Managing construction projects is not an easy task – it’s everything, everywhere, all at once. Waking up and going to work feels different daily, as construction professionals are usually presented with new challenges daily. Not one work day is the same, and that’s one of the reasons why this industry is very attractive – whether you work as a project manager, foreman, engineer, designer, or office employee.
However, this level of uncertainty induces anxiety and not excitement for some. While the challenges are refreshing for some employees, this can be daunting for the new people on the job. With many moving parts handled daily, how can one know what’s worth tracking and not?
Managing construction projects can be exciting and scary, and some ways can help teams with both emotions – tracking the necessities. Let’s dive in and learn more about these factors:
In construction management, you need specific resources for project tasks. There can be workers, equipment, funding, facilities, or anything else capable or required to complete a certain activity. You can only execute an activity based on a prefixed schedule if you carefully plan and procure adequate resources.
Resources are the main contributors to a project’s success since each task must have adequate resources allocated for each activity to finish on time and within the intended budget.
- Whatever building materials your construction project requires, track how much quantity is being used, how much is wasted, and how much is unaccounted for.
- While managing a construction project, quality and quantity are vital factors and the availability of your resources.
- You need to ensure adequate resource deployment at every level of construction activity. Construction dispatching software can help you manage resources easily.
2. Labor Hours
Labor is one of the biggest expenses on a construction project, so tracking how many work hours are needed to complete a job is essential. When comparing labor hours versus your project progress, you get a better idea of your team’s productivity. You can compute the amount of work that is completed for a given number of hours worked. After which, you can conclude whether or not you have a productivity issue by comparing your workforce productivity against the industry averages.
If you are behind your construction schedule, then you have a productivity problem. Rather, you must check other construction factors to determine what is slowing project completion.
Your project completion percentage will tell you how far your team has accomplished. Still, keeping a good eye on whether the accomplished tasks are according to the timeline is important to avoid potential delays.
Delay is one of the most crucial adversaries to the performance and success of a construction project. The most frequent root cause of project delays is found to be changed in work plans, external conditions, workforce, building materials, and construction design.
The mapped delays common in construction projects are:
- Excusable delays: These are unexpected delays outside of the control of anyone
- Critical delays: These generally affect the overall schedule and activities.
- Concurrent delays: Neither the contractor nor the project owner will be responsible for such delays.
- Compensable delays: Either the contractor or owner is responsible.
Here are a few tips to avoid unforeseen delays and handle projects efficiently.
- Give a lot of attention during the project planning phase.
- Constantly track and measure your project’s progress.
- Time overrun, the difference between the estimated time of a given project and the actual time taken for project completion, should be strictly controlled.
- Continuously analyze possible cost overruns, also known as cost escalation.
- Implement the right construction dispatching and scheduling software to manage your crew’s time and avoid delays effectively.
4. Health and Safety
The construction industry is known for its relatively high injury and death incidents compared to other industries. Hence, health and safety have to be given the utmost priority. In construction projects, proper safety risk assessment is an essential step in identifying potential hazards and evaluating any risks associated with the hazards. Planning, mitigating, and managing safety risks are important for your employees and company.
The quality of your work will determine your company’s reputation – this is why you should track it as if your life depends on it. To improve the quality of your construction projects, you shall recheck methodology, processes, and practices and identify areas for revision or optimization if necessary. Knowing this, we’d realize that low-quality control equals little or no economic benefit.
Managing construction projects is a challenging task as it involves a wide range of processes. Various factors can affect construction quality, such as:
- Operation Methodology
- Technical Measures
Because of the large project scale and different locations of various projects, poor control of the above factors may produce quality problems for your project. It’s always helpful to establish a Quality Check and Quality Assurance process that can be tracked using innovations in the industry.
Every business always boils down to money, and construction projects are one of them. More money means more people to finish your project more quickly and deliver multiple projects on time, so keeping track of it is important.
Construction cost management includes costs already paid, expected or incoming costs, and possible costs that might come up. The more detailed your cost tracking is, the easier it will be to identify which items are nearing or exceeding the budgeted amounts.
The weather is one of the primary uncontrolled factors in managing construction projects, and ignoring it can have costly consequences. Modern weather forecasts have been more accurate than decades ago but are not 100% accurate. These weather forecasts provide a general estimate of what to expect, but we cannot rely on our project operations for the day based on a forecast alone.
You can take several measures to mitigate some of the issues caused by bad weather in a construction project.
- Plan accordingly the activities that can be affected by rain.
- Make sure to close up your buildings before the rainy season or winter season.
- Plan activities like roofing and lifting huge building materials during the windy season.
- Prepare adequate water pumps on site and establish water disposal of the system during the rainy season.
- Anticipate and plan for the expected weather conditions and allow leeway time in your schedule to compensate for potential delays caused by inclement weather.
- Put protective measures in place.
- Be flexible and reschedule tasks in anticipation of bad weather, using construction dispatching and scheduling software; modify construction working time as necessary.
8. New Construction Technology in the Market
You can’t track the progress of your construction project if you don’t have the means to monitor it. In this day and age, there are various innovative ways to track the progress of a project, and these are:
a. Cloud-based Solutions
Today, there are cloud-based solutions to help you effectively track construction operations. These are mostly paid software used mainly for residential and commercial projects.
b. Task Management
Track and review all tasks assigned to your team in one common place. This can also Increase accountability and transparency with task assignments, allowing your team members to take ownership of the job.
c. Team Scheduling
Crew scheduling and inventory management are other essential features you might want. This feature can help you chart your workforce’s time availability, skillset, productivity, and construction resources in real-time. This is always an integrated feature in construction dispatching software.
d. Time Tracker
Another way to manage your team’s hours is through the time tracker feature. No matter where your team is positioned, whether onsite or in the office, they can update their timesheets fast and on the go. They can submit them instantly, and managers can review and approve them with a simple click.
e. Construction Management Application
Construction professionals like project managers. Field engineers or designers use construction management software to track their construction projects. These digital solutions can be used in construction employee scheduling software, documentation platform, and one common place for everyone in the team to access the data they need anytime and anywhere. Some of the benefits of construction management software are the following:
- Digitization of documents. Through mobile applications, documents can be accessed digitally.
- It makes finding information much easier and quicker.
- Cloud storage of documents with limitless storage for any document.
Pro Crew Schedule allows everyone involved in a construction project to input their data and information into one secure platform. Companies can store, manage, track, and securely share project progress from one centralized location across the rest of the team. Here, a single source of truth is established and maintained.