How to Select Your Construction Software Champion

By: Sheldon Needle

You've decided your company needs new construction software and have started looking at options. The question is: Have you designated someone in your company to be the software champion?

Every company, large or small, needs someone to lead the charge for improved efficiencies through better software. This software champion must have certain traits to ensure that the company achieves the expected return on investment.

Here are 5 critical traits that your software champion needs to have.

1. Experience in Software Implementation
Learning the ins and outs of software evaluation and implementation on-the-fly will jeopardize your initiative. That's why your construction software champion must have prior experience evaluating and implementing software. Keep in mind that the scope of previous experience needed to make a sound decision increases with company size and complexity of operations.

2. Knowledge of Company Operations
Your construction software champion must understand how your company operates. If he/she doesn't, taking the time to learn the processes and operations well enough to know what questions to ask vendors during demos is crucial.

3. Full Support from Management
Choose a construction software champion you can trust. Committing time and money to a complex evaluation, selection, implementation and training process is not a place for wishy-washy management that doesn't fully trust their champion to complete the project successfully. When full support is provided to the champion, you won't be tempted to pull the plug when the going gets rough (which almost always happens at some point in the project).

4. Respect of Peers
Without the respect and confidence of his/her peers, the construction software champion won't get the cooperation needed to gather information and data to move to a new system. Choose a well-respected individual to lead your software initiative.

5. An Advocate for Change
Most people don't like change and implementing new software is about as traumatic as it gets for the company's accounting, project managers and IT departments. Your construction software champion should have the skills to properly prepare and motivate personnel for change, while helping them feel less threatened by the new system. This requires sensitivity to people's needs within the new software environment, as well as the ability to make the evaluation, selection and implementation of new software a team effort. Without a sense of participation, many employees will not "buy into" the new software and may even try, in subtle ways, to sabotage the initiative.

Summary

Your construction software champion is critical to a successful software implementation. He/she is the person with the most software experience and, once chosen, deserves full management support while leading to a final decision. There are many potential pitfalls along the way; trust your software champion to know where the mines are buried and how to avoid them every step of the way.

Software
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Software