Project management software are there not just to monitor activities at the site but to see to it that the builders’ schedule is faithfully carried out by the whole team. Today we’re going to share with you foolproof tips on how exactly can your team stay within schedule and deliver the project to the client on time and with great quality.
Time is at the essence in construction. One day of delay could already mean thousands of dollars are lost. For a client this is downright frustrating and for a construction business this can damage its reputation.
In a lot of our previous blogs, we emphasized enough how delays can affect the result of the project. First, the building can be delivered with substandard quality when the management decides to speed things up to avoid further delays. Second, the client may suffer from a great loss because of the additional expenses during the delay. Third, litigation can be a thing when the client finds out that negligence has been the reason of the delay. And fourth, the construction company can close down for losing credibility after inflicting damage to its client.
But it’s true that delays can be inevitable in construction most especially when it’s caused by weather disturbances. This is why thorough planning is needed to look into these kinds of circumstances and strategize early on contingencies. Previously, we also shared some tips on how you can continue with your concreting works even during the rainy season since concreting is one of the biggest parts of construction activities.
Tackling weather disturbances can be challenging but there are ways to minimize the chances of delay when they happen and we have a blog about it that you can check too. Errors are another causes of costly delays and reworks but there are mitigation strategies we shared in the past that you can apply to your project.
Now one more thing is left to discuss about managing construction delays and that is strategic time management. Today, we’re going to look at how important it is and how you can apply effective time management in your construction projects.
Importance of Time Management in Construction
Construction companies require a multitude of professionals and skilled workers to achieve the client’s desired building. They are typically paid by the hour, making salary as one of the biggest expenditures in a project. Hence, the client wants to get an assurance that these resources are utilized efficiently at the site to maintain the budget of the project. And time management is one way to ensure that all these people are putting their time to the right use.
Time management in construction means organizing activities and implementing conscious time frames to these activities. The main purpose of this strategy is to enhance the proficiency and productivity of workers.
While workers can strategize on their time, it is important that the project manager takes the lead in assigning each member’s schedule. This is so that all activities are aligned to the master plan and for the daily activities to be really organized. When workers are left off alone, they can start with any task they feel like doing for the day and without time frames, they may be tempt to relax.
In short, time management in construction is one of the responsibilities of the project manager. With so many people working at the site, it can be difficult to keep everyone working efficiently. But thanks to existing time management techniques and tools lime project management software, aligning the activities with the builders’ schedule and the client’s objectives can be a lot easier.
In implementing time management for a broad range of construction activities, intelligent strategizing is needed most especially in planning, scheduling, and prioritizing.
But before going to the strategies on better time management, let’s first look into the importance of time management in construction.
- Effective time management is used to lower the overall construction cost by assigning workers with attainable daily and time frames. This is also to ensure that they make an efficient use of their energy and billing hours.
- Time management organizes the approved time frame by the client into schedules of milestones for the purpose of meeting the deadline or even beating it.
- Time management helps in securing the contractor’s profitability as they are legally binded in a contract with the client where delays can result to a partial lost in profit or termination of contract.
- Since time management techniques help complete the project on time, it can impress the client leading him to create a positive testimonial for your construction firm that will be useful when getting a new project. It can even win the trust of the client leading him to reward a new project to you.
In short, effective time management is crucial in successfully meeting the approved budget and deadline set by the contractor. It isn’t a mere tool for keeping work organized at the site but the key to achieving profitability.
Strategies for More Effective Time Management
Some construction sites are hectic. When you look at some project teams work, it seems like they are always cramming and there are two possible reasons for this. First is the project schedule is too tight and not feasible. And second is they don’t use proper time management techniques in their work.
But there are some teams that appear more relaxed. It could be that they got an easier project, but invariably, they succeed because of the competency of project managers in keeping their team organized and working more diligently, hence resulting in fewer errors.
How do they do that? Let’s look into some proven time management strategies that project managers apply in their work.
- Plan the project
Planning doesn’t only focus on listing key milestones and mapping out schedule for each activity. During the planning stage, it is also crucial to select the best construction method to use, timely ordering of materials, and scheduling when resources should be present on the site.
Although planning is a crucial step that needs to be completed before the actual construction begins, planning also needs to be done before activities resume every day. This is because you don’t have full control on what can be completed in a day. Sure, there is a schedule but, like we always remind you, unexpected problems can arise that leads to the change of the schedule.
