The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing most of us to stay home and stay safe. As a result, you probably have extra time on your hands. Let me offer a suggestion for all of you who work in preconstruction and are searching for something to fill a little extra downtime.
If you recently purchased new takeoff and estimating software, it might be the perfect time to get some training—especially if it got delayed because you were too busy earlier to really focus and learn how to use it.
With your schedule isn’t as tight, it’s a great way to spend some of that extra time. Here are three reasons why it’s the perfect time to get yourself trained up.
1. You Have More Time to Focus and Learn
As estimators and project managers, your days are usually packed with a variety of activities, including finding bids, completing takeoff on your plans, preparing estimates, managing budgets, and handling change orders. With so many responsibilities demanding your attention, there’s little left over to attend a training session on your new software—even if the program promises to streamline a lot of those daily tasks.
For many of you, however, the impact of COVID-19 has changed all that. In fact, I recently talked to an estimator who said the pandemic has caused some slowdown in their business. He decided it was the perfect time to do his training. He told me that having a few hours to concentrate solely on learning would allow him to gain a more complete understanding of the capabilities of the software, rather than just a general summary of what it does.
What’s more, he said that having that deeper understanding would ultimately put him in a better position to win more bids when business picks up again.
My takeaway from that conversation was this: Setting aside some time to prioritize your learning now will pay future dividends. During your training, you’ll have an opportunity to talk through the needs of your business so your trainer can pinpoint the key functionalities that will positively impact your ability to work more efficiently and win more bids. This is a win-win for when projects resume and your schedule fills back up again.
2. You Have More Time to Practice
Along those same lines, after completing your training, you can now carve out some time to practice what you’ve just worked so hard to learn. Knowing where to start isn’t always easy.
Here’s a useful strategy I share with everyone I train:
- Set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day
- Pick a topic or two from your training session and practice within the software
- The next day, pick a couple more topics and do the same thing
By separating everything you need to learn into smaller “chunks,” you’ll be able to build up your knowledge faster and retain the new information over a longer time period.
In his book, “Outliers”, noted author Malcolm Gladwell makes a good point about the value of practice. He says, “practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” And creating a routine of daily practice right now will certainly boost your confidence around using your software moving forward.
3. You Can Leverage Available Resources
As you’re getting started with your new takeoff and estimating software, you should know that you have tons of resources available to you – even while many of us are working from home.
The entire training team at On Center by ConstructConnect is mobilized and ready to help you with anything you need, including:
- Scheduling training sessions
- Answering questions related to the software
- Showing you how to access our how-to tools, such as product training videos and program user guides
- Consulting on how best to learn and leverage the software given the unique needs of your business both now and in the future
One of our main goals as a training team is to partner with you and your colleagues to ensure you have the best possible experience with our tools. We want to help you learn the software and then be a resource as your team grows and gets into more complex areas of takeoff and estimating.
In fact, if you decide now is the right time for you to attend a training session, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to assist you with scheduling.
Allyson Grove is a Product Training Specialist at On Center Software by ConstructConnect. She delivers best-in-class training to construction industry professionals. Her passion is helping estimators and project managers sharpen their takeoff and estimating skills and win more bids. Prior to joining On Center in 2015, she worked in a variety of industries, including broadcast television, publishing, consumer electronics, oil and gas, and management consulting. For the past 15 years, she has held a variety of training and development roles in which she delivered both classroom and virtual training, as well as designed and developed curriculum. Originally hailing from Ohio, Allyson holds a degree in broadcast journalism from Ohio University. When not at work, Allyson enjoys watching sports, doing yoga, reading, and journaling.