Construction site managers are central figures in executing construction projects. Their role is highly critical in influencing the project outcome. However with piling workload, construction project managers constantly face the challenge of meeting their project’s ever growing quality requirements. Routine work like keeping construction daily logs, documenting non-conformities on the site, and other construction time-wasting administrative reporting and documentation work get in the way of the more important tasks.
A site manager’s day usually exceeds 10 hours 25% of that is wasted on construction documentation. These long hours result to late evenings at work, which ultimately stack up to overall work dissatisfaction and exhaustion that lead to sick days. In Germany, workers average 11.23 sick days as the norm, which places the construction sector on top when compared across all industries. This is one of the main reasons why entry-level project managers or young engineers shy away from the profession. The infamous workload associated with being a site manager is keeping younger talent from working in construction project management. This appends to the country’s shortage of skilled laborers, further adding strain to the construction manager’s responsibilities and contributing to poor construction productivity.
The work overload that a site manager faces can be traced to 5 main causes. We will discuss these construction “time-wasters” on the construction site and prescribe lean construction principle tips on how you can avoid them.
Construction daily logs are a pain in the ass. Daily logs include the daily construction site data that need to be documented – who were present at the site, who did what, weather report and other trivial information. Currently, information collection is mostly done by hand and at the end of the day, collected data is transcribed into a system in the office. A lot of unnecessary time is spent on transferring information.
Solution: The construction site manager should digitalise the process of collecting data while onsite. If you are still annotating everything by hand, for your information, there are now lots of mobile technology tools centralled around lean thinking that allows daily log input into a cloud-based central data system. All data you’ve taken, while onsite, directly go to your central data system so no more afterhours work of copying hard data into soft data.
Revisions can result to legal consequences if documentations are not done correctly. In a construction project, revisions are inevitable. Usually, documents associated with them are done hurriedly. In case of any problem, if documentation is done manually, retrieving them would take a lot of time. In any event where a needed revision document is missing, it would imply nothing less of a huge legal consequence to the construction organisation.
Solution: Good sense would dictate to begin your project’s documentation digitally and organise your storage in one place where everything can be retrieved as needed. Digitising your document control process should be of prime importance.
The site manager, aside from all the tasks he has to do, also has to regularly communicate with the construction team and bring them together to let everyone know the project’s progress. Site meetings on top of site meetings sometimes end up unproductive – people’s time supposedly spent on work become wasted time of irrelevant discussions.
Solution: Many companies have realised that not all meetings are productive. For the purpose of informing everyone about the project’s progress, meetings are found to no longer be necessary. Most of these companies have instead invested in digital tools that allow information updates in real time. Everyone can just view updates on their gadgets without having to allocate time for daily meetings – a huge step to time-waste elimination. Additionally, these tools allow for a meeting’s agenda and participants to be streamlined in advance so when the meeting comes, there’s a set direction with discussions only circling around important topics.
A construction project involves many stakeholders hence, it is inherently difficult to find the correct contact at a given time. When something goes wrong and the person in charge cannot be found at that time, as the construction project manager, your job is to get in contact with the correct person. Sometimes, small things like the person’s contact number may not be readily available and when you do get to get in touch with the correct person, you still have to write down your conversation for documentation’s sake. Transcribed phone calls are not reliable when it comes to legal disputes (if ever they arise).
Solution: WIth all the apps available now, it is highly recommended to save everyone’s contact numbers and use a platform where everyone can share information and documents that notifies concerned individuals or groups. By doing so, this saves huge amounts of time and streamlines documentation.
For a more in-depth guide in choosing the perfect management software for your construction business, read our article.
Plan and Version Updates
In construction, plans and versions change all the time. The problem is, when your other stakeholders (designers or architects or subcontractors) are not in-house, this usually creates a gap between the office and the field. This gap can be a source of huge financial issues later on. Design your stakeholder collaboration around the idea of ensuring everyone has access to the correct blueprint at all times.
Solution: The key to the success of a construction project is the use of a single version of a plan that allows all stakeholders to be on the same wavelength. Investing in a software that enables everyone access to plans and versions at any given time with updates in real time can potentially avoid expensive risks.
We also have an ebook that’s free for you to download if you’re interested to further learn about improving productivity on the construction site. Download the ebook now!