Construction Companies Need To "Eat Their Own Dog Food"
The term "eat your own dog food" means that a company uses its own products and services. And so...
You’ve just acquired a new software application that will provide measurable benefit to your company…now what?
Well, the good news is, you’re a general contractor, so you know all about successfully managing projects. Unfortunately, too many construction companies don’t use the same “best practices” or "dog food" to manage a software implementation that they use to manage a construction project. The reality is those same “best practices” can also help ensure a successful software deployment.
What are those “best practices”?
- Assign a project manager – Determine who is ultimately responsible for managing the project. Too often when I ask a team who is ultimately responsible for the software deployment project, I get a response of, “I guess we all are”. You would not accept that response on one of your construction projects, don’t accept it on a software deployment project either.
- Identify the team – Determine the team that will be using the software application. Use them as the sounding board when configuring the application’s features. Take into consideration other downstream roles / disciplines that will benefit from the new software tool.
- Identify the sequence and list of tasks – Develop a list of tasks, and the sequence that those tasks need to be completed to support other downstream tasks.
- Develop a schedule with key milestones – Develop a “realistic” schedule for completing the necessary tasks. Determine up front, how much time can be committed each week to completing these tasks. When emergencies come up, and they will come up, adjust the schedule accordingly, and update the team. Making the schedule real and available to the team will help ensure accountability.
- Train the rest of the team – When you complete a construction project, you turn over the keys to the client. When you’ve completed all the necessary tasks for your software deployment project, you “turn over the keys” by training the rest of users that will be using the application.
Last but not least …….
Celebrate! – Completing a well-managed construction project is always cause for celebration. Completing a software deployment project, that will provide ongoing benefit to your organization is also cause for celebration.