Tag: construction

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.


Improving construction safety

Source: Improving construction safety

Safety on construction sites is a constant challenge. Improving construction safety is of paramount importance for all construction companies. There is no denying, construction sites are hazardous places. Workers face daily challenges including preventing falls, and chemical and trip hazards. Construction health and safety is on everyone’s mind. What do you do to reduce the chance of accidents on work sites?


Set up safety steering committees

Often organisations use the top down approach to construction safety. Dictating compliance rather than involving workers so they have input into the process. Increase worker participation in safety activities that mean something to them. Give workers ownership of safety in the workplace.

Set up a safety steering committee made up of respected employees. Let them meet at regular intervals to review the safety audit, discuss issues and make recommendations. No management or supervisory personnel should attend. It is a place for open communication. For workers to express their concerns, leave management out. The purpose is to allow all workers to discuss construction safety and offer solutions from personal experience. This is the opposite of managing by directive.

Involving workers in construction safety, gives workers a sense of inclusiveness. After all, an organisation’s workers know how to better manage the risks in their workplace. Giving workers ownership of construction health and safety increases productivity. Highlight safety as a personal value the organisation stands behind.

Cutting safety budgets can be a disaster

Often the first thing to suffer budget cuts can be safety training programs. This can be a false saving over the long-term. New and inexperienced employees are more prone to accidents without the safety training they need. They also become a risk to themselves and to the rest of the work site. Accidents cost and if you lose a worker through an accident at work, then you will pay a high price. Invest in safety training to empower workers instead.

Keep safety training updated

Keeping safety training updated empowers workers. It keeps construction safety fresh in their minds. It also promotes better communication between workers and management. Safety hazards on construction sites can go unreported because of ineffective communication. More awareness results in less accidents. Less accidents means there is more time to focus on getting the job done. Good safety protocols boost productivity.

Updated training means old, outdated safety methods get replaced quickly. Implementing safety into every day operations reduces your risks and liabilities.


Innovative thinking

The accident rate would be higher on work sites without the innovative thinking of construction companies. They are devoting extra resources to keeping workers safe. Developing new practices and adopting technology can improve construction safety up to 100%. Keeping up with changing legislation can challenge improving safety protocols. Encourage an open exchange of ideas to find new ways to build on construction safety.

Software and technology

Technology improves managing construction projects. Software can link into your current processes and procedures, and existing safety programs. This allows everyone including workers to interact online using software tools.

Trying to track everything the old-fashioned way no longer works with pen and paper. It is time-consuming. Use software to track changes to construction safety priorities on an organisational level. Software platforms are a guaranteed approach to optimizing construction safety. You can configure software packages to meet individual organisational needs.

Advocate continuous improvement

Knowledge is a powerful tool. When workers know how to work with an organisation’s support, it creates stability. Stability leads to better ways to do the same work faster and safer. This gives the work site a culture of continuous improvement, which results in greater efficiency and productivity.

Document your safety procedures and plan using software to revitalize your business processes.

Proper equipment

Working on a construction site is dangerous enough without cutting corners with the use of incorrect equipment. All equipment should be suited to the job, and all machinery and equipment well-maintained. Most construction workers are subcontractors, what they do affects your reputation. And subcontractors, hire subcontractors to help them with the work. Make sure that you hire those with a good reputation and the right equipment to do the job. Check licences are in place for difficult jobs (for example, heavy crane work). Look at their own safety records from their work on past jobs. Check they are prepared to live up to your construction safety standards. And, make your stand on construction safety clear as part of the contract.


Regardless of whatever else you do, without the right management tools your organisation can be at further risk, you can even use some FREE RISK ASSESSMENT TEMPLATES. Technology has the ability to bring change and progress today. It has never been easier to integrate safety management software into you companies project safety alongside your processes and procedures. It is vital you keep up-to-date and accurate construction health and safety records.

Whatever your goals for improving construction safety, your organisation can have it all cost-effectively. Combine education, inclusiveness, innovation and commitment along with smart software to improve safety on your construction site.


Tips for construction management safety

Source: Tips for construction management safety | Construction and AEC Project management software Raptorpm

Construction safety is serious business with legal and employee welfare implications. During the course of construction management, companies must ensure they take care of their workers. Organizations’ can face criminal charges if they do not comply with occupational health and safety legislation.

Accidents rates can increase on construction sites if safety is not on everyone’s mind. Also, laws are tightening to protect workers in the construction industry. Workers have the right to work in a safe environment, free from the fear of having an injury or worse. While it is a worker’s responsibility to take care of their own safety while on a work site, the employer handles construction management safety. Employers must conduct risk assessments, put risk management policies and procedures in place to guide their workers. Part of that is keeping up-to-date health and safety records, as well as organisational safety processes and procedures.


Construction Risk Management software can help organisations manage risk strategies in compliance with legislation. And, for the safety of all workers and anyone else on a construction site.

Even if you are following workplace occupational health and safety guidelines, there are things you should instil into construction workers. Learn how to practice the management of construction projects with appropriate safety requirements. Some is simple commonsense.

