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How project managers can manage technology

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How project managers can manage technology

Gabe Savely | September 30, 2014
Photo: Hyena Reality via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Not long ago, the role of a construction project manager revolved around working with people: employees, vendors, consultants, designers, subcontractors and owners.

Today, project managers primarily manage information—and it can be all-encompassing.

Dan Conery, vice president of construction and owner solutions for Newforma, authored a recent Construction Business Owner article about the challenges that technology has created for construction project managers. 

Though technology can make project managers more efficient and effective, it also contributes to a series of common problems:
• Information is hard to track.
• Managing users and access across multiple systems can be challenging.
• Not everyone may have access to critical information.
• Determining which data repository is the ultimate source of truth is difficult.
• Only the project manager knows where everything is, but others may need to access that information, especially after the project closes.

Fortunately, technology can help solve the problem it created. Conery cites two complementary ways project managers can resolve conflicting information management needs.

1. A project management website is a single resource where everyone on the project team can easily collaborate, coordinate and find the latest files. All it requires is a computer, a web browser and login credentials for secure access. 

“Efficient project management websites liberate project managers to manage people instead of information,” Conery writes. 

2. Office software can make accessing data easy for everyone, no matter who filed it or where it's filed.

“The key to giving people the confidence that they’ll be able to find information on the network is to implement project information management software that indexes the contents of the company network the same way search engines index information on the web,” he writes.

It’s increasingly important that the software include apps for use on smartphones and tablets. For example, Star Building Systems created a mobile app that provides their builders easy access to specific job documentation, master schedules, and even a comprehensive contact list for specific departments within the company. 

While creating the functionality for the app, we looked at some of the obstacles builders face while on the job site. One of the major issues is access. They need crucial job information about the project and contacts for support often at a moment’s notice. Since builders are always working with a tight schedule and juggling multiple details to keep the job progressing, we knew giving them quick access to information would streamline their process, cut down on lost time, and give them a competitive edge. 

Thanks to technology, like Star’s app, the job of managing information is getting easier by the day. 

Read more posts like this at Star Building’s blog.

Editor's note: This is sponspored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company.

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