Let’s face it—implementation is often one of the most challenging parts of onboarding a new construction estimating software! You’ve heard us say it once and we’ll say it again: software implementation is almost always the area where preconstruction teams hit the most pitfalls. There are just so many areas for things to go wrong: getting training sessions scheduled, figuring out how and when to roll out the product, agreeing on what KPIs you’ll use to measure performance and make sure that you’re actually getting your money’s worth. Like becoming wealthy, there isn’t really a “get-implementation-done-faster” scheme that wouldn’t involve a lot of ill-advised shortcuts. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to endure unnecessary obstacles to execute a software implementation from start to finish. There are ways to make sure that you set yourself up for success when you embark on your construction estimating software implementation journey.
Just take a look at the experience of one of our clients, Haselden. Haselden Construction is a family-owned general contractor out of Denver, Colorado that has been in the construction industry for 45 years. Matt Hammer, their Chief Estimator, led his preconstruction team in the transition from their legacy construction estimating product – MC2 – to DESTINI Estimator. In this webinar, he shares the challenges of moving to a new construction estimating system. He also discusses the process that he and the Haselden team used to make the change. By developing a matrix system they called “Choosing By Advantages”, Matt and his team were able to narrow down their selection process and determine the best fit for them by ranking features and benefits of each software solution. Once Haselden decided to move forward with DESTINI Estimator, the next step was implementation. Matt stresses the value of the cultural alignment between your company and your chosen software vendor. With a long-term and close working relationship that will take you from software implementation to support and DESTINI Estimator updates, it is important that you and your vendor share the same vision for the future.
How did Haselden ensure a successful software implementation? They created an internal job description and sought out people from within the company to serve as implementation leads. They knew that most new construction estimating software won’t operate as a legacy system does, and as a result, they prepared themselves for a relatively steep learning curve. They discovered that it’s absolutely vital to have a firm foundation within the construction estimating software that fits the needs of the whole team by the end of implementation. One key piece of advice that Matt gave is having frequent, open, and honest discussions, and constantly mining feedback from everyone involved: the user group, the field team, management, IT, and even accounting. We talk a lot about holistic preconstruction for a reason; working in a vacuum, especially during implementation, is never a good idea.
Matt also pointed out that anyone who is going to be impacted by the change in construction estimating systems needs to be involved to ensure that both the product and implementation are useful and usable for everyone. Matt recommended always working with them in mind, as well as creating a vision for what the product should look like once your team is ready to “Go Live.” Get in touch with your team’s needs by working with downstream departments, and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Transition always brings some growing pains, so approach any change systematically and with an open mind, and you’ll find that many of these growing pains will be eased.
Know your needs as much as possible by working with downstream departments and be creative. Transition is difficult, so approach it systematically, with an open mind to keep it as pain-free as possible.