"Doing good work gets you more work". While that statement would seem to be a no-brainer, the reality is that construction projects, like any other workplace, have become more hectic over the years. Lots and lots to do, but less time and fewer people to get these tasks accomplished. So how can project superintendents keep effective management of construction sites in the face of ever-increasing workplace challenges? Below are a few tips to help keep a firm and its projects safe, efficient, and profitable.
1. SoftwareThe industry has been resistant to adopting digital technology, and who could blame them? With packages that were difficult to download, and often inconvenient and awkward to use, especially in the field, it's easy to see why. But the most recent generations of software are much more convenient and nimble, and don't require an in-house battalion of IT experts to maintain them, to boot. And new products of this type are constantly being released, ranging from payroll tracking to construction time cards to literal tools. Raken for daily reporting, for example, providers its users with an app that can be used on a variety of mobile devices. This makes it a great deal more convenient do both reporting and other documentation work from the field. And Raken's fields are much quicker and legible that hand written notes or the hunt-and-peck method. Raken's real time documentation also allows for remote collaboration, reducing the needs for physical meetings and expensive travel.
2. Where Are We Going And Where Have We Been?All firms should develop multi-year company plans that allow them to track their successes and weaknesses in project work. This data can be applied to individual projects. Are they doing a better job on this project than on past ones at scheduling subcontractor safety meetings? Tracking deliveries? Achieving faster RFI turnaround times? If not, can they see the areas in which they need to improve, and the methods that they should be using to achieve them?
3. Knowledge Is PowerIf it's industry related, there should be regular training opportunities for all firm employees. In addition, superintendents and other staff should take advantage of low-cost and free educational opportunities offered online by a number of professional industry organizations, like the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). Organizations like CMAA not only allow for educational and job opportunities, but a little "friendly espionage" among competitors. Being aware of rivals' work allows managers and superintendents to establish benchmarks to track their own firm's effectiveness and success within the industry.