Quick Guide for Newbies to Project Management Software in Construction

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How is project management software influencing the construction industry? Do you have to go on cloud or on-premise? How to find the best project management software? All these and more will be discussed in our new blog here at Pro Crew Schedule.

Throughout the years, technology has greatly revolutionized the construction industry and is continuously reshaping it to one of the most tech-heavy workplaces today. Due to the ongoing labor shortage, bigger firms have already resorted to automation to substitute humans. However, there are still a lot of firms that seem hesitant to embrace full automation but are at least using machines to make the manual work lighter, faster, and more efficient.

Despite the resistance to a fully automated construction site, there is one technology that should be taken to consideration by all construction companies, big or small – the project management software.

Growing Construction Project Management Software Market

Earlier this year, Technavio published another market research that revealed the project market growth of project management software in the construction industry. The report titled “Global Construction Management Software Market 2020-2024” clearly states that the construction software market is bound to expand to USD 724.88 million market worth between the years 2020 and 2024. 

This means that more construction firms are now considering going digital when it comes to managing certain aspects of their projects including productivity monitoring, time logs, daily activity schedules, and so on. Furthermore, software automates what used to be a complicated process such as managing all resources and comparing reports to measure progress and ensure that all operations stay within the set budget. 

More than you can imagine, automation in these areas can greatly boost productivity in construction. It minimizes response time to project-related inquiries and operational problems. This way, no time is wasted and delays are prevented. It also clears out obstacles to communication where, in traditional times, people at the office still needed to travel far just to deliver a document. Now that construction softwares are mostly based on the cloud, people can receive important files at the right time. 

But there’s more to project management software than automation. Most construction firms decide to shift from manual documentation to software also because of these other factors: 

  1.   Collaboration on Projects

Project management software in construction functions more than just a monitoring tool. It also provides a central space where the top and mid level managements can collaborate with their crew members more effectively. Inside this digital realm, workers can exchange documents with each other, set timelines for activities that are correlated, and discuss any outstanding work. Hence, contributing to finishing the project faster. 

  1.   Budget Management

One of the most important elements of construction that a project manager should look after is the budget. We’ve discussed so many times how the project result is affected by going out of budget. Neither the client nor the firm wants that to happen and it is fortunate that cost control can be done easily through a project management software. Here, the leader can easily assess whether the project is staying within the set budget by reviewing all activities done and resources used within the day and comparing them with the plan. Once discrepancy is detected then he can quickly make adjustments and implement them on the site to bring the project back on track.

  1.   External and Internal Communication

As we’ve mentioned, project management software provides a better channel for communicating internal matters. Not only does it allow messages to arrive to recipients on time but it also documents what has been discussed and serves as an essential reference when disputes arise. Furthermore, the project manager can create a separate channel for other stakeholders from the outside like suppliers and subcontractors where they can also connect for virtual meetings. 

  1.   Monitoring

Project management software can help project managers get an insight as to whether the project can finish on time or not. This is done by comparing the current status of the project with the plan. Doing so can help the manager trace where problems started to occur so he can plan appropriate adjustments.

  1.   Optimized Decision-Making

Since the project management software serves as a central space for all reports, it gives the project manager a more accurate insight to the real status of the project so he can make a more informed decision. Data-driven decisions are greatly useful when big problems arise like errors and going out of budget. 

  1.   Real-Time Updates

Construction is a process influenced by data like the plan, schedule and drawing. We’ve mentioned before that change orders are most likely to happen even when the operation has already started so it is important that the site personnel be informed about the change immediately. Otherwise, they may go on with the original plan and end up doing costly and time-consuming reworks. 

In the traditional times, this is a common scene in the construction site. But thanks to the rise of project management software, the site can already be informed about any update in real-time. 

Furthermore, real-time updates improve cooperation between the admin and the crew members as well as their communication, hence making work at the office and the site more efficient. 

