How construction companies should overcome resistance to adopting new technology

Almost every time I work with a new company, I feel resistance from employees to adopting new technology. Also, when I first talk with managers and owners, I feel the same resistance. But contractors must change and adopt new technologies. Here are the ways I embrace people for change.

World KLEMS; BLS; BEA; McKinsey Global Institute Analysis

We need to build faster

We have probably all seen videos about skyscrapers in China and how they are built in days. Just imagine how complex a project it is to build something so big and high in a few days. They faced problems with logistics,  mechanisms, materials, production, workers, and more. They had to go through every step many times, visualize them, and be ready for the unknown. There was no room for error. Such advancements can only be made with the use of technology—building information modeling.

Simulating different scenarios for the schedule

More than 10 years ago, when Google Maps first appeared on phones, they simply showed one route to your destination. Today, it will show you the fastest route to avoid traffic jams. Often, it will reroute you during your ride because of an unexpected accident ahead. The same is true with construction planning. I always ask people how many different scenarios you can simulate when it comes to the construction schedule. In most cases, the answer is one scenario. The right construction planning tools can work the same way as Google Maps; they will reschedule your plans for you unknowingly. But keep in mind that most scheduling tools use Gantt charts. A Gantt chart isn’t a new technology; it was first used in the 19th century. 

Use of drawings

Just more than 15 years ago, almost everyone was still using paper drawings. You could enter basically any site, and everyone was having paper drawings. Computers were left aside, and dust was growing on them. Today, if someone removed computers from any site, the work would be stopped. The next step is BIM for every site. Sooner or later, all construction sites will be drawn in 3D, probably with the help of AI. 

Power tools that help our daily lives

There are so many power tools that now help us in our daily lives. For example, lasers for leveling, I know carpenters who can no longer make uneven walls. Exoskeletons help people install ceilings by reducing the load and tingling in their hands. 

Challenge your staff for change

Organize frequent coaching lessons. Many coaches are helping companies overcome the fear and stress of change. In time, there will be positive results, and people will start to engage more in the changing process and search for better ways.

If it doesn’t work, then it is not for you

Not every tool is designed to fix your problems. This is why many refuse to adopt new technology. Companies previously tried many tools, but they didn’t give any results. This was only the wrong choice of tool and technology, which gave a bad experience. For example, whenever a general contractor asks whether they should try our tool. I always respond that it is designed for small contractors. 

Tell more good stories and use cases

Success in overcoming resistance to adopting new technology can be achieved only by telling success stories and coaching people. Team leaders are the ones who embrace their team’s growth and adoption of new technologies. If we start to look around, we will notice how technology helps our daily lives and that we shouldn’t avoid using it. Just imagine our mobile phones. We use our mobile phones to communicate instantly. We can quickly take a photo on site and send it over to the office, or even better, we can have a video call with the office from the site and show them the site. 

Technology is designed to help our daily lives, not to make them harder. 

Author – Emil Berzins. Follow me on