Yes! Construction projects are now managed remotely and surprisingly, out-of-the-site construction crew management and project monitoring proved to be more efficient than on-site visits.
Gone were the days when conventional construction crew management set-up required project managers to roam around the construction site to check on the progress of the project and see whether the workers are being productive or not. It has been long ago when experts realized they need a tool they can use to manage such a big project at such a big site. They saw how inefficient daily site visits are. It’s time-consuming and the collection of data from mere visual checks can be very inaccurate.
This paved way for the development of construction project management software.
This remote management tool allows project managers to carry out their work even when they are not physically present at the site. However, the rise of this digital technology has brought new challenges to the construction industry, specifically in tracking daily accomplishments and fostering the new trend.
It’s true that there are metrics or KPIs set to measure productivity at the site. But without a project manager present at the site to check on the actual accomplishments, are workers being honest with what they’re declaring in their daily reports? This is the biggest challenge in using construction project management software. Honestly should be instilled in workers, and this is also why it’s important to have a foreman around to see that the crew members are really making good use of their time during their shift.
The second biggest challenge of shifting from the traditional construction crew management practice to the use of digital solutions is the implementation of the technology at the site. In the previous years, software only came in in-premise format hence requiring the project team to have its own computer area with cables attached. It was unsafe and inconvenient then. But now, thanks to cloud computing, construction project management software can already be used on any device, anytime, and anywhere workers may be at the site or off-site.
Cloud-based construction project management software has made it faster and easier to share memos, plans, schedules, change orders, drawings, letters, photos, videos, and other documents relevant to the project. It has made communication more effective between the office and the site because of this kind of provision for collaboration.
And remember how we’ve been emphasizing in our previous blogs about data being a crucial element in smooth construction and ensuring a successful project? Well, the software delivers data in real-time and free of error. And this helps eliminate risks of miscommunication and rework.
So there’s no reason for a construction company not to use project management software.
If the additional cost is the issue, just look at how this investment can make your business more profitable. It helps the project team finish the job faster or handle multiple projects at the same time. So overall, this investment can bring millions of dollars back to you.
Besides, cloud-based construction job site management software is relatively cheaper than on-premise software. You just need to look around so you can find the best construction management software that suits your company’s needs.
But software can’t work on its own. It is just a tool so it’s up to the project manager and his team to make the most out of it.
That’s why today, we’re going to discuss how a project manager can improve his remote management using a construction software.
Tips on Improving Remote Construction Management
- Choose a Construction-Dedicated Remote Management Tool
If you’re not yet on software and finally decides to use one, when you try to shop online, you will be presented with so many options. Thousands of generic management apps are free to use online but don’t get tempted. For a million-dollar project, you will need a tool that can meet industry-specific needs so always opt for a construction job site management tool.
General project management tools like Microsoft Teams or Trello can supply the basic needs of any company like scheduling tasks and giving instructions. However, a number of challenges appear when it already comes to 3-4 months planning, which in a big construction project is considered a relatively short period.
Furthermore, these apps don’t support certain file formats used in CAD. In construction, sharing drawings is important. It is a guide for the workers on the correct floor plan so if your management tool can’t open drawing files, then it is nothing but useless.
You have two options to choose from when it comes to implementing software use at the site. One is in-premise and the other is using the cloud. Using cloud-based software is more advantageous in so many ways, though, than using on-premise solutions. And we’ve discussed the benefits in a recent blog.
Many construction firms in the U.S. are already using software for managing tasks, tracking employee time, monitoring progress, and sharing daily schedules. And all of these are done remotely.
The project manager can use construction project management software for real-time communication too where he can attach photos and videos. Even CAD drawings can be shared across the network too. And if you compare this to the pen and paper method or the lifeless spreadsheet, using digital tools is definitely more useful for your company.
That being said, it should be clear by now that project managers should rely on construction software in managing the team and the project remotely. And Pro Crew Schedule is one of the best sector-specific digital solutions you’ll find out there.
- Oblige the Project Team to Send Data Regularly
By now, you might have already realized the importance of having a digital tool to assist you in managing construction remotely. But simply implementing it still won’t ensure your success. You and your team need to put an effort to stay on top of your tasks by sharing updates in real-time.
Construction works are heavily data-driven. So make sure that the flow of data doesn’t get static. Any data captured at the site like unexpected issues, accomplishments, accidents, and so on should be reported to you in real-time via your chosen construction crew management software. This gives you an accurate view of what’s happening at the site and makes it almost seem like you are on the site even when you are not. This will also help you resolve issues as soon as possible so their effects on your project’s result, budget, or schedule don’t get worse.
- Train Your Team To Get Used to Remote Monitoring
To make your software implementation truly successful, make sure to help your team get used to remote construction crew management.
Older construction workers are used to seeing their project managers on the site. Suddenly shifting to remote monitoring might give them the idea that they can relax because no one is around to check on what they’re doing.
So orient them on the basics of this new remote monitoring setup. Let them know about the real benefits of using digital tools at the site. Help them realize how it can boost productivity and enhance their work efficiency. And lastly, train them on how to use the software.
The best construction project management software to use is the one that’s easy to learn and not complicated to use, but complete with features needed in reporting, communicating, collaborating, and monitoring just like Pro Crew Schedule. It has a straightforward design, but all of its features are essential for managing a big construction team and project.
Remember that it is essential for you to keep your team, tools, and processes perfectly aligned so offer your assistance until everyone gets used to the new norm in this industry.
- Check on Your Team Virtually Through Continuous Communication
Let your team know that even though you are not always at the site, you are still always available to support them on their work, which you can deliver virtually. Project managers are non-manual workers. Although they have construction skills, most of their tasks revolve around managing, monitoring, tracking, analyzing issues, and giving solutions.
Communication is very important in construction. It is connected with sending data consistently, which we mentioned earlier, is vital in keeping the project on track. So keep the communication lines open and respond to messages and reports as quickly as you can.
Communication also helps build a good working relationship between team members and the project manager. Crew members become comfortable, in a professional way, with you and trust is eventually built. So once in a while, make sure to chat with your members about non-work-related matters that can help you understand their personality. This is how camaraderie is built. And with good teamwork, project results become more impressive.
Remote construction crew management faces unique challenges compared to normal office works. Measuring data from a construction site is more complicated so if a project manager isn’t careful, then the team will fall apart and so does the project.
By choosing the right digital tool to use for remote construction management, project managers are able to handle any size of construction and team so it’s important to take time in reviewing options.
And when you find the software that will suit all your team’s needs, be sure to leverage it to efficiently manage the team and monitor project progress. Use it too to foster open communication with crew members.
Pro Crew Schedule is among the top remote construction management tools you can find in the market today. Packed with the right features to support remote management, Pro Crew Schedule is definitely a good digital tool to try.