Proper time management is essential when overseeing complex construction projects and tasks.
Without a proper time-management strategy, project managers will face challenges like poor team visibility, missed deadlines, and excess costs. The client experience will also suffer, which can lead to long-term reputational damage for the construction firm, as well as major revenue losses.
The good news is that project leaders can avoid these headaches by adopting a few proven time-management strategies for construction projects. Force Fleet Tracking’s project manager Ryan Hill highlights some of the platform’s top time management use cases in construction below.
We’ll also cover:
- What is time management in construction?
- Top time-management strategies for construction projects
- Why time management is important in construction
- What are the impacts of poor time management in construction?
- Simplify construction project management with Force
What is time management in construction?
Time management in construction is an umbrella term that involves organizing workflows, scheduling crews, and implementing deadlines to optimize project efficiency, save time and cut costs. Time-management strategies help project managers maximize customer satisfaction while reducing waste and keeping projects on schedule.
Without effective time-management strategies, involved projects can easily go beyond set deadlines or burn through budgets. Time management in construction prevents this by keeping everyone on the same page and providing clear guidance regarding what work should be getting done each day.
Top time-management strategies for construction projects
If you want to optimize your project planning, consider adopting the following tried-and-true time-management techniques.
Prioritize project planning
Create a detailed project plan before you break ground. Review this plan several times in the weeks leading up to the start of the project and seek input from your team. Modify it as needed to ensure that it adequately addresses all key phases of the project.
At a minimum, your project plan should include:
- A final deadline
- Deadlines for each milestone (e.g., pouring the foundation, framing the structure, etc.)
- Estimated costs for each phase
- What crews will be involved
- What subcontractors will be involved (if any)
- Who will be managing each task/phase of work
Your plan should be detailed, but it should also provide some latitude in case you need to adjust in the middle of the project. Surprises are inevitable on complicated projects, so make sure you build in some budgetary wiggle room.
Capture construction project data
Gathering data about your construction project, crews, and progress will help you stick to your plan. During each phase, gather data about the labor hours and money invested in the project and compare that information to your predictions.
If you’re consistently over budget and exceeding labor hours early in the project, you may need to change course to realign with your plan. Conversely, if you’re staying ahead of schedule, set those funds aside in case you run into any surprises in the backstretch.
Review the project schedule every day
Review your project schedule continually and compare it to what’s actually occurring on the job site. Are the right crews showing up on time? Are they accomplishing their assigned work, or are they falling behind?
Managing complex projects isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process. You need to review your schedule daily to ensure that the right people are showing up and putting in work.
Use project management software
Project management software consolidates all of your essential project data into a user-friendly platform. Project managers, stakeholders, and foremen can collaborate within the platform, exchange information, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
It’s not an overstatement to say that adopting a user-friendly project management platform can be a game-changer for your business.
Adopt a user-friendly fleet management tool
In addition to project management software, you should also consider leveraging heavy-duty fleet management tools to keep track of your trucks and crews. For instance, Force Fleet Tracking provides real-time insights about the location of your fleet assets and teams, including driver behaviour, and vehicle maintenance insights.
Force provides a unified tracking solution for your entire fleet, including both light and heavy-duty vehicles. Although these vehicles have different functions, you can track both using a single platform, simplifying the management of your assets and teams.
Having a reliable fleet management tool is a necessity for construction businesses due to the level of autonomy that your crews enjoy. A robust tracking platform like Force provides end-to-end visibility without compromising the independence or autonomy of your staff.
Why time management is important in construction
Among other things, adopting effective time-management strategies will help you accomplish the following goals:
Maximize the quality of construction projects
Ensuring the quality of built assets is always your top priority. By consistently delivering for your clients, you can build a strong reputation in the construction industry, attract new customers, and grow your business.
Time management promotes better project quality, as your team will have ample time to complete critical tasks and won’t be rushing to meet approaching deadlines.
Save time and cut costs
Making time management a priority will help you slash project costs, eliminate waste from your workflows, and save time. Even small one-to-two-hour weekly reductions in work will add up to big savings over the course of your project. Hill says employees taking longer breaks than necessary or excessive payouts for workers for time not even spent on site are just a couple of disadvantages to not using fleet tracking software to your advantage in construction.
As well, you can avoid on-site delays, help your team collaborate more effectively, and minimize the risk of scheduling conflicts (like two crews showing up on the same day).
Accelerate the journey to project success
Creating a detailed plan and being proactive about time management will also accelerate your path to project success. You can stay on budget and avoid the risk of unexpected delays. Your crews will even work together better, as they’ll have a clear plan that outlines what needs to get done and when.
Build trust with clients
It’s critical that you and your clients trust one another, especially when taking on long-term projects. Effective time management in construction will help you build trust with clients since they’ll be able to see that your firm is organized, punctual, and results-oriented.
Avoid construction delays
Even seemingly minor delays pose a risk to your budget and can cost you thousands in unnecessary expenses. A time-management strategy helps you avoid construction delays by providing a roadmap for your project.
With the right plan, you can break down big projects into smaller milestones and focus on the task at hand. If you fall behind, you can allocate additional resources and staff to get things back on track.
Verify that your foremen and crews are showing up
You can’t assume that everyone is showing up on time every day. You also can’t make it out to the job site each morning to check on your team. These sorts of blind spots can create problems, especially if your client shows up at the site one day and discovers that no one’s there.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. By adopting fleet management software like Force Fleet Tracking, you can track your fleets and crews using real-time GPS data. Consequently, you can make sure they show up on time, stay until the end of the day, and take care of your vehicles while commuting to and from the job site.
“Force empowers foremen and project leaders by providing time management tools, facilitating real-time GPS tracking, and allowing decision-makers to quickly resolve any discrepancy regarding time on site,” Hill says.
Differentiate your firm in the construction industry
The construction industry is highly competitive. If you want to stand out, win top contracts, and keep expanding, you must master time management. By doing so, you’ll be able to better serve your clients, take on more, bigger contracts, and cultivate a shining reputation.
What are the impacts of poor time management in construction?
Poor time management can have severe consequences for your business, your crews, and, most importantly, your clients. Here are just a few of the potential impacts of ineffective time management in construction:
You incur delays and increased costs when your crews show up late, drag their feet, or don’t get enough done each day. One or two minor delays might not derail your budget, but recurring issues will. Employing effective time-management strategies will help you keep costs in check and minimize the risk of schedule setbacks.
A time-management strategy will lay out who should be on-site, when they should be there, and what tasks they should be performing.
You’re far more likely to miss deadlines when you don’t have a detailed plan. Falling behind on even one task can cause scheduling conflicts with other crews and compound your delays. Before you know it, you could be months behind schedule.
Poor client relationships
Clients expect you to get their projects done on time and within budget. If you fall behind, they may lose trust in your construction firm, which could cause long-term damage to your reputation. To avoid this, you must make time management a foremost focus.
Simplify construction project management with Force
Foremen and work crews have a great deal of autonomy. While giving your team this freedom is a necessary part of managing a construction company, you also need a way to monitor your assets and crews to ensure that they arrive on time and complete their assigned work.
Force Fleet Tracking fleet-tracking software provides unmatched visibility into your heavy-duty fleet, allowing you to unify heavy and light vehicle tracking for your construction fleet, validate time spent on a job, and keep costs at bay.
Additionally, our platform assists with vehicle maintenance by providing continuous truck performance updates, allowing you to reduce long-term maintenance costs and extend the life of your assets.