Traditionally, construction management requires project managers to constantly move from one job site to another. Hence, managing multiple construction projects can be labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Fortunately, project management tools like Jira that you can use to enable remote construction project management. Whether it’s progress checking or scheduling, you can coordinate construction work without having to be at the job site.
Remote management is a natural fit for the construction industry, especially with major projects rising in scope and complexity. There are several cogs in the construction process that need to work together in order to eliminate the risk of work issues. Which may create challenges in optimizing work schedules and improving work efficiency.
However, due to the low adoption rate of new construction technology, many project managers may find it difficult to transition to the remote working environment. Senior construction employees may also take a lot of time to get used to the new system.
To fully reap the benefits of project management platforms, you first need to understand the gist of remote management strategies.
Here are 3 management tips that can improve your construction business.
1. Look for a good communication platform and stick to it.
Communication challenges are some of the biggest hurdles that project managers face when working with employees remotely. For a smooth flow of information, you and your team need to have a reliable way to communicate wherever you may be—in the office, on the field, or even in your own homes. When establishing your remote management strategy, one of the first steps that you need to take is to look for a good communication platform.
For small task updates, you may use email or instant messaging. But with construction projects, this is rarely the case. You will need a proper team collaboration platform where you can set meetings in an organized manner as well as hold video conferences for brainstorming sessions.
2. Use project management software to streamline tasks
The sheer amount of tasks in a construction project can be overwhelming. When managing your construction workforce remotely, you need to ensure that all team members are on the same page and working with the same information even with the physical distance. In addition, you need to be able to solve the inevitable conflicts that will happen to prevent any potential delay.
Addressing these challenges requires the use of project management software to streamline task management. You can take advantage of Jira for construction project management. It’s possible to customize Jira with add-ons to accommodate construction workflows. For example, easily manage dependencies on a work breakdown structure and Gantt charts with WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira.
Not only on the project front, but you also consider adopting specific construction technologies like design or accounting solutions to enable remote construction projects across trades. For instance, office departments that work on accounting and lien management need to be in constant communication with field personnel to ensure the accuracy of invoices and that the company is given rightful compensation for the labor and materials.
3. Track employee hours using digital time tracking
The traditional method of time tracking in construction involves the use of punch cards and paper timesheets. Many construction employees find manual time tracking inconvenient, especially if you have to do it when you clock in and out every single day. Not only is this method highly inefficient, but it is also prone to human error, deliberate or otherwise.
Without a manager to monitor their activities, some employees may resort to buddy punching, where they ask colleagues to clock in and out for them even when they are late or absent. Shaving a few minutes every now and then may seem insignificant. But if you multiply the number of instances when employees commit time theft with the number of projects, the financial cost to the company’s payroll can build up. In an industry where contractors often suffer from financial difficulties, every little penny counts.
By using digital time tracking, which is also available in Jira, you can eliminate errors and estimate workload more effectively. This data can also be used for velocity analysis and performance reviews.
Managing a construction workforce is a huge undertaking. But by doing your due diligence in researching modern project management strategies, you will be able to maintain a competitive edge in a constantly changing construction environment.
About the Author:
Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.