loud-based project management software that is robust and well-maintained is the key to any successful construction project. While many professionals talk about collaboration, the industry still operates in a very siloed manner. The only way to achieve true collaboration and efficiency is to have a single source of truth on the project that is easily accessible by all team members.
Project management software controlled by the owner or owner's representative as the project leader keeps the entire project team connected and informed by maintaining the most current documentation for all disciplines, budgets, schedules, team/task responsibilities, and producing reports, giving everyone on the project a clear view of the overall health of a project. In addition, project management software will bring a team through the entire project life cycle, pre-construction, project conceptualization, planning & design, permitting, construction, and close-out. Thus, creating efficiency throughout the process and removing obstacles along the way to achieve project success.
Communication & Collaboration
There must be strong leadership, clearly defined roles, consistent effort, effective and frequent communication, and shared resources for true collaboration on a project. Maintaining project management software is the only way to achieve a few of these items. Daily activity updates to the project file allow for all team members to move forward seamlessly and course-correct as necessary. Seeing critical information and issues in real-time allows the team to communicate and take action earlier, resolving tasks quickly.
In addition, moving all critical communication out of email and onto cloud-based software eliminates the potential of a missed item causing potential schedule delays and/or budget increases.
A cloud-based centralized system for documentation is one of the essential components of a successful construction project team. Team members access the system remotely and can add, review, and respond to documents within the project file.
Due to the many revisions and additions along the way to the drawings, it is essential to have the current version available to all disciplines. If any vendor is working off an outdated version of the drawings, it could mean rework and delays during the expensive construction period causing an increase in budget.
Once the project moves into the construction phase, the ability to quickly push revised drawings and specifications out to the team creates action and greater efficiency on the construction site. In addition, this facilitates transparency and opens lines of communication amongst team members.
All this being said, to maintain the file's integrity, all project information should flow through one person, ideally the Owner or Owner's Representative.
Sophisticated owners and investors expect dedicated project software for financials on construction projects. Legacy systems are not typically kept up to date and tend to carry the burden of heavy admin requirements. Automating financials and moving away from spreadsheets is the only way to proactively manage and review financials in today's world of complex construction. Budget automation also gives the owner the ability to accurately forecast cash flow throughout the life-cycle of a project by managing the project budget in real-time. Which ultimately decreases losses and budget overruns on the project.
The Owner or Owner's Representative maintains the overall project schedule. This shared schedule gives the project team all of the information they need to plan their internal workloads to meet project deadlines. Construction projects are a series of tasks dependent on the previous task. Software that facilitates real-time schedule updates allows team members to adjust their deliverables schedule to meet the deadlines.
Project Management software also offers the users the ability to see the schedule in various views such as Gannt chart or calendar view by day, week, or month. This allows for ease in reading and understanding the schedule by all team members.
Team/ Task Responsibilities
A robust project management software will also allow users to schedule tasks and assign responsibility to those tasks proactively. In essence, this keeps the entire project team knowing who owns what, by when, alleviating potential finger-pointing and missed deliverables. This level of transparency on a project also creates trust amongst team members. Awareness at this granular level drives communication and closes the loop on the issues at hand quickly and efficiently.
Also, a team member can upload a task or topic that requires a resolution from a smartphone or tablet with all the pertinent information while on a job site rather than waiting until one gets back to the office, increasing efficiency and solving problems faster than ever before.
Software that provides a broad reporting system is essential in today's world of complex construction. With report options such as a comprehensive executive summary for the project owner to a detailed financial report for the contractor to assess cash flow, project management software brings to head potential issues and allows for greater transparency and efficiency team-wide.
Dubrow Group Recommends
At Dubrow Group, we utilize two automated data-driven cloud-based programs. Procore and Northspyre.
Procore is the leader in project management software for construction. This cloud-based software allows us to automate the management of our projects, streamline the process, and increase information transparency and communication team-wide.
Northspyre takes project budgets out of spreadsheets and utilizes AI technology to eliminate human errors, increase accuracy in the data, reduce risk, and allow for better data for strategic decision-making.