Most people know it is impossible to finish a to-do list without a practical approach. There must be a customizable project management workflow to manage multiple tasks amongst a team effectively. This principle also applies to the construction industry.
Workflow is all about efficiency — it is the key to successful project management. Without it, there could be several issues in a construction project that a business owner might face.
To maintain a successful workflow, a construction company must practice project management software and automation. Here are a few key points to consider when designing a company’s workflow process.
Each construction project functions differently, which is why businesses need a customizable workflow. A custom workflow involves defined steps, granted access, and attaching it to a project. When working with manual processes in the workflow, business owners can automate them to ensure they save time and money.
All parties involved must have accessible and transparent communication for any construction project to allow team members to work together on different stages. Plus, it also creates cross-functional coordination between various departments within the company.
Like project management software, a centralized platform ensures consistency across all teams and projects. Project managers must document standards to ensure users can refer back to them throughout the construction process.
For instance, there may be training materials for users to access. That way, all parties can retain the most relevant information at each stage of the project’s lifecycle.
Integration between multiple platforms is vital since it provides more accessibility for project management software applications. One solution is establishing connections between each system companies can use for workflows to maximize work efficiency while minimizing errors.
While most construction projects follow the same schedule, their workflows should be custom to the building process. Consider using project management software that allows contractors to define each step and authorize access and attachment to the project.
Customization is key to aligning the project processes and workflows per the working style. Once contractors customize their workflows, they can easily identify their progress and whether it is going according to plan. An unflexible workflow can lead to confusion, miscommunication and inaccurate reporting.
Workflows are essential for mitigating risks and keeping a project on schedule and within budget. Yet, before a business owner can customize their workflow, it is vital to understand the different types.
When looking for the perfect project management workflow, the best one is for bidding and responding to RFIs (requests for information). Bidding and RFI is a time-consuming and monotonous process — involving many rejections before finding a successful bid. Yet, implementing an RFI workflow can streamline the process, help maintain focus on other tasks and increase bid accuracy simultaneously.
When choosing an RFI tool, ensure it has these features:
- Offers templates for filling in pertinent information.
- Accepts documents within multiple platforms.
- Has a chat feature.
- Allows team members to upload attachments.
- Allows for changes without having to download and re-upload files.
A submittal can be a method of deliverables, project samples, and products. Generally, subcontractors and suppliers submit them for approval to general contractors. These are a crucial part of the job, as there can be no construction without them.
They provide good explanations of how to set up or apply something. When choosing a submittal tool for a construction project, it should:
- Allow customization and automation for different submittals.
- Enable digital managing and tracking.
- Keep drawings and vendors organized.
- Allow assigned dates for various tasks and send reminders.
- Integrate live chat for communication between teams.
A change order is documentation of modifications, additions, or removals of work. These occur when alterations to the original scope of a project exist, often affecting pricing and schedules and causing delays.
When selecting a change order tool, check for these features:
- Allows contractors to build, view, track and submit digital bids.
- Reduces manual subscriptions.
- Enables new workflows for various change orders.
A punch list is a list of items requiring attention before finishing a construction project. These ensure the contractor can address any issues before proceeding to the next assignment.
A punch list tool should have the capabilities below:
- Supports periodical reviews.
- Allows for parties to submit lists digitally and assign tasks to team members.
- Enables photo and PDF submission.
- Tracks item completion.
- Identifies pending items that could impact the schedule.
Custom workflows offer several advantages over standard ones. Here is an overview of the primary benefits:
- More flexibility: A customizable workflow in project management software offers no limit to how a contractor creates or modifies individual tasks. It’s quick and straightforward to change within the software when necessary.
- Better visibility: Software allows users to run reports and build dashboards so they can determine the status of each project task. With this functionality in mind, stakeholders can better understand where the jobs are within the defined processes.
- High efficiency: Customer project management workflows enable users to reduce the number of tasks to avoid a cluttered schedule. Though fewer items show, they can gain more insight into the progress. In addition, users can color-code and monitor jobs to understand which ones need more attention.
A configurable workflow increases productivity, efficiency, cost savings, and transparency among stakeholders. Plus, the chances of completing a project on time and within budget are high. Consider implementing customization within the workflows to simplify the overall process of project management.
About the Author
Shannon Flynn is the managing editor of ReHack Magazine, where she specializes in engineering and automation technology. Apart from ReHack, you can find Shannon’s work in publications such as LifeHacker, Lifewire, and VentureBeat.