The recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) set the stage for what could be the greatest transformation of our nation’s infrastructure in history –if we do it right. Our industry will enter 2022 with a mandate to deliver billions of dollars in improvements amid global supply chain disruptions and historic labor shortages. How do we implement this ambitious plan under such challenging circumstances? Investments in innovation like advanced digital construction management systems are critical to effectively executing this monumental task.

According to a survey of over 1,000 construction professionals, 58% expect to see more technology adoption within the next five years than there has been in the last 50 years. Given the sharp acceleration of digital transformation, a team’s ability to adopt and utilize construction technologies to their maximum potential has never been more critical.

“The best HeadLight benefit for me was the ease of deployment out to the entire project team. My supervisors and fellow inspectors were all confidently using it after just a few days of training from the HeadLight trainers. We are now more often on the same page and I find it easier to follow the overall “flow” of the jobsite. “

– Project Inspector State DOT 

Selecting the right partner to deploy and support your innovation investment is a critical consideration. Research shows that new technology investments are often underutilized. In fact, 37% report that their company has invested in software in the past year that they haven’t fully deployed.

Successful digital transformation requires more than purchasing software.

It is essential when selecting technology partners that you choose organizations with deployment programs that consistently exceed the typical “check the box” process for user training. The fact is, technology purchases are not really about the technology, they are about people. Organization benefit greatly when the focus of their partners serves to build relationships and allows for a deep understanding of their unique needs and maps the solutions to meet them where they are.

“The initial training was really good and I think using HeadLight for daily reports makes my job easier. Plus it provides better communication with my team and a complicated network of contractors. I now have a clear path forward on every project.”

– Project Inspector State DOT

Effective technology partners provide a unique approach to training and engagement that specialize in bridging gaps between the business of infrastructure construction and the technology that supports it. Our industry is unique so the best fit will be an organization with a long and successful track record in addressing the technology needs of transportation construction organizations and who can provide references of managing some of their most critical deployment initiatives. Ideally, the technology partners you choose will demonstrate deep experience in supporting you in formulating, communicating and implementing your change vision. Alignment on these key aspects of a technology deployment builds stakeholder engagement and a valued-partner relationship. Knowing that the most important business issues and desired outcomes are understood by your chosen partner will lead not only to effective application of the solutions provided today, but confidence that future challenges will also be effectively addressed tomorrow.

An ideal partnership includes the following implementation, training and support services:

Pre-deployment

The success of any technology deployment project depends on thoroughly understanding the current state, partnering to determine the future state, and crafting a joint success plan to achieve the desired outcomes. What you know before you begin and the careful preparation of the product ensure a smooth deployment. Our proven change management methodology guides your team in effectively determining how to define, execute and achieve objectives that lead to success. After success criteria are defined, the products you have invested in should be flexible enough to be configured to meet the needs of your specific organizational and project workflows prior to deployment.

“After the training, it was very easy to use HeadLight and I understood why we were making the change.”

– Project Inspector, State DOT

Deployment

When it comes to training and support in infrastructure construction a key consideration is to select industry experts – technical trainers that understand your business, not just their product, are invaluable! A reasonable expectation of your partner should be learning plans tailored to meet the unique needs of the organization, be it a few individuals, a small project group, or an enterprise deployment to hundreds of users. Ask technology providers for proven methods in their ability to communicate technology and process changes specifically to infrastructure construction teams.

“After the training took place from HeadLight, the guys were already making observations in the field that same afternoon. After the second day, we went live. And we never looked back.”

– Deputy Program Manager, Engineering Firm

Ongoing

As a valued partner, support should not end at deployment. Look for a partner that offers comprehensive ongoing support services. Technology support services when you need it are essential to a well-run program.  Ask questions about the providers email, phone and onsite support as well as web-based or on-demand training options.

“Using HeadLight goes from a requirement to a habit to something our people cannot live without.”

– Brian Racine, Assistant Vice President, TranSystems

Post Deployment

Progress and adoption assessments are vital to understanding how technology adoption and user engagement influence your construction program business goals. Defining success and how it will be measured is crucial to the success of any innovation initiative and is most effective when it is custom-built for the organization. You should also require progress and adoption assessments with custom coaching guides based on the results to continuously improve the team and individual performance.

“With HeadLight there isn’t any getting up to speed. If you’ve used Instagram or Facebook, you can go in and do it.”

– Engineering Tech IV, State DOT

The infrastructure industry must embrace technology to increase productivity and help stretch each dollar further to make good on the promises of this legislation. Digital transformation will help address staffing deficits and better equip the industry’s workforce to deliver these projects. Make sure you are selecting partners who understand the demands of your business, offer technology that closely matches your current workflow and have industry expert training staff that will help guide you to success.