From start to execution, managing construction projects include a range of factors to consider. Consequently, monitoring multi-location projects is a multi-faceted task involving many people and moving parts. When managing projects at multiple locations at once, the list of micro tasks to complete significantly increases, which might often turn into a terrible managerial nightmare even for the most skilled and experienced project manager. Worst could be, if mismanagement happens, it can significantly impact the overall costs and possibly lower the expected profit for the project completion.
As a project manager, to manage construction projects, you must be 100% hands-on from the planning stage to monitor them at multiple locations effectively closely. So for this blog, we will share some practical ways that can help you track and monitor all of your projects despite different locations.
How Do You Feel Managing Multiple Projects?
Multiple projects generally come with their own set of challenges and prospects. You need to juggle multiple tasks at once, be always present on-site, handle multiple task sprints, and take numerous follow-ups. In addition, unforeseen events and last-minute requirements need you to make realistic project decisions.
Handling multiple projects at different places is a mix of issues like:
- Optimal project planning and resource allocation
- Making a separate and in-depth plan for every project
- Prioritization of tasks and activities spread over multiple projects
- Task integration across different construction sites or project environments
- Use of task management tools to manage multiple projects on a single platform
- · Integration of a feedback, response and review mechanism
- Encourage solid teamwork and strong communication for best result
How to Handle Your Multi-Location Projects?
1. Prepare a detailed plan for every project
First things first, it is crucial to plan every project separately and set down realistic and clear goals. Also, the initial plan for every project must include projected costs, time frame, and key performance metrics to be assessed throughout the project. The plan must also include vital safety protocols necessary for completing all construction projects.
In addition, make sure communication between all stakeholders involved is seamless. You have to get together with your clients and determine their expectations. After gathering all the necessary information, as a project manager, you must constantly provide accurate and relevant updates to all involved parties – your construction team, clients, and other stakeholders.
Having a thorough plan-ready software for project tracking will effectively sidestep any possible misunderstandings that usually hinder the project’s progress. Thus, it prevents you from unnecessarily going over the budget.
2. Assigns roles and responsibilities
When dealing with multiple projects simultaneously, counting on your team may sometimes not be the best solution. We suggest you split your construction team into several units. You can categorize them based on their strength and skill-set. Doing so will allow you to distribute your current workforce towards various projects as and when is required.
Properly assigning responsibilities and roles to a project at a certain location can drastically reduce second shifts and overtime. Saving these essential resources is crucial to handle construction projects at multiple locations at once effectively.
3. Set feasible and realistic deadlines
While every project’s timeline may vary considerably, all deadlines set and agreed upon between stakeholders must be obtainable. You may consider putting additional time into the project timeline even before communicating a deadline, as this helps you deal with unexpected delays. Your workflow must match the projected timeline to avoid creating unnecessary pressure and overruns.
It is also good to set some priorities upon dealing with multiple projects at once – different projects will be at various stages at other times. Having your contingency plan ready is necessary and always handy, especially when it comes to unpredicted delays.
A feasible or realistic project timeline will help you save on overall labor costs.
4. Adjust project schedules to maximize team productivity
Perhaps the project start dates you have set right now are not coordinated. As a result, your crew members are overbooked, the work gets blocked, and the projects are delayed.
Even the most carefully planned construction project will get derailed, especially if it is not scheduled with the overall scope of your team’s work. Hence, always prepare your team’s work with the full scope of your project in mind.
- Stagger start dates – This should be done most, especially if you have the same construction team working on multiple projects.
- Look out for dependencies – Make sure to schedule the dependent projects you have after you planned the first completion date.
- Flag duplicate tasks – If you have similar work in two different projects, you may consolidate it.
5. Implement Work Breakdown Structures(WBS)
When all the project details are displayed in the most straightforward format, all the stakeholders can fully understand the project’s scope. WBS helps your team members and other participating parties understand the activities that should be done.
WBS divides project activities and deliverables into small components that are easier to manage. As a project manager, you can easily track, control, assess and estimate the cost of every work package. A well-structured WBS should include the following:
- Project planning
- Project scheduling
- Task project management
- Project budgeting
- Risk management
- Team management
- Resource management
To become a more effective project manager, make sure to leverage online tools for project management. Integrating two or more of these tools could be more than adequate when it comes to monitoring complex construction projects located in different places.
6. Manage and communicate all expectations clearly
Another problem when projects are in multiple locations is when you and your stakeholders are misaligned about what is happening when. Your team and other parties involved often suffer from communication issues because of the lack of visibility in their work, their partner’s work, their stakeholder’s work, and so on. When you do not have insights into the work of others, you lack the context in fully understanding why the timelines are shifting, whether some priorities remain the same, and how the construction project is progressing.
If communication issues are still apparent, the best way to do this is to constantly find the best tools for project management that allow you to share progress updates and status right where work is happening.
7. Empower your construction team to be flexible
Setting priorities and aligning work are key – however, so is being flexible enough to pivot when needed, especially when projects are in multiple locations. However, if you monitor your work thru spreadsheets, it can be challenging to know what your team is working on at any time. When priorities change, you do know what they have to reschedule, how busy everybody is, or how to track the work you are putting on hold.
To prevent this effect, implement a change control process and use subcontractor management software. By sharing a central platform with your team, you can successfully manage multiple projects without worrying about shifting some priorities. Since everybody’s work is visible, you can get a faster glimpse of your team’s current tasks and bandwidth.
8. Managing your resources
Typically, your resources can be breakdown into four main categories – the required materials, your team, time, and construction equipment. Proper allocation of your resources immediately impacts the completion time and project costs, especially when handling several construction projects at multiple locations at once. As previously mentioned earlier, the resources you have right now must be allocated according to the priorities you set.
Manage Multiple Projects Effectively, Every Time with Pro Crew Schedule
Huge thanks to technology, the construction industry’s landscape is ever-evolving. As of the present, you can find a long list of software applications that can handle various aspects of your projects and overall business – from software apps that handle designs and blueprints to cloud platforms that can help you schedule your workforce. The significant possibilities are almost endless.
Your concern right now is how you can handle projects at once in multiple locations. So, suppose you are looking for a seamless way to streamline your projects and handle all facets of your business. In that case, Pro Crew Schedule can help you with almost everything – communication, collaboration, management, documentation, tracking, budgeting, sorting, accessibility, and convenience.
Pro Crew Schedule is project management software for construction for contractors, project managers, builders who want unique features and reliable service that help them achieve their target goals and complete projects of all sizes.
Some notable advantages of the Pro Crew Schedule include:
- Improve scheduling and planning
- Better collaboration
- Effective task delegation
- Easier file access and sharing
- Effective risk mitigation
- Easier integration of new members
- Budget management
- Enhanced productivity
Request now for a live demo! It won’t take long before you see how the built-in integration and feature-rich interface helps you maximize overall productivity, despite multiple locations of your projects.
Timing can all make a huge difference in keeping numerous projects on track and helping your construction team be their most productive, despite being assigned to different locations. As a project manager, managing multiple projects simultaneously is often the biggest reality of your job. Hopefully, the tips we share with you above will help you keep track of your project’s moving pieces and parts, stay more organized, hit your deadlines, and achieve your goals every single time.