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Improve Workflow With Agile Construction

Since 2020, agile adoption in the construction industry has increased by more than 86%. Construction companies of optimizing performance and deliver more successful results by using agile project management tools to deliver what their teams need to succeed.

Agile methodologies are one of the most influential project management tools driving the success of the U.S. construction industry which reached a value of $1,589 trillion in 2021. More than 7.5 million construction contractors in the United States use agile methods to generate nearly 4.4% of the American GDP. Here’s what you should know about them.

What is Agile Construction?

Agile construction is an integrated system of principles, methods, and philosophies of doing business adapted to construction job sites and overall project delivery in the construction industry.

Agile is a set of processes, philosophies, and project management tools used to drive a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation by allowing changes to be made at every stage of a project’s execution as conditions change and situations evolve.

Four key elements of agile project management in construction:

The four key elements of agile project management in construction are:

  • Prioritizing communication and collaboration between all project stakeholders
  • Removing complex manual processes and using software to improve performance and quality management
  • Focusing on constant communication and feedback with key project stakeholders over the limitations of contractual obligations
  • Adapting to the challenges and opportunities of the moment to deliver the best possible results today and a culture of continual improvement to optimize performance down the line

Considerations for building agile construction processes

Building agile construction processes at scale depends on the ability to evolve beyond simply focusing on teams and team level thinking to encompass the broader operational landscape and organizational frameworks that connect teams also need to be transformed. Highly successful agile organizations are built on an effective and forward-looking backbone of quality management and continuous improvement of core processes.

Optimization ensures that the full operating model goes through many iterations as strategies, structures, processes, teams, and technology find the right fluid structures to build a true culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

Agile teams are cross-functional and utilize frequent prioritization and resource allocation processes to build cultural units that enable cohesion and community-level problem-solving. Enterprise agility is an evolutionary step forward that delivers a state of liberation from rigid budgeting, multilayered reporting structures, and a heavily compliance-focused culture.

Features of Agile Construction Project Management

The agile project management method differs from traditional project management methodologies. There are several factors which are characteristic of the agile construction management framework.

Project segmentation

An agile project is organized into measurable and usable segmented pieces that add value. Unlike a traditional construction project management approach, individual pieces of a project are handed off to individual contractors and stakeholders.

Parameter acceptance

Agile methodologies require a more holistic approach to construction project management through all phases from design to construction and facilities management services.

Constant Validation: Agile processes involve product owners/clients along every stage to generate value and validation of concepts to ensure the successful delivery of a successful final product.

Feedback loops

The agile framework is driven to produce constant feedback loops, based around improving and optimizing performance to deliver a culture of continuous development and improvement around core quality processes and operational capabilities.

Culture of communication

Agile teams communicate with stakeholders connected to the success of projects to receive approval or suggestions for optimizing performance to reduce inefficiency and boost quality metrics.

Accelerated development life cycle

Agile construction processes deliver faster results by ensuring that consistent review and feedback processes improve economies of scale.

How Agile Can Fit in the Construction Industry

Agile methods fit along with every touchpoint in the construction project lifecycle from the earliest stage of conceptualization through post-construction quality management and improvement.

The construction project lifecycle goes through the following phases:

  • Conceptualization
  • Design
  • Pre-Construction
  • Procurement
  • Development
  • Post-Construction

Agile methodologies have become the leading, and one of the most influential approaches for managing projects nowadays, especially those that require collaboration between multiple stakeholders and the customer/end-user.

Agile has been implemented in various industries, and can typically be found in IT and software development, as well as in finance, marketing, and advertising. It is also gradually starting to be more common in almost every project-related sector.

Agile methodologies are one of the leading and most influential strategies for managing construction projects from the conceptualization phase through post-construction. Agile projects succeed by creating a unique collaborative environment between multiple stakeholders, contractors, and the client/end-user.

Agile is becoming the gold standard across the project management landscape because agile project management tools are so effective at optimizing performance and driving greater efficiencies of scale and economy that save time, money, and organizational resources.

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