Construction progress tracking: See more, finish faster

Written by LetsBuild

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From this corner, we have many times highlighted how messy a construction project can be without the right tools and processes in place. It is no secret that tracking progress against tasks in real time is one of the biggest challenges for most project managers out there.

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

Many of them rely on WhatsApp and Excel in order to manage their construction projects. Good as they are, though, these tools aren’t able to give you full site visibility and connect the updates you receive from the field with both your short and long-term planning.

As a result, you can quickly end up being lost in a sea of information that lacks context. And without the right data, site progress tracking is impossible.

This is also where the need for a construction-specific tool becomes evident. Both project and site managers need a digital solution that has been built for construction and that will allow them to always keep their project in view so that they can plan their next steps with confidence.

Because when you see everything, you can prevent mistakes, avoid claims, and reduce waste. In other words, the more you see, the earlier you can deliver your construction project.

But what about the admin workload that comes with managing a construction project? That’s the next big obstacle for project managers and their teams when they try to track progress and share the latest changes on the plan.

Many project managers tell us that they spend up to 40% of their time per day chasing updates, writing reports, and attending meetings that could have been avoided if all project communication was done with the help of a single source of truth.

Having a single data source can make a big difference as it can put an end to data fragmentation across the supply chain and enable all stakeholders to make informed decisions faster.

Project managers don’t have to be the bottleneck of their own project any longer as the teams have everything they need in order to make the calls without always having to consult the office. That seamless connection between the site and the boardroom can certainly accelerate the development of your project.

So at the end of the day, it’s all about finding and implementing the right tools as well as investing in digital adoption on the field. Because no matter how strong and sophisticated a digital solution might be, it can never be a cure on its own.

5 steps to effective construction progress tracking

By now, it is clear that keeping close track of your construction project is inextricably linked to visibility. Being able to monitor site progress in real time gives you full control over your project and offers you the data you need to align everyone, reduce downtime, and improve future processes.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the five steps you need to take to improve your construction progress tracking:

1. Establish a single source of truth

Every construction project comes with a great admin burden and a number of stakeholders, tools, and systems that should work together in harmony. Before your project begins, you need to establish a digital ecosystem where all project-related data will be stored and shared with the rest of the team.

By investing in a Single Source of Truth, every member of the project can remain on the same page and have a detailed overview of the latest status of their tasks.

Most importantly, all stakeholders can be confident that what they see on their screen is 100% accurate and that they are not working on an outdated version of the schedule. Like that, subcontractors will be able to arrive on site at the right moment and start working on their tasks right away.

2. Document everything

Recording everything that happens on site is key to the success of your project. It’s the safest way to keep it safe against claims and take immediate action in a case that a problem emerges.

To achieve that, you have to be in full alignment with your site manager at all times. All site tour findings should be reported back to the office as soon as they are detected so that you can stay on top of any issues that could block the progress of your upcoming tasks.

Read more: Escaping the blame game – Enable onsite teams to make decisions quicker and deliver on time

This is where the use of a construction-specific tool (e.g. LetsBuild) is again deemed to be necessary. By relying on a tool that can support this time-sensitive type of communication and automatically connect all findings to the master schedule, you can plan better and avoid the blame game.

3. Connect your quality management to your project planning

Raising the quality standards of your construction project goes hand in hand with an effective progress tracking process. That being said, you want to link all your quality, health, and safety checks directly to the plan.

In that way, you will be able to resolve non-conformities as you go and feel sure that there will be no costly surprises waiting for you during handovers.

LetsBuild enables you to use your mobile device to create and assign tasks to do with defects while on site. So that you can instantly record quality issues the moment you identify them and set clear deadlines for their resolution.

4. Fuel repeatability and reduce your admin workload

Excessive admin workload is one of the biggest headaches for many project managers. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Almost 80% of construction processes are the same in every project regardless of its type or size.

This is a unique opportunity for leveraging construction-specific tools to standardise your processes. Like that, you will be able to avoid information overkill and connect the programme to the site in real time.

And that’s not all. By automating your processes, you open the path to repeatability. All you have to do is listen to your data, adjust your working processes, and plan based on the collected feedback from the field.

In the long run, standardisation will give you remarkable control over your projects and will enable you to finish faster without compromising quality.

5. Go digital with your lean planning

Connecting your lean planning to the masterplan can pave the way for successful construction progress tracking. More specifically, relying on a construction-specific digital tool will allow you to produce a 3-6 week subset of the master plan, which you can then enrich with the details needed to manage daily activities on site.

When tasks are completed or changed, this should be instantly visible on the main project schedule, enabling smarter decision making.

Simple as that, you can digitalise your whiteboard and carry it with you on the field at all times reducing both admin workload and downtime in your project.

What you should do next

Keeping track of what is happening on construction sites is challenging if you don’t have the right tools to help you. The result?

  • Information overload and excessive admin workload.
  • Increased downtime between tasks.
  • Non-conformities are discovered during handovers.
  • Never-ending disputes that put your project in danger.

But now that you know all this, it’s time for action! Download our free ebook and see for yourself how a tool that is fit for construction, like LetsBuild, can bring full visibility, complete control, and unique on-site insight over your repetitive processes.

So that you can bring your plan to life and streamline collaboration between teams to reduce errors:

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