3 Proven Ways to Master Construction Time Management
Time is money! Time management is not just about meeting deadlines, but also creating a construction schedule that minimizes costs and wasted time and resources. This statement is especially true in construction, where a single day of delays could mean the loss of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, delays happen to be a norm in the global construction, with an average of 72% of construction projects being delayed, according to data from previous years.
Let’s see how construction time management practices and advanced software solutions can help builders avoid costly delays and heavy penalties by completing projects on time and within budget.
What Is a Construction Schedule?
In simple terms, a construction schedule is a timeline with all construction activities and milestones required to complete a construction project. It can include such industry-related touchpoints as:
- Construction permits
- Start of work
- Major milestones
- Project turnover
And much more!
Building a well-thought-out and clearly-defined construction schedule will serve as a compass for avoiding costly delays and project management risks. Moreover, the timeline ensures project completion within the set timeframes.
How to Create a Construction Schedule? 3 Crucial Steps
Companies that employ construction time management methods use construction scheduling software to automate the process and ensure timely project completion. Nevertheless, if you don’t have access to PM tools yet or need to create a construction schedule manually, here are three steps that will help you do it right:
Step #1 Preparation
The first step is to prepare all the construction documents required to start working on the project. It will help you understand what needs to be done and develop a construction project management plan.
This process differs for builders operating in various spheres. That said, the construction documents may also vary depending on construction management types and the approaches businesses use to organize construction project management.
Include all the construction stakeholders in the process to ensure everyone is on the same page. By listing all construction activities, you will see the big picture and get a better understanding of the construction project as a whole.
As a rule, preparations go through predetermined steps. Let’s quickly skim through each to understand the process better:
Estimation Request From the Client
The client requests the construction project scope and estimate based on the architectural drawings and specifications.
Planning and Budgeting
The construction company analyzes the documentation to develop an estimate of the project. This can include steps like calculating materials, labor, tools, and equipment required for construction.
The builder must also develop a detailed construction budgeting plan for every construction cost category.
After the construction company understands what needs to be done, it’s time for bid requests from subs and vendors. In this stage, managers get bids from various construction subcontractors and choose the best deals.
Proceed with Construction
When the subcontractors are chosen, managers submit the final construction plan to the client, who may or may not approve it. Once everything is approved, the building company can proceed with construction.
Step #2 Breaking Up the Project Into Milestones
Thinking of the construction project as a whole can be overwhelming. To make construction time management effective, managers break the construction project into milestones.
A milestone is an achievement that needs to be completed to move on to the next stage. For example, getting construction permits or finishing the foundations are two separate milestones. Setting predefined due dates and KPIs for each construction milestone will simplify the process and help you better control construction timeframes.
Milestones clearly define roles and responsibilities and make construction progress visible. Taking the time to calculate the estimated duration will also relieve construction tension and help avoid delays.
Climate and weather forecasts can significantly affect construction timeframes, as some types of construction work cannot be carried out in certain weather conditions. To avoid delays, consider the impact of weather changes while planning construction activities and include time buffers in the construction schedule.
Depending on the project duration, managers should schedule holidays and sick or vacation days for construction workers to avoid staff shortages. Buildern’s Scheduling tool creates customized Gantt charts for construction projects of any size. Fill in the start and due dates of each activity, allocate construction workers to tasks, and finish the project on time!
Sparing time to calculate non-construction tasks such as procurement, consulting with subcontractors, and construction site maintenance and safety will free up room for project development.
Step #3 Task Delegation Matters
In a nutshell, task delegation involves assigning construction tasks to specific construction workers or a team. Construction managers are not only responsible for the construction project as a whole but also for each worker individually.
Buildern helps you define responsibility scopes by adding roles and permissions for each team member. For example, not everyone should have access to the construction project budget or private corporate documentation.
Certain team members may be allowed to view client invoices or overall projects without editing or deleting permission. On the other hand, each team member should be able to edit their to-do lists or construction project notes.
Buildern’s user-friendly interface minimizes risk and errors by assigning construction tasks to specific workers. The software is also designed to send automatic construction updates and notifications to workers.
The construction phase is the busiest time for any construction company, as each day counts. Project managers develop a working strategy corresponding to their business objectives to make construction time management easier.
7 Key Strategies for Effective Construction Time Management
Task delegation and management are not one-time actions but ongoing processes that must be monitored and updated regularly. Having a flexible strategy in place will enable construction managers to adapt to changes quickly and avoid construction delays.
When creating or updating your workflow management, consider the following tips:
Maintain Clear and Effective Communication
Inaccurate and inefficient communication is one of the main reasons construction projects fail. Stakeholders should always be on the same page regarding construction projects and their implementation. Thus, keeping construction stakeholders updated about construction progress helps avoid issues, back-and-forth paperwork, and delays.
Keeping all project-related notes and construction documents in one place will simplify construction time management and help construction workers avoid disruptions.
Buildern is an all-in-one solution with comprehensive management tools that enable managers to keep all their files, invoices, licenses and permits in a single cloud-based dashboard. It is easy to classify documentation by permissions, and share specific folders with predefined access permissions with your team members.
Also, don’t forget to keep all notes and construction meeting minutes in one place to access them anytime, anywhere.
Set Reserve Time
When everything goes right, the chances of unpredicted challenges appearing are low. However, construction managers should always consider Murphy’s Law regarding expecting the unexpected and set aside some time for potential unforeseen difficulties.
