As someone who leads your team while handling big construction projects, are you thinking about the step-by-step process? It is all about workflows. And if you are not thinking about improving and maximizing your construction workflows, you are missing out on key efficiencies. In addition, you may fall behind in the ongoing competition and need to get the most out of the opportunities.
So, what is construction workflow? Why is it important? What separates a great workflow from a poorly-structured one? And what are the ways you can improve your overall construction workflows? Read this blog to discover and learn something.
What is Construction Workflow?
Before we get started on maximizing your workflows, let’s begin first by knowing what defines your workflows.
Workflow is the definition, implementation, and automation of all business processes where information, tasks, and documents are passed from one participant to another. Today’s modern organizations utilize workflows to coordinate tasks between people and integrate data between systems – with the ultimate goal of enhancing overall organizational Efficiency, profitability, and responsiveness.
In construction, workflows are necessary and the topmost requirement to implement. There are many moving parts wherein tracking and managing everything is a considerable part of the entire process – from pre-construction to closeout.
Key Pillars of Workflow Failure and Time Waste
And while construction workflows are proven to bring large boons to your business, this will only happen if these workflows are well-constructed, thought out, and fully understood by each crew member of your team, as well as relevant to all your methods, materials, and processes. As of the present, a lot of construction leaders and project managers need to pay attention to their workflows, resulting a not well-organized and properly executed processes. And that it is a real problem.
Here, we will show you three major aspects that are visibly present in a well-constructed workflow. Hopefully, as you read and learn this part, you can learn to determine the difference between a good workflow versus a poorly-constructed one.
- Communication: Good construction workflows require direct communication between all stakeholders and crew members. Too many touchpoints, such as email chains, are potentially problematic and can damage the entire workflow. When these things happen, expect that communication becomes inconsistent and unclear. Also, expect that people involved will be out of the loop, and there will be a lot of gaps that hamper overall productivity.
- Lack of transparency: Workflows can only be successful if there is transparency in the overall process. Know that your members should be aware of where they are in the process, the next move, and what specific items are required to do so. Without visibility, action items are most likely to be missed, delaying the projects and correcting work in error.
- Data Silos: Data and systems are often not connected, and most of the time, they are stored in different, separate locations. This usually creates double entries or a good deal of missing out on accurate information, resulting in derailed construction workflows and processes. If you notice, there are too many and too few touchpoints.
Fortunately, failure is not set in stone. Now, let’s go over to the next section, where you can finally discover the most commonly used construction workflows today that need to optimize and improved consistently.
Construction Workflows that Matter
When many of your stakeholders are disconnected from each other, time is wasted in your pre-construction workflows. Expect that there will be many problems in this area, especially if several teams are involved. Whether it is an estimation, bidding, or qualifying your subs, there will be too many moving parts. As a result, some aspects can be disorganized, especially the documentation process.
Your team will be most likely to struggle to get things align when it comes to collating all critical information. And you must be fixing such problems right away: Here are some of the best ways you can enhance your pre-construction workflow:
- Connect data to the field: Look for technology that allows your teams to push pre-construction data and documents, such as designs and estimations, to the field. This helps you streamline your workflows between pre-construction and the construction itself.
- Automate workflows using construction scheduling software: With all the latest technologies emerging today, you can easily automate your workflows. This means you are no longer relying on emails and manual processes that will most likely leave your crew members unaligned.
Pro Crew Schedule, a construction software, has top-notch integration features that help you and your teams to seamlessly sync workflows, validate and assess risks and help your team to automate manual tasks. Overall, this tech helps you automate and integrate all your processes and methods.
BIM, or Building Information Modeling, is a time-saving construction tactic, but only if this strategy is used properly. BIM needs to be properly executed to save time. You will experience this if two teams showcase the same elements. When two models are used in the field, your data can be lost.
Attempting to recover incomplete data may lead to more serious errors, wasted resources, and costly reworks. Below are some tips you can use that help you improve your BIM workflow:
- Adopt a shared data environment: Use cloud-based BIM to create a joint data platform. This helps you avoid duplicate information in any case. This software allows everybody to see what has already been uploaded and what was not. Any duplicates can be identified on the spot and removed right away.
- Enhanced accessibility: Ensure BIM is openly accessible in the field to everybody. Your crew members must instantly and conveniently access different models in the operations and fields.
One of the most important construction workflows relevant to this day is submittals. In general, the process of reviewing submittals is quite long and tedious. This is why you must aggregate them from everyone involved, ensuring that your crew members cover every aspect of the construction project. If you opt for manual, reviewing can take weeks and even months, and while your construction project grows in scope, and size, expect the errors will follow too.
Improve your submittals workflow using the following tips below:
- Digitally manage and monitor submittals: Using construction project management software add-ons, you can digitally manage your submittals in one stop. These cloud-based platforms allow everyone to upload submittals seamlessly, where they can initiate requests, update approvals and manage reviews.
- Using solutions like this helps you eliminate the need to handle them manually and puts them all in one place to ensure nothing gets lost.
- Automate Submittal Logs: You can opt to automate the conception of your submittals with Pro Crew Schedule – a sophisticated construction time tracking software that enables you to input all submittal register items in a matter of seconds, track and manage them seamlessly in one shared space. Taking advantage of this software helps you save money and time, improve overall accuracy and even reduce the possibilities of reworks.
While at many times dreadful, requests for information (RFIs) are a crucial part of any construction project. And with a solid workflow, your RFI process may succeed. RFIs ensure that your construction crews do their job correctly, reducing reworks and maintaining quality. RFIs are essential since they can be roadblocks to your projects, especially when processes are not yet streamlined.
Here are some tips to enhance your RFI construction workflow:
- Go digital: Instead of creating RFIs manually and relying on paper, take advantage of one system. From there, you can onboard everyone involved, where they can see all RFI updates.
- Standardize processes: Having a standard form or template for your RFIs is such a disadvantage, and it will save your time. Instill formalized RFI processes on your projects, and make sure to set the standard at all levels of your documentation.
5. Punch Lists and Closeout
In closing out projects, a punch list plays a huge role. So, make sure to submit everything on time. Avoid manual tracking of punch lists as well since it can also waste a lot of time. In many projects, a closeout is often delayed because most punch list items must be managed properly or handled ahead of time.
Some tips to improve your construction punch list workflows are as follows:
- Use construction management software extensions: Allow your team to get updates and track punch lists anywhere and anytime using cloud-enabled software that has advanced integration and tracking features.
- Track punch lists as tasks: Using the software we mentioned, you can chuck punch lists and turn them into tasks. Today’s latest technologies allow accessibility and transparency, resulting in a much cleaner and seamless punch process.
Optimize Your Construction Workflows with Pro Crew Schedule
There are many options you can choose from when getting the right construction software for your workflows. But if you want an all-in-one platform that covers everything, Pro Crew Schedule is the best choice!
Pro Crew Schedule is a crew scheduling software designed for construction pros, contractors, builders, or remodelers. It has a built-in set of features that best streamline your standard operating processes and procedures.
Here are some cool things you can experience using Pro Crew Schedule:
- Integrated project management system
- Automated construction workflows and processes
- Intuitive interface and total transparency
- Integration to other apps
If you want a first-hand experience with this software, you can get access to a 30-day trial for free!