In the construction world, it is not uncommon to see project delays and cost overruns. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one that is often overlooked is poor management of the construction process. Understanding how to optimize the construction process can help you avoid these problems in your own projects.
In this blog post, we will review what makes up a good project timeline and discuss 6 ways to optimize your construction process from start to finish.
Improve Your Planning Process
One way to save time and money is by improving your planning process. First, identify the critical path that will limit how fast of a turnaround you can achieve for each phase of work from there on out. For example, if excavation is one of those phases then it should be done as soon as possible so that other work does not have to wait around before they start their next task which delays when construction could complete.
Next, develop an outline or schedule showing what needs to happen in order for the project timeline goals to be met with milestones at key points along with the road map like pre-construction meetings or material deliveries which makes everyone aware of deadlines ahead and allows them to plan accordingly. Lastly, put together a detailed spreadsheet listing all tasks required to complete the project.
Find Superb Construction Management Software
Today, more and more construction management software is available. In order to find the best one for your needs, you need to make a balance between simplicity, customization features, and price. If you have any questions about what type of project management software would be right for your company, contact us today!
Construction management software is designed to make it easier for you and your team to manage construction projects. The benefits of using this type of software are numerous, but there’s no denying the convenience that comes with having one single system in place.
Superb construction management software will help you organize and free the clutter of documents on your desk, enabling you to concentrate on actually building something. Moreover, construction management software can handle billing, invoices, managing bids, contractors, managing paperwork, incident reports, leads, time-sheets, job schedules, and much more.
It’s also worth noting that many top-notch companies use such a program when they’re constructing commercial buildings or residential homes. So if you want to be on par with industry leaders, then consider investing in quality construction management software today!
Listen to Your Workers
Listen to your employees—they are closest to the project and have a unique perspective that you may not be aware of. A good way to understand how issues arise on site is by listening carefully when your contractor calls with questions or concerns about their progress. Being able to spot potential problems early will allow for corrections before they escalate into larger issues, which in turn results in better communication between all parties involved.
For example, if there’s an issue with a subcontractor who insists he was paid but doesn’t show up at work because his car broke down, giving him access to the cash… it might sound like nothing more than one more problem to solve. But if the contractor’s employees are getting restless and thinking of quitting, or if they’re living in a state of fear because it seems like every subcontractor is either trying to rip them off or has already done so… then maybe you should step back from your desk for a minute and listen.
Employees often sense problems before managers do–and even though their perspective may seem unimportant at first glance, there could be some very good reasons why they think something isn’t right. If nothing else, employee morale tends to plummet fast under such circumstances: without trust in leadership and a sense of being heard, it’s hard to motivate anyone. So start with the people on your team:
- What do they think is wrong?
- What are their ideas for making things better?
- How can you get them more involved in decision-making processes that affect them directly–whether it means involving those employees at every level of planning or letting them decide which color oven mitts to order from Amazon.com?
It may not be an easy process, but giving input back to the people who work there will make all the difference between just another job and something worth doing well.
Train Your Employees
The more employees you have, the more difficult it will be to train them. The best way is to hire employees with experience in construction so they already know how things work and can adjust quickly when issues arise. You should also provide a training manual that has all of your processes outlined for new hires so they don’t need constant guidance from other staff members on what needs to happen next. Create sections such as “How We Start Jobs,” “Who’s Responsible For What,” and “How To Handle Difficult Situations.”
If possible, do video-based tutorials on each section or hire somebody who works at another company but has experience in this area. This strategy not only saves time spent explaining everything over again but ensures everyone understands the project and will be able to take on the responsibility.
Another way of training your employees is by developing a set of “training modules” that cover all the various aspects of construction. From basic materials and tools to more specific skills like building wiring or plumbing systems. Then each employee can go through these modules at their own pace until they are fully trained in every aspect vital for success. This kind of continuing education not only saves time spent explaining everything over again but ensures everyone understands the project and will be able to take on the responsibility as well when it comes to working with other team members.
Develop Performance Measurements, and Hold Your Staff Accountable
In order to improve your construction process, you need a way of measuring the performance. It can be as simple as using stopwatches or just timesheets that are filled out when work is completed on each task.
The key here is to make it easy for the staff member who’s supervising this project. Let them know how long they should spend on every part of the project and have means in place so that not only they but also their team members will use these measurements against themselves at all times during construction. This gives them an incentive to complete tasks quicker than expected because then they’ll get more done in fewer minutes than was originally allotted by management.
It is more important that you measure the right things than to be measuring anything at all. Not only does it provide a quantifiable way of making decisions, but also a sense of accountability for everyone involved in the process including yourself which creates an environment where people are encouraged to do their best work.
What kinds of metrics should you focus on? Metrics like labor productivity rates or safety incidents may not indicate true progress towards achieving goals if other factors affect those numbers. Instead try focusing on key areas such as the number of days lost due to injury, time spent training apprentices versus paying contractors, and percentage change in labor hours from year to year.
Get Better at Communication
Good communication is most important for the construction process. If you are not communicating with all parties involved in the project, then it will lead to a miscommunication which can result in delays and overspending on the final product. Key points that need to be communicated throughout your construction process include:
- Keep up with meetings between contractors as well as subcontractors as this will allow everyone to communicate what has been completed and what still needs work before moving forward
- Maintain good relationships among those who are working together so they feel like their opinions matter
- Communicate deadlines for both individual tasks but also at an overview level so everyone knows when things should ideally conclude
The more open communications there are about the project, the better it will ultimately go. This doesn’t mean that you should have meetings all day long about trivial things – but when big decisions need to be made or there are disagreements within the team, make sure everyone is fully informed and understands what’s going on before a decision can be made.
The fewer people know how they’re contributing to a project, the more likely they’ll feel like their work isn’t valued and won’t care as much about doing good work for you in future projects.
Communication also increases accountability because if someone else knows your plan then they might remind you of something important that slipped through the cracks.
The construction sector is notorious for going over budget and off schedule. Unoptimized processes may work when you’re only starting your construction business, but as your company grows, you have to think about optimizing them. Otherwise, you’ll always be late and over budget with your projects.
Fortunately, optimizing your construction process isn’t mission impossible. Start with improving your communication (both talking and listening). Then improve your planning and develop performance metrics. Continue by training your employees and finding the right construction management software.
While you’re solely responsible for the first six tips, we can help you with the last.
We at Etrellium know all the ins and outs of the construction sector, and can help you develop a construction management software tailored specifically to your needs.