An Informative Guide to Construction Collaboration

 September 3, 2021 by Michael Gober & Denis Gritsiyenko

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.”

And it’s never been more true than in construction collaboration.

Poor communication, poor leadership, and internal competition often lead to missed deadlines and even worse —  failed projects.

But there’s a key to successful construction collaboration.

With the right attitude and tools, you can deliver your next construction project with the ease and efficiency of collaborative efforts you never thought possible.

Keep reading this informative guide to uncover the secret to successful construction collaboration and how to incorporate it into your construction business.

  1. CM Fusion: Your Comprehensive Solution for Construction Project Collaboration Software
  2. What Is Construction Collaboration?
  3. What Results Are Driven by Collaborative Contracting in Construction?
  4. How Do You Collaborate in Construction?
  5. Make Construction Collaboration Easier With Cloud-Based Management Software From CM Fusion

CM Fusion: Your Comprehensive Solution for Construction Project Collaboration Software

Construction management software offers streamlined processes that make construction project collaboration easier than ever.

CM Fusion offers construction management software solutions that support communication and consistency through a cloud-based system that allows you to …

  • Create and edit documents in real-time

  • Manage and track document status

  • Timestamp and download version history

  • Manage permissions 

… and much more, all from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.

Equipped with the construction collaboration tools CM Fusion has to offer, you can harness the potential of successful construction collaborations and turn that potential into power. 

What Is Construction Collaboration?

Construction collaboration is when teams come together on a project to work towards the common goal to complete that project.

Teams include internal players as well as external players like: 

  • Trade workers

  • Subcontractors

  • Suppliers

  • Owners

  • Architects

Strong construction collaboration means that teams must:

  • Work together to determine and meet shared goals.

  • Have access to necessary resources.

  • Have access to the main goals of the project.

  • Work together to remove unnecessary challenges that slow the progress of the project.

Why Can It Be Difficult to Collaborate in the Construction Industry?

Many challenges make it difficult to foster collaboration in the construction industry.

By nature, the construction industry is built on fragmentation in every direction. 

From the design phase to the actual construction of the structure, the construction work process is divided into different areas. 

Competition builds between teams who focus on individual short-term goals instead of the common goals of the project.

This creates conflicts like:

  • Distrust between teams

  • Poor coordination between trades

  • Underfunding

  • Delays in completion

So why do so many companies continue in such disarray?

For many companies, the challenges to collaboration can feel too overwhelming to overcome.

Challenges like …

  • Higher upfront costs to creating a new system even though long term costs can be drastically reduced

  • Training and other growing pains associated with getting acclimated to the new system; and

  • Resistance to changes in the system along with workplace and job site culture

… can cause many companies to lose sight of the long-term benefits of fully embracing an ethos built on a collaborative approach.

What Results Are Driven by Collaborative Contracting in Construction?

If you’re in the construction industry, chances are you are well aware of many of the reasons it can be difficult to collaborate in the construction industry.

Most likely you’ve experienced them firsthand.

However, the benefits of collaboration in construction far outweigh the initial challenges it may present to implement.

Transparency

When the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, it leads to a better product.

This truth also applies to construction teams. 

Transparency of … 

  • Goals

  • Schedules; and 

  • Tasks 

… can create more synergy as there are likely to be fewer issues like interferences and delays.

Improved Project Outcomes

Collaboration goes hand in hand with communication.

When everyone has access to pertinent information, it allows teams to work more effectively. 

Improved communication results in improved project outcomes including:

  • Fewer change orders 

  • Fewer reworks

  • On-time completion 

  • On-budget completion

Higher Profits

What’s better than an increased bottom line?

Collaboration leads to …

  • Less wasted materials

  • Less unnecessary manpower

  • Lower costs

  • Happier clients

  • More long-term business; and 

  • Increased referrals

… all of which translate to higher profits.

How Do You Collaborate in Construction?

The benefits of collaboration can drastically improve more than just your company’s bottom line.

The culture of cohesion can be what takes your company to the next level.

How can you begin to implement collaborative efforts in your next construction project?

