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How to manage common stakeholder challenges in the construction industry

Thursday , June 22, 2023
7 minutes read
How to manage common stakeholder challenges in the construction industry

Managing the stakeholders in the construction industry can be a daunting task, fraught with challenges. However, with the right strategies and approaches, it is possible to navigate these challenges and foster effective stakeholder management in the construction industry.

1. Challenges in construction stakeholder management

1.1 Limited Visibility and Accountability

The limited visibility and accountability can occur due to a lack of effective communication channels or a fragmented project management approach.

When stakeholders are not adequately informed about project progress, milestones, and responsibilities, it becomes difficult to ensure everyone is on the same page. This lack of visibility and accountability can lead to delays, misunderstandings, and conflicts between stakeholders.

1.2 Inefficient Workflow

Another challenge is the presence of an inefficient workflow, which can hinder effective stakeholder management. Construction projects involve multiple stakeholders, including architects, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, regulatory authorities, and clients.

Without a good way to keep track, it's hard to know who voted for what. This lack of openness can make people doubt and not trust each other, causing problems and risking the project's success.

Additionally, when the workflow is not streamlined or optimized, it can result in overlapping or conflicting activities, delays in decision-making, miscommunication, and confusion about submission status.

Stakeholder management in the construction industry

1.3 Lack of Transparency

Construction projects involve various contractual agreements, financial transactions, and decision-making processes that need to be transparent to all relevant stakeholders.

However, due to the complex nature of the construction industry, lack of standardized procedures, and potential conflicts of interest, transparency can be compromised. This lack of transparency can erode trust between stakeholders and create a negative working environment.

1.4 Limited Documentation for Future Reference

Proper documentation is essential in construction projects for future reference and to ensure smooth stakeholder management. However, it is often a challenge to maintain comprehensive and up-to-date documentation.

When documentation is limited or disorganized, it's harder to gather and confirm evidence for arguments or disputes later on. Without proper documentation, referring to past submissions, their outcomes, and the reasons behind decisions becomes difficult. This can cause repetitive discussions, wasted time, and problems in resolving conflicts fairly and quickly.

2. Solutions for construction stakeholder management challenges

2.1 Implementing an open rule process

Implementing an open rule process involves establishing clear guidelines and protocols for communication, decision-making, and project updates. 

All stakeholders should be informed about the project's progress, milestones, and responsibilities through regular status reports, meetings, and collaborative platforms. Thereby, stakeholders can have a better understanding of their roles and contributions, fostering greater visibility and accountability among all parties involved.

2.2 Simplified process tracking

A simplified process tracking can significantly improve stakeholder management. This can be achieved by adopting project management tools and software that streamline project activities, deadlines, and dependencies. 

By using such tools, stakeholders can have a centralized platform where they can access real-time project data, collaborate on tasks, and monitor progress.

Simply construction process tracking

2.3 Promoting transparency through technology

To overcome the challenge of lack of transparency, leveraging technology can be an effective solution.

Cloud-based document management systems like AECIS can be utilized to store and share project documentation, contracts, and other relevant files. This platform can also enhance transparency by providing a comprehensive and visual representation of the project, enabling stakeholders to have a clear understanding overall of the project.

2.4 Establishing standardized documentation practices

Implementing a central repository for project documents, ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the necessary documentation. Standard templates and guidelines can be provided to ensure consistency in document formats and content. It is also essential to encourage stakeholders to document key decisions, changes, and correspondence throughout the project lifecycle.

This comprehensive and well-organized documentation can serve as a valuable resource for future reference, project audits, and post-construction activities.

3. How a software provides features to resolve challenges

3.1 AECIS platform

AECIS - a construction management platform, offers multiple features to resolve construction stakeholder management challenges. It improves visibility and accountability by providing real-time updates and progress tracking and it can help construction stakeholder collaboration and communicate better.

This platform provides a Submittal feature that optimizes submit-process simpler and easier.

“AECIS Submittal streamlines construction project submission management by involving all stakeholders, including Project Control Group, Designers, Cost Consultant, General Contractor, and Nominated Subcontractor, among others, and customizes the process to meet each project's unique requirements for a successful outcome.

Furthermore, AECIS Submittal's user-friendly social project management environment enhances collaboration, communication, and coordination among team members, saving time, preventing delays, and maintaining a streamlined project workflow for successful outcomes.”

3.2 The value AECIS brings to a construction project

AECIS implements an open rule process that allows for flexible submission delegation among managers at different levels. Therefore, each submission can be tracked effectively, providing clear visibility into its progress and status.

Moreover, the open rule process boosts transparency by revealing who voted for each submission. This openness builds trust among stakeholders, reducing doubts and creating a cooperative atmosphere where everyone feels secure in the decision-making process.

Aecis Submittal has three roles for each submission: the creator, the assignee (who can approve or reject the submission), and the distribution list (which keeps everyone updated on the submission).

Moreover, it addresses limited documentation by offering comprehensive document management capabilities.

The system keeps a record of who voted for the submission and  which is their vote (approve, reject, publish,...). It also records the number of times the assignee role was reassigned and the details of each reassignment. Project members can easily track how many people reviewed the submission and see the comments made at each step.

4. AECIS solutions for the real-life construction project

4.1 Overview of the Aqua City Resort Project

The Aqua City Resort by Fusion Project is a development located on a 10,743 m2 land area along the DongNai river. It is a collaboration between VINALIVING and NOVALAND Group.

The resort aims to achieve a 4-star international standard and will be operated by Fusion Group. It comprises three main building elements: Block A, Block B, and Villa, all offering picturesque views of the Dong Nai river. 

The resort features 2 to 3 floors, including a total of 51 rooms. Inspired by the French colonial style popular in 19th-century Vietnam, both the exterior and interior design of the resort embrace this architectural heritage.

Aqua City Resort Dong Nai Project

4.2 The importance of AECIS in the project

Aecis provides a structured workflow for handling submissions such as documents, proposals, design changes, and requests. Each submission is categorized and assigned a unique identifier, making it easy to track and reference throughout the project lifecycle.

Aecis gives three important roles for people involved in the submission process. The creator, usually a contractor, starts the submission, provides information, and uploads documents. The assignee, typically a project manager consultant, reviews and decides whether to approve or reject the submission. The distribution list includes stakeholders who need updates on the submission's progress.

Aecis enables seamless communication and collaboration among project members. The system allows assignees to request input or votes from other parties using the "Issue To" action. This feature fosters transparency and facilitates collective decision-making. Additionally, the distribution list ensures that all relevant stakeholders receive updates and notifications regarding the submission.

Aecis maintains a comprehensive history of each submission. It records details such as the timeline of events, individuals involved at each stage, and any changes or reassignments of the assignee role. This audit trail ensures accountability and provides a clear record of the submission's progression.

5. Conclusion

By using the right platform for management, the construction industry can overcome these challenges and pave the way for successful projects that meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders involved.

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