When it comes to managing construction, there are many things to do daily; sometimes, it takes effort to keep track of every job. Along with all your other daily tasks, you are visiting or inspecting building sites, managing your team, keeping track of finances, and sorting and assigning resources.
As a result, you need to focus on creating streamlined and efficient construction workflows. These construction workflows help you make your processes more consistent and smooth. It serves as a baseline on how you want things to be done and ensures that everything goes according to plan.
Luckily, many tools and technology can help manage construction projects, keep projects on track, stop delays, and keep things in order. In this article, let us look at construction workflows, their benefits, and how you can use them to change your project management.
Defining What a Construction Workflow Is
A construction workflow is like a to-do list. It is an order of tasks that need to be done to finish a building project, from the planning and design stages to the final review and handover. It should list all the steps and tasks that need to be done so that it makes sense and is well-organized to ensure the project is completed successfully.
The Importance of A Construction Workflow
A construction workflow is necessary for managing projects and ensuring they are delivered on schedule, within budget, and of the highest quality possible. It gives everyone involved a roadmap for keeping costs low, tracking time, communicating and collaborating, ensuring quality, and minimizing risk.
For businesses to stay organized, it is critical to know that communication and a smooth process go hand in hand. Everyone involved in the project should know how things work, ensuring the project moves along quickly, meets its goals, and is finished successfully.
Five Critical Construction Workflows You Should Focus On
Having efficient construction workflows and processes can significantly help businesses and ensure you can deliver high-quality projects on schedule and within budget. So, setting something up is always a good idea before starting a project. In this section, let us look at five examples of workflows that can help you ensure a smooth and seamless process.
Requests for Information (RFIs) and Bids
The process of bidding on projects and replying to requests for information (RFIs) is an excellent example of an automated workflow. It takes a lot of time and is often dull, and many bids are turned down before one is accepted.
Laying out the process for RFIs and bids can help speed up this process and allow you to focus on creating more accurate recommendations. You can start by creating a template with all the necessary information, such as the project, location, and company.
Planning and Scheduling
One of the critical things that many general contractors or project managers focus on is planning and scheduling. Having a set workflow will help keep things from going wrong when it is time to lay out a new project. You can also evaluate how your past projects were delivered and get valuable insights and learnings on how to improve the way you manage and provide your next ones.
The workflow should list all the steps in the process, from figuring out the work that needs to be done to linking resources to goals. Making a workflow for this process will help you get better results and make your clients happy.
A building project manager should set up workflows for tasks that must be done repeatedly on the job site. Your construction crew is one of your most essential resources, and you must delegate tasks efficiently and reduce the risk of overworking and burning them out. You can create a flowchart for task delegations to tell your workers the sequence of activities they should do. Using construction task management software can also help get a bird’s eye view of all your assigned tasks and see which ones are progressing according to schedule or if your crew needs support.
Inventory and Equipment Management
How well your inventory and equipment are stored can make or break your project’s success. On a construction site, tools and machinery break down all the time, which can be very annoying as it can hinder your project’s productivity.
You can utilize construction inventory management software to keep track of every resource and ensure it is always in the best condition. You can get alerts when your stock levels are low or if you have a delivery. This way, you will always have suitable materials whenever needed.
The project closeout is among the most crucial construction phases, but it is often underestimated by construction managers, resulting in delays at the end of the project. The general contractor conducts a site inspection with the clients and creates a “punch list,” a list of tasks that must be redone or fixed before the final payment. You are more likely to get paid on time if you turn these to-do lists into a workflow and finish them before the job is due.
Why You Should Continuously Improve and Perfect Your Construction Workflows
With an effective construction workflow, you can stop mistakes, hold your team responsible, and save money. In this section, let us look at the benefits of continuously improving your workflows.
Better Work Output
If you standardize your processes, everything will go faster and more smoothly, resulting in better work output. When the workflow is inconsistent, the steps must be thought through again for each job. This way, you and your crew will know what to do every step of the way, ensuring that the project is completed according to plan.
Fewer Mistakes and Higher Quality
Make work site jobs into checklists so that everyone on the team knows what they need to do and when they need to do it. Giving construction workers clear directions and guidelines through a workflow is essential if you want their work done correctly. This helps reduce mistakes that could slow down a project or lower the quality of a building’s scope of work.
You will not have to rush to give out tasks to finish everything on time. Organizing and delegating tasks first makes you more likely to get a good job.
With a good workflow, customized flowcharts can be used to give jobs to the right people. This makes employees work together better, take accountability for their tasks, and hold everyone responsible for their part of the job. The functions needed before the project can move on to the next step are clear.
Efficient Cost Management
Using construction management software, like Pro Crew Schedule, can help you set up standard processes for jobs that have been done repeatedly. Figure out the best way to do the jobs and give them to the people on your team. This kind of simple planning ahead will help you keep project costs down. You can see your budget and how much you spend in real-time. This way, you can devise strategies to keep your project within budget.
Keep On Schedule
Workflows that are well thought out save workers and project managers time. Once you have a clear workflow, you can give jobs to other people and trust that they will be done without your constant supervision. You will also see your construction milestones and how your project is against them. A workflow cuts down on the time it takes to rethink steps for each new job, which makes things run more smoothly.
Common Challenges That Efficient Construction Workflows Can Help You Solve
Project management is complex for many construction businesses, especially as it involves many moving parts that must be kept track of. Let us look at some common problems with how construction work gets done.
This is a common problem that can be easily avoided. Homeowners, designers, engineers, architects, and general contractors may all be involved in your job in addition to the project manager. There are a lot of people on this list who need to agree and be aware of what is happening in the project. A good communication and collaboration platform will ensure everyone is on the same page.
Delays in Delivering Goods
Material delays can slow you down, and you must rethink your plan and workflow afterward. What could you do while you wait? If you can help it, the job should always be supported. Look into how you manage your tasks and figure out how to keep things moving, even if it’s the right way.
It is hard to keep track of your job scope and any problems, especially if you are constantly adding or changing the scope of work. As a result, you must let everyone on the project team know if the schedule changes. It is essential to do this because it changes the job’s plan and flow. When deadlines and goals vary, things can go wrong in an instant.
Unexpected Roadblocks and Problems
The construction industry is prone to delays due to inclement weather or additional change orders. Adding time for project delays, overruns, and contingencies is best here. If that is too late, you could file a construction claim, change the plan, and let everyone know what is happening.