Chemical threats

Correct storage of chemicals is important. Some can react with each when stored close together. Workers must know how to deal with chemicals in accordance with manufacturer instructions and workplace procedures. Disastrous consequences can be the result if a chemical spill occurs. All workers handling dangerous chemicals must have the correct training to remain safe.

Walking the scaffolding tightrope

Walking the scaffolding tightrope while building hundreds of feet up in the sky is not for the faint hearted. It is a dangerous job. Common sense habits working at heights include:

  • erecting scaffold on solid ground stable enough to hold heavy weights

  • do not support scaffold on an uneven surface r try to level the ground out using things like planks or bricks

  • work at least 10 feet away from powerlines

  • do not use weak or damaged scaffold parts

  • do not put too much weight on the scaffold (overloading can cause accidents)

  • ensure there are sturdy guard and toe rails for worker protection

  • ensure the rig is checked by a qualified supervisor at the start of each shift and whenever it moves location

  • immediately replace damaged parts

  • do not use scaffold in storms or when there are high winds

  • keep an eye on your workmates and what is going on below.

Use the right tools for the job

Accidents and injuries can occur when workers try to use the wrong tools for the job. Consider the following when managing construction safety:

  • use ear protection in noisy environments

  • use eye protection when welding

  • do not carry tools by the cord

  • understand and follow workplace safety policies and procedures

  • make a conscious effort to be aware of your surroundings at all times

  • do not use damaged tools

  • use signs to keep non-essential workers out of highly-dangerous operating areas.


Operating heavy machinery safely

Heavy machinery is dangerous if not operated correctly. All people must be trained appropriately. Workers should keep the following in mind:

  • be careful when boarding or getting down from heavy machinery

  • wear appropriate gloves and footwear for the job

  • use a spotter to alert you to hazards in your blind spots

  • make there is enough room to move the machine safely

  • alert people close to the equipment of your intention to move

  • leave enough room to turn the equipment safely (heavy machinery needs more turning space than a light vehicle)

  • be extra careful when manoeuvring up and down inclines

  • do not allow unauthorised people use machinery

  • do not leave the keys in machinery when left unattended.

There is no room for complacency on a construction site. Using good construction management safety strategies for risk management will help keep everyone safe.


Construction Project Management Insights

Original Article Source: Construction Project Management Insights

Construction project management is more complex than ever in a digital age coupled with increased legislation. So, working with teams of architects and designers as well as contractors and other interested stakeholders means keeping things on track is harder. These days you need tools that help you manage project delivery, risk assessments, o and m manuals etc. Technology is one of the greatest enablers for the successful delivery of construction project management. It provides the tools to manage construction projects cost-effectively, quickly and safely.

 One common issue every construction project faces is managing requests for information (RFIs). These have the ability to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in project delays. Some RFIs may be unjustifiable, while the actual answers could already be in the contract or they are design requests not authorized by the design team. These costs impact the profit of a project’s bottom line, so a project manager needs better control of the RFI process.

Project managers need 24/7 insight into a project of any size to complete it successfully. Here are some insights into project management of RFIs. This is an example of how good project management tools can make a difference.

 Managing requests for information

Contractors use RFIs to ask questions of the designers and architects. The contractor can also use RFIs to ask the client questions. Sometimes contractors use RFIs to justify claims of changes in a project’s scope. But, in reality, they can cause delays. A transparent, consistent system for dealing with RFIs is an important part of construction project management.

A project manager cannot avoid RFIs. But, project managers can use tools that standardize and give relevant stakeholders access to consistent project management processes for RFIs.

 Standardize processes for requests for information
Collaboration is key to delivering a standardized process for everyone involved in the project.

In a basic collaborative model, the project manager receives RFIs by email and tracks each one using spreadsheets. This makes tracking RFIs and any attachments difficult. It also makes it difficult to solve them before the end of each construction phase.

Take collaboration to the next level using project management software that stores all RFIs in a central repository along with the relevant drawings and attachments. Use a platform based in the cloud so relevant parties can review and action RFIs simultaneously. This saves many man hours of processing RFIs. Good project management tools give you transparency and the ability to anticipate recurring issues before they occur.

It takes time to get contractors to adopt new processes. Once they do, there will be efficiencies across the whole project. This gives everyone better understanding with better communication. But, unless everyone involved in the project conforms to collaborating on the one platform, efficiencies will be hard to drive.

Instill best practices
 Create guidelines for best practices for everyone involved in the project to follow. An example is establishing consistent tags or numbering system to categorize RFIs. Use these to group RFIs and to assign priority. A good construction project control tool set gives the flexibility to setup up the information you need as a mandatory field. Things like what the RFI affects, trade type lodging the RFI, whether it requires a change order, and the impact on costs and time.

RFIs should link into the construction schedule. A contractor can flag urgent requests that need resolution before work can move forward. This makes the issues visible for all to see.

RFIs are one piece of the construction puzzle construction management software can help manage. It can also help project managers with:

  • managing and tracking all project documents

  • managing and submitting bids

  • scheduling resources and workers

  • job and time estimates

  • job-site logs

  • project collaboration.

If you are still resisting using new tools of the trade to manage construction projects, talk to the experts Raptor Project Management. They can help transform the way you manage construction projects.