When you think of value, it’s likely you think of the benefits you gain from a product or a service, compared to the cost you pay to acquire or use that product or service. When you get your money’s worth out of a product or service and feel that the benefits outweigh the cost, that would be good value.
When it comes to construction, the same concept applies. When managing a construction project, combining great craftsmanship with a reasonable time frame will make the client feel that your service is a great value. But even more than that are many other tangible and intangible ways to add value to your work.
And why does that matter?
Because a happy client will tell anyone they know about your great value.
As technology continues to advance, there are more and more options for you to manage your projects. Particularly with the development of management software, you have a host of options at your disposal to help you stay on top of everything. Technology alone isn’t enough though, along with those technologies are the ways you actually use the technology – and that is what will add value to your service.
Here are several ways to add value and encourage success in every project.
1. Communication is key
It doesn’t matter if you’re renovating a kitchen or constructing a skyscraper, communication will be key in having a successful project. In every phase of a construction, you need to communicate with those on the ground, stakeholders, homeowners, subcontractors, and more. Having clear and open lines of communication can help resolve a problem that arises when it’s still a small problem, rather than a huge, time-consuming, costly one.
While there are several ways to maintain communication, a work execution platform is one of the simplest ways. Once you’ve synced comments, photos, documents and calendars in one location, any updates to the construction, the budget, or the scheduling are easy to monitor. It will also allow you to communicate any of those changes to your team and managers.
2. Make a plan – but be flexible
The Project Management Institute lists planning as the second of their five phases of project management, but an effective project manager will start their planning much earlier than when a project begins and they won’t be afraid to revise it.
Once a project begins, there will always be something that comes up that throws a wrench into even the most perfect plan. If you aren’t willing to adjust accordingly, you could spend time and money forcing your plan to happen. Remember, time and money are key parts of value. So, being willing to continuously plan and adjust plans will be in your best interest in the long run.
One way to better ensure a successful plan is by coordinating an early constructability review. This will evaluate how likely it is the original design can be built without additional costs or time added to the project estimates. By using ongoing value engineering exercises, you will be able to better develop plans for the scope and requirements of the project, as well as the cost and schedule. Rather than focusing on restricting the scope of a project or altering a design, value engineering is rather a method of finding better ways to complete a project without sacrificing the owner’s program or an architect’s original design intent. By providing your team with ways to look for possible opportunities to save costs and time while also avoiding conflicts while there is still time to resolve them, you will ultimately save time, money, and increase your value.
3. Don’t forget to look and listen
Sometimes the best thing you can do is step back, observe, and listen to the client. Cultivating an environment of collaboration from the very early stages of a project is the sign of an experienced project manager.
It’s also important to listen to the client’s vision, resources and goals. It’s not enough to know what they dream for in respect to the design of the construction. You have to know what resources you’re working with so as to not break their bank, while also providing solutions for the goals they have for the space. Plus having well-defined parameters and goals for the project will lead to a more successful outcome.
Ultimately, the more collaboration on the project, the better. While you may want to jump in with every answer, you may be presented a solution you hadn’t thought of by one of your team members.
Along with listening at the beginning stages of a project, observation throughout is key. There are many field elements that have the potential to impact your workflow and the end result of your project. When these issues arise, sometimes you have to see them in person to decide on a solution. Be sure that you’re familiar with the construction site and the duties of every member of your team.
You also need to stay aware of developments in the profession. Look for new equipment, procedures, safety requirements and advancements. And listen to other experts in the field. Even if you feel you know everything there is to know about a subject, you may be surprised with a new piece of information you weren’t aware of.
4. Budgeting your project with technology
Every client has a budget in mind. There’s a dollar amount they don’t want to go over and once you know that number, it can dictate every other aspect of the project.
One way to stay within your budget is by doing the work to get as many bids as necessary to find the right contractor or subcontractor. Those bids should also be in writing. And as the project manager, you should make sure the bid documents are thorough, complete and clear. Better documents protect you and the client from bidders overestimating risk and pushing the price up.
While keeping within a budget, a good CM or project manager won’t sacrifice quality in the project. If corners are cut and workmanship is shoddy, word will spread quickly. Your job as a project manager is to provide the highest quality for the price you and the client agree upon. If you are continuously planning and adjusting to the field elements you are presented with, there will be ways to provide a quality structure within a budget.
To help you keep track of your budget, consider using software designed for the task. As the project manager you are responsible for keeping track of all costs within the project. That could mean hundreds of moving parts, even with a small construction. This is why software designed to help you manage these different parts is key to you staying as effective and productive as possible.
A great option would be a work execution platform, which can let you and any stakeholders or homeowners input costs, budget changes, and other calculations so the project’s budget and financing is well laid out. You can also integrate DocuSign or other signature tools to reduce your time collecting signatures from all parties.
You can also streamline communication about budgets by implementing an automated reporting system. With any construction project comes a mountain of spreadsheets and status reports and updates and questions. By using an automated system, you can cut down on some of those weekly tasks to better focus on important questions or updates to your project budget. Smartsheet is one such automation system that can streamline your workflow, benefitting you, your client, your team and your value.
As you manage your construction projects, there are many factors that go into creating an efficiently run and profitable build. Expenses related to materials and labor can add up quickly, and the completion timeline can run longer than expected due to improper calculations. With the proper technology, you can combine convenience and accuracy to not only produce a highly professional product for your clients but also create a helpful database with a wealth of information for your future bids and projects.
Takeoff and estimating software should be included in your construction project management strategy to ensure an efficient calculation and documentation process. Technological advances have now made it possible to digitally determine takeoff, saving you hours of calculation, exposure to manual errors, and unforeseen variances. You can now calculate material count, length, area, and volume with confidence in just a few clicks.
With advanced software technology from Costminer you can take advantage of savings in time and money by accurately calculating your takeoff material numbers and creating reliable estimates. Contact us today to discuss the integration of our high-quality takeoff and estimating software with your system, and leave the grind behind.