Technology’s great…when it works. And by “works,” we don’t just mean “functions properly.” Your technology isn’t working if your construction team refuses to use it, or if it doesn’t fully solve the problem you expected it to.
Here are six clues that your existing tech needs to be replaced:
1. Your team won’t use it.
It’s common for people to resist change, but if that resistance carries on well past the implementation stage of a new system or technology, then there’s a problem. If your team won’t use that fancy new software you bought, it’s possible the software itself is the problem. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you give your team plenty of warning that you’d be bringing in a new system?
- Did you provide ample training so everyone could understand how it worked?
- Did you give your crew a rundown of the reasons why/how this technology would make their jobs easier?
If you can honestly answer all of those questions with a “yes,” then you might just have brought in the wrong tech for your particular needs.
2. It’s outdated.
On the other end of the line is technology that you’ve used for so long that it just doesn’t get the job done anymore. Nextel anyone? If there was a different president in office last time you replaced a computer, it might be past time to upgrade. Outdated technology can create a lot of frustration on the job. If it requires a visit from a service tech every other week, causes delays, or is hindering your job more than it’s helping, then you’ll save a lot more time and money by replacing it with something that can get the job done.
3. It’s too complex.
Software is a good example of this problem, too. If it’s too complicated, your team may not fully understand how it works, and will resist having to use it. But it doesn’t just have to be software. Any new device that has too many moving parts, or add-ons and extensions you don’t need, is probably too complex for the job. Find the simplest solution that can still get the job done, and you’ll have much better chances at success.
4. It requires too much training.
This one goes hand in hand with numbers 1 and 3: If you have to give your team the equivalent of a college course in order to use your new technology, it’s probably not the best solution for you. Some training is to be expected with any new technology. But if on-the-job training requires weeks or months of intensive education, you’ll have to consider whether the cost will be worth it compared to the benefits you’ll gain.
5. You or your team still keep saying, “I wish X was easier…”
Big red flag here: If you keep hearing your employees saying they wish some aspect of their job was easier, and you’ve technology in place that’s supposed to do just that, then it is probably a waste of resources. This is why it’s a good idea to keep up with any new technology you introduce, and ask your team whether it’s working for them or not. If not, why not? Find out if it’s just a matter of needing more training, or if the solution itself needs to be replaced with something that works better for your team.
6. It adds steps to your workflow instead of eliminating them.
Technology is supposed to make your job easier, not harder. If the technology your team is using requires them to take more steps than if they didn’t use it at all — or if they went back to an outdated system — you’ve got a problem. You can avoid this issue by thoroughly vetting any new technology you consider. Find out what the process for using it involves, what tasks it’s supposed to streamline or eliminate, and whether the training time will be worth the benefits.
Technology is only helpful if you and your team are using it regularly. By finding out exactly why your tech isn’t being used or isn’t working, you can identify new solutions that will work for you.