Why You Need a Clear Definition of “Work Done” in Your Construction Projects
Why You Need a Clear Definition of “Work Done” in Your Construction Projects

Why You Need a Clear Definition of “Work Done” in Your Construction Projects?


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Are we there yet? This is probably a challenging question to answer when no one knows where exactly “there” is. As a project manager, you probably face project delays and downtime, as they commonly happen when your construction team does not have any progress with their tasks, primarily because of conflicting situations. They have to wait for previous teams to complete theirs.

And now you are wondering, “Is it possible to avoid this type of interruption completely?” Well, to answer your question – It is Yes! And it is through clearly agreeing and defining as a whole team what constitutes “work done” so the tasks for the next project activity can start.

Read this blog to know the definition of done, including the major reasons and benefits of better understanding the concept itself.

Defining the Definition of Done (DoD)


Work done or done in general is an agreed-upon set of items that should be completed before a project can be considered complete. It is being applied constantly and serves as an official gate, separating things from being in the state of “in progress” to “done”.

While the particulars from department to department, a typical definition of work done comprises of a checklist containing items like the below:

  • Task is peer-viewed
  • Task is checked-in
  • Task is documented
  • The task is verified and approved

There is much more to associate with tasks and construction activities within your team. You have to ensure that there is an element of transparency since everything can be tied back to that “Done” checklist. If a task has not been checked yet, then it cannot move forward and your team members can know why.

This is where you need to consider deploying reliable task management programs like Pro Crew Schedule. You will have complete control of the entire project, including its various stages and elements like tasks, activities, status, etc. Now, be honest. That is all that you wanted, right? Click here to get a Free live demo.

Benefits of Determining the Definition of “Done”


1. Everybody is on the same page

People often have unparalleled ideas of what is finished or not. Deciding together as a construction team by the standard of what is considered “DONE” is crucial. This will align everybody to the urgent needs of the project as well as the required upcoming steps. And since everyone has the same precise view of the project and is currently on the same page, your team will know when to communicate their assigned tasks, turn up on-site at the right day and time, and update when they finish their jobs.

In addition, this helps everybody involved in the project to make faster, well-informed decisions.

2. Reduce downtime

Clearly communicating when your whole construction team or crew has finished a small or big job significantly reduces the waiting time between jobs and activities. And as you have seen thousands of construction projects, your subs and teams often arrive on-site in vain due to some uncompleted tasks. As a result, some of your crew cannot perform theirs due to the delays.

In such cases, frequently, your crew chooses to wait and reschedule the work instead of the next day. Obviously, the results are apparent – more delays could happen, and additional costs will rise. Good thing that issues like this can be avoided effectively with the use of cloud-based project management software.

3. Limit waste

There are tons of elements seen to be a waste in a particular construction project – time, materials, unsuitable equipment, unproductive labor, etc. In actuality, anything that does not add value to the construction project or eliminates the value is automatically considered a waste. By understanding and standardizing the system boundaries of a particular task, everybody can plan with much greater efficiency, take actions for predictable scenarios, and avoid wasteful practices.

4. Standardize tasks, processes, and practices

When you clearly define each task and have a common criterion of when it starts and finishes, you are standardizing task processes and practices that determine their actual fixed system boundaries. Having that as your reference, you have put in place a system where you can effectively measure the success or failure of a certain task.

For projects that include recurring processes, having a solid standard process and proper tasks management allows you to constantly and continually analyze how you progress and build. It can also significantly improve your overall work and communication process with and within your teams.

5. Better materials management

When you have disassembled your tasks and understood the systematical structure of the interconnected jobs necessary to accomplish your construction project successfully, you have a better understanding of every activity that needs to be done as well as the scope of work required. Having that understanding, you accurately know which materials are necessary.

6. Better labor management

Knowing when activities and tasks are done and communicating with the updates constantly helps you develop a complete view of the labor resources required to achieve the required scope, amount, and character of work. It also provides you with a system of experience and skills and how many people you have to deploy for numerous tasks.

Also, you will no longer have to do some guesswork on the project participants you need for standardized project deliverables. Without a clear definition, your construction team and subs will not know their exact work scope and what they are working towards.

Why Must Project Managers Care about the Definition of Done?


Leaving whether or not something is “work done” open to interpretation may cause misunderstandings and lead to negative user experiences and ROI impact. As a project manager, it is the least thing you would expect, right? It is your job to clearly understand what “finished work” really looks like, to align it with your and project stakeholders’ expectations.

To begin, start setting standardized practices and rules in order to:

  • Validate and qualify the “Work done.”
  • Minimized mistakes and avoid delays.
  • Reduce costs and ensure there is an enough budget
  • Optimize and accelerate the construction project schedule
  • Achieve effective leadership and centralized communication
  • Protect your best interests

Moreover, as a project manager, you also have to get your subs, teams and other participants in the project to contribute a central, single, live view of the project planning into their project management for construction. So, when can you consider a certain work/task is done? It is when you have the capacity to communicate its completion to the right parties. When you are able to perform tasks in a much collaborative environment with the help of subcontractor scheduling software – there is a notable difference!

Where to Begin?


You are probably now asking where and how to start? The defining process of “Done” is not quick to happen. It doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it should be a collaboration between everyone involved in the project, such as the stakeholders and those actually who will do the work. Whether it starts with a meeting and brainstorming, there must be enough opportunity for suggestions, comments and unlimited support for the desired outcomes.

You need to assign everyone involved. As a project leader, you should try ways that reinforce consistency and diminish any doubt from the actual situation. Remember that the Definition of Done (DoD) in construction is just as short and straightforward as possible. You do not have to make it complicated.

Standardized your Definition of “Done” with Pro Crew Schedule


Defining your concept of “Done” for your construction team and subs stars with a construction scheduling tool that allows you to break down all project tasks and activities, assigning them to be prioritized by your crew members and subs.

Pro Crew Schedule is a central hub platform where you can organize everything, literally everything. You can monitor, track and supervise even your people. Updating all tasks and deliverables is easy. Nobody has to wait between connected tasks. Pro Crew Schedule gives you and your team a seamless experience, making it easier to execute other functional tasks to avoid wasteful claims and time waste.

In addition, using construction scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule will also give you the following benefits:

  • Data-driven decision making
  • Real-time and constant updates
  • Integrations
  • Project task management and crew supervision
  • Cost Analysis
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Time Management
  • Establishment of strategies and tactics
  • Easy accessibility anywhere and anytime
  • Cloud-based storage

Get your 30-day trial for Free and avail the benefits of the Pro Crew Schedule!

Key Takeaways


The universal definition of done lets your construction team and subs finish what they are doing and move on to the next job. So, without a clearer idea of what is “DONE”, unfinished work piles up, disconnected tasks impede project progress, and you will end up with downtime and delays. Construction leaders have to determine their definition of “Work Done” to have everything put together in the right place.

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