Collaboration should begin at the earliest possible stage of a project. It might even begin during contract creation. 

To best prepare your project for a successful collaboration, you should employ four key components:

  1. Communication

  2. Document management

  3. Teamwork

  4. Technology

4 Components of Successful Collaborative Construction Implementation

It’s important to identify and integrate the components of successful collaborative construction early on in your project.

Effective teams implement these components in the planning stages to: 

  • Discuss goals

  • Brainstorm

  • Evaluate ideas and concepts

  • Develop a program; and 

  • Map out parameters

Implementing these four components of successful collaborative construction at the beginning of your process will set your project on the path to favorable completion.

#1: Communication

The most important aspect of collaboration is communication

Keeping everyone on the same page is key and relies on applying trust in everyone involved and valuing their contribution as knowledgeable key players. 

You can only achieve this by having good communication processes in place.

It’s essential to identify a clear chain of command for communication that includes establishing points of contact and protocols for team members.

This line of communication guarantees that important information gets to the right people quickly and efficiently.

Every construction project must have this chain of command and contact information to ensure the success of the collaboration.

Internal Stakeholders

Keeping communication channels open with internal stakeholders is integral in order to handle any issues or navigate roadblocks that may arise.

Internal stakeholders include:

  • Owners

  • Project managers

  • Legal and administration personnel

External Stakeholders

Efficient communication with external stakeholders is just as important as the integral players.

External stakeholders include:

  • Trades workers 

  • Architects

  • Subcontractors

  • Government authorities

Although it may not be necessary to have such frequent contact, it is important to schedule regular check-ins to align with short-run goals and tasks lists.

#2: Teamwork

Teamwork is all about strong leadership and skilled team members.

A strong collaboration always starts with great leaders who can direct and motivate the team, quickly handle any issues that come up, and stay focused on the successful completion of the project.

Leadership teams and task teams should meet consistently to monitor progress, discuss tasks and tactics, identify ways to improve collaboration, and make adjustments to the process accordingly.

Successful teamwork also relies on inclusivity. 

This applies not only to the inclusion of access to information. 

It also means hiring diverse personnel and providing access to the resources necessary for them to voice contributions to the team.

That may look like providing tools and resources that ease language barriers if you’re working with multicultural teams where English may not be everyone’s native language.

#3: Document Management

Document management is unarguably the most important tool in collaboration accountability and efficiency.

File sharing services have evolved beyond providing services of uploading large document files.

Document management software now offers features that allow you to:

  • Centrally store all of your construction documents in one place

  • Upload the latest files, changes, and updates

  • Automate the entire process with the latest updates and statuses

#4: Construction Collaboration Technology

In recent years, technology has played a major part in improving collaboration and communication in the construction industry.

Collaboration plays an integral part in getting a project off the ground. 

With team members having access to streamlined information in real-time on cloud-based project management software, collaboration in your construction project has never been easier to manage.

Make Construction Collaboration Easier With Cloud-Based Management Software From CM Fusion

Now you don’t have to wade in the spoiled broth of too many cooks on past projects.

Forget the nightmare of: 

  • Missing important updates.

  • Poor document management.

  • Constant change orders.

  • Dishonest contractors claiming they didn’t see the change come through. 

CM Fusion’s software puts the power of successful construction collaboration in your hands by allowing you to:

  • Upload all of your construction project files to one central location with document control and management features.

  • Make and sign-off on changes as they arrive, from wherever you are.  

  • Keep all stakeholders informed of project statuses in real-time.

  • Communicate with your project team through the comments section on the app.

  • Know exactly who has viewed and downloaded changes and updates, complete with timestamps.

So ditch the dusty old files and open your construction business up for a new world of collaboration with the cloud-based construction management software from CM Fusion.


Try CM Fusion, risk free for 30 Days – Your first project is FREE!

If you are trying to figure out where to look now, our company CM Fusion offers a free version of Construction Project Management Software. Not to mention, our customers brag about it’s ease of use, so you should be able to sign up and start managing your projects in minutes.

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