In our last post we discussed creating a mobile security plan for your construction business. Security is only one of the topics, albeit an important one, that you need to consider when creating a strategic plan for implementing mobile technology. In this post we’ll outline the main areas to consider when creating a strategic technology plan. You can use this outline for all of your technology initiatives, not just mobile. To help you get started, consider using the bold headlines below as a starting outline or template for your plan.
Start by stating your business goals and objectives. These goals are the “why” behind why you are taking a course of action. You goal shouldn’t be “install mobile technology”; it should be something more like “Improve profits by raising productivity on the job site”. Installing technology is the means to help you accomplish the “why”.
Describe Where You Are Now
What are the problems you want to fix or the conditions you want to improve? Again, describe how they are affecting you in business terms – try to put a dollar amount on them. For example, rather than just stating “we spend too much time correcting time sheets”, dig deeper and state the number of hours (and associated cost) that are spent correcting these records. Does this extra time cause delays in getting paid? Is the extra administrative work keeping field employees from performing billable work? How do the delays impact the production of job costs reports that owners and supervisors need to make timely decisions?
Outline Your Action Plans
List the strategies and initiatives to be taken to address the items you listed above. These may include hardware purchases (tablets or smartphones), establishment of policies (i.e. a mobile security policy), training (for both the field and the back office), and integration with various back office systems.
Include a roadmap of high level milestones for your strategic plan. For example:
- Q1 – Draft mobile policy and identify key applications
- Q2 – Train supervisors on device use and policies
- Q3 – Begin mobile field reporting, etc.
Breaking your action plans down to manageable increments this way will help make sure that the project does not become overwhelming (and abandoned).
List the Benefits
Explain the positive impact these changes and investments will have on your business. How will life at your company be better once your strategies are implemented and your goals are achieved. Will you be more profitable? Will you be able to bid on more jobs, more quickly? Can you take on bigger projects without having to significantly increase your workforce?
Every project and initiative has it’s challenges. Take some time to outline the challenges your company may face that would impede achieving your goals. Include possible solutions and contingency plans for addressing those challenges should they arise.
For example, a common challenge when implementing mobile solutions is data security. By planning for these types of risks or challenges, you can review your plan to make sure they are being addressed – i.e., do you have policies and procedures in place that address what to do when an employee loses their mobile device?