Lack of communication is one of the greatest and most common inefficiencies in architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) companies worldwide.
Although construction technologies have progressed rapidly and widely within just the past decade – changing the way people work from the back office to the field – the industry still faces big communication challenges.
Improved AEC collaboration and communication among project stakeholders requires breaking down the information silos that exist on projects. Even though individuals enjoy connected information in their personal lives, they may not benefit from the same level of interoperability on a project. Connecting information on a construction project gives a company a competitive edge.
Following are 4 authentic ways to improve AEC collaboration.
1. Uniform methodologies
One industry hurdle that impedes better communication is that some companies still work from mechanical pencil and paper workflows. If everyone, or even a majority of companies, in the industry would use the same methodologies, for instance building information modeling (BIM), industry-wide standards could be established, making collaboration immensely easier.
2. Track key data
For good collaboration, key information needs to be tracked and available to the appropriate stakeholders throughout a project’s lifecycle. For this reason, a data strategy is crucial. Part of that strategy involves deciding what data you need to collect and why.
For each aspect of a project – for example, safety – there is a thread of information that can and should be captured for use by all the stakeholders, as well as transferred to facilities management at project handover. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
3. Use a single source of truth
Connected construction involves digital platforms, like Autodesk Construction Cloud, that provide a single source of truth for the data on a project. All the project information can be pieced together and stored in one place. Then teams can access the right information at the right time without having to rifle through a storage room full of documents. The best project outcomes can result when information is accessible from the cloud nearly instantaneously from the office or onsite using a mobile device.
4. Conquer the fear factor
There is a fear factor around technology, making some people hesitant to buy into change. At its most basic level, successful change for better collaboration involves a wide range of people with a wide range of mindsets. Some people will be enthusiastic about new ways of doing things. Others will be hesitant. Without going into too much detail about what a “dinosaur” is, if people with that tendency can be shown the value of the changes to be implemented, they have the potential to become your biggest advocate.
For optimum adoption, technology needs to be simple, easy to use and beneficial to the individual. Workers need to see how it supports the project and enhances their work. The more it benefits them, the more likely it will be widely adopted. Word gets around.
Uniform methodologies, tracking key data, using a single source of truth, and better tech adoption by overcoming the fear factor, will help AEC companies – and the industry as a whole – conquer the communication challenges that currently cause inefficiencies.
Learn more about the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform in the free Graitec Group eBook: The Importance of a Common Data Environment.