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Getting the Field to Buy-in to Technology

On LinkedIn Live, the December livestream featured a conversation between myself and fellow LinkedIn Learning instructor Christopher Randall discussing the challenges and solutions to getting buy-in from the field when trying to introduce new technology and digital workflows. In case you didn’t get a chance to watch, we discussed some great solutions that are simple to implement:

  1. In order to shorten the learning curve, commit to issuing field personnel a tablet that runs the operating system with which they are already familiar. In other words, if they use an iPhone, give them an iPad. If they use an Android phone, issue them an Android tablet. Most construction management apps used in the field are available in both formats and issuing them a device with a user interface that is already familiar to them can make the transition much easier.

  2. Get field personnel used to digital workflows by requiring them to use their new technology to do things that are both simple and essential. Chris’s example in the live stream was submitting time sheets and payroll. Everyone wants to get their paycheck. If the only way they can do this is via an app on the tablet, they will probably make it work. This normalizes the use of the tablet and digital workflows, and makes it easier to adopt new concepts such as submitting change orders or RFIs via the tablet.

  3. Keep an eye out on usage. It is not uncommon for field personnel to revert back to the old ways of paper after successfully implementing a new technology or workflow. When someone has been doing it the same way for years (or decades), it’s just human nature to revert back to the old ways when the pressure to adopt the new workflows subsides. Curb this tendency by eliminating the ability to revert, or by monitoring their app usage. If you see that a crew leader hasn’t updated or synced the drawings in two weeks for a job they are actively working, chances are they are getting their information from somewhere other than the app!

We also had some great discussion on the challenges facing trade contractors that work for multiple general contractors, each of whom may be asking them to use a different field management or drawing application. You can watch a replay of the entire livestream at

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