The Path to Tech Adoption Success in Construction

The Path to Tech Adoption Success in Construction

Overcoming future tech fatigue means instilling processes that help ensure internal buy-in

September 22, 2022

9 min read


Edward Gonzalez

Edward Gonzalez

Founder at Buildr

Last time we looked at three different strategies to push past tech fatigue as a general contractor inundated with tech solutions for every conceivable problem in construction.

Here's just a little refresher: The first strategy was sitting down solo, as a team, or as an organization and determining your company pain-points (and the priorities between those pain-points). The second was giving your team members some sort of incentive to actually desire to adopt the tech. The third was ensuring that the tech's implementation would be short while also exhaustive—a potentially tall ask but one that prove's a tech company's weight in customer success.

Now we'll look at a few more strategies you can add to your repertoire when it comes to not only pushing past tech fatigue but making sure that the tech you do adopt to aid your pain-points is worth the time and money you invest.

1: Wear the Power User hat

Wear it, or place it on the head of someone else that you entrust.

No tech solution has ever succeeded at an organization without a champion. Once you've decided to apply a certain technology to your company's processes, be sure that you become the company’s expert on it. If you already have too much on your plate to know a tech inside and out, an alternative is to delegate someone else to be what is sometimes referred to as a "Power User."

The Power User is generally the person at a company who is most familiar with both the pain-point and the piece of tech being adopted. They've sought out solutions and decided on the best one. They've emotionally bought in, and have a pride in making sure the tech succeeds.

We've covered this subject in the past, but occasionally one's role at a construction company is specifically to seek out tech and become that tech's champion.

Learn the piece of tech inside and out. While you may not be qualified to answer the hardest internal questions—that’s what the tech's customer success team is for—you can and should be able to help steer your team to support.

Aside from being your company's internal point-person who can act as the tech's ambassador for solvable troubleshooting, you also want your other team members to see that you're using it, not struggling with it, and benefiting from it. If you stand behind the product, it is critical that you use it and like it yourself.

Be sure, too, that you run your own internal implementation and learning sessions with your team as needed. Even after the piece of tech's customer success team has conducted whatever their implementation plan is, you want to take the next step in ensuring that every person on your team that should be using it is using it and using it well. That often means hosting internal implementation and learning sessions until every person on the team seems to get it. Again, that is a cost investment as well as a time investment, but it generally puts your business in a better place to achieve adoption success.

Don't worry, every member of your team doesn't need to be on the "Power User" level of acclimation. Enough to get by is what matters, so long as nobody is so estranged that they fall off from ever bothering to use it.

2: Consolidate solutions when you can

While adopting new technology is an important step, it is easy to become overwhelmed with too many “things.” One of the best ways around this is to simply consolidate any technology that you can.

It is often possible to do this with technology that does not always seem to fit because it comes from different providers. The chances are good that a software company is going to have a solution for you if it means keeping your business.

Always see in the vetting stage if you can implement one type of software solution to do the work of two or more pain-points. When you do this, it becomes easy enough to reduce tech fatigue because there are fewer components to use and implement.

While making this decision, consider looking at a product from a holistic viewpoint. What different ways can you improve the technology you have now? What is the big, long-term picture for adopting new tech? Doing this allows you to see how one solution could solve many of your needs. Always ask the tech company what their roadmap looks like. Is one of your lower-tier pain-points eventually going to be addressed?

3. Become a thought leader

This one's extra credit. If you're such a power user of a piece of tech that you fully know it inside and out—including knowing answers to any various difficult potential questions that normally only that tech's customer success team could possibly answer—you could theoretically move your entire career, or a section of your career, into being an ambassador for that tech.

This thought leadership could be fully internal; we've heard of folks at general contractors that are "The CRM person," or "The Procore person," for instance, and their full-time job is executing the success of that tech at the company. In a way, they're like that tech company's plant who works on-site at the individual general contractor. Obviously, this is a dream scenario for most tech companies because it ensures continued business on top of taking some customer success effort off of their plate.

Another version of the thought leader of a certain tech is a sort of hybrid approach where they are both the internal champion at their company as well as a public-facing figure for it. What exactly this looks like differs tremendously based on personality. It could be that you are an influencer on social media or you speak at conferences on behalf of the tech company. It could also be that you have a side-hustle where you contract for other companies to help them find their own success.

The side-hustle version of course implies what you've probably guessed is yet another version of the thought leader, which is a person who decides to leave their post at the general contractor to be a full-time advocate for a certain piece of tech. They usually either work for themselves as full-time consultants or they're hired directly at the tech company as part of their customer success team.

Continued successful tech adoption

As a business professional, whether you're a senior team member, executive, owner or another stakeholder, it's important to know how to support your team as they work to adapt to new solutions and keep up with the times. You may see the need for support in other areas of your business too. Examples may be an internal promotion or hire that gets some feathers ruffled, or you may experience instances in which your team isn’t communicating well because of a new partnership or project that is a bit out of your company's comfort zone.

Any degree of change has the potential to make people uncomfortable. This is because status quo is the path of least resistance. Status quo is also what lets other companies pass and even lap you in your market. The status quo, and the apathy towards seeking means of improvement that comes with the status quo, should be regarded as your enemy. To beat this subtle enemy, you have to be anticipatory of pushback to change and have processes in place to ensure buy-in, keeping in mind the bounty that awaits your organization on the other side.

It's up to you to help your team members achieve successful tech adoption. You need to become the salesman and spokesperson for this tech within your company. When you realize your responsibility—and you implement strategies for accomplishing buy-in—you can only then hope to see results.

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