Construction industries mastering with Agile approach

Agile is no doubt one of the most famous approaches to project management in the modern workplace and construction companies are taking notice.

After having proved its mantle in the software and automotive industry, agile is not being adopted by the construction industry to deliver successful projects. Unlike the flexible and intangible world of software development, the process of construction is more concrete and presents some unique challenges when it comes to agile.

Despite these challenges, the flexibility of agile can help reimagine how construction projects are conducted. According to research, major construction projects are often completed one year later than the due date and many tend to go over the budget. Such projects suffer from productivity bottlenecks, low transparency, poor communication, cost overruns, delays, and many other challenges that the agile approach can help to solve. With the right agile methods, industry owners can boost productivity and streamline processes to reach deadlines faster.

Objectives and Targets for Sustainability Outlined by the United Nations for Construction Organizations

It’s not just with regards to bringing functional productivity for accomplishing seamless operatoins and responsiveness; it’s also about guaranteeing that sustainability goals are satisfied precisely. While seeking after nimble and versatile business processes, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has set up various objectives for large organizations to consider.

Creating robust and resilient infrastructure

Build great, dependable, reasonable, and tough foundation, including territorial and transborder framework, to help financial turn of events and human prosperity, with an emphasis on reasonable and equivalent access for everybody.

Advancing industrialization that is both manageable and comprehensive

Advance comprehensive yet sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, fundamentally grow industry’s commitment to work and GDP, in view of public conditions, and twofold its contribution.

Further developing access of small organizations

The organizations have been tasked with the objective to improve small organizations’ admittance across developing countries particular to enhance access to monetary services, eminently minimal expense credits, just as their reconciliation into esteem chains and markets, particularly in agricultural nations.

Infrastructural enhancements and development

Further develop infrastructure and retool ventures to make them more practical by 2030, with further developed asset productivity and expanded utilization of clean, harmless to the ecosystem innovations and modern cycles, with all nations acting as per their separate abilities.

Putting resources into scientific examination and advancement

By 2030, all nations, especially non-industrial nations, ought to work on scientific researc and modern industrial capacities, including empowering advancement and essentially expanding the quantity of innovative work laborers per million individuals, along with open and private innovative work spending.

  • Increment monetary, mechanical, and specialized guide to African nations, least created nations, landlocked non-industrial nations, and little island creating states to assist non-industrial nations with making economical and versatile framework.
  • Help agricultural nations with homegrown specialized turn of events, research, and development, especially by establishing a good administrative climate for modern broadening and item esteem expansion, in addition to other things.
  • Help emerging nations with homegrown specialized developments, research, and advancement, especially by establishing a good administrative climate for modern broadening and product esteem expansion, in addition to other things.

What is Agile project management in construction?

Agile project management, much like agile software development, is all about being prepared for change. It is an iterative approach to planning and execution of processes that aims to complete a project in several small sections known as iterations.

When it comes to construction, the agile method of project management can help construction projects adapt to delivery and design changes quickly. In addition to agility, the agile method also adds the ability to identify problems early so they can be resolved quicker. However, construction projects are unlike any other application of the agile method. Their sequential nature makes them an unlikely candidate for agile. Despite the fact that making quick changes and adapting to laborious construction projects may not always be possible, agile can be used as a powerful tool to make construction endeavors more flexible, robust, and efficient.

How can Agile benefit a construction project?

Process Visibility

Construction projects can easily descend into chaos due to the lack of tracking and low transparency. Agile is all about visualizing the workflow, every step of the way. This increases process visibility, making it easier to track progress and view updates. The visualization of workflows can be done through Kanban boards which will ultimately help the team eliminate waste, react quickly to issues and discover constraints early on. It also helps bridge the gap between process and execution.

Enhanced Communication

Construction projects are often plagued with poor communication and lack of accountability that has negative effects on productivity. Agile teams are highly focused on individuals and interactions to ensure that there’s always a good flow of communication within the project team. This is usually done by integrating regular feedback loops such as daily meetings to discuss progress and future plans. In addition to that, team members are encouraged to collaborate and present managers with their innovative ideas to make work more effective. This superior communication gives way to better collaboration, coordination, and continuous improvement.

