Author: Linh Tran | Last update: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | Reading time: 10 min.
Construction project management software is a solution for construction professionals and contractors to manage construction projects. InLoox’s project management software enables full control over construction projects by automating all aspects of the construction project lifecycle. Many construction and architecture companies still use Excel macros and physical file systems to manage their projects. However, the use of industry-specific project management software is becoming increasingly important. Our construction planning software offers integrated project management modules that rival the leading stand-alone project management tools on the market. The InLoox project software is the easiest way to streamline time-sensitive construction documentation that impacts the daily progress of the job.
Construction projects face a great number of challenges - some centuries old and some are new to the industry. In today's economy especially, tighter budgets and detailed regulations put intense demands on both construction managers and crews. Using a project management software can help you successfully complete your construction objectives.
Image: Detailed project planning for construction projects in InLoox for Outlook - activities, milestones, tasks, dependencies and constraints can be visualized in the Gantt chart.
Construction project management is a very outcome-oriented discipline that strongly focuses on the project's time and cost constraints. With financial institutions becoming ever more risk averse, it is important to get things done right the first time. This requires that the construction project manager maintains an overview of all the key figures, deadlines and milestones while the project is underway. Moreover, a careful project analysis and detailed planning is crucial in order to ensure delivery within the project parameters.
With InLoox we are able to present a clearly structured yet comprehensive project plan to our clients. This makes us stand out from our competitors and is a unique acquisition tool that has helped us win new customers.
Laurent Brückner | Founder & CEO | Brückner Architekten"
Learn more about how Brückner Architects use InLoox for their construction projects: Read case study »
Before construction project management became a discipline in its own right, architects would take on this role as part of their scope of work. The increased complexity of commercial construction projects resulted in a greater need for project leaders specialized in construction project management. Not only should construction project managers have a strong specialized background in the specific field of the construction project, they should also be trained in general project management skills.
The construction manager, implied by the title, is at the helm of a construction project. They are ultimately responsible for the successful mission completion and this entails a multitude of tasks. Before even the first nail is hammered, it is the construction project manager’s responsibility to carefully analyze a proposed project. The analysis includes a cost analysis, risk assessment and time frame estimate. Based on the analysis results, the construction project manager generates a detailed project plan that includes project milestones. Closely related to the initial project plan are a number of construction project management objectives that need to be clearly defined at the onset of the construction project. These are:
Even though these construction project management objectives need to be defined during the planning stage of the project, the construction project manager might have to adjust them throughout the construction process to accommodate for unexpected conflicts and resource bottlenecks.
Successful construction project management begins with a detailed project plan. It lies in the very nature of commercial construction management projects to have an extended project time frame and to have various levels of dependencies. For any project manager, no matter how well-versed in project management, it is difficult to maintain an overview of all the different tasks, deadlines and resources. Even more so when changes to one element of the construction project plan affects other elements due to logical dependencies. In order to stay ahead of the game at any point in the process, it is useful to work with a construction project management software. Ideally, the tool features a Gantt chart planner that visualizes the construction project plan to help track tasks, deadlines and resource capacities.
One of the most important things in successful construction project management is anticipating potential issues before they occur. A construction project management software can serve as an early warning system, allowing the construction project manager to detect potential risks early on and leaving enough time to intervene before serious damage to the project is done. On a different note, even when carefully analyzing a project, some potential risks only become clear once the project plan is created. With the entire construction project plan visible at a glance, the construction project manager can already detect high-risk project phases during the project planning phase. This gives the construction project manager enough time to work out a viable solution and action plan that helps mitigate project risks. A good way to identify high-risk phases is the critical path method.
Construction projects are very complex undertakings and dividing the overall project into smaller scoped sub-projects helps to achieve successful delivery. Every sub-project is then again divided into tasks that are assigned to as many construction workers as needed to effectively achieve an intermediate project goal. Not only does a construction project management software help the project manager coordinate and track the various tasks, it also clarifies responsibilities for the construction workers. Everyone involved knows exactly what to do at what stage in the project, helping everyone involved to work even more efficiently. It is useful to include a feedback loop on the task level that allows the construction crew to directly communicate back to the construction project manager. Research shows that this way of involving the individual construction worker in the overall project increases their work motivation and ultimately results in the delivery of higher project quality.
