Best Practices of Time Management in Construction Projects

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Accurate Time Tracking Is So Much Easier With Workyard

    In this article, we share some best practices for improving your time management in construction projects.

    When a construction project goes long, you incur additional labor costs, equipment rental fees, and opportunity costs. You have to turn down jobs that might have been more profitable—and you have to deal with unhappy customers. 

    In construction, time management is everything. So why does it seem that time management in construction projects goes wrong so frequently? 

    Often, it’s because you:

    • Can’t properly track your employee time
    • Haven’t set realistic deadlines
    • Have relied too heavily on third parties
    • Don’t have a clear project schedule
    • Haven’t communicated clearly with your team

    Luckily, all these issues can be dealt with using the right technology and the right tools. Let’s dig a little deeper into the best practices for time management in construction projects. 

    Why Is Project Time Management Important in Construction?

    Project time management is essential to keeping your clients happy and getting your projects done. Poor time management inevitably leads to delays. Delays turn into increased labor costs which ultimately can push you over budget.

    In construction, there are a lot of moving parts (often literally). A single delay can have a catastrophic, cascading effect. Suddenly you don’t have the employees and the equipment available that you thought you would have. The materials or contractors you thought would be available are not. One delay turns into a dozen.

    The faster you complete a project, the faster you can move on to the next. Better project time management will ultimately lead to increased productivity and return on investment (ROI).

    The Best Practices of Time Management in Construction Projects

    Improving time management is first and foremost about understanding where your time is going. Unfortunately, many construction companies are still using paper timesheets to track employees, which only leads to inaccuracy and inefficiency.

    Improve your construction time management with the following steps:

    Accurately Track Your Labor Costs

    Do you know how much time your employees spent on a specific project? Do you know how much money you’re spending on overtime and whether it was necessary?

    Accurate labor tracking can vastly reduce the amount of time you spend on a project, while also improving your future estimates. Workyard doesn’t just track the hours your employees spend on-site but also the time your employees spend driving to pick up materials and between sites.

    With more accurate time tracking, you can reduce your overall labor burden. You can also see which projects are your “problems” and which projects are your “money makers.”

    Workyard App Time Tracking Summary

    Set Reasonable Deadlines—Including Buffers

    If your hours aren’t being tracked accurately, it’s easy to underestimate the time spent on some projects while overestimating others. Once you have a reliable method of tracking your labor costs, you can set realistic deadlines.

    Construction projects will always experience unexpected delays. But under-promising and over-delivering are always better than the opposite. Build delays into your projects by including reasonable buffers.

    GPS time-tracking solutions like Workyard can help your organization foster better, more accurate time tracking. Through better time tracking, you can produce more accurate estimates of exactly how long a project will take.

    Control What You Can, Plan for What You Can’t

    Small construction companies and contractors are often at the whims of external forces. You may need to subcontract out parts of a project. You may not know what materials will be available or their start date could be delayed.

    Build uncertainty into your schedule. Add buffers around third-party contractors, source alternative materials, and have a “Plan B” for any necessary equipment. The better you plan, the more likely you are to be prepared if it all goes awry.

    Keep Your Project Schedule Visible

    If your scheduling process involves emails, calls, and texts, it could eventually become confusing. Your employees need to be on-site and ready to go. Workyard provides an easy, real-time overview of everyone’s schedule—including alerts when schedules change.

    Through heightened visibility, all of your employees can accurately and instantly view and update their schedules from their smartphones keeping your employees productive and avoiding miscommunication. You can even view your entire time on a map in real-time, so they can be deployed where they’re most needed.

    Workyard Schedule and Time Map

    Communicate Clearly With Your Team

    Do your employees know which projects they’re working on? Do they have a broad overview of which milestones have to meet and which tasks are most essential? Often, mistakes and reworks occur because employees aren’t clear on the bigger picture.

    Workyard consolidates team communication into a single, consolidated platform—so employees know exactly what they need to get done and when. Employees can even store notes and photos regarding tasks and clients directly within the platform.

    Follow the Best Practices of Time Management in Construction Projects With Workyard

    How do you keep track of your employee hours? If it’s still pen-and-paper, you’re spending too much time and money on your projects. Workyard streamlines the entire process of time management, so you spend more time managing your projects and less time managing your employees.

    With Workyard, you can:

    • Get accurate reports of mileage and driving time to, from, and between sites.
    • Manage project and task level labor costs in real-time.
    • Get exact arrival and departure times for every client and every site.
    • Manage employee schedules through a single, consolidated solution.

    The first step toward improving time management in construction projects is to know where your time is being spent. Workyard uses next-generation GPS technology to record the hours employees are spending on-site, automatically calculate overtime hours, and provide real-time labor reports.

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