Construction sites are often loud, crowded, and busy places to work. As a result, hundreds or probably thousands of workers are on the job site daily. And in the middle of all the chaos are the project manager and your crew, who manages the project’s logistics, safety, cost, schedule, and other things. So the big question is, how can you efficiently manage your construction workers when thousands are on large-scale building projects?
Well, it takes a lot of time, work, and effort to keep track of so many different things. This is why every crew member needs to have their specific jobs to ensure that each part of a project is in the right place. These people are critical to ensuring that a building project is done safely, efficiently, on time, and cost-effectively. Before we dive into the importance of efficient crew and task management, let us talk about the strong teams and leaders that make up the construction hierarchy.
The Order in Construction
The hierarchical structure of construction projects often has more than one level – three. Simply put, a project has three main types of people: upper management, middle management, and skilled workers. Even though these jobs are known at different levels of the food chain, it is much easier to understand when we put construction workers into just a few similar groups or categories.
Top-Level Management in Construction
Upper management staff comprises people with titles like C-Suite, VP, Executive, Director, or higher. These people usually work outside a head office and occasionally go out into the field. These people run the business, looking at how a project impacts the company’s profitability. It includes managing all the project teams working on different construction projects simultaneously. For a business to grow, upper management can often bring together a group of leaders with different talents and skills.
Construction Management at the Middle Level
People who report to upper-level management but still coordinate and manage skilled workers in the field are part of the mid-level management staff. These include managers and supervisors, who are the key to a project’s success. How well they do their jobs directly affects how well a project turns out. They primarily work at the project level, which means that a lot of their day-to-day work involves delivering project results on-site or in the office.
Even though skilled workers are at the bottom of the construction hierarchy, they are the most critical resource. Carpenters, electricians, and plumbers are all considered skilled workers. This group does what the project management staff tells them to do and works on their tasks. Skilled workers work in an environment where they can do their jobs safely and quickly and where the project teams are in charge.
At the end of a construction project, a client will remember two things: how the project turned out and how it was delivered. Even though the resulting project is stunning, they may not want to work with you again if you put them through the wringer with your project management style. How to fix it? A good plan for managing construction tasks is the key to success.
What is Construction Task Management, and Why is it Important?
As stated earlier, the construction industry has a million moving parts that project managers need to keep track of and monitor. Managers and supervisors can use construction task management to keep track of all the tricky details of completing the project. Yes, all projects are similar, but each has its scope and deliverables. For example, the flooring, cabinets, fixtures, plans, and architectural styling the client picks for each home are different.
Managing construction tasks ensures that the result will deliver the best value for your client’s investment. Taking care of a project’s details can reduce stress for you and your client, which is a huge bonus. As a result, time management and scheduling are vital parts of construction task management.
When working on a project, regardless of its size, scope, and complexity, you must keep track of who is in charge of each task. Every project manager has had to deal with the stress of keeping track of all the details needed to make a building project work. Luckily, construction technology, such as software, can help you manage everything efficiently. One of the common construction project management software extensions is for crew scheduling and management, so you can keep track of what everyone is doing without micromanaging them.
How to Put Construction Project Management into Action
There are different management styles that you can utilize to keep track of every tiny detail of your project. You can use the traditional ways of paper, pen, and spreadsheet. However, this can cause many projects – task management needs to be simplified to be done on paper checklists. Having construction scheduling software is a step up, allowing you to handle the significant amount of information needed to keep track of each task well.
Is it easier if your workers could take care of their schedules? Scheduling construction workers and their respective tasks is always hard, and you have to do many different jobs at once, and you also have to schedule employees and contractors based on their skills and tasks.
But you already know that making plans for construction workers can be challenging. Today, we will share five tips that you can use to make it easier to schedule construction workers.
Share Your Daily Schedules with Your Crew
Using crew scheduling software, you can ensure that your construction workers have instant access to a central schedule that is always up to date and stored in the cloud. As a result, everyone knows their task for the day and when it should be completed. You can also quickly communicate and handle changes using an online schedule. Most programs will inform employees about changes as soon as you make them, keeping them up to date with the latest information.
Sort Your Tasks by Their Deadlines and Difficulty
Once you have set up construction management software add-ons to create schedules for your employees, it is time to consider your project’s schedule. Set the order of your projects based on their deadlines and how hard they are, and start with the hardest ones.
Every building project is made up of different steps. You might have to finish laying out the steel reinforcements on Tuesday to pour concrete and finish the job on Wednesday. Or you may need to finish setting up the roofing today if you are going to start painting and finishing work tomorrow. Or you need to finish installing and watertight the windows on Thursday because it will rain on Friday. The easiest way to figure out which projects should be done first is to review them in order of importance.
Put Your Tasks in Order and Assign Your Crew
The “critical path scheduling” method is too complicated for most projects. But the most important thing is to figure out what needs to be done and who needs to do it. Next is to put your tasks in order. For example, when constructing the foundation of the house, you need to do several activities before you can complete it:
- Soil Clearing and Grubbing
- Gravel Bedding
- Steel Reinforcements
- Concrete Pouring
This is a list of things that must be done in order and assign tasks to your crew. For example, if you only have four people and need to start with the soil clearing, then you could send those four people. But it will go faster if five or six people do the job. However, you still need to see if other tasks need more people. You will not get stuck on one task and possibly delay the project. Using inventory management software is one way to see if there are still available resources for your team to use to complete a specific task or if you need to reallocate your resources or your team.
Add Time Buffers and Spot Potential Problems
Using the example above, what happens if you cannot finish excavation works by the deadline? Will the laying out of gravel bedding be late because of this? Try to look at your schedule and determine where problems or risks might occur. If you have a skilled workforce, like a mason, can you book them for more than one job at a time? Do you have to meet any incredibly tight deadlines?
Give each project a little extra time. Add extra time to account for workers finishing other jobs late, late deliveries, and the like. Using construction time tracking software can help you track how long it takes for one task to finish. This way, you can see which ones take less time to complete and which might need assistance.
Adapt and Deal with Changes as it Happens
You already know that schedules are like suggestions; they can change. You can use the construction schedule to check information in real-time to make changes. Change your schedule or permit breaks on the fly while ensuring that construction is going as planned.