A joint study between PlanGrid and FMI Corporation1 recently reported a growing problem that plagues many construction companies today: Poor data and miscommunication drives over half of all construction rework.
In fact, rework due to data mismanagement and misunderstanding cost United States construction companies $31.3 billion in 2018.
There’s no question that construction planning software can benefit the industry by providing more timely detailed data. However, with rapid adoption of multiple software platforms there’s a scramble to catch up on quality control for the large volume of data now generated faster than before. Pair that with lack of digital-plan standards or defined data protocol to match the new platforms and trouble can ensue. From mis-syncs to incompatible messaging from one platform to the next, errors can multiply quickly. This creates misdirection and increased risk of error as the volume and complexity of data may exceed your staff’s training, defined procedures and available time.
To leverage the best return from your planning software, construction companies are urged to plan ahead and define protocol for the digital data that each new software platform generates.
Digital Guidelines to Improve Data in Construction
The lack of available digital standards continues to result in several companies unknowingly inserting rogue data and data mistakes into their project plans. This generates incorrect plan detours and confusion that can lead work crews to complete unnecessary rework.
While most construction companies are aware of this growing data dilemma, they don't have the time or resources ready to develop the digital standards needed to make improvements.
A Tactical Guide to Create Successful Digital Standards
A key step to reducing rework requires setting and following specific quality-control standards for your digital plans. But just knowing where to begin can be half the battle.
To help you combat the problem, BarkerBlue has released an e-guide with clear document guidelines to assist teams in organizing their digital plans. The guide includes strategies and tips to stop data detours and mistakes and reduce unnecessary rework.
Download the guide, “4 Areas to Leverage the Power of Digital Construction Plans,” to start improving data quality.
By following the steps in the guide, construction teams can better harness the power of the software they’re using, and begin to reduce the data disconnects that drive up rework costs.
Resources for Digital Guidelines & Data Management
While setting and following digital standards for data can definitely begin reducing costs of unnecessary rework, some companies just don’t have the time or staff to focus on managing their own construction data. Many companies look to outside resources to manage all of their construction information and documentation so they can be free to focus exclusively on completing their build projects on time. If this is your company’s situation, you can benefit from collaborating with a team of fully certified professionals who are experienced in managing constantly changing construction plan information.
With the help of professional consultants to manage your plan data and documents, the entire construction information management process—from system setup and administration to RFI handling and hyperlinking, plus the ongoing change management—can rest in the hands of trained construction industry professionals.
With the right team to manage your digital documents, it helps ensure there is one definitive and objective source of truth for your plans. This minimizes the risk of circulating inaccurate plan data, reducing chances for error while streamlining for increased productivity and cost efficiency.
When choosing a professional team to help your company establish data standards and digital guidelines, consider the following:
- Assess your project engineer’s (PE) current priorities and available time for document and data control—Remember digital document standards and increased data volumes need to be addressed to maximize return on new software. If your PE’s time and focus is consumed with the build itself, you may benefit from professional help with your construction information management (CIM).
- Ensure multiple platform integration—Look for pros who are certified and trained in all the most-used planning software to ensure your plan syncs and integrates completely through all project phases with clear centralized flow of information. Ensure audit trails are employed to catch and correct errors. Should you add new software, having platform-agnostic consultants also allows for smooth transition with a one-stop source of data specialists.
- Management of risk (consistency, timing and advanced hyperlinking)—Be sure to ask how the team achieves consistent quality control to manage errors, remedy discrepancies, ensure corrections, and provide a single source of the correct version plan to all necessary staff on a timely basis. Also check that the team is well-versed in advanced hyperlinking to allow for easy navigation sequentially through all documents and floors, providing all versions of plans.
- Experts in change management—You’ll need a team with proven expertise in creating workflows for change documentation, and a process for reducing the kind of duplication that leads to miscommunication. Ensure there’s a defined procedure for RFI annotations, project log monitoring and updates, and timely overlays to clearly identify plan changes.
- Archiving for close-out and as-built data management—Your support team should be experts in archiving properly so all necessary documentation can be easily prepared for project close-out. Also check that the team can maintain and catalogue compliance and safety documents in an easily accessible way. Additionally, do yourself a favor and ensure an as-built service is available for building administration after the project-completion. This helps plan for any future emergency or building safety needs.
Get Started with Establishing Digital Standards Today
Your company and projects can’t afford the drain of rework from bad data. It’s time to start establishing digital guidelines and standards for construction data. Download the e-guide to get a leg up today.