Setting aside some time for unexpected events will become your buffer zone and help construction workers stay on track if something goes wrong.
Opt for Professional Support
Asking for help is a critical strategy that lets construction managers focus on their core duties. Do not neglect actionable meetings and brainstorming sessions, as that’s how fresh and creative ideas are born.
Also, if you’re looking for professional help around your construction management software, note that Buildern’s customer care team is available 24/7 to provide its users with the needed support and guidance.
Use Advanced Tools
To avoid miscommunication and make time management easier, builders invest in construction management software to centralize all construction project data and processes.
Buildern’s scheduling module has all the necessary prerequisites for advanced workflow management.
The platform’s calendar configuration is highly flexible, allowing construction managers to set up their project schedule according to their workers’ number and availability.
Of course, every construction task is important, but construction workers must remain focused on the most pressing tasks to avoid major delays.
To identify and prioritize construction tasks, consider using Buildern’s dependencies to see the most construction-critical tasks and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Track Updates Daily
Review your construction schedule daily to delegate and reshuffle task priorities as your and the client’s needs change. By tracking construction progress daily, managers ensure the project runs smoothly without little to no divergence from the set schedule.
Why is Construction Time Management Crucial?
Let’s look at a few key points construction managers need to consider regarding time management and scheduling:
- Inaccurate and inefficient communication is one of the main reasons construction projects fail. With a well-planned strategy and construction management software, you are one step closer to having complete control over your projects.
- Documenting everything is the key to success. Keeping all construction notes and documents in one place will protect your company from unexpected stoppages and client miscommunication.
- Task prioritization and workflow order are construction time management essentials that help workers stay on track. Set aside time to address potential issues and handle possible project disruptions quickly and efficiently.
Buildern: The Most Accurate Construction Time Management Tool
It’s not unusual for construction managers to be stressed and anxious about the progress of their projects. They are always in a hurry, which isn’t necessarily bad since construction workers need to have a sense of urgency. However, some always have everything under control no matter how challenging the project is. How do they manage that?
The answer is simple – the sooner you invest in advanced software, the sooner you’ll be able to see the construction process from a different perspective. With Buildern, construction managers have access to a rich set of features that make construction time management a breeze. From task prioritization to daily construction progress tracking, Buildern has everything you lack to streamline your progress and move to a higher level of coordination.
Buildern is created to support builders from pre-construction to project closeout. It’s your ultimate construction management buddy with a user-friendly interface and adjustable settings so that you can fine-tune it to your company’s needs.
Research suggests more than 57% of all project failures are due to a lack of communication. Buildern is a great teamwork-boosting tool that will support your company’s growth and enhance communication between various departments.
Prioritize tasks according to construction-critical needs and track the progress daily to ensure everything goes according to plan. Assigning tasks is even easier when construction managers can delegate duties through Buildern’s dashboard. The platform helps eliminate human errors and miscommunications that often lead to delays and unexpected expenses.
If you’re looking for management software to help you eliminate construction inefficiencies and increase your bottom line, Buildern is the right choice. With its construction-specific features and capabilities, builders get a unique chance to introduce their offers to clients professionally.
Use Buildern’s Scheduling Module to Master Construction Time Management
If you’re still not convinced construction management software is a great investment, let us introduce you to Buildern’s multifunctional scheduling module. It’s a construction project manager’s dream come true!
This module enables managers to:
- See the construction process from start to finish
- Delegate construction tasks
- Reshuffle task priorities with Gantt charts
- Create critical paths to avoid construction delays
- Sync workflow with their workers’ days off, holidays and construction site visits
- Create schedule baselines
And much more!
Calendar Configuration with Buildern
Misconfiguration refers to construction workers’ inability to accurately estimate the time needed to complete construction tasks. Misconfiguration often leads to construction errors, material waste, and low morale among construction workers.
Buildern’s calendar configuration allows you to quickly and easily configure your construction calendar. Setting the start and end hours is a matter of minutes but can significantly impact your time management skills.
Add meeting minutes and internal notes to each task to ensure staff have all the necessary information to complete the work on time.
Create Dependencies with Buildern
Hierarchy is an integral part of any construction project. By creating dependencies, construction managers can easily see which tasks need to be completed before the next ones can begin.
Prioritizing tasks can be daunting, but with Buildern’s construction management software it’s a breeze! The rich color scheme lets managers see which tasks have the highest priority. Moreover, the platform has an in-built reminder to ensure no task is forgotten.
To ensure the project is on track, managers must continuously monitor construction activities and progress. It’s not a one-time thing but an ongoing process that requires your full attention.
Buildern’s construction management software makes controlling the construction process and progress easier. The software gives managers an overview of all construction activities in real time. Mark each construction activity as complete to get an overview of the construction project’s progress.
Time management is essential for any industry, whether construction, healthcare, or retail. Follow the tips suggested in today’s article to improve your construction time management skills and increase your bottom line. Summing up the key takeaways, let’s briefly go over what we’ve learned today:
- Improved communication will help identify potential problems early and allow more accurate scheduling.
- Additionally, by breaking down tasks into smaller goals, workers will feel a sense of accomplishment, leading to better morale and motivation.
- Effective record-keeping is critical to tracking progress and making necessary adjustments.
- Finally, construction inefficiencies can be eliminated with the help of reliable construction management software.
Choose your tools wisely, as their impact can make or break your projects!