With so many project management software platforms on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your construction firm. Finding the right software can help you to better manage a higher-performing team through automating time-consuming tasks and having high visibility into the project. Clients will be able to tell if your project management process is disorganized and underpowered. Ultimately this determination will dictate the success or failure of your projects. Your applications and project workflows should assist in laying out project objectives and plans, maximizing resource efficiency, implementing various operations, and developing communication and collaboration. Mobile-Friendly the cost of entry are both important considerations so this platform can be leveraged in and out of the main office.
When looking into different software platforms, be sure these to look into these 7 features.
- Project Collaboration/Communication
A robust PM tool offers the ability to collaborate with other project stakeholders, not only internal stakeholders. The ability to collaborate with owners, subcontractors, designers, and other supporting entities can improve efficiency and ensure all project details are captured within a single pane of glass is also made possible throught the right Project Management tool.
Reporting is much more than just knowing profitability. Resource allocation, executive level trend data, and contract/industry/partner diversification should all be taken into account as well.
Understanding true profitability is a game changer. This information can be used to change the course of a project, a month, a day, or a task. It can also provide organizations with data based on their markets of focus. It is important for a builder to know what types of projects they regularly win with and what markets provide the best ability for success.
- Content Management
Using the example of having a “single pane of glass” into a project only works if all project-related items are captured within the confines of said tool or solution. It is somewhat easy to get project kick-off documents, drawings, and contracts into a single repository for project data. The regular project “noise” is what needs to be captured against the project. These items include but are not limited to RFIs, COs, safety data and photos.
- Time & Productivity Tracking
Being able to understand profitability is completely dependent upon getting regular, accurate data from the field. It is extremely important to include field data captured as one of the core requirements when looking for a Project Management tool. This will require the organization to structure the project and associated cost book in a way that allows for granular data to be captured and measured. Single buckets of resources and time will gain you no valuable data.
- Planning and Scheduling
Scheduling should be the keeper of truth on analyzing whether or not a project is on track or not. The scheduling function should allow for external entities to be tasked with items in order to keep the project on track. Furthermore, the system needs to flexible enough to absorb changes to the schedule and allow for modification in the project milestones downstream. The schedule should be leveraged regularly to hold all parties accountable. All stakeholders in the success of the project should have visibility into the project schedule to avoid confusion and finger-pointing.
Integration is certainly the latest buzz word but should be seen as the conduit to efficiency. An integration strategy can easily eliminate double entry and also promote data integrity. Removing the human element from the data entry process allows resources to be reallocated in more meaningful spaces. Eliminating double entry and gaining back office efficiencies is the low hanging fruit as it pertains to integration. The gold is in being able to bring data together internally as well as externally to improve the ability to communicate in an efficient manner. This means giving operations folks the ability to see how their job s performing financially and schedule-wise. It also means giving executive and corporate folks the ability to understand the day-to-day justification for why a project is succeeding or failing at any given moment.