So, what is construction management, and how does scope tie into successfully completing a project? At its most basic, a construction project’s scope is an agreed-upon list of key guidelines that see a construction project through to its completion.
These guidelines are what allow construction managers to, well, manage.
A scope of work’s main purpose is to keep a project organized and chaos-free. In order to create an ironclad scope, construction managers often leverage construction management software to hammer out the fine details. For example, most modern construction management platforms include features that focus on boosting and organizing communication in many ways. Document management features, especially in cloud-based systems, give users the ability to quickly access, edit, share and backup vital project documentation. Project members can even edit models and drawings on the fly while others tweak or accept them.
Construction management software includes a variety of features that make scope creation easier:
- Document Management and Control
- Team Management
- Mobile Access via Smart Devices
- Cloud-Based Deployment Strategies
- Bid Management
- Real-Time Communication
Plan out an entire construction project
As the old saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Planning is obviously integral to a smooth construction project, and a software solution can help optimize things even further.
It is generally accepted that a construction project goes through five phases before reaching its completion:
Although, it should be noted that planning is a phase that never truly ends during a construction project and can overlap with the other phases.
A construction management give users the ability to plan for and succeed during all five phases of a project. Scheduling features allow project owners and managers to layout timelines and filter schedules by job-site, which provide a helpful layer of visibility. Preventative maintenance can also be scheduled as projects go on to preempt any issues with the final product.
Proper budgeting is integral to planning a successful construction project; however, without software, human error can cause some significant hiccups. No matter how experienced the person, calculation errors can happen that could set a project back on valuable time and resources. By automating manual input and budget calculation, a project manager could very easily cut costs and save time.
Maintain a safe job site
Customer satisfaction and staying under budget are important indicators of a successfully managed project, but a safe work environment is vital. Protecting your team and yourself from dangerous work conditions and other disputes is a big job, but there are a few helpful features users can leverage to simplify the process.
Many construction management systems contain the ability to create custom safety checklists that managers can sculpt to fit the unique needs of their job sites. If all members sign off on a stringent safety checklist when the last details of the scope are being decided, there can be no confusion about job site safety policy.
Punch-lists are also available in most systems. These provide an overview of final repairs that have to be completed before the project can be turned over to the owners. By maintaining a dashboard that users can easily access, construction managers have a visible place to post important checklists without worrying about them getting lost in the shuffle. Obviously, there are other on and offsite issues that could arise, but construction management can help tackle them as well through the following features:
- Safety Management
- Risk Assessment
- Dispute Management
- Inspection Reports
Execute a plan/scope of work
Planning the perfect project is one thing, but executing that plan requires spinning a lot of plates at once. Now that efforts have begun on the physical job site, there is a host of new tools to consider when trying to keep the ball moving forward. Data visibility is important here as information will constantly be flowing from the job site to the contractors and construction managers as the project progresses.
Construction management is vital to maintaining organization in a larger project once the execution phase begins. By adopting a platform to help manage the constant variables that arise, users can avoid costly issues that would otherwise spring up. Real-time material updates keep managers in the loop and can be set to re-order if supplies start to get low. To-do lists and scheduling features make sure job sites continue working through important goals in the most organized manner possible.
Field reports keep direct lines of communication open between the various teams on a job site. Everyone — from the project owner to subcontractors — can access progress, communications and other project-critical information from an easy-to-access dashboard. Outside of these examples, a construction management suite contains more features focused on a clean execution:
- To-Do Lists
- Equipment Management
- Materials Management
- Meeting Management
Close and deliver a final product
While this phase of a construction project is all about delivering the final product to a client, construction management can take customer satisfaction to an even higher level. Clients are going to want to inspect their product, and anything a project owner can do to settle their nerves will boost the client’s trust in the project.
As the project comes to a close, construction managers will tally up the costs and measure them against the budget laid out in the scope of work. Luckily, a software solution automates much of the calculations involved in these final reports. When presenting the finished product as a whole, photos can be taken and uploaded to presentations for a professional, final look. Deliver your final product at its best by leveraging these tools:
- Photo Management
- Quality Management
- Standardized Reporting
- Final Project Reports
How Does Software Aid in Bid Management?
Before a construction project can begin, a project owner compiles an estimation of costs that a prospective operation could entail. When this information is shared, either publicly or privately between invited parties, contractors and subcontractors attempt to win the bid. Once bids come in, the project owners use a few metrics like qualifications to select a team to complete their project.
Sounds complicated, and it can be if you aren’t organized. Construction management software can handle bidding from both sides of the equation. Project owners can filter choices, save preferred contractor information and view multiple bids from a dashboard.
The cloud’s popularity is growing by the day and its rise is evident in construction management as well. More and more project leaders are switching to cloud-based solutions so that they can take advantage of the benefits they offer:
- Mobile access for subcontractors, contractors, managers and owners
- Secure document storage
- Quick list, report and document storage between project members
- Real-time upgrades to software that won’t interrupt a workday
How Do I Select a Construction Management System?
Selecting the perfect construction management system is a daunting task, but by considering a few factors, you can narrow your selections down. Take a few moments to think about the size of your operation, if you’re looking for an on-premise or cloud-based deployment, and what your budget can handle. If you need a bit more information, we have resources available to help broaden your knowledge base. Consider checking out an in-depth look at some upcoming construction management trends or our guide to crafting a scope of work.