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By Erica Konieczny
March 29, 2016
Time, cost, and quality affect the success of any construction project.
And you can (and should) successfully operate in that narrow window where the three sides align.
One of the primary objectives for project managers working in the construction field is carefully balancing the three aspects of sound management: quality, time, and money. To be successful, project managers must take all three of these features into consideration while drafting and carrying out the plans for every job.
Despite consisting of only three pillars, finding a stable equilibrium for this particular triangle can be a tall order, even for the most seasoned project manager. Often, time or financial constraints are beyond a PM's control, as clients and executives set deadlines and budgets long in advance of the job's groundbreaking. With little to no flexibility in these areas, this can put additional burdens on the quality of work, especially if inadequate funds or time have been allocated to finish the project.
While personal computers and on-premise servers helped construction firms optimize their accounting and design processes over the past 20 years, this standalone technology has ultimately created integration problems while increasing fragmentation between various departments. Further, this has created unnecessary hurdles to scaling since the variety of single point software cobbled together are not typically connected with a single repository, leading to siloed data sets, time-consuming migrations and the possibility for significant losses.
This minor setback doesn't preclude construction companies from being able to not only manage their time more effectively but to also ensure that every hour spent on a particular project is utilized to its full potential. Nothing is worse than having one subcontractor arrive on time only to realize that he or she will be unable to get started because the time allotted for a different subcontractor was insufficient.
With the right cloud-based construction software solution, project managers will always have the latest, most up-to-date schedule for each and every person involved in the project. This gives PMs the ability to customize daily logs, improve labor productivity with tracking, and archive data to review at any future time. In addition, with Procore, project managers can integrate schedules stored in on-site programs like Excel, Primavera, or AEC.
The advent of digital spreadsheets like Excel initially helped construction firms control their costs in addition to providing useful shortcuts for aggregating and analyzing these data sets. However, as companies grew and streamlined operations, the backup, storage, sharing, and updating of this crucial information became much more difficult. For instance, if the bookkeeper is working on one set of numbers in the office, but a field team has to make on-the-job purchases, this data will not be immediately transferred between both parties, leading to a disconnect between the two and potential cost overruns.
With the ability to better control costs and manage time, project managers gain much more flexibility along with the ability to ensure workers are building structures to the highest quality standards. Procore allows any party to upload a photo of an RFI or change order and disseminate the pictures to the necessary person. PMs can then track all RFIs and change orders from their cellphones or tablets, thereby guaranteeing that not only is the work finished on schedule and within budget, but also that it's being done to meet or surpass a client's specifications.
Simply put, whether a construction company is still utilizing an outdated single point software to store information, such as Excel, or even if the company has implemented a more developed system for managing their projects, these systems will be woefully insufficient unless they are all integrated into a single, cloud-based platform. By implementing a dedicated cloud-based software platform, project managers can make better-informed decisions in the field, track expenses in real time, and share crucial financial reports with all team members from any device connected to the Internet. In the long run, this will allow construction firms to consistently operate in that narrow window where the three sides of the project management triangle align.
Project Management Software
The Anatomy of a Request for Information (RFI)
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