If you ask anyone in the construction industry what their priorities are on any given day, you’ll probably get the same answer from them: to get the work done.
Pleasing customers, staying on budget, keeping on-site teams happy; it’s all dependent on your ability to keep moving forward at pace. Maximizing your efficiency and minimizing the number of roadblocks.
It sounds simple, but if you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, you’ll know it doesn’t always work out that way.
It’s not always easy to anticipate issues, react to changing priorities and requirements, or work around constraints. Ideas evolve, plans change, and processes need to be adapted.
At Buildots, we want to develop a product that has a significant, tangible impact on the daily work of construction teams. So we knew that if we wanted to make our customers’ working lives recognizably better, we needed to give them the tools they need to keep moving forward and get that work done.
As we see it, you need four things to keep moving forward with a project:
- Ideas and original designs – They’re the basis of everything you do.
- Plans, programs, and schedules – They’re your North Star, guiding you through the project and making sure the most important elements of your project are prioritized.
- Processes – Ways of working that make sure everyone is working together consistently to get the project done.
- A way of measuring progress against all of the above – All the designs, plans, and processes in the world are useless if you lose sight of them as soon as you start building. To stay on track and keep the work going, you need a way to continually check that you’re working on the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, and at the right pace.
The project management lifecycle should be simple
The project management lifecycle is really the heartbeat of your project. Every stage has its own vital purpose.
- Assessing what happened in the last lifecycle.
- Checking in to see how your progress so far compares to the original plans and designs.
- Planning the work that needs to be done in the next cycle.
- Around and around it goes. Every week, or every two weeks, or every month. Ticking away to keep your project on track.
It all sounds very peaceful and efficient, but it’s rarely that straightforward.
On your average construction site, dozens of activities are completed by hundreds of workers on site every single day. The site team needs to plan, assign, verify, and log every single one of those activities just to keep the project moving.
Which means that site teams are usually running around frantically trying to collect progress information. And, when they get it, it’s usually very subjective – based on a subcontractor’s estimation of project progress, or a quick visual check of the site by a project manager.
It’s hard to get an accurate understanding of which activities are complete, which are still outstanding, and which need to be prioritized in the next phase of work. And it’s even harder to prove to trades that all those estimations are correct and fair.
It’s nearly impossible to get a clear, holistic view of your project’s status in context. Which means that your planning and discussions with trades are usually based on opinions, rather than facts. And the focus ends up being on figuring out who’s responsible for delays or errors, instead of finding solutions.
The fallout of all this confusion is that critical decisions are made based on incomplete, subjective information. And there’s no real accountability when it comes to schedule issues, bottlenecks, and errors.
How Buildots can help you see project progress clearly
We built Buildots to help our customers establish an objective source of truth for the status of their projects. To help you get the information you need to make informed, data-driven decisions at every stage – without forcing you to spend hours gathering updates, or relying on data that you can’t really trust to be objective.
Now we’re making that even easier with our ‘Overview Screen’, which gives you an at-a-glance, holistic view of your project’s status at any moment in time.
How does the Overview Screen work?
The Overview Screen helps you focus in on a specific time frame, instead of ‘zooming out’ to look at the project as a whole.
With it, you’ll be able to analyze the two most essential elements that impact your project progress: your workforce activity and the tasks that need to be completed within a certain time frame.
Enter a date range, and Buildots will provide you with objective information on:
- The activities that need to take place within this time frame, in order for you to stay on schedule
- How many of these activities have been completed
Click on a specific activity, and you’ll be able to see visual proof of how the activity is progressing (collected on site with a 360-degree camera, mounted on the helmet of an on-site worker), data on the activity, and where on your site the activity needs to be completed.
All the objective data you need to keep your project on track
With all of this information easily accessible, it’s much simpler to keep track of how your project is progressing at any given stage – and to get the objective data you need to confirm your progress too.
We’ve designed the Overview Screen carefully so that it:
- Slots easily into your day-to-day work with a familiar, intuitive interface
- Highlights potential bottlenecks that might slow down your progress, so you can address them before they become an issue
- Gives you a concrete, data-backed picture of how the work is progressing. You don’t have to rely on a ‘feeling’ that you’re not moving fast enough – you’ll be able to prove it, to yourself and to any trades you’re working with.
And, most importantly, it gives you the tools you need to make more data-driven decisions, upgrade your next delivery cycle, and get the work done.
At Buildots, we pride ourselves on being a Construction Technology company that pays special attention to its users and their needs. We want to develop a product that creates a significant, tangible impact on their daily work. As a result, we’ve come to share a similar DNA with the construction industry and our users. As such, we believe that:
- Ideas and original designs are great – they are the basis of everything we do.
- Plans and programs are essential – they help guide us through the parallels of defocusing and setting a much-needed North Star.
- Processes are required – they help coordinate and get everyone synced on what needs to be done.
With that being said, we emphasize the most critical thing, execution, to keep moving forward.
Ideas evolve, plans change, and processes are adapted. The need to keep moving forward and react to changing requirements, conditions and constraints is the most important thing when building a company, a product, and a construction project.
Watch our webinar Unleashing the Full Potential of Progress Tracking Based on AI to learn how Buildots’ progress tracking features make it easy to get accurate, up-to-date data about your projects.