Apart from managing and monitoring the construction progress, construction project managers are in charge of channeling project communication and the information flow. They need to ensure that everyone involved has access to all the information necessary for the delivery of quality results. Most construction projects have to deal with additional complexity that results from dispersed project teams. In this case, having one platform that centralizes all project communication and project-related information can be a decisive factor for successful mission completion. A construction project management software should also include a document management module that allows everyone involved to access project-relevant documents and easily identify which is the latest status of the document in question.
Image: Construction project management phases
The project management software from InLoox supports you in almost all phases of a construction project. For example, use the integrated mind mapping tool to brainstorm ideas for commercial construction projects. This ensures that no ideas and details get lost and you can always refer back to the mind map even after the project has started. You can also copy the mind map directly into the planning or generate tasks from the mind map. This means that ideas become planning elements and there’s a seamless transition from idea generation to actual project planning. See how the InLoox mind map feature works: Watch video »
Creating a detailed project plan that includes deadlines, critical milestones and dependencies is very simple with the interactive InLoox Gantt chart planner. If you have to make changes to one activity, the entire project plan is automatically updated according to the pre-defined dependencies to reflect the latest status on the project timeline. Additionally, the Gantt chart shows you the project's critical path, helping you sharpen awareness for crucial elements to mission success.
With the Kanban feature, you can easily assign tasks to members of your construction crew, providing the information they need to successfully complete the tasks. The construction worker can also leave task-related comments and feedback for the construction project manager, making the task management tool a crucial, yet easy-to-use part in efficient project communication.
Image: Efficient task management in construction projects with InLoox - create tasks and assign them to the respective resources.
Based on your estimates regarding the required time and human resource efforts to complete tasks and sub-projects, InLoox automatically calculates the expected costs. On top of that you can record planned expenses for materials, tools and contractors. Once the costs incur, you can feed the actual cost data into the system helping you to monitor the actual expenses while the construction project is underway for a plan/actual comparison.
Manage the purchase process for construction materials and service providers within your central construction project management platform. You can easily create purchasing tasks and transfer responsibility for task completion to your procurement department or employees by assigning the respective resource to the task. The Kanban board feature helps you and your construction crew keep track of the material delivery status.
Use the document management feature to administer project related RFIs, contracts, architect's supplemental information and change order requests. This way, all relevant information is gathered in one central place and everyone involved has access to the most up-to-date version of a document and to important project information. On top of that, with the InLoox contact management module all essential project partner contacts are at your fingertips.
It is easy to stay ahead of the game with InLoox project management software; with all project-related information bundled in one platform, you are always up-to-date on the project's progress, cost development and potential risks. While projects are underway, construction project management software serves as an early warning system in case things don't go according to the plan. That gives you enough time to take action to avert and mitigate project delays or budget overruns.
Image: A detailed implementation plan in InLoox helps you track the progress of your project and make a target/actual comparison.
Thanks to the time tracking, recording and billing real-time work hours is thinkably easy. This saves every member of the construction crew time and effort and is a great way for the construction manager to stay on track with human resource costs and capacities.
Time tracking is an important topic in construction management:
With InLoox, project team members can track and record their times spent on each task, either directly in the Outlook app or on the go via InLoox Web App or Mobile App. InLoox time tracking allows construction teams to track their actual workload and report it to the site manager. Project managers can keep track of labor costs and resource capacities. Project managers can use these time tracking entries as a basis to better estimate efforts for future projects. This leads to a higher adherence to schedules and as a result lower costs.
InLoox project software also serves as your central communication platform with all stakeholders. It is very simple to keep clients, supervisors and contractors in the loop. Create complete, concise and meaningful reports on the latest project status with only a few clicks.
Once the project is completed, the software helps you wrap up the construction project. With all the information you need for the final documentation already compiled in one central platform, no tedious gathering of receipts, documents and information is required - leaving you time to get working on the next big project.
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