How to improve time management in construction
Did you know that just four in ten construction projects are delivered on time? Delays in the delivery lead to frustrated customers, stop you from starting your next project and dampen morale among teams. Improving time management in construction is, therefore, a must.
But as anyone who’s worked on managing construction projects knows, there is no simple solution to this problem. The causes of delays in construction are varied and complex, and you must account for many factors that are out of your control. These factors range from the weather to staff shortages.
Because there’s no ‘silver bullet’ solution to the problem of time management in construction, it’s often best to tackle the issue from several different angles. Here are some different actions you can take to start improving time management on your projects.
9 initiatives to improve time management in construction
In a study by the Journal of Construction Engineering, 28% of contractors reported that construction delays were very frequent, 61% regarded delays as fairly frequent and only 11% indicated that they were infrequent. If your business wants to improve time management during the construction process, a combination of the following techniques can help.
Connect the office to the building site
It is a common complaint that construction companies’ headquarters are too far removed from the reality of life on site. The office might expect on-site staff to complete a specific project phase in a certain timeframe, yet builders on site know it will actually take a lot longer. By using digital tools that allow you to share photos and communicate between the site and the office, it becomes much easier to talk about these kinds of issues and set realistic expectations.
Take a collaborative approach to project management
Managing construction projects should be a highly collaborative process, especially at the planning phase. Even with the most experienced and qualified project managers on board, it’s still valuable to get insights from site managers, major sub-contractors and HR staff. These individuals can provide input on how realistic a plan is and agree on reasonable timelines.
Set clear deadlines in the contract
Everyone should know when the project’s deadlines are and receive alerts when they are approaching. This is of primary importance for the sub-contractors, but it’s also vital for the client too. If they’re expected to approve project stages, they must visit the site and sign work off in the agreed timeframe.
Prioritise quality control
Quality control inspections allow the site manager to discover any problems early and nip the issue in the bud. This will ensure time is not wasted on remedial actions that delay the project later on.
Assign jobs to the right people
A major problem when managing construction projects is that people get assigned tasks that they are not really qualified for. It is vital that you hire subcontractors with the correct skills to do specific jobs. If not, unskilled and inexperienced staff could ‘botch’ the job.
Sync your data and project schedules
Modern construction software makes it much easier for the project manager to track project progress remotely thanks to the cloud. Every day, the site manager can update project schedules digitally and let the PM know about the project’s status. The team can identify any delays early and make adjustments to account for this.
Manage your resources as efficiently as possible
If labourers are on site but unable to work because they’re waiting for another task to be complete, this represents a huge waste of money and resources. Once again, digital tools can be very useful here. It’s possible to reallocate tasks and provide jobs to ensure that all sub-contractors are doing something, even if they can’t do their main task right now.
Use personal and organisation-wide checklists
Checklists are a very efficient tool for time management for both individuals and organisations. By using either paper or (preferably) digital checklists, it’s easier for people to prioritise their tasks, maximise their time and boost productivity. Checklists also make it less likely people will forget things they have to do.
Conduct daily ‘stand up’ meetings
Where possible, it’s valuable for all site staff and project managers to attend a daily or weekly ‘stand up’ meeting. In these meetings, each individual says what they did the day before, what they’re doing today and any issues that might arise. By communicating at the beginning of the day, the PM and site manager have a good overview of the project’s progress and can take early action on any problems.
Managing construction projects with PlanRadar saves time
PlanRadar is a mobile app and web platform that supports time management in construction projects. Here are just some of the ways PlanRadar helps with managing construction projects in a more time-effective manner:
- Easy ticketing: As a site manager you can record current status, defects or other delays in your construction project directly via the app and via the web platform from your desktop PC, tablet or smartphone. Information is uploaded to the database within seconds and can be viewed by all other project partners in real-time.
- Enhanced communication: PlanRadar lets you easily communicate with colleagues and subcontractors throughout the project. Any questions, doubts or problems can be discussed and resolved in a single place. That also saves you relying on endless emails or confusing phone calls.
- Assign tasks: The PlanRadar app lets you assign tasks to all contractors and sub-contractors for better time management. The worker can see any information regarding their tasks on a ticket and they can ‘tick’ it off once complete.
These are just some of the many features in PlanRadar that support time management in construction.
Managing construction projects better
While there is no single solution to the problem of time management in construction, apps like PlanRadar can help address many common issues on building sites. When used in conjunction with other time management improvement initiatives, it can help you deliver more projects on time and in line with your customers’ expectations.