Introducing a risk-conscious mindset outside of your risk team


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oo often, project risk is only considered by risk teams during the preconstruction phase. With increasingly fragmented construction organizations, it’s easy for risk data to stay siloed. However, it’s been proven that everyone benefits when your entire organization operates with risk in mind.

Case in point: the $4 billion Pentagon Renovation Program. Completed in 2011, it was one of the largest renovation programs in American history, spanning two decades of planning, design, and construction. Despite numerous setbacks, the project was a massive success — completed both under budget and ahead of schedule — largely because a cross-functional team was organized to identify and address potential risks throughout the construction process.

This sort of proactive, collaborative approach to construction risk management should be adopted on every project. If you aren’t sure how to begin evangelizing a risk-conscious mindset outside of your own team, here’s a look at how to get started by project phase.

Before the project begins: Democratize risk data using integrated systems

You can’t expect others to proactively consider risk if your data lives in a system no one else can access. This is where integrations come in: by making your risk data available in the platforms other teams use every day, they can make the most informed decisions possible without any additional legwork.

For example, many of our customers use the TradeTapp API to connect qualification status and limits to their ERP system. By doing so, they prevent their teams from ever issuing a new project that exceeds a single project limit, or aggregate total limit.

During the bidding phase: Keep risk top of mind for estimators

The most effective way to ensure everyone considers risk during their day-to-day is to insert the information into the systems and workflows that they operate in. Find ways to embed risk into their processes as subtle reminders to your project team.

Ease of discovery is key. For instance, TradeTapp’s integration with BC Pro displays qualification details in five different locations within the app. As estimators search for vendors, invite them to bid, review and compare bids, and ultimately award contracts, TradeTapp data remains front and center. This ensures risk stays top of mind as estimators evaluate vendors, pushing them to think beyond just cost and availability.

During and after construction: Create a feedback loop with field teams

After preconstruction is complete and the project moves into the construction phase, risk data sharing becomes a two-way street. Once projects are underway, it’s important to create a feedback loop with your field managers to uncover site-specific risk insights.

During construction, establish processes to report and track signs of subcontractor distress (e.g. a fluctuating workforce, falling behind schedule, pre-lien notices from their suppliers) and other risk concerns (e.g. data on weather conditions, pollution hazards, project timing). Finally, after project completion, use a detailed subcontractor performance survey to collect risk data for future projects.

I’ll be diving into how these feedback loops can be built with technology next month at both Autodesk’s Connect & Construct Summit in Las Vegas and IRMI Construction Risk Conference in Seattle.

Check out our latest webinar

If you’re interested in seeing how our integration between BC Pro and TradeTapp helps streamline collaboration between risk and estimating teams, check out the recording of our latest webinar. You’ll learn how to put prequalification information front and center during the bidding process, helping introduce a risk-conscious mindset to your estimating team.


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