Tag: construction project management

Construction Project Management Software for Builders

Construction project management software for builders and contractors or “CPM software” in short, is the use of project management software specific to construction projects covering commercial, residential, oil and gas, industrial, civil and environmental.

The reasons and demands to use a construction management software within the AEC industry are well documented at this stage with clear ROI benefits for all parties. With free trials, on-boarding help and SaaS pricing models, selecting a construction management software for builders is not an overly complicated process and can have a major impact to the contractors or builder’s business.

The software will easily allow construction project managers to specify plans and objectives, to ensure resource efficiency, in managing tasks, to control budgets and as a shared communication platform for all stakeholders. Construction project management while unique in its own challenges share many of the similarities found in the management of projects in other industries such as software, health and the pharmaceutical sectors. Take for instance, every construction project has the requirement to reach certain objectives within the constraints of a schedule, budget and quality targets, much the same as say a project management program in the health industry.

Construction project management software for builders opens up a range of benefits from risk assessments, O and M manual templates to full project autonomy. Add to this the ability to seamlessly share project documents with 24/7 access from anywhere and through any type of WIFI enabled device allows everyone in the project team to be instantly updated. The major benefit to a construction project manager is document and status access to all involved in the project while removing the hassle of creating documents manually. This makes it so much easier to maintain the correct document versions for the project plus ensuring that document archiving and maintenance, happens without human intervention.

Construction project management software also helps the builders and contractors to completely manage all aspects of a construction project from start to finish including health and safety, risks, asset register, task assignments and cost control. It is also a great tool for productivity via online collaboration instead of meetings and it gives all project stakeholders an input into the process.

Construction project management software such as RaptorPM is used by a board range of companies from general building contractors, oil and gas, engineering firms, and specialty AEC subcontractors. Acting as a central communication tool, it allows everyone who needs to post updates, keep abreast of changes or report back on progress on any construction project including project managers, site managers, architects, engineers, surveyors and the various subcontractors.

It is all about giving construction project teams the tools to communicate more effectively, make decisions faster, resolve issues quickly, share updates instantly, resulting in a faster and more efficient project delivery framework.

RaptorPM construction project management software helps building and contracting companies to increase project efficiency and accountability to project sponsors via vastly improved communication and documentation sharing which ultimately saves on expenses and boosts profit margins. The outcome is that construction professionals get to collaborate on projects from any device with internet access so they can action all project documents, contracts, RFIs, submittals, schedules, drawings, manuals, construction risk assessment and deliver project excellence every time.

Advertisements

O&M Manual Contents

O&M manual contents for inclusion in final documentation can seem confusing as the term has a broad meaning for all project handover documentation. However, one thing is certain that your O and M manual contents is substantially more than a few ring binders of information thrown together. Whether you are a Property Developer, Main Contractor, Electrical or Plumbing Contractor then you need to be fully versed in the requirements of an O&M manual.

 

In a nutshell, the O&M manual contents AKA “operation and maintenance manual” (O&M manual), is a file that contains all the information required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building or structure.

Today, an O and M manual is usually creating using a cloud-based software solution as part of a construction project software rather using a manual hard copy process. The manual is specific to each area within the project from equipment, electrical, plumbing, gas etc. Each manual is prepared by either the contractor, sub-contractors, services engineers and the other contracted suppliers. The O and M manual contents is a requirement that has been defined as part of the tender documentation where its contents will be outlined. It can be sub-divided in sections or even standalone manuals covering equipment, mechanical and electrical installation services in the mechanical and electrical specification section.

An electronic soft copy or draft version of the O and M manual contents would normally be provided for the client as part of the handover procedure prior to any final sign-offs for completions. The final manual will then be created online for reviews, edits and updates so it can be accessed by authorized personnel 24/7 or printed to a hard copy for distribution. The preliminaries in the tender or contract documentation may require several copies of the O&M manual so electronic versions are advisable to avoid it being overly labor intensive.

 The O and M Manual contents can include a wide range of documentation:

  • Details descriptions covering the main design or architecture principles.

  • Lists of the building’s construction guidelines (incl. specs, finishes, cladding, doors and windows, roof construction etc).

  • Versions and revisions to drawings and specifications.

  • Detailed instructions for its operation and maintenance (covering health and safety documents, equipment and manufacturers’ instructions for efficient and proper operation).

  • A complete asset register of all plant and equipment installed.

  • Documentation on commissioning and various testing results.

