Top Questions to Answer in Managing a Construction Project

It is no secret that the construction industry is among the least digitized industry in the world. Companies are still grappling with legacy software or using Excel spreadsheets and emails to understand the status of their projects across different job sites. Not just is this a deterrent to growth and scalability, but these inefficiencies affect the profitability of the construction business. With technology playing an increasingly important role in our lives, the only way your construction company can survive is by adopting digital technologies to augment the efforts required to strategically grow their business.

construction-site-management-assigmentThe potential impact of productivity on the growth of your construction company cannot be underestimated. A study by Autodesk suggests that as many as 45% of construction professionals report spending more time than non-optimal activities. Another report by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that as much as $1.63 trillion could be saved by productivity changes. Managers and supervisors need to ensure that their time is being spent on activities that are adding value to the organization.

There are numerous issues that the modern-day construction company must grapple with. The study by Autodesk also suggests that 35% of construction professionals’ time is spent (over 14 hours per week) on non-productive activities including looking for project information, conflict resolution, and dealing with mistakes and rework. By relying on emails, messages, and shared Excel sheets companies make it extremely difficult for the key stakeholders to be in control of the various factors which might define project success. The result – is a significant decline in productivity and time spent on managing non-value-added tasks, which has a direct impact on scalability and growth.

Understandably, the importance of real-time data could not be underestimated from a construction project management point of view. Through this article, let’s understand some of the key questions are which would be at the top of your mind while you are managing construction projects.

What is the status of the construction project?

Tconstruction-work-schedule-managementypically, while managing the project, you would want to know what’s the exact status of the project. You might want to know, on a real-time basis, how much of the project has been completed, how much is in progress, and the amount which is yet to start. If this information is available to you on a project progress chart it should give you a bird’s eye view of how far along you are on the project.


What is the status of the tasks in the project?

As a construction project manager, you would want access to a Task monitoring table which would provide you with an idea of which tasks have been completed, which of them have a backlog, and which of them are upcoming for next week.


Critical paths in the project and how to monitor them

progress-monitoring-constructionAs a construction project manager, it would be of utmost importance to you to understand the critical paths in your projects and should ideally provide you with a seamless way to monitor them. This could be related to the defined Work Plan or the Project Gantt – but keeping a close watch on the critical path would be of utmost importance for the critical path.


How is the project performing?

As the construction project manager, you would be extremely interested to understand the performance of your ongoing project. A good metric to understand the performance of your project would be to map the planned value to the earned value. This would indicate the variation in the project performance and depict how the project is performing. Note - the earned value (EV), also known as Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP), is plotted with the planned value also known as Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS), and the actual cost.


Where is the money being spent? What’s the breakdown of the project cost?

construction-site-management-schedule-assignmentsCost implications would be at the very top of every project manager's tracking list, especially given most construction projects with cost overruns that affect the profitability of any company. A project manager would be interested to know the accurate cost breakdown per work package. Drawing from the BOM/BOQ, the Cost Breakdown by Work Package lets you identify variances in the planned vs actual material costs of each work package


What is the punch list status?

Punch lists could be extremely tricky to manage, especially knowing the status of punch lists and the aging of the punch lists. For a construction project manager, the status of all punch list items as well as their aggregated ages is easily visible so you are on top of your snagging process.


How are we doing on the usage and consumption of materials?

snag-list-management-construction-operationsAs a construction project manager, it is critical for you to avoid a stock-out situation – which implies that all the work on the site comes to a stand-still. This could only be always possible if you are on top of the raw-materials usage and consumption data. Proper management of material usage and costs is critical for contractors, and ideally, the project manager would want a Consumption table by Cause gives insight into which work package is driving up costs. The data should also highlight the planned, buffered, and billed quantities of materials by task category.


What is the site inspection success level?

This would be helpful for the construction project manager with an overview of the inspections that have taken place and how they are faring. These metrics share the total number of inspections, passed inspections, and the percentage success level.


What is the level of safety at our construction job sites?

The metrics used to measure the same would be the number of accidents and the number of days since the last accident. This would help the project manager how strictly are the safety protocols implemented at the job sites.


Steer Platform BI Dashboard – your gateway to real-time project management

A study by the US Chamber of Commerce suggests that as much as 70% of contractors believe that technology can help increase productivity (78%), improve schedule (75%), and enhance safety (79%). By investing in technology platforms that give you a bird’s eye view of the health of your construction projects, you can ensure that you are in control of all that’s happening across your job sites. All the key metrics are tracked, and real-time information is available to ensure educated decision-making by the executives in charge.

Steer’s project dashboard section provides charts and graphs from various aspects of your project. It comes with two options: standard and custom.

  • Standard BI Dashboard: We have standard charts & graphs that give all the key project information (materials & labor, schedule & progress, quality, safety, etc.) to support your decision-making drawing from the solutions you’re using
  • Custom BI Dashboard: Depending on your requirements, dashboards can be easily configured by creating custom charts & graphs that visualize other pieces of information that are valuable to your team


Are you an organization that is looking to grow exponentially? Are you still using traditional and manual methods for managing your construction projects? Would you want to future-proof your business and let data dictate decision-making? Reach out to one of our digital success consultants HERE to take your first step in improving productivity and ensuring scalability for your organization.

Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Partnerships & Research

Sid Wadehra is a seasoned and a result-oriented professional with varied experience spanning geographies from leading multinationals to fast growing start-ups. His industry experience is well-complimented with business education from a global business school. Sid's expertise include digital transformation, corporate strategy, and innovation management.


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