5 Keys to Delivering Better AEC Projects: Maximize Project Collaboration and Communication

Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” This adage applies to many business situations, including individual projects. When individual contributors on a project team are all aligned on the project’s goals, their individual responsibilities and the project’s status, overall success is likely.  

But what happens when everyone ISN’T moving forward together? Without effective project collaboration and communication, teams or contributors can lose sight of the progress of the project and individual tasks, which can result in serious delays and cost overruns – not to mention unhappy clients.  

For these reasons, collaboration and communication are obvious keys to delivering better AEC projects.  

Enabling truly effective project collaboration and communication  

Microsoft developed Teams to facilitate collaboration across your entire organization. With the rise of collaboration tools like Teams, many AEC firms spend their entire day communicating via voice or chat without touching a phone. Teams is also a great tool for conducting meetings and sharing documents. Teams has become the way a truly efficient firm works together. 

Project Operations in aec360 can be directly embedded in Teams. When a Project Manager needs to develop or modify a project plan, or assign resources to their project, they don’t need to leave the environment that they live in all day, every day.  

Brainstorming to come up with unique solutions to projects, sharing documents so the design team is working off the same deliverables and scheduling tasks on project calendars are just a few of the other ways Teams provides an AEC firm with the foundation for more successful project outcomes. 

This screenshot below shows Project Operations being accessed inside of Teams. It couldn’t be easier to create the Teams site for any project. When the Project Manager first starts to develop their project in Project Operations, simply clicking a button establishes the Teams site for that project. 

A screenshot of Project Operations being accessed within Teams

Collaboration gets taken to a whole new level when you consider that this is all available via Microsoft’s Cloud, the leading cloud for business. This means any of your employees who are working on the project can access all of this anytime, from anywhere. For AEC firms, project resources are typically spread out over several offices, potentially in different time zones. Project Operations and Teams makes it easy for everyone to work together in real-time.  

aec360 uses Teams everywhere, not just with Project Operations 

As described above, there are clear benefits of giving your project team access to Project Operations in Teams. aec360 doesn’t stop there. Almost every application area of aec360 is available within Teams, allowing team members to collaborate with others as they complete tasks that run through the entire project lifecycle. 

Here’s an example that everyone can relate to: entering a timesheet. In the screen below, the employee’s timesheet sits inside of Teams. No more excuses for a late timesheet! 

A screenshot of an employee timesheet viewed in Teams

The collaboration in this case is between an employee and a project manager. The employee has a quick question about where they should charge their time. 

Think of the benefits of the employee communicating with the project manager as they complete their timesheet. Right from the start, the timesheet is more accurate, so the PM gets the true story of what’s going on. The employee has also investigated whether the charge should be billable. What if that was miscoded and never billed? That’s lost revenue. Increased accuracy of time records also means that there are fewer labor adjustments during the billing process, thus increasing cash flow. More revenue and better cashflow – that’s a successful project outcome. Interested in learning more about aec360? Contact us today.   

Read our next article in the series on how to optimize resource utilization.

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.