  • The inclusion of warranties, guarantees and certifications.

  • Outlines or instructions related to upkeep, maintenance, operation, demolition, decommissioning and disposal.

 The challenge in creating O&M Manual contents is that while most of this information will probably already exist, is to simplify the preparation, compiling and assembling of its various components. Also, as updates and revisions are a normal function within the industry, the use of software avoids any delays or out of date versions. Another good idea is to use an O and M Manual template to reduce manual rework. Because during the life of the building or structure, the manual will evolve to reflect the changes that happen to the building, its equipment or systems, along with records of all maintenance that has taken place.

In conclusion, the objective of the O and M Manual contents is to optimize the buildings and its equipment operational efficiency with clear documentation on maintenance guidelines, specifications, warranties, inspections, approvals and sign offs to proactively manage its operation.

What is a Construction Risk Assessment Template

Using a construction risk assessment template helps project managers to complete their risk assessment protocols. This construction risk assessment template can be used as an information guide in order to complete a live document. It is important to note that risk assessments should be reviewed on an annual basis, or else if an accident or a near miss has occurred. Also, it should be reviewed when any significant change in personnel or to work practices happens.

A construction work site is inherently risky and dangerous, so accident prevention should work alongside risk minimization with the knowledge that neither is possible without a detailed assessment of what the risks are. These include all general construction activity, building tasks, demolition, refurbishing projects, refits, siteworks, etc. When construction projects are compared with other industries such as software or financial, construction is less technically complex. The main the risks on a construction site include:

  • Disputes over work practises leading to litigation

  • Poor safety and health records

  • Compromise on health and safety provision

  • The commercial pressure to save money and time

Construction Risk Management

The purpose of risk assessment and risk management in construction is to plan, monitor, and control measures needed to minimize or prevent risk exposure. To achieve this, it is critical to identify any hazards, assess the extent of possible risks and then provide the measures to control the risks including managing any remaining risks.

The Risk Management Process in Construction

The below is a sample of a construction risk assessment template procedure. It outlines the concept of residual risk management (unidentified risks or those risks remaining despite compliance with risk control measures):

Construction Risk Logs

Regardless of the industry type, risk logs are always used. The difference in construction is that risk logs may also assess the time and cost impact without any controls and can include actions identified on residual risks. Generic construction risks are usually identified, then risks specific to the project, and risks remaining despite controls being used (residual risks).

Construction Risk Assessments

All risk assessments are controlled and supported with set processes. There is normally a legal compliance for risk assessments around health and safety in most countries. A typical assessment would follow this process:

  1. Identify the hazards. Example – pipelaying in bad ground.

  2. Identifying who or what could be harmed. Example – the pipe layers in the trench.

  3. Evaluating the risks identified in the hazard. Example – risk of earth collapsing.

  4. Determining the control measures required. Example – use trench support box.

  5. Evaluating the risks from the hazard. Example – the risk of a worker being crushed, injury from digger bucket, and risk of cave-ins.

  6. Recording the findings of the risk assessment. Example – fill in the construction risk assessment template.

  7. Plotting contingency plans for the residual risks. Example – prepare safety method statement based on the risk assessment, foreman to lead task discussion, permits to work required, supervisor or overseer working with excavator operator.

  8. Reviewing and revising. Example – monitor the site operations and modify the construction risk assessment template where necessary

  9. Follow through by holding further task talk if method statement is changed.

Construction Risk Types

The Project Client

Risks from the project client usually revolve around cost, time, and quality. Risk management considerations usually involve feasibility, design, funding and commercial risks.

The Contractor

Probably the biggest risk for a contractor will be during the tender stage when price and timescale commitments are submitted. If estimates end up being inaccurate, profit margins are eroded with a knock-on effect around risks. The use of subcontractors also opens up project risks.

Project Health and Safety

Risk assessment and management in project health and safety risk management are legal requirements. All construction projects have a requirement to have a health and safety plan in place prior to commencing any work.

Fire Risk

Fire risk in a construction project and on the site, is an ever-present risk. Insurance, legal and government standards nearly always require contractors to take measures to prevent risks of fire injury. To ensure the provision and maintenance of firefighting equipment plus training a set of workers to use the equipment. No construction project should ever proceed to the building process without a fire safety plan developed by the project manager.

Differences between risk assessments and method statements.

