5 ways to make sure that your project will finish on time and within budget

Written by LetsBuild

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That machinery that you’ve created for the project must work like a “clock work”, or the client won’t be happy. In the last post, I’ve done some profiling on what a construction project manager should be like – when it comes to results and client satisfaction.

Now, I want to zoom in on one particular element for the construction project manager’s work (um..when I think about it…actually, every project manager’s work) and that is delivering results in the estimated time and budget frame.

Before we get into the specific ways, the core principle for making the ends meet is that the project manager must constantly track and have specific knowledge of the progress – making sure everyone is working on the right task. Now, to have that power you need to be sure that your project schedule is always updated.

Think about it, if the info you are getting/seeing is out-of-date, you will have the wrong perception for the project status quo, you will be asking your subordinates for activities that are already finished. In other words, you will not be seen as the captain of the ship. Make sure to finish your project on time and within budget with the following tips:

Keep your eyes on the dashboard

Monitoring every activity from above, aka “the bird view” can quickly give you the feeling where is happening what. Often, this overview can be filled with a lot of information and it is up to you to arrange what will be displayed how. All this, will make you feel in control and you can easily zoom in and zoom out on elements that are worth for your attention.

You must use visual charts

Visuals are everything. Lets be real, you will have a lot of things to do during the day and you can’t devote time to go through the numbers alone and find the glitches. Visual Project Charts will enable you to get a more aesthetic view of the progress that is being made, against the main project plan.

In this case if something went off, you will be able to drill down and spot it. And not only that, you will know where to search for the root cause of the changes and act on time. This is how you can stop fires, instead of throwing water on them later.

Make sure to have real time data update

Teach and train your team to update their project related progress data in real time. Nowadays, software can enable you to do deploy this process immediately. Speaking with a lot of project managers about their issues lately, we’ve come to an agreement that one of the biggest threats to the project is stalling and being lazy – when it comes to updating the status of the tasks.

People often say “I’ll brief you when I sit down in front of the computer” and that “when” never comes.
Please make sure that your team is alerted about how important it is to communicate and use their tablets/mobile phones to update the data. If you want a walk-through on how you can do this in your company click here and we got you covered.

Spot the changes

Here are the main indicators that you should constantly look for: deviations, risks and issues that can have an impact on your planned trajectory. When a new change request, new risk or issue is flashing red on your radar, please gather the team and put thought into analyzing what does it mean for the overall project progress. In this way you can ensure that your team has the ownership over the new changes and they will execute upon that.

Schedule your updating process until it becomes a routine

Everything sounds good on a theoretic level. So let’s dig in into the “making it happen” section. In order to make updating your data and progress (this is for your team also) a habit, force yourself to do this in a precise time of the day. Use post-it notes, wrote it on your wall, don’t eat until you do it, put a note in your calendar…what ever it gets you on it.

Yes, this can be every day/morning task or it can be every other day/once a week. You choose but do it. This does not mean that you should cut the direct communication among your peers or team. Please do a regular face to face check-ups and coordinative meetings.

The software can only help you stay on the foundations that you’ve built, it will not replace them. If you want to learn how we help project managers do better work, we have a free ebook to help you figure out how to increase productivity in the construction site.