Construction Software 369 views May 10, 2019
How to stay on top of your plan in construction

Construction is a very perplexing business where many different stakeholders, tools and equipment are involved in every step along the way. In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the industry is continuously struggling with low productivity, budget overruns and costly delays.

The emergence of digital technologies in the course of the last two decades has started to change things for the better but there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to become fully-digitised.

Lack of trust on contractual relations and the undisputed power of habit are two of the main factors which hinder the digital transformation of the building sector so far.

It goes without saying that all the parameters described above have a strong impact on the plan of every construction project. Real-time communication is probably the number one challenge as many project agents end up to work on outdated versions of the plan due to the lack of a simple way to share and receive the latest updates from the site.

The problem is that every construction project is a chain of tasks, specifications and deadlines. Even the slightest alteration on the programme (eg. a two-day delay on the delivery of on-site materials) can bring a project weeks or months behind the initial schedule resulting in considerable financial and resource losses.

Keeping all that in mind, we did our research and present to you below five powerful tips that will help you stay on top of your plan in construction:

1. Invest in standardisation

Adding clarity to all the systems and processes that you are using both on the field and the office is extremely important for your effort to keep your project under control. The earlier you implement such an approach the easier it will be for every member of your team to follow the agreed plan.

Standardisation in a project can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, using the same type of equipment in every project of following the same process when it comes to reporting from the field can help you monitor easier if everything goes according to the plan.

Especially if this process has been replicated in previous projects, you will already have some substantial benchmarks which can effortlessly show you whether there are any threats for the smooth development of your project.

Given the increasing momentum of prefabrication and modularisation, it is quickly understandable that investing in standardisation can have a positive influence on the future development of your company, too.

2. Implement software early in the process

Once all your processes are in place, it’s time to implement software in your project. There are many types of digital solutions where you can choose from. In any case, there is one parameter that you should always consider a must. That is the ability of your new tool to interact.

It is of paramount importance that all project agents can effortlessly exchange updates, documents or photos from the site. On top of that, all members of your team should have access to real-time overview of your project’s progress. The existence of a single source of truth can make a big difference for the development of your project as it will decrease misunderstandings to a great extent.

Of course, the implementation of a new digital tool can be received with skepticism in the beginning so you want to start the roll out as early as possible in order to give your workers time to work with the tool and explore the features and possibilities that it offers.

3. Learn by your data

One of the most valuable services that construction software can provide to you in order to stay on top of your plan is data. These precious pieces of information can reveal a lot about the progress of your project and warn you on time if your programme isn’t going as expected.

Moreover, data can be the groundwork on which you can build your future tasks and projects as it can point out the areas where you should improve.

Data can also play a decisive role in resolving disputes on and off site offering an objective representation of what’s happening in the project. In other words, a data-driven plan equals to higher accountability and more precise overview of the construction process.

In the long run, this can be the key for a healthy project with low rework rates, increased productivity and a good connection between the office and the construction site.

4. Hold regular meetings with your team

Construction software can help a lot with bridging the gap between the boardroom and the field but this doesn’t mean that you should remain proactive and willing to meet all members of your team on a regular basis.

The best way to achieve this is by holding frequent update meetings with your team. These meetings should be the time where all your co-workers can voice their concerns, discuss any problems that they might face and ask for advice.

In the same sense, it’s a good opportunity for you to provide guidance and give constructive feedback.

This exchange of updates and opinions can eventually result in a better coordinated project where everyone remains at the same page and feels part of the team. Such an approach will greatly increase your chances for a successful project with no delays and clear communication.

5. Replicate the process in future projects

In the long term, being able to replicate the same process in your future projects is the safest way to remain on top of your plan in construction. Through repetition, the development of a project can become much faster and efficiently.

Everyone will have a good grasp of what it is expected by them and how they should complete their tasks. Without a doubt, this will lead to a smoother project process with fewer miscommunications and substantially less waste.

In addition, due to the high standardisation of the entire procedure it will be much faster for your team to detect mistakes or areas which could hinder the progress of your project.

Final word

Wrapping it all up, staying on top of your plan in construction is always a challenge. Nevertheless, with the right processes and systems in place it can be much easier to retain control over multiple projects and connect the site to the office in real time eliminating budget overruns and project delays.

About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild (formerly GenieBelt).