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Combining New Technology with Old-Fashioned Project Management

January 10, 2019

Filed Under: Technology

It’s no surprise that introducing new technology can help a construction business bring efficiency to its processes. After all, one of our first blog posts was about an app that helped us do just that. However, you don’t want to lose sight of the traditional methods that have gotten you where you are. Gray & Son’s roots stretch back more than 100 years thanks to our ability to stay true to our roots while growing as needed.

So while we’ve upgraded our technology, we’ve also continued to focus on making our project management communication and organization better for well-rounded improvements. Here are some of the ways Gray & Son has integrated new technology into project management to get work done better and more efficiently.

Increase Communication through New Tools

Communication will always be at the heart of project management. It’s important for all parties involved to stay connected throughout a project to be aware of goals, changes, timelines and plans. Technology has absolutely taken this connection to the next level, as our article on Field Manager demonstrates. With tablets and smartphones plus remote access to networks, it’s easier than ever to get the information needed. Upgrades to our internal file structure and internet accessibility in the filed have also allowed our team members in the field to pull files and answer questions more quickly and more accurately.

Keep Training at the Forefront

As we’ve implemented new technologies and updated our processes and communications through them, it’s been very important to provide training. You can’t expect your employees to change without teaching them how to use the new tools at the heart of these changes. From basic classes on Microsoft Office, including Outlook and Excel, to individual training on the tools each employee needs to be proficient in, we’ve made sure this was part of our planned technology upgrades.

Improve Scheduling with Greater Transparency

With increased access to project documentation and planning, you get greater transparency into a project by all involved. We’ve combined this perk with regularly scheduled meetings to improve our project scheduling and make it even clearer who is responsible for each part of a project. We create and share flow charts with our entire team in these internal meetings, which helps us come up with new ways to be more efficient and allows us to hand off a project from project manager to foreman and crew seamlessly.

Close the Loop and Look for Opportunities for Improvement

All of this has made us more strategic, helped us come up with better processes and improved buy-in from everyone working on a project. Because of this, we’ve seen great improvement in a number of areas, particularly in our ability to bill quickly and accurately for our work. We’re able to close out our projects with a full picture of what went well, what could use improvement and how we can mitigate any future issues.

The bottom line is this: it doesn’t cost a lot of money to pay attention to the basics of good project management like organization and communication. And when you combine that with the benefits we’re seeing from implementing new technology in different areas of our business, we’re able to do what we already do well even better. With the increased complexity of many construction projects these days, this has helped us make potentially risky jobs successful by getting back to the basics while still modernizing how we work.