ACEC members are encouraged to forward their news stories and announcements to Martine Proulx,
Vice President , at mproulx@acec.ca.
Sign up for Source newsletter.

Article image

Empower Your Workforce Through Digital Transformation

Improve your processes and streamline your business through technology and digital transformation.

 

 

By: Megan R. Miller, Deltek

As remote working becomes more prevalent in the architecture and engineering industry, the way companies are operating and the way teams are delivering projects is evolving. Whether teams are completely remote, are blended or just working between office locations, firms are looking for ways to foster collaboration and improve efficiency. Now is the time for firms to take a closer look at their tools and processes to identify where they are excelling and where there is room for improvement, especially through digital transformation. While there seems to be much hype around the idea of digital transformation, it doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming. Digital transformation is simply reimaging your business in the digital age – how can you use technology to make the business better? It is embracing how technology can help instead of viewing it as a burden. Here are a few ways firms can leverage digital transformation to optimize processes, cultivate employees, increase productivity and make more informed decisions about the business.

 

Agile and Flexible Project Management

Project priorities and requirements change and you need to feel confident that you know what teams are working on and how projects are performing so you can easily adjust, regardless of where team members are located. Empower project managers to proactively manage projects so they can identify challenges with schedules, budgets or resources and adjust mid-project to keep projects moving forward before it’s too late. Project managers should also be monitoring project profitability through up-to-date timesheets and expenses; outstanding invoices and more to make sure teams are getting paid for the work they deliver. Do your teams have the tools to effectively monitor project schedules and budget and adjust as client and project demands change? Can your PMs effectively monitor project performance from anywhere and keep teams on track? Do your PMs have the necessary training to know what they should be looking for or how to monitor their project financials? Do your PMs have best practices or proven processes to effectively manage projects?  According to the 41st Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Report, only 46% of projects are using a clearly defined project management process. How can you better equip your teams today so they can proactively manage projects and have the tools to be more flexible and agile in project management?

 

Encourage Collaboration

While project teams are becoming more dispersed, they need to stay connected to collaborate on project deadlines and deliverables. Working together seamlessly is more vital than ever. Project managers, resource managers and project delivery teams need to have insight into project schedules and resource assignments, so they can easily adjust as needed and keep teams informed as projects change and evolve. Easily know who is working on which projects, who’s available to step in and help meet a deadline or who needs assigned to additional projects to help balance the workload and ensure optimal utilization. How are your teams collaborating today not only on project deliverables, but on schedules, shifting priorities and overall project changes? Many firms have embraced more online collaboration in recent months, but as companies go back to the office, how will that change the way your teams collaborate? What worked well for your teams that you can take back to the office to help improve efficiency and collaboration?

 

Manage Project Information From Anywhere

Having project emails, documents and drawings available and accessible from anywhere is more important than ever to keep projects on track. Ensure teams have access to the most current version of drawings, change orders, documents and all other project-related files so they can move projects forward and make informed decisions. According to the Deltek Clarity report, firms are struggling most with managing the quality of deliverables, the administrative workload associated with project delivery and collaboration on deliverables. When taking a closer look, often times companies are not providing the right tools and technology to support the changing demands of project teams. Not only are teams more dispersed, but client expectations are changing and so should your digital platforms for project information management. Can your project teams easily find, update and manage project information from a single location? Or, are they struggling to access the network, determine the most current version, who has a document saved on their desktop or other common challenges with project files? How can you better empower your teams to deliver exceptional projects? How can you leverage technology to make it easier than ever to access the most recent files they need when they need them most? 

 

Your People Need You

Keeping employees engaged can be a challenge regardless of physical location, but there are a few areas that companies should focus on as part of your process improvements and digital transformation to ensure you aren’t missing out on the people side of the business. Now is the time to leverage continuous feedback and more frequent project-focused check-ins to stay in close contact with your employees. Set up processes to ensure your teams are getting the feedback they need and deserve to not only keep them engaged, but improve the next project. How are they performing? Where are they struggling? Where are they excelling? What are you hearing from their teammates and how can you help them address any challenges that may exist? You can also provide opportunities for focused learning to cross train employees and invest in their future through e-learning or career planning while preparing them for the next big project. Another way to look at improving employee engagement is enhancing employee recognition. Sometimes all an employee needs is to know what they are doing matters. How can technology help with this? Create a way for employees to recognize each other publicly through your intranet or other platform. Allow them to submit recognition to someone that is then shared not only with the employee, but more publicly that doesn’t require waiting until an annual review or a milestone anniversary. Sharing successes can not only boost the morale of the recognized employee, but can boost overall morale for the company.

 

Streamline Cash Flow With a Paperless Environment

Maintaining cash flow is always a priority, but can be a challenge with a remote workforce. Now is the time to take a closer look at your financial processes and move from generic financial solutions and paper-based processes to project-based paperless financial management. Don’t let stacks of papers or remote employees hold up your billing processes, preventing you from getting paid. Take advantage of mobile timesheets and expense reports so employees can easily track time and expenses and quickly upload electronic receipts from anywhere so you don’t have to wait for paper copies to reimburse staff. And it’s more than just time and expense. You should enable the review and approval invoices electronically, enable automatic bank reconciliation and much more to eliminate wasted time waiting for mark-ups, paper statements or receipts and expedite your financial processes to maintain or even improve your cash flow.

 

Where Do I Start?

While these are just a few ideas of how your company can improve your processes and streamline your business through technology and digital transformation, there are plenty more opportunities right in front of you. Now is the time to take advantage of the technology available that is built for project-based businesses so you can ensure you are positioning your company for success now and well into the future. Remember that digital transformation is a journey and whether the progress is incremental or significant, it all matters and it’s all progress. Here are a few starting points:

. Leverage the investments you’ve already made – are you getting the most out of the solutions you already have and maximizing your use of those products?
Engage your people – understand the changing needs of today’s workforce and educate them to be your biggest enablers in the process
Exploit your data – we have more data than ever, but how are you using that data to make better, more informed decisions about your business rather than just for the sake of reporting?
Automate your operations – as work is more distributed and capacity is constrained, how are you making it easier for your employees to do their jobs?

 

More Ways Deltek Can Help

As you navigate your digital transformation journey, we’re here to help. Whether you need to find better technology to run your business, improve your current processes or need additional functionality to improve your project delivery, contact us to learn more about how we can help you better support you.

 

 


Your Voice

Your Events

Your Image

Your Business