Reducing Delays

Delays are one of the biggest and most common problems faced by construction projects. According to Mckinsey, large projects usually take 20% longer to reach completion, resulting in 80% cost overruns. The reasons for these delays can be anything from poor planning to problems with contractors. With agile, teams can utilize different agile metrics to determine the amount of time each work process takes. This allows them to calculate useful metrics like throughput, cycle time, and much more. Visual charts and diagrams like the Cumulative Flow Diagrams can also help teams track their workflows and resolve bottlenecks early on.

Is the Agile approach in construction effective?

While the usage of the agile approach for construction projects has been limited in the past, more and more companies are now moving towards implementing agile pilot projects to further assess its advantages for the niche.

Here are some main reasons why the agile approach is effective for construction:

  • Agile approach for construction will allow construction companies to meet changing customer requirements or adapt to emerging on-site challenges and conditions.
  • It can also help construction projects reduce overall risk and deliver value at regular intervals instead of only at the very end.
  • With agile methods, teams can respond to the dynamic nature of construction projects and adjust their project plans accordingly.
  • Most agile teams are self-organized teams which allows them to develop a sense of ownership for the project. This encourages more accountability that leads to improved productivity and employee engagement.

How to create an effective construction plan with agile iteration?

To build an effective construction plan with agile iteration, one needs to go through certain steps. These may include:

Construction Roadmap

The first step is to define a construction roadmap that outlines the high-level sequence of activities. This also includes defining construction zones with clearly defined boundaries and requirements. An example of construction zones for building a house might be its garage area. However, this roadmap is bound to change during the lifetime of the project due to the dynamic nature of construction projects.

Sequencing Plan

Once the roadmap is approved by all stakeholders, project sequencing can be decided. These include more specific deliverables for scopes of work. These may include design, procurement, and construction sequencing plans.

Sprint Plan

The next and most major step in the agile iteration method is sprint planning which is a highly collaborative effort. At the beginning of each sprint, the team must break down, list, and sequence activities to drive value. Sprint planning can only prove effective if the right people are involved at each stage.

What is the impact of the Agile approach for a construction business?

Construction projects are often plagued with problems such as poor communication, lack of transparency, delays, and an adversarial environment that limits growth. This can negatively impact construction businesses that are seeking to build a stellar reputation in the industry.

With the agile approach, construction businesses can reimagine the way teams handle projects, workflows, and interactions. Naturally, the impacts of this are far–reaching.

Here are some common positive impacts of using agile in construction:

How your organization can use Agile construction management for Pre-Design and Design Phases?

In the construction workflow, agile is most applicable for the design and pre-design phases that occur before the actual, physical work. The main goal of agile construction is to deliver frequent value to the customers in the planning phases. Since it is harder to change the result once it’s already under construction, agile helps companies perfect their project plans.

KanBo is a work management software that is perfect for agile teams. When it comes to project planning, KanBo brings design, execution, and delivery to one place. With KanBo, you can strike the perfect balance between predictability and flexibility. Here are some of the top KanBo features that can help construction companies make the most out of agile

Modern Gannt Chart

Construction projects are often large-scale endeavors with several moving parts that fit together in a complex fashion. For such extensive projects, excel sheets are simply not enough. KanBo adds a useful modern Gantt chart feature that can visualize how all your work and deadlines fit together to form the bigger picture. This allows teams to identify allocation issues, dependency conflicts, and bottlenecks before the project begins.

Date Dependencies

With ever-evolving situations and emerging on-site challenges, construction projects are highly dynamic in nature. KanBo guards all the date dependencies that are crucial to the project so you can handle it even when things change without a moment’s notice. With KanBo, you can view the impact of changes on your entire work structure. See which elements are affected by changes and get to the bottom of project delays with a few clicks. This improves process transparency, allowing you to handle problems quickly before the construction work begins.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

With card dependencies and due dates, KanBo calculates the critical path to identify the most important aspects of the construction project. This allows construction companies to prioritize efficiently by focusing on what really matters. This is very essential in the pre-design and design phases as it lets you identify which activities deserve more attention and resources.

User View in Board

Resource availability and capacity are important measures in the construction planning phase. KanBo allows you to visualize the workload allotted to each team member to handle human resources efficiently. The user view makes it easy to see the work distribution that ensures optimal deployment, quick resolution of bottlenecks, and systematic resource allocation.

