Construction programme: How to see everything without getting buried in admin work

Written by LetsBuild

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Construction work plans or programmes are the result of a series of documents aiming to manage and coordinate the activities previous and during the execution of the construction.

Although the activities exhibited in the plan vary widely with the type of structure, in general, construction work programmes propose a specific order to carry out with a project.

Free ebook: Why WhatsApp and Excel aren’t enough for running complex construction projects

Construction planning requires maintaining a close relationship with designers, managers, and stakeholders. Depending on the type of contract, programmes prioritise different variables like resources available, time or budget.

It quickly becomes clear then, how important it is for project managers to have a full overview of everything that is happening on site at all times. The slightest mistake and a costly and time-consuming commercial claim might be just around the corner creating havoc on your project.

Project managers tell us that in order to stay on the safe side, they daily have to spend 40% of their time in cumbersome admin tasks such as writing reports, participating in never-ending meetings, and making phone calls that could have been avoided.

Staying in full alignment with their site manager can also be an area of great frustration for both of them. But it’s not their fault. They have been asked to give this battle using the wrong weapons.

Many stakeholders in construction rely on WhatsApp, Excel, and emails to communicate with each other and manage their projects. Good as they are, these tools aren’t tailored for construction and, therefore, can’t support all the time and data-sensitive processes around tasks in construction.

Read also: 10 helpful tips for construction managers

This is why construction-specific tools are so essential for protecting your work programme in construction. Simply put, they can give you a shareable on-site live view of your project and stay on track with each team’s progress at every stage.

Like that, you will always be able to see the impact of the updates you receive from the site on your programme in real time. No more getting lost in your data or becoming the bottleneck for your teams on the ground because they lack crucial information to progress with their tasks.

5 steps to keep your construction programme updated and admin free

At this point, it should already be clear why an industry-specific tool (i.e. LetsBuild) can help you bridge the gap between the site and the office in a digital and effortless way. But now, it’s time to dig a little deeper and take a closer look at some more concrete examples of how you can keep your construction programme updated and admin free.

Without further ado, here are the five steps all project managers need to take to break the vicious cycle of excessive administrative workload in construction:

1. Implement tools tailored for construction

As you have already seen by reading other articles on our blog, we can’t stress this enough. Finding the right digital solutions for your projects can make a huge difference. Without an exaggeration, it’s a matter of life and death when it comes to keeping your construction programme up to date.

So, what do you need to look out for before you make your decision? The answer is thankfully simple. You need a digital tool that is solely built for construction and can give that precious real-time connection between the updates that arrive from the site and your planning.

That’s the only way for you to always understand what a task update might mean for the development of your project and what actions you need to take in case things start going south. But that’s not all, as you will see on our next point.

2. Establish a single source of truth

Implementing a construction-specific tool should also be synonymous with introducing a single data source to your project. All project teams should have easy access to the information that is relevant to their project at all times.

In that way, they will be able to take better ownership of their tasks and plan ahead as they will have a good understanding of where the project is in terms of planning.

Furthermore, a single source of truth is also a single source of proof. By having all critical data gathered in one place, you can have full control over your project, increase accountability, and raise or respond to claims within a few hours. So that you will no longer have to use weeks, or in some cases even months, in order to find that one email or photo that will protect your project from excruciating penalties.

3. Link quality and safety to your planning

For many projects, handovers come with a lot of stress. As soon as you think that you are close to completing your project, an unpredicted safety or quality issue might appear and put your project delivery in serious jeopardy.

To avoid that, it’s highly recommended that you connect your quality and safety processes directly with your planning. In that manner, you will be able to detect critical problems quickly and resolve non conformities as you go.

That can play a decisive role in reducing delays and the admin nightmare around handovers. Also, it will give you peace of mind and help you sleep at night way more comfortably.

4. Continuously improve and standardise your processes

Standardisation has lately become a buzzword for the construction industry. However, it’s not just a trend that will sooner or later be forgotten. On the contrary, it’s here to stay.

Repeatability is expected to become an important component of success for many projects in the industry as it will pave the way for building in a more controlled environment with less risk and fewer delays.

This can happen in different ways, by using a specific set of tools for all projects to building the exact same apartment again and again in different locations. Regardless of what approach is relevant to you, it will give you much more control and insight over your programme and will allow you to lock many admin-heavy processes out of your projects.

5. Make your lean planning more agile

Lean planning is a very popular method for managing your projects in construction and for very good reasons. More specifically, it offers a very straightforward way of visualising the role of each stakeholder in a project and the tasks that come with each role.

This colourful classification of the numerous tasks can also have some practical benefits when the field teams consist of workers that don’t speak the same language for example.

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. Adding changes on the whiteboard by rearranging all these colourful post-its can be time consuming.

That being said, using a construction-specific tool that would allow you to have a digital version of your whiteboard on your phone would be powerful. You would be able to update your lookahead straight from the site and significantly reduce your admin workload.

Bring your construction programme to life!

Seeing everything on site is of paramount importance to achieve your goal of delivering faster and cheaper. But if you want to avoid death from a million tools, you need to find the right digital solution for your projects.

Here at LetsBuild, we decided to help you in this difficult mission by launching a detailed ebook on how you can segment your various communication workflows while maintaining full visibility over your multiple tasks and projects.

It’s completely free and you can download it just by clicking below:

download whatsapp ebook