Decision-Making Process in Construction Management
Decision making is simply the act of making a choice from among a set of alternatives. Every day, construction professionals make decisions that impact the fortunes of their firms. The difference between a successful construction firm and a less successful one is the decisions they make. For a manager to make the best possible decision from a list of choices, there are two things he must rely on: data and experience.
The first can be obtained from the right sources, but the second comes with age, practice, and application. While we admit that experience takes time, utilizing valuable data can make up for a shortfall in experience to a certain degree. If you have both experience and data at your disposal, then you’ve got the best of both worlds.
How to make the best decisions
The goal here is to achieve the best possible outcome. But before you do so, you first need to clarify your goals. Is your goal profitability? Do you want to increase the base of your clientele? Is labor productivity your mission? Or maybe you want to achieve all of these things? You can achieve everything you want, but you need to make them clear at the onset.
Having said that, here are ways to improve the decision-making process.
#1. Analyze your current fortunes/situation
Relying on your set goals, evaluate past performance, and establish a relationship with your past and your present fortunes. If your goal is to increase the profits, your firm makes off projects, identify the ones that guarantee the highest profit margins, and increase your resources on such projects.
#2. Establish an organizational benchmark and stick to it
After analyzing your current situation, establish a performance benchmark as regards performance, and do not waver. There are more than a few ways to establish an organizational benchmark. Some of them are:
- Comparing your performance with that of competitors
- Communicate with peer groups and stakeholders in the construction business
- Relying on an industry report
- Basing decisions on historical and predictive data
#3. Set your Key Performance Indicators
Based on your business goals and set benchmark, set your KPIs to reflect these goals and benchmarks. Your KPIs should have a timeline and analyze each metric on their own merit. Do note that KPIs are influenced by changing metrics, so you should be prepared to make corrections in light of the changes.
#4. Put strategic processes in place
Making decisions re-actively may not be in the best interest of your firm. This is why data-driven and bench-marked decisions are vital. Using these two pillars as a foundation, establish a set of key decision-making processes (how you respond to changes or threats based on available data or prevailing circumstances). A strategic process will ensure that you are more proactive than reactive. Even in instances where you have to act re-actively, your decisions will not fall marginally short of your desired outcome.
#5. Make data accessible to decision-makers
No matter how qualitative your data is, if decision-makers don’t have access to it, it is as useless as having none at all. Look for technology that allows project managers and workmates to receive and share it as at when due. Mobile devices may come in handy, especially if team members are constantly on the move. Customized dashboards also help because they help members understand in clear terms what the data is saying. In a nutshell, technology makes data more understandable and real.
Having a clear goal and establishing a corporate benchmark is the way to go in the 21st-century construction industry. Data-driven decision making guides actions that influences budgeting and work costing, including every other facet of the construction business. Adopt the best decision-making standards for the best results, and you will be glad that you did.
How do you make your best decisions? Let us know in the comments section below!