Board Scorecard

It can be challenging to assess the performance of construction projects due to a lack of tracking and monitoring capabilities. With KanBo, you can easily view performance through the lens of useful KPIs like risk metrics, budget, and major milestones. In addition to that, you can easily view how work is progressing against the schedule.

How does KanBo ensure an Agile approach for the construction industry?

Construction companies can utilize KanBo’s boards and different features to breakdown complex plans into smaller work packages while assigning them to teams and tracking progress. Here are some of the most important agile features of KanBo that can reimagine how work is done in the construction industry:

Setting Clear Roles & Responsibilities: Responsible and Co-workers in card

KanBo Cards are work contexts built around real-world entities on the construction site like buildings, tasks, contracts, issues, and much more. Much like in the real world, someone needs to be in charge of cards. KanBo allows you to choose people as responsible or coworker in a card to establish who’s in charge.

Going Beyond Boundaries: Invite others to participate

KanBo helps construction companies embrace agile by empowering employees with the right flow of communication. Here are some useful communication features that connect people in KanBo.

Inviting Others

In KanBo, you can invite team members, people from other departments, and even external stakeholders to join a board or card to set up new avenues of communication and knowledge sharing.

KanBo People Search

It can be hard to find the right people at the right time. KanBo’s people search can help you connect with people with the right skill set to help you overcome any challenges.

Open Book

KanBo’s open book settings give everyone the ability to create new boards and invite external individuals to collaborate. This ensures an open and continuous flow of communication across departments to spark more opportunities for innovation.

Discover similar contexts

Construction projects can be highly fragmented which means teams often repeat work and there’s little sharing of useful knowledge among departments. KanBo tackles this problem by a mechanism to discover similar KanBo Boards. KanBo can suggest boards doing the same nature of work based on its analysis of boards. This helps employees to connect with others who are tackling the same problems within the organization instead of starting from scratch.

KanBo Facilitates Construction Companies at All Levels of Management

Any construction organization that wants to enhance operational efficiency by adopting agile approach, and embrace planning and monitoring requires a robust infrastructure. When infrastructure is divided across teams, it becomes more difficult to monitor work and information, resulting in inefficiency and redundancy. KanBo’s basic building blocks help managers, executives, and employees develop and optimise their work processes and project plans in a similar way. Whether you’re an executive or just a team member, KanBo offers all the building blocks you need for all kinds of hierarchical arrangements.

As a C-Level Executives‘ Digital Headquarters

Top-level management values a broad picture of the firm and a bird’s eye view. KanBo provides customers with the digital headquarters they need, including quick access to strategy, tasks, projects, information, knowledge, documentation, internal communication, and the organizational community, as well as critical applications. Instead than having to plan meetings and video conferences every day, they can make key decisions on the go.  

Citizen Developers as a Low-Code Platform

Low-code platforms are a visual approach to software development that allows for quick application delivery without the need for manual coding. Low-code platforms were created to make app development more accessible to the general public, especially citizen developers, who are basically business users with no professional coding experience. These personnel include project managers and business analysts, for example. KanBo’s low-code platform allows users to make a big difference in a number of ways, such as reducing IT department backlogs, eliminating shadow IT, and taking control of BPM workstreams.

Citizen Developers as a No-Code Platform

NCDPs (no-code development platforms) enable non-coders and coders alike to create application software utilising graphical user interfaces and configuration tools. They don’t use standard computer programming, which might be tough to master. KanBo and other no-code development platforms, like low-code development platforms, promise to speed up the application development process. These platforms have gained in popularity as businesses deal with the concurrent trends of an increasingly mobile workforce and a limited supply of trained software developers.

Work Organization Platform for Information Workers

A process is a procedure that involves a series of steps that must be completed in order to produce a certain outcome. A project, on the other hand, is a short-term plan with the purpose of providing a one-of-a-kind product, service, or result. KanBo provides a single location with all of the tools employees, managers, and executives need to manage many processes and projects with ease.


As the world becomes more fast paces, construction projects need to keep up in order to minimize delays, eliminate cost overruns and meet changing customer needs. While agile may not apply to every part of a construction project, it can be useful in many of its phases including the pre-design and design phases. Implementing agile, at least in the construction planning phase can help construction companies boost communication, derive more value for the customer, and meet the dynamic needs of the market.

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