Communication is a key element of any design build or remodeling project. Over the past several years, communication has come a long way and continues to rapidly improve.
In the remodeling industry, one key development is the use of smart phones and iPads as a way to manage projects. I personally use my smart phone or iPad on a daily basis to do any number of things that relate to project management. Obviously, I use it to call clients and team members, but another way I often use technology is when I am recapping meeting notes. For example, I regularly meet with my clients to relay any updates and review the progress of the job. I also inform them of next steps and get clarity around the project details. It is important to “recap” the meeting and this can be done very quickly and efficiently using a smart phone or iPad. These notes can be sent without delay and project photos can be attached for reference. Technology also helps when addressing questions regarding specifications or products. This information can be easily researched on an iPad or smart phone and linked as an attachment an email for quick reference. Problem solving can also be expedited by using applications such as Skype or FaceTime to communicate not only verbally, but visually as well.
One of the key elements of communication is that it is done regularly. People have become accustom to getting things done quickly, so constant communication is key! A smart phone or iPad can be used as a tool to facilitate quick, comprehensive and efficient communication!
Efficiency is another essential tool – it helps keep the costs down for clients and helps keeps companies profitable. As a project manager, I often receive questions or requests for advice from my team of carpenters. It is not efficient to waste time in traffic running here and there to see what they are faced with, so through the use of technology I am easily able to address their needs/concerns. They typically will take a picture of the detail or situation they are needing help with and attach it to an email. I can then easily pull it up on my iPad and zoom in to see the detail. This allows me to make an assessment and give advice without the inefficiency of unproductive “windshield time”.
Technology is becoming more and more important to the way we communicate with our clients and team members! Using all the available tools makes me a better project manager for both my clients and team members.