The construction business is unique among businesses. Unlike some businesses, the margin for error is very little.
We absolutely can’t afford to make mistakes. The human mind is, however, very fallible, especially when stressed.
As such, we need tools to aid us while working to ensure that work is as easy as possible and make as few errors as possible.
According to Wikipedia, a tool is an object that can extend an individual’s ability to modify features of the surrounding environment.
According to oxford languages, a tool is a thing used to help perform a job. With these definitions, we all should agree that today’s biggest tool in the construction world is computers.
As such, most of the tools we would discuss will be related to computers in one way or another.
Most of the jobs we get in construction run through the familiar stages of project initiation, project planning, project execution, project performance monitoring, and project closure.
As such, the computer-related tools we will be discussing will follow these steps or stages too.
Tools Used in The Management Of Construction Business
Depending on the culture of your organization or the nature of the job, when you begin a project, you define the problem you want to solve, find the best solution to the problem, build a team to execute the solution identified, studies are carried out to check if the solution is feasible.
Documents are drawn up that show the important people and steps to carry out the project.
Tools used at the initiation phase include:
this is a document that gives a detailed description of the problem. It includes sections such as assumptions, constraints, alternative solutions, main project requirements, and financial analysis.
The business case is presented to the customer or client to decide to go ahead or not with the project.
A very useful tool used for the business and analysis includes the up-BOARD’s online Business Case Development collaboration tools. With this tool, an organization can access various templates and hit the ground running once a new project starts.
This a process carried out once the customer approves the business case. It checks to see if the project is possible at all.
Issues such as regulations, environmental impact, legal implications, and so on are considered here. Tools used for feasibility studies depend on the project at hand.
For example, in building a house, tools like a room- function matrix, site geometrics, and buildable area, and a block diagram can be used for feasibility studies.
if the feasibility study turns outright, the next step is to create a project charter; a tool used to communicate the important stakeholders, project details, project resources, project risk, and project timeline.
Most importantly, the project charter communicates the project objectives to ensure adequate project planning and prevent scope creep.
There are several templates for creating a project charter online, but the PMD pro smart tool could create a project charter.
Once the imitation phase is complete, the next step is the planning phase.
Here, the project team develops a map for all the steps that will be carried out to bring the project from the realm of ideas into reality; they show where they are going and how they will get there.
In the planning stage, factors like time, cost, quality, changes, and risk are considered as the project must be completed according to the objectives, on time, within budget, and on schedule.
In the planning phase, documentation like these will be present:
- Scope statement and scope documentation: This defines the project’s business need, benefits, objectives, deliverables, and key milestones.
- Work breakdown structure (WBS): This document breaks down the scope of the project into visual, manageable chunks.
- Communication plan: This outlines all aspects of communication, from goals and objectives to roles to tools and methods. The communication plan creates a common framework that everyone can work from to avoid misunderstandings or conflict.
- Risk management plan: This helps project managers identify risks beforehand, including time and cost estimates that may not be met, potential budget cuts, shifting requirements, and a shortage of committed resources.
- Budget plan: specifying the budgeted cost to be incurred after the project
- Procurement plan: focusing on vendors outside your company and subcontracting
- Quality Assurance plan: assessing quality criteria to be used for the project
For the planning phase, the Bridgit Bench software is the go-to tool for professionals.
It is an easy-to-use construction management software that enables easy scheduling, intuitive visual representations of plans, automated administrative tasks, employee tracking, skills and experience tracking with project history, and many more construction workforce planning metrics.
Visit https://www.bridgitsolutions.com/construction-resource-scheduling-software-guide to learn more about construction resource scheduling programs.
At this stage, actual work begins. Things documented in the planning phase get a physical expression.
Since the real world is not as ideal as the world in our minds, several of the plans we made in the planning phase will change as events occur.
At this stage, the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of the job is most paramount: managing people.
You also have to update the clients on events as they occur consistently. Tools like the change request form will be in constant use throughout this phase.
The Bridgit Bench tool is still the tool to use for this stage. Other tools include Procore, Buildtools, Aconex, Plangrid, Contractor foreman, Oracle primavera.
Performance and Monitoring
This phase often happens right alongside the execution phase. Progress is measured, resources are closely monitored.
If an over-budget or time is running out or resources are not enough, steps will be taken to course correct.
Tools like the progress report will be extremely useful at this stage. The Bridgit Bench tool is a must use at his phase of construction management.
This is the end stage of the construction management process. At this stage, the project is all done and wrapped up.
Meetings are held to discuss the project; how objectives were met, objectives that couldn’t be met, things done right or done wrongly, and how to improve on the next project.
All loose ends are tied up, and the project is handed over to the client.
The Bridgit Bench tool contains data from each project you have done, and for the next project, you can pull out data from all the projects done in the past to get guidance for the new project.