Take at least 10 minutes each day before starting to check on the previous day’s accomplishment and see whether the plan for the new day is in sync with the current progress. If not, then make quick adjustments and notify the crew immediately.
- Effective delegation
Delegate tasks to the right crew member. Give concreting tasks to members who excel in concreting. If you don’t have such member, hire a subcontractor. Delegating tasks to the right people will save time, minimize errors and ensure quality work. Hence, It’s essential that project managers learn to delegate properly.
- Avoid Distractions
This goes to both the project manager and his crew members. They need to be able to multitask, most especially for the project manager who needs to deal with several issues at the same time. However, they shouldn’t be distracted by minor responsibilities to be able to focus on the more important ones. Identify priorities before starting work for the day. Arrange them from high importance to low, and start with tasks with high importance.
- Organize Data
In the past, so much time is wasted on emails. It used to be the main way for file sharing and older email services don’t have filters to separate high priority emails to spams and regular mails. Luckily today, data can be shared across the cloud through a project management software such as Pro Crew Schedule.
This way, documents can be efficiently organized in folders according to your set categories, ensuring that you find the right document you need right away. This is also essential for busy crew members who have already both hands tied to tools and equipment.
- Use Time-saving Tools
There is a multitude of software today used for setting crew schedule. Apart from monitoring, using construction schedule software can speed up some important processes like collaboration and communication. This is especially true when you are using a cloud-based construction schedule software. Unfortunately not all tools will be suitable for your project so be keen in reviewing options when shopping for a construction schedule software.
- Take Notes
We mentioned earlier that project managers are bound to multitask on dealing with several issues and activities everyday. With so much tasks on his plate, it is highly possible that he forgets a task or two. Taking notes about each task will help him recall his priorities. He can note it down on his own daily schedule on the project management software and setup notifications so none will be missed out. Crossing out tasks finished will also help save time from going over the list again and again and can even provide some sense of accomplishment for additional motivation to work more diligently.
- Set Some Time For Sudden Urgent Events
You’ll never know when the client will call you for change orders or your supplier to inform a stock deficit. So in a day, the project manager should allot a few minutes for these kinds of unexpected interruptions so you won’t need to sacrifice precious time allotted for other scheduled activities.
- Minimize Unnecessary Chit-chats
While you should build a good relationship with your crew members by checking out on their condition, it is also okay to be rude sometimes. This is especially true when the project already seems to fall behind schedule. So cut unnecessary social talks when urgent matters arise. Focus on getting the work done first and carry on with the chat after the shift.
- Learn to Say No
Project managers don’t always have to accept change orders or additional tasks when they know that those will only cause problems or the project to be delayed.
- Ask for Help
Even an experienced project manager sometimes needs help in completing a task. For instance, strategizing on his own can be difficult so it’s sometimes better to do some brainstorming with the mid management to get relevant ideas and speed up the process.
Project managers probably have the most tasks in a construction team. Problems may arise when he drowns in these tasks and some are left undone. Don’t be too proud to ask a little help. After all, successful construction is all about teamwork.
- Conduct Brief , Actionable Meetings
Although there’s a project management software where the team can discuss important matters about the project, there are still times when meetings need to be conducted. The problem is that some meetings are run poorly and consume excessive time.
Make sure that the meeting follows a set agenda and that the topic is highly relevant. If it concerns just a minor problem, then it can be conducted on a communication software.
As much as possible, try to avoid idle time during the meeting. Only have the necessary crew members join the meeting or only those who are capable of making decisions. Assembling everyone when they don’t really have anything to do during the meeting will just lead to wasted time in getting their attendance.
During the meeting, go straight to the most important agenda and leave the least important ones for discussion at the end of the meeting time. Again, avoid chit-chats.
The effective use of these time management strategies can help the team finish the job on time. Cooperation is, of course, necessary to carry them all out. Project managers should lead the team efficiently in implementing these techniques. The use of a reliable construction schedule software is also a big factor in successful time management.
Save more time and beat the deadlines with the help of Pro Crew Schedule. Enhance your construction crew management well with it too so your project stays within schedule. Request a demo today and experience excellent time management on your projects.