Cloud-based Project Management Software in Construction

The construction is one of the least digital industries albeit its use of new technologies like AR, AI, and machine learning. But in the past few years, construction has been consuming faster now than at any time in its past. Like many industries, the construction industry is now consuming IT services at an accelerating rate, needing bigger servers to accommodate critical business applications.

However, the need to maintain servers is required to keep IT experts, requiring additional capital costs. 

But with the newer cloud-based project management software, servers and IT experts are no longer necessary. Cloud software services like Pro Crew Schedule have been made simpler so that everyone in the firm can use the software without any problems even in the absence of an IT expert. The software has been made simpler to install and navigate around and non-techy crew members can easily find their way around the features. This also contributes to making construction management leaner – free from errors and free from wastes. 

This statement leads us back to our previous blog “Cloud vs On-Premise Construction Software – Which is the Better Route?

Reiterating it again, cloud-based project management software offers better benefits to the wide-scope construction industry than the on-premise type. Looking into it again, the internet can deliver essential services to you whether you are in a building, in a car, or outside the premises. This goes the same in construction.

The internet connection allows you to access services even when you are off work, hence keeping you updated, most especially when there is an urgent call from the site. With in-premise software this isn’t possible and you’ll need distracting cables connected to your device, making it extra dangerous when you are working at the site. For these reasons, construction firms prefer to use the cloud than in-premise systems. 

Some other advantages of using cloud-based project management software include:

  1. Easier DeploymentJust as we mentioned earlier, cloud-based software eliminates the need of in-premise servers, cables, computer stations and IT experts. All you need to do is to purchase a plan with your selected provider and have the app installed on your members’ devices. With a little orientation on how to use the features, everyone will be all set to communicate and collaborate within the software. 
  2. Fewer Costs Involved – There are so many areas where you can save on a cloud-based software. First, the fact that you won’t need to install servers and new computer stations is already a big savings for your company. There isn’t any IT expert to pay monthly too. With cloud-based software, you are only confronted with upfront subscription fees. The maintenance and updates come for free. 
  3. Higher Security – Security concerns remain the number one barrier to a cloud computing deployment but these days IT experts have come up with stronger security features to protect your data stored in the cloud. Encryption technologies are now more modern and harder to hack. The login process has also been made stricter with a multi-login or authentication process.

Selecting Cloud-Based Project Management Software

Along with the growing demand for cloud-based construction management software is the growing number of service providers. If you are not keen enough during your shopping, you might end up using problematic software. 

So to choose the right solution, you should start by assessing your business needs and the challenges you face in communication, collaboration, and management.

To help you assess your business’s needs and consider every construction software solution, we’ve put together some tips on choosing the right tool which you can read on Guidelines in Choosing the Best Construction Software.

Generally, you should ensure that the cloud-based software you pick has these features as basics:

  1. Scheduling

Planning and scheduling are two if the most essential features that a project management software should have. To manage and monitor the project, there should be a basis or criteria for assessing progress and that will come from the plan and schedule that can be stored in the software. 

Also, to keep the operation organized, high-end project management software allows daily task scheduling so each one gets a clear instruction on what they need to do for the day. This also makes it easier for the manager to assess progress according to the different levels of task priority 

  1. Team Management

Team management overlaps with scheduling. This allows managers to see the status of tasks and time tracking to see whether they are putting their time into the right use. Collaboration is another important element of team management. Document sharing keeps the whole team updated and the work of each member coordinated.

  1. Document Management

Being on the cloud, it is now easier to manage documents. Files are updated in real-time, helping minimize errors in the operation. Also, with a centralized and unlimited cloud space to contain all project-related files, the project manager can easily find the right documents to make claims when disputes arise or review the processes that led to their success, which can be used as a reference in future projects. 

Conclusion

Indeed, construction project management software have revolutionized the construction sites and is still bound to upgrade others that aren’t on software yet in the coming years. By making the workplace digitized, updates are done in real-time and information dissemination has been automatic, making the work faster and almost free of errors. 

So start working with a cloud software today. Request your free demo from Pro Crew Schedule and break the barriers between the office and the site to achieve higher efficiency and productivity rate.

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