Agile project management is rapidly becoming a new norm across industries. As one of the popular management approaches to break a project into multiple smaller stages, it involves continuous collaboration between stakeholders to improve and iterate a project at each stage.
So when its impact is visible in multiple sectors, can the construction industry be blind to agile project management? Let’s see how it works in the construction industry.
Is Agile applicable to the construction sector?
The project lifecycle usually goes through the following phases:
Hold on! Before the Design phase, there is the ‘Conceptualization’ phase that includes gathering the project’s requirements.
Agile is the most applicable in the planning phase where it creates a more iterative work process and frequently delivers value to the market. Through structures and plans, it aims to collect initial customer feedback as fast as possible to ensure that the requirements are properly communicated.
Why construction should have an agile approach?
Since construction is a complex industry that’s involved in creating products of great public importance, it is naturally highly risky. However, construction projects cannot be delayed and should also never go beyond the budget. And hence, there is an increased need for enhanced communication, process visibility, and adaptability to emerging issues.
Low transparency is a big issue in the construction business
Construction companies often follow traditional forms of business and as a result, fail to properly track their processes from concept to execution, resulting in an environment of chaos. The endless excel sheets delay the decision-making.
To resolve this crisis, when we implement technology services in the construction sector, such as Agile, it smoothens things and breaks down complex issues. Agile construction project management quickly discovers constraints, eliminates waste, and promptly reacts to emerging issues. Also, it makes processes transparent.
Poor communication fails projects
A big factor that negatively impacts construction projects is ineffective communication. The construction industry’s work process is complex and it is natural to have inadequate communication that fails projects or impacts the work atmosphere. When you integrate regular feedback loops to synch progress discuss problems in Agile’s way, the issues can get resolved. Daily meetings on work processes and discussions of how each project stands per day can make things simpler. This keeps everyone on the same page.
Also, new learning sessions can be introduced along with forums to openly discuss areas where improvements are required, which will encourage employees to come up with new ideas for optimum outputs.
Projects delays can be made a thing of the past
Project delay is always a big hiccup in the construction industry. Studies show that only 20% of construction projects get completed on time whereas almost 80% of projects overrun the budget.
There can be multiple reasons for those delays, which can range from inaccurate budgets to problems with contractors. However, another cause lies within unstable and cumbersome processes that lead to less predictability, and this is where Agile has a solution to offer.
When a construction company uses Agile project management metrics to record how long the work activities take to flow through the entire process (lead time) and different parts of it, it becomes easier to keep a tap on the workflow. Also, throughput data shows how much work is getting done in a particular reporting interval, which helps produce better forecasts of what can be completed on average in the future.
There are cons as well
Though technology services can reshape the construction sector, the projects aren’t a natural fit for an agile strategy. You need to know that a simple cut and paste of agile practices won’t work out in the construction sector. It is not that agile strategy work is impossible but major customization is required to make it work effectively to obtain the accepted results.