To see is still the best way to believe. Routine inspection remains to be a crucial part of a construction project to ensure that it is progressing smoothly. This is despite having a construction management software where contractors and project managers can check the status of all set activities.
It’s very convenient to have software that lessens the workload and automates a couple of tasks, but there are times when a PM needs to be hands-on with your project. This includes checking accomplishments for every set phase, general meetings for major announcements, and updating members with new procedures or injection of new technology.
Furthermore, some things can’t be checked via construction management software like materials quality and equipment condition.
Also, inputs in the software can be cheated. Since there is no way for it to verify all the data it gathers, project managers can’t be 100 percent sure that the reports in it are accurate and true.
But even site inspections should be scheduled and planned carefully. Project managers have so much on their plate that they can’t just waste a day of touring the construction site. They need to set a clear purpose for their visit and prepare the things they need during their visit. Otherwise, it will only lead them to set aside other important tasks to do a repeat inspection.
So here are some ways to make sure that every site inspection is worth it and that every visit will lead to bigger accomplishments.
8 Ways to Make Site Inspections Successful
1. Invest in a reliable reporting tool
Before going out for a site inspection, a project manager should review the details of the project and construction management software can help him do this effortlessly. The software he chooses should be able to give him a bird’s-eye view of the project from the smallest details to the most important ones – from crew attendance to task progress.
Knowing everything that’s going on at the construction site helps a project manager determine the right timing to make an inspection. This also lets him plan the agenda of the visit and prepare materials he would need if the situation calls for an emergency meeting.
So in choosing a reporting tool, take into consideration what type of information you want to gather. Do you need a progress report? Or do you need attachments like proofs of accomplishments? The best tool is dependent on your preferences and needs, but overall, good construction management software should have the general functions of any reporting tool.
Pro Crew is an excellent example of a reliable construction reporting tool. The best part of using Pro Crew is that it’s available in mobile so a PM can just bring his gadget along rather than creating a powerpoint presentation or printing reports.
2. Automate reports
Now that a reporting and construction management tool has been implemented, the next thing to ensure is the automation of reports.
The construction site is always busy. Crews have a high tendency of forgetting to send their EODs, which leads to a project manager losing track of the project’s progress. This is especially true when the person who forgot to send his report is a key player in the project.
To avoid this kind of situation, project managers should automate report generation in the construction management software that he uses. It will also be helpful if members can communicate their progress with the whole team by sharing their reports through the cloud. Adding comments and attachments should also be possible. So when finding a tool to use, these are the parameters you might want to consider.
Building reports every day can make inspections much easier as PMs will have a complete reference to understand why the project is moving slower or faster than planned.
3. Communicate the visit with key members of the construction
Unless a PM is planning for a surprise inspection, he should announce site visits so the key member can ready the materials he may need in checking the progress of the projects. Of course, documents should be available on the construction management app, but when it comes to blueprints, printed is still more convenient than digital.
Also, when the site visit is unannounced, the PM may miss the people he needs to talk to during his visit. So making the whole team know of his trip will at least let them reschedule their leaves and day-offs.
In a nutshell, planning the visit with the team will make it less painful. This eliminates wasting time, money, and effort too.
4. Check the weather before the visit
Project managers can’t do an inspection when there’s a weather disturbance. It’s risky and impossible to check all the details on the site. This is especially true when the building has already reached the 20th or 30th or 40th floor.
Hence, PMs should make detailed planning before he visits the site. So apart from having construction management software at hand, it will be beneficial, too, to invest in a real-time weather monitoring tool.
5. Prepare well before you go visit the site
Just like we mentioned earlier, PMs should prepare before they embark on a site visit.
Look at all the reports, determine the problems, check on the progress, look at the inventory, and prepare the materials needed for the visit. Going to the site is already time-consuming so visiting without any prepared agenda will just be a waste of time.
Besides, preparing for a site visit should be easier if you have a construction management software. Review a week’s worth of reports and print documents that need to be printed.
6. Make Documentations of the Visit
A big construction project will have so many phases that a PM needs to inspect. Since he isn’t a machine, taking photos he can review at home or in his office will let him make better documentation of the visit. Turn these photos as supporting documents too in creating a report for the contract or client.
7. Be a leader that supports the team
Being a project manager is a tough job. He mediates between the client or contractor and the crew members. So when a project manager makes a site visit, he should take the opportunity to show the members that he prioritizes them too.
Make the day more productive by scheduling a meeting with the members during the visit. There, the PM may ask for the people’s concerns as well as their suggestions in making the work easier and faster.
Build trust with the members by establishing communication. Understanding each one’s expertise and diversity will help any project manager see which tasks are right for each one and which are not. Consequently, it will help the project to progress smoothly.
8. Use a Facilitator
Construction projects can be complicated, depending on the design, activities, and plan that the project manager came up with. There are just too many things that a PM should handle; sometimes it gets overwhelming on his part. This is especially true during project monitoring.
Appointing a facilitator can help lessen the burden and make sure that things are going smoothly. In instances where the project manager missed a detail, the facilitator can go over to recheck errors. He can also do the scheduling of the site visit; alert the PM about critical issues that should be resolved immediately, and prepare everyone for the site visit.
He can also take charge of managing the construction software by checking that the inputs of the members are correct and complete. He can also do the organizing of the reports and documents inside the tool. Another task he can take over the training of the crew members.
There are just so many roles he can take on. But overall, a facilitator is a big help to project managers by acting as his supporter and assistant.
Visiting the construction site isn’t as simple as driving to the site and making rounds on every floor of the building. It requires thorough observation, documentation, resolving problems, checking progress, and reporting back to the client. It sure is tedious, but it’s needed to make sure that the project is running smoothly.
A construction management software still plays a big role in this PM duty and our recommendation is to select a simple tool that can be easily adopted not just by the project manager but the members too.
The Pro Crew construction scheduling and planning software is one that any PM should try. Apart from its accurate reporting feature, it has a team communication function that PMs can use to announce their visit. This helps the members to prepare the building for inspection, making the visit easier and smoother. Furthermore, being installable on mobile phones is a big advantage as it lets project managers to easily pull up important details from the cloud whenever he comes to the site for inspection.
Make your construction site visit more productive and meaningful with our tips and software. Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments section!