One of the major problems in any construction project is cost overrun and overdue. We’ve discussed most of the factors that add up to these problems and you might notice that one of the biggest contributors is mismanagement. But we totally understand since construction isn’t as simple as any other job out there.
One project needs a lot of moving parts (from pieces of machinery to tools to equipment and crew members) which the project manager should all handle. The field is too wide and the office might be far from it. This makes managing the project even harder.
A lot of unavoidable things can happen too. No matter how well you planned, there will always be surprise calamities brought about by the weather. Even if you employ the best safety equipment and accessories, accidents may still happen. All these and more other factors can cause your project to be delayed and go over the budget.
Keeping track of a construction project sure is a strenuous job but it isn’t impossible to perfect your project tracking.
There are some tricks that project managers can use to avoid unnecessary delays. We have discussed them in a previous blog, but today, we are going to look into tips for better project tracking.
As you know, managing a project requires a lot of tracking. This isn’t just to see the progress of the construction but also to identify issues that may cause delays and cost overrun. It also helps you see whether or not your members are or working or whether they are doing their tasks properly or not.
If you ask any project manager, they will tell you that the daily management of a construction project is no easy task. Thanks to project management software, work is easier and managers can now juggle tasks under tight deadlines without missing anything important. Field visits are now minimized so the manager can focus on other important duties like improving strategies and problem-solving, while workers can go on with their routine without being interrupted.
And to help you further, we listed a couple of practices that the best project managers, general contractors, and subcontractors do to keep their projects on track.
1.Bids vs. Actual Work
This is why you need to be realistic with your initial plans, schedule, and budget during the bidding process. When you win the project and eventually start the work, you will need to compare your actual work and your bid. You won the project because of the bid you submitted so your actual output shouldn’t go far from your bid. Otherwise, you will get a lot of questioning from your client.
Tracking the bid and your actual work will also help you determine your accuracy in making initial plans and improve in future estimates. For instance, if your project turned out over budget, then you can increase estimates in the future to avoid similar problems. But if you are under budget then you can reduce your estimate and make you more competitive on your next bid.
2.Establish Key Performance Indicators
First, you need to set your business so you can define your KPI. Track whether your team is hitting the KPIs and if not, analyze where you can improve your operations and decision-making. Regularly checking task progress and daily activities of you members on your construction project management software can help you do that.
3.Keep Communication Channels Clear and Open
We always mention that the key to a successful construction project is constant communication between the client and the general contractor, the general contractor and the subcontractor or project managers, and the office and the site. The best way to stay on top of managing your team is to keep a clear line of communication. You don’t need to schedule meetings regularly as you can already communicate important announcements and share important files with your crew members through project management software. So maintain constant communication with your team through your software until the project ends. Doing so will save you time and effort in resolving issues later on.
4.Stay on Schedule
Track progress on a daily basis to know whether you are on schedule or not. If not, then determine the factors that are slowing you down and implement corrections right away. Falling behind schedule is one of the most common reasons for lost revenue and tracking activities faithfully will help you avoid this.
5.Shuffle Resources in Real-Time
Subcontractors should stay alert and aware of their resources’ condition. Are your equipment working? Are they idle? Are your crew members present and working? Knowing these conditions will help you avoid costly delays. If you are short in people because a couple of your members weren’t able to work for the day, then find temporary replacements just so you can ensure that you stay on schedule. If not, look into your equipment to see to what can be used to replace human labor.
6.Document Daily Activities
It is such a hassle to do paperworks after a long day at the site but obligate your people to fill up the reports before they log out of work. Make the daily report as simple as ticking boxes or answering yes or no and adding a short space where they can leave comments, notes, suggestions, or questions about their work. This will also help you later on when making a claim if ever your expenses go over budget or your schedule goes over the deadline.
7.Track Work Hours
Tracking hours that your team worked can help improve project management in many ways. A few of the ways it will benefit you include:
- Getting paid for extra hours that your members worked when it’s not their fault. For instance, when the client asked to implement some changes on the plan or when the weather is making it extra difficult for workers to finish their daily tasks on time.
- Provide the General contractor with information about problems at the site that’s making your team work over time. For instance, the general contractor’s members failed to finish their task that your job is dependent on. Or when his members accidentally caused one of your equipment or a part of your work to fail.
- See if there are patterns which could be avoided in the future.
8.Use Daily Reports for Tracking
Your construction scheduling software will help you track daily reports more easily. Since you probably have a dozen or more who need to work on a project, it will be inconvenient to use a simple spreadsheet for reporting. With an automated software, you can use filters to find reports that you need and hide those that are less important. Keeping things this organized will give you a better hold of your project.
Using daily reports can help you to automatically create:
- Cost to complete reports
- Percent of efficiency reports
- Hours lost reports
- Internal collaboration
Construction projects are filled with dependencies and external factors (for example environmental) that place schedules at risk. Review your plan and analyze identify potential risk areas before you start. Plan on what you can do to manage the risks when they happen. With a contingency plan in place, you will never be left hanging when a problem suddenly starts to occur. Being prepared can prove quite costly for your project.
10.Use Construction Project Management Software
Use construction software such as Pro Crew Schedule to help mitigate the risk of disputes or not being fully paid for your work. Pro Crew Schedule Construction Project Management Software captures the time lags of your crew members as well as their activities and other things that happen in the field. Being cloud-based, you can store unlimited files, photos, and videos that will help you win when litigations happen. In addition, construction project management software provides the strategy to track project activities, monitor costs and ultimately deliver a successful and profitable project!
Project management is a challenging task, but implementing these tips can help you stay on top of it all!