Maximizing in-field software adoption
“The feedback from the field staff was: 'Yup, this is it. We've tried all these other ones. This is it.' Then it spread to two or three other projects almost immediately.”
One of the most frequent concerns we hear from people and organizations looking at Bridgit Field goes something like this, “We really like the solution, and we know it’s exactly what we need – but we’re worried that it’ll be hard to get the rest of the team to use it.”
We’re happy to say that after choosing Bridgit Field, the majority of our customers don’t have any significant problems with getting people in their organizations to use Bridgit.
Nonetheless, we wanted to share some real-world customer experiences to show how to maximize in-field adoption.
Kick things off the right way
There are a few steps you can take right at the beginning to set your project up for success.
First, when you start your project, have your project team participate in Bridgit’s training. Your designated Customer Success Manager will lead an online or in-person training session to ensure the project team understands how to navigate the app and log tasks.
While we do not typically offer subcontractor training, you can ensure subs understand how to use the Bridgit app with our short Subcontractor Training Guide.
It’s also important to configure your project’s notifications for how often participants receive updates: the most popular setting is to send a daily summary to users with new deficiencies, and a weekly summary to users with outstanding deficiencies. However, it’s entirely up to you, and you can update the settings at any time through the “Mail Preferences” tab.
So far, so good: people should have the app installed and are all set to receive automatic updates.
Next, it’s worth showing people just how easy it is to use the Bridgit app even beyond Bridgit’s training. Kean de Vries, Project Manager at Benson Industries Limited, takes his team through mock inspections to get them comfortable using the app in the field.
Of course, it’s valuable to win over everyone at the beginning of a project, not just subcontractors and trades. Andrew Sills, a Project Manager for Hodges & Hicks General Contractors in Atlanta, told us how he got superintendents on board: “I downloaded the app, sat our superintendent down and showed him how to use it. I took a picture, circled something on it, clicked the room number we were sitting in, assigned a subcontractor, and created the [punch list] item.”
The superintendent’s reaction? “Wow, that’s super easy!”
In most cases, this hands-on approach goes most of the way to increasing adoption.
Josh Binkley, Area Manager for Phase One of the Regina Bypass (RDBD) project in Saskatchewan, Canada, shared with us that, “Even the guys who are not so technically inclined have told me that they enjoy using the software.”
Binkley went on to specifically cite the photo features, saying “They really like the photos, because there’s no confusion. The photo is clear and you can’t miss the issue.”
Marcelo Tavares, Superintendent at G.T. McDonald Enterprises agrees, telling us that, “One of the greatest features is the mark-up on drawings and photos, I can highlight the areas that need to be addressed. It removes the problems around language barriers – not all subs speak English, but they all have phones – because in South Florida, Spanish is often the first language. So that’s really helpful.”
Kyle Darnell, Divisional Manager of Senior Living and Multi-Family Group for ARCO, explained to us that they experienced 80% participation on using the app in the field from their subcontractors. "That instantly told us that the software is easy enough that a field person will use it and can use it,” he added. “The feedback from the field staff was: 'Yup, this is it. We've tried all these other ones. This is it.' Then it spread to two or three other projects almost immediately.”
In an ideal scenario, everyone involved with the project sees how Bridgit makes their construction projects less complicated.
That’s what Daniela Fiore-Goncalves, an Assistant Site Superintendent at Minto in Toronto, Ontario, experienced. She relayed to us that, “It’s been easy to get our team and even our trades on board. Everyone who has been introduced to Bridgit Tasks has responded extremely well. Funny enough, if a day goes by where I haven’t assigned a task to a trade, they are asking me where it is which keeps me on my toes. That kind of trade accountability is priceless!”
While we hear a lot of ‘instant adoption’ stories, we also occasionally hear from customers who’ve had a slightly different experience, in which widespread adoption takes a bit longer to achieve.
In these scenarios, persistence pays off, and it helps to have a champion reminding people to use the Bridgit Field solution.
Kean de Vries, a Project Manager at Benson Industries, explained to us how things played out when they adopted Bridgit: “Tim (the President) made the purchasing decision. When they first signed up, only Tim was using it. We have operations in Vancouver and Victoria, and they didn’t cross over very much.”
He told us how, “Some of the guys who weren’t naturally tech-savvy didn’t see why we were so excited about it, so I helped to train them.”
With de Vries’ training, and Tim’s advocacy, adoption picked up: “It’s fully integrated into the company now. There was a bit of resistance at first, with people thinking there’d be a learning curve, but Tim really advocated and enforced the use. He knew that we really needed to have this as part of our program. I was a point person, so I spent a bit of time learning it but it was pretty easy to learn. Then I’d do a mock inspection with the guys, and show them how to generate reports in the office. It’s pretty easy to do that, and it goes a long way.”
And that’s a story that we’ve heard from time-to-time: a bit of slow adoption, or even resistance, that’s overcome with a bit of effort.
Over time, most people on a project genuinely come to see that there’s real value in using Bridgit because it makes their jobs less complicated by keeping them informed, reducing paperwork, and saving time.
Ask for input
People often appreciate being involved, rather than being told, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask your project crew how they think they could get real utility out of Bridgit. Just asking the simple question, “How do you think we could better use Bridgit?” might get some of the folks off the fence by causing them to really consider how the solution can help them.
Even more than just generating goodwill, though, asking for input has the real potential to meaningfully improve how your organization uses Bridgit on this project, and others.
For instance, tags are a really great way to get and stay organized – maybe a subcontractor or trade has a great idea for a set of tags that would make them more efficient at resolving issues?
If someone makes a good, well-considered suggestion, give it some serious consideration. Even if you don’t end up implementing the idea on this project, your willingness to ask will likely win over some new allies.
What if things still aren’t working?
In rare cases, some of our customers have faced prolonged challenges getting people – particularly subcontractors and trades – to fully engage with the Bridgit Field solution.
In these circumstances, they’ve had to become a bit more ‘persuasive,’ by being very clear that performance is being tracked closely, that great work will be rewarded with future contracts, and that there will be consequences for poor work because people can’t ‘hide’ anymore.
We talked to a few customers about how they increased subcontractor and trade accountability and performance, and we’ll share those stories and lessons in a future post – so stay tuned!
Summing it up
Maximizing adoption of Bridgit Field within your project crew is a key strategy to experiencing the largest benefits.
Here are some steps you can take on future projects to get everyone engaged:
Take care of the basics by making sure contact information is loaded and automatic communications are set up; also, share the Subcontractor Training Guide so people know what to expect and how to get up-and-running.
Get right in there and take a few minutes to show people how to use the app: conduct a mock inspection, create a Task, mark-up a photo – and then make sure your crew is comfortable doing those things on their own.
Ask for input, and seriously consider the good suggestions – who knows, maybe someone will put forth an idea that will really make a difference.
Stick with it! Most people will pick up Bridgit Field right away, but some might be a bit slow. Keep advocating, and be persistent.
See Bridgit apps in action
Let us give you a free spin of our construction apps.