Is Your AEC Firm Good to Go Digital?
In a recent executive meeting with a well-respected industry analyst as the special guest, each executive was asked to introduce themselves and to state whether or not they believed the company should “go digital.” As the last executive put his stake in the ground, the analyst pulled the rug out from under the meeting attendees and boldly stated, “Our personal opinions don’t matter. There is no option of ‘going digital’ or not ‘going digital.’ The world is ‘going digital.’”
It’s only a matter of time before the tidal wave of technology-driven change hits construction and engineering head on. The velocity of the impact will indeed disrupt many organizations. If this topic isn’t a serious, ongoing executive-level discussion in your organization, there’s no time like the present to make it one.
Guiding Principles for AEC Firms
The first step for an AEC firm who is stuck in pattern of low technology adoption and low technology ROI is to recognize a few essential guiding principles:
- These initiatives must be led from the top of the organization with cross-functional representation across the entire business. You can no longer assign technology implementations to one role and expect a good outcome. There needs to be agreement and alignment across the leadership team to message a new vision and to foster a culture of ongoing change.
- You need some talented external partners in the mix. Technology advancements are coming online at a rapid pace. Outside partners can help to de-risk your initiatives through the entire cycle of selection, implementation, and ongoing iterative improvement. When selecting partners, spend time discussing their vision for the future of their technology and how it will take you farther, faster on your journey. Likewise, look for partners who invest in your success, not just theirs.
- It’s a journey, not a destination. Expect change for the foreseeable future. Move your organization into a business model of continuous improvement through iterative change. Amazon is an excellent example of this that all industries can model.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of creating and harnessing data. You need it to measure, predict, create, communicate, learn, and improve. Most organizations have little, if any, data-savvy resources on staff. Don’t let this continue. Create a plan and get moving.
- Last, but not least, start by re-engineering your processes to be digital and THEN apply the technology you need to support the process. Many organizations are stuck in a pattern of layering new technologies on top of existing technologies with no change in process. The weight of that approach will continue to eat away at resources with limited if any improvements.
Agile Frameworks is a partner with visionary leadership in both product development and program management that expects to play a strategic role in the success of their customers. They recognize that solutions must be architected for data creation, data utilization, and connectivity to serve internal and external stakeholders in this rapidly evolving AEC marketplace. Agile Frameworks’ MetaField software solution enables data-driven decision making and project execution by automating the process of gathering, aggregating and analyzing data in real time.
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