A risk assessment is exactly what it says on the tin, a thorough assessment of any risk in a construction project. Using a construction risk assessment template, this will be completed prior to any work commencing that presents a risk of injury or ill health.

A method statement is a set of instruction for how the tasks and work will be carried out safely. A method statement will set out the work in logical steps and explain to all workers on site how the work should be done, providing additional details. The method statement will usually be accompanied by the risk assessment template, and will include the risks identified within the risk assessment and the control measures required. In fact, these two documents always support each other and will deliberately contain overlapping information. Also, another difference is that the method statement is not always required.

The point to remember is that all work should be covered by the risk assessment, whereas method statements are usually for the higher-risk, more complex and unfamiliar tasks. You can access a free risk assessment templates on RaptorPM.

Guide to Managing Construction Projects

In this guide to managing construction projects we cover the technical skills along with the deployment of construction project management software to keep projects on track.

This guide to managing construction projects also includes best practice tips to help avoid pitfalls on construction projects. It provides specific advice to help complete a construction project with success.

 

Construction project phases

Construction projects have clear phases within their lifecycles – concept, planning, implementation, control and close out. These give guidance on how to get things done on budget and on time. Skipping any will likely mean your project is running out of control.

This will include setting up the project phases and defining deliverables for each milestone.

Most projects that follow best practice use the following main phases:

  1. Conception. Before you plan anything investigate the feasibility of the project. Complete a project feasibility report. This should include costs, deliverables, timelines, and how and why it will be done.

  2. Planning. Once the project has the go ahead with scope, budgets and timelines set, start planning how to achieve each phase. Complete a work breakdown structure for each part of the construction project. Allocate resources and setup a schedule in construction project management software. Make sure to include every last task with timelines and costs assigned.

  3. Implementation. Implementation begins when people actually start the physical work. This is when the construction of the building occurs. You need to keep on top of:

    1. Time management. Keep track of time. Use the schedule to compare estimated times to finish against actual completion times.

    2. Managing costs. You should already have estimated costs against each task in the schedule. Add in actual costs on completion of each task.

    3. Managing quality. Quality management is vital for the quality of the end product. Without processes and procedures to ensure the quality of every aspect of the build, there is no way to maintain a quality build.

    4. Managing change. Good processes for change management make changes simple to execute. Construction management software can manage the change process for you. This makes it simple for all stakeholders to access with transparency.

    5. Managing risks. Risks should already be logged into a risk register. Keep a close eye on these so you can mitigate them before they occur.

  4. Keeping control. Keeping control is really part of implementation. It is all about staying on top of the costs, risks and meeting timelines to get those milestone payments.

  5. Project close out. Wrapping it up is an important part of the construction project process. To close out a project write a report, address any outstanding issues, file any administrative paperwork for completion and redistribute resources no longer required on the project.

 

Setting up roles and management systems

All construction projects have clear roles with responsibilities assigned, along with management systems to make everyone accountable. It is important for the success of a project that there are clear leaders with good communications skills to lead the construction team.

Assign roles and responsibilities to team members with matching skills. Take advantage of people’s key strengths to get the best outcomes.

Managing quality assurance

How do you manage quality assurance? This takes knowledge of legislation and regulations. You also need to know how to set up processes to maintain quality assurance during each project phase. Construction projects have to meet many standards. Missing anything can mean expensive repairs after completion. And, a loss of your reputation.

Tracking and identifying variances

Tracking is vital to any construction project. It allows for the identification and resolution of project variances. Using construction project software can take care of everything you need. Reports, cost overruns schedule slippages can all be identified and reported on automatically. You need ways of measuring the performance of the project that you can apply to the work breakdown structure and any other parts of the work. Examples of measurements you can use include:

  • Budgeted cost of work. This is the scheduled cost in the budget for the scheduled work.

  • Actual cost of work. This is the cost of work completed at any time according to the organization’s accounting system.

  • Budgeted cost of work performed. This is the earned value of the completed work at any nominated time.

  • Estimated cost at completion. This is the expected cost to complete the construction project calculated at any given point in a project.

By using the work breakdown structure as the basis for project tracking it helps to establish a project baseline. This gives you something to measure against.

These best practices are interrelated. By missing any of these, your project will run into trouble. With the complexity of managing construction projects, project managers need all the tools available. Construction project management software makes it easy to track projects with transparency. It also helps when dealing with the change process and alerting to potential risks all in a central database. We hope you enjoyed reading this guide to managing construction projects.