Digital disruption at a large Property Development company

Digital disruption at a large Property Development company

8 years ago we began a journey of transformation at Goodman a large global property development company which resulted in the company wide file migration across to a web based platform. If you can imagine a diverse end user community of construction workers, architects, lawyers and funds management teams you may also be able to imagine the diversity of challenges that were encountered on this massive migration from shared drives to SharePoint.

Here is a little bit of insight into how we successfully obtained an average of 92% adoption against and industry average of 28%.(AIIM 2016)

The importance of data structure and taxonomy was the foundation of the success of the implementation. Spending time workshopping with various parts of the business and getting their feedback was essential to the architecture of the new platform. Buying a taxonomy ‘off the shelf’ with such a diverse user group was out of the question. So we set about doing the time consuming task of creating the structure from the ground up. Conducting 30 workshops across 10 different countries with a wide variety of stakeholders would be time well spent in the long run.

With our structure in place and end users taken on the journey the importance of communication and change management started to become clear. As you well know the technology is the easy part. We recruited a small army of change champions whose role it was to promote the new way of working and be the navigators of the new system for their teams. Did we mention we made sure that this role was part of their KPIs?

Next up a series of training workshops that were designed as much to be engaging and fun as they were to equip end users to successfully move across to a virtual way of sharing and saving documents. We enlisted incentives, scavenger hunts including prizes and of course the time-honoured trope of creating a little bit of competitive spirit between teams.

So how do you convince people to move across to something that is unknown and alien to them and as one end user said “what? You want me put my documents on the Internet?’. Well the first thing is you don’t give them an option. You close all the other doors. Shut down the file share, leave it there but make it read only. This is where governance comes in and the importance of having process and policy in place can’t be overstated. 

Work out the rules, publish them and then make people accountable.

If you are embarking on a similar global implementation make sure you have people on the ground for post go live support. Publish tips and videos on a regular basis to keep people interested. Usage data can be utilised to provide a league table if like ours your culture thrives on competition.

Here are what we now see as the big five digital mega trends coming up

Customisation

This one has been around for a while now but we are seeing greater engagement and a demand for customisation around the end user digital experience. Not surprising as digital workers we want relevant and customisable content delivered straight to our laptop. This will create a huge demand for tailored content and will be end user driven. Think about how many emails you receive in one day and how many are actually relevant and then think about how you can utilise technology to prioritise and even filter these messages so that the end user is only presented with what they need to get their job done.

Artificial Intelligence

This trend is gaining pace as companies are now seeing the benefits of chatbots delivering curated information to the end user who is struggling under the weight of information overload. In the very near future, with the correct training you can enlist these chatbots to file your documents and plan your calendar. Send your chatbot to your knowledge portal and ask it to do some research while you focus on other tasks it will also continuously learn from human interactions to create the most engaging user experience.

Mobilisation of content

In a worker community that is constantly mobile the need to have information at your fingertips will become more and more important to the end user. We are seeing the increased need for relevant information when for example developers and architects are out in the field (sometimes literally) and need to get quick access to plans and drawings from their mobile device. Also, they have an increasing need to be able upload images and video directly to their device and make this information easily available to their project teams.

Integration of content

The days of siloed content are well gone but we are now seeing an increased focus on having everything easily available in the one place. Information needs to be not only available quickly, but it needs to be in a convenient ‘one stop shop’. End users are no longer willing to trawl through multiple databases for information aggregator software which has been around now for a long time will take the next step and provide everything for the end user in one simple interface.

Virtualisation and interactivity of content

10 years ago, most of the documentation within construction of industrial property was in the form of paper binders full of plans and drawings and operations manuals. Since then much of this has transitioned to electronic files in the form of PDFs but the format has remained pretty similar. Recently however, we’re starting to see a shift to newer forms of media and more immersive ways of interacting with content including Drone footage to assess roof damage, ‘Drain’ cams and increasing virtualisation through Building Interactive Models (BIM).

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