, the answer is often no, and we have multiple reports that point to this trend.
Consider the first example from Dodge Construction Network, which surveyed 210 U.S. construction companies in order to examine how contractors are gathering and analyzing site data and what factors influence their successes at leveraging it for performance improvement.
The research shows only 28% track their performance very closely and only 24% rate their company’s tracking capability as very good or excellent. About half report frequent data quality issues and that many also still use manual methods to gather and analyze performance data.
Perhaps this data isn’t a surprise to many, but the reality is if we can figure out how to use automated technology it will translate into better project performance. This is something many organizations need, as almost 90% of contractors surveyed report experiencing recent performance challenges.
One key point to consider here is the fact that there is a skills gap that exists. We see that only about half of the contractors using site data for project management or for performance measurement rate their company’s capability level at doing it as either high or very high. Ultimately, what we need is a skills enhancement in the industry.
This is corroborated in another recent report. Research from Planera shows 37% of respondents cited difficulties with finding employees with sufficient construction scheduling and planning experience. In addition, two out of three construction decision-makers said their current planning software is complex and challenging to use.
Further, only 38% of respondents said they believe they are sufficiently staffed to handle an influx of new construction projects but plan to hire ahead of a potential spike in demand.
Again, success in construction is often dependent on how projects are managed at the jobsite. Good planning, scheduling, and oversight are key to a project being on time and on budget. Technology can certainly help achieve these objectives, but only if the team is willing to rally around it.
As we move into 2024 and beyond, we need greater adoption of technology across projects—and we need the workers with the skills to implement the technology in a way that will be beneficial for all. How will your company respond as we head into the New Year?
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