Construction project teams may strive to work in complete harmony with owners and partners, but it’s somewhat inevitable disputes will arise. It’s the nature of the beast: time tables are getting more aggressive, the cost of materials more expensive, and an overall sentiment among building owners and management that there is increased efficiency to be gained in every aspect of a major building project.
Sentiment is hard to control, but there are some disputes grounded in very real problems, such as changes to a project’s scope of work. A global consultancy firm that studies the construction industry found that disputes stemming from disagreements over design changes are beginning to rival the rancor caused by contract conflicts. This shouldn’t come as a major surprise as construction management firms bring more design work in-house or outsource the work to third-party subcontractors.
To some extent, the increasing complexity of projects is going to trigger an increase in human errors. But as construction software continues to evolve, it offers companies a chance to embrace digitization and help stop some of these potential problems from arising in the first place. Better communication and easier access to project data can help curb gaps in information sharing and increase accountability among all parties by enabling 24/7 access to project files stored in the cloud.
Some of the most popular software options that help avoid disputes include BIM 3-D modeling, scheduling software, and mobile devices or other data collection tools that can be deployed in the field. Keep reading for insights into how cutting-edge construction software can help reduce the likelihood of an uncomfortable dispute.
The data that’s captured in tools like BIM 3-D modeling keeps team members on the same page from the kick-off phase of pre-construction all the way to the final punch list items. In the days before digitization, paper-based project documentation was the only back-up teams had when attempting to resolve conflicts, and between inconsistent documentation or lack of access; it’s of little surprise that confusion or disagreements about building design have had an impact on project communications.
The aforementioned study focused on the root causes of construction disputes found that insufficient data access is just one part of the problem: contractors that don’t know how to use the data they do have is also a driver of disputes, revealing that project team communications is a two-pronged process: having the tools to enable streamlined data sharing, and understanding how unfettered access to project data can help stop disagreements from arising in the first place.
The building industry suffers from a few different stumbling blocks when it comes to other sources of disputes, including poorly written contract documents, incomplete designs, sloppy contract management processes, and issues bubbling up from undocumented claims. It’s not hard to see that poor communication and / or access to project data can exacerbate these issues significantly, quality control aside. But like how BIM helps identify potential design flaws before ground is broken, having all team members connected to a central project management portal can help eliminate surprises later on when incomplete documentation is discovered.
So, how can construction project teams combat these communication shortfalls? By moving project documentation to the cloud and deploying collaboration software that puts every team member on the same page regardless of geography.
Cloud-based construction collaboration software is one way that technology tools help reduce the roadblocks to effective team-wide collaboration. It does this by automating the sharing, distribution, and tracking of all project-related details, including email communication, documents, approvals, costs, and more.
Whether it’s a request from the field, an RFI from a subcontractor, or an approval from the owner, collaboration tools provide access to the information that enables teams to stay informed and not be surprised by missing information or poorly drafted documents when timelines get tight. With the entire project team connected to the cloud, they can access the information they need when they need it, stay informed, and ultimately run a more efficient and profitable project – with the likelihood of fewer disputes that can threaten project progress.
For more information on how construction project management software from Sage can help your company seamlessly adopt cloud-based collaboration tools and cut down on disputes with clients and partners, request your free demo today.
United Solutions provides unmatched software solutions and support for more than 3,000 clients in the construction, real estate industries. We enable our clients to operate at peak efficiency and maximize their profits.Read More
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