Anyone who spent nearly all his/her time in the construction sector at any level fully understands that many moving parts need to be tracked altogether. Tracking and monitoring are necessary for the projects to arrive at completion and succeed. There are many aspects of managing construction projects – from designing, supplies, planning, workforce, etc. These areas must be on the same page and should be aligned with one another. When one thing withers away, it can significantly affect the entire project and its schedule.
Whether you are the contractor, the business owner, or both, there should be one thing you must not overlook nor compromise – expectation setting. Expectation setting touches and impacts everything from the timeline of a project to client expectations and the overall quality of the service provided.
In this blog, find out why expectation setting is key in construction. We also prepare some of the best practices to help you build a more effective expectation-setting system for your clients and crew.
Why Does Setting Expectations in Construction Matter?
Expectation setting and management is important, especially in the sector, because it builds communication channel across the entire project workforce. In order to meet the expectations of clients, for instance, there should be a proper reporting and updating system, with open communication about work performance, project progress, and results.
This concept is simple and easy to understand and execute. However, setting expectations requires detailed planning, development, actual action, performance tracking, and quality control, all instrumental to proper expectation setting.
Build a Strong Expectation Setting System
Creating a robust expectation-setting management framework requires multiple integrations at nearly every phase of a construction project. Here are some tips for establishing a strong expectation-setting system:
1. Define expectation setting
At its core, expectation setting refers to communicating what is expected. The project manager will be responsible for outlining these expectations and delivering them to the workforce and clients. In this way, everyone involved in the construction project will be informed of these goals and expectations and help them to do their best.
If you are the project manager, set realistic expectations during the first stage. Be completely honest about what you can offer your clients and what you cannot. Also, consider your team. Determine how much you can execute without putting too much pressure on your construction crew just to live up to unrealistic expectations.
The bid is the first step in establishing client relationships, and prioritizing construction crew management is one way to build a stronger connection with your workforce.
So, starting with the right foot is essential.
2. Have a strong relationship with your clients
The main goal is to make your customers satisfied and happy and meet all of their expectations. This can only happen if you have strong communication and support between your clients and tradespeople. Strengthening your bond and maintaining open communication with realistic discussions and active listening.
Be ready always as well because, occasionally, your clients might propose or expect great things from you. Sometimes, their expectations are unrealistic and sound impractical. So, you must point it out and ground your clients in reality. Like what we have in the first part, you have to be honest with them regarding their expectations and how much you can do to help them achieve them.
3. Use subcontractor scheduling software to set expectations clearly
The latest construction software today can help you and your team perform better, set realistic expectations, and better determine unrealistic ones.
Pro Crew Schedule is your one-stop shop for setting realistic expectations, tracking goals, and delivering construction projects on time. With all its sophisticated features, including project management and inventory combined – you can keep tabs on nearly every single task and activity effortlessly and seamlessly.
A fully integrated construction management software like Pro Crew Schedule can further help you get a detailed overview of the realistic expectations and how close you are to achieving your project goals within the set scope and timeline.
4. Ensure construction management success
Expectation setting is only one part of the pre-construction phase. Setting expectations and the other pre-construction aspects, such as project budgeting, value engineering, and design development, help prevent issues that may cause some challenges.
This is one reason why, as a project manager, you must ensure that expectations are realistic and discussed by all project members, especially your clients. However, it also boils down to the importance of building the best construction workforce for the project. Your people must work collaboratively and productively to reach the same goals and expectations. Conflicts arising can only cause delays in projects and other unforeseen issues.
The use of an all-encompassing construction worker schedule will make it easier to build a stronger connection with your crew. On top of that, it maximizes your people’s efficiency, which results in better management success.
5. Oversee the development or progress
Let’s just say the project has already started. You should assign people who must be a buffer between your client and the workforce. This idea is to take insights and information from the client, process it immediately, and deliver it to everyone in a context they will completely understand.
This does not mean that your crew cannot understand your client. They did understand. However, the point here is to interpret client expectations so they are more well-informed.
As the project manager, it will be your job to direct your construction crew and refine the project to meet the client’s demands.
6. Be ready for missteps
It is a big help if backup strategies are crafted during the initial planning. However, even if you already have these strategies or your team is best prepared to encounter any unforeseen issues, there is still the need to prepare for any setbacks, mishaps, and other issues of nearly any form. When unexpected things happen, know that it will impact you and your client.
Managing and retaining your relationship with your client and maintaining strong communication despite unforeseen events is crucial to a successful project.
7. Offer detailed initial estimates
In drafting an estimate, make sure to complete all the small details. While it might seem wise to share a high-level overview to ensure your client is calm, delivering a thorough breakdown of the project plans can protect you from misunderstandings and disputes.
Preparing for a detailed estimate is much easier when you have quality historical data to give you insights and inform your decisions. The more you understand how your team works and how your client is involved in the process, the more accurate your final estimates will be.
Planning project stages carefully and setting realistic expectations can set you up for success, giving your clients and field crew full confidence.
8. Provide regular status updates
Communication with your clients should continue even after you have started working. As a matter of fact, keeping your clients informed with status updates regularly until the job is completed is one of the great ways to manage their expectations while keeping all stakeholders on the same page.
Below are some of the following updates that you should be sharing with your clients throughout the project:
- Periodic progress reports: You must share progress reports and let your clients know when the main parts of the project are already completed. Make sure that the volume of data you share is well-organized, especially for a client who does not understand the entire construction work.
- Timeline changes: Due to unforeseen circumstances, construction schedules rarely work out perfectly, even how much you prepared them. One way or another, project timelines can have so many adjustments. When your clients are well-informed of schedule changes and will be provided with proof when necessary, you can perfectly avoid costly disputes.
- Budget changes: Just like timelines for your project, a budget is a difficult-to-predict tool. So, any issues associated with the project’s costs should be shared immediately with your client. Since they are the project owners, they must be involved in any decisions that will soon be made.
- Risk updates: This will go hand in hand with financial and timeline changes since unsafe working conditions usually lead to budget changes. Document all types of risks you will encounter. Do it carefully, and share them with your team and your client.
To conclude, keeping your clients aware of the daily happenings in the field is one great way to ensure they have proper expectations regarding the project’s progress.
Setting Goals and Expectations Made Easy with Pro Crew Schedule
Setting realistic goals and expectations equates to project success. So, always make sure to have a strategic action plan in place to achieve all of them. Also, start empowering your construction workforce with the latest technology to take them above and beyond.
Pro Crew Schedule is a cutting-edge construction crew dispatch software designed to simplify nearly every part of your construction operations, not only management and scheduling. With its multiple integrations and robust functionalities, Pro Crew Schedule is a great software solution for your business.
Moreover, our software distinguishes itself in the main category with unique integration, scheduling, and inventory features, all combined into one – easily making Pro Crew Schedule the best construction software for contractors today.
Get to know more about our software’s powerful features.