Construction is an industry that is controlled by time. From the planning of the construction and the acquisition of land to the requisition of materials and the actual construction, there are many aspects of construction that happen simultaneously that can impede each other should one aspect be delayed. Anyone who has worked in construction knows that it is very much a well-coordinated series of chaos, even with solid and substantial planning; there will always be unexpected obstacles and developments that will cause delays.
In order to insulate themselves from such unexpected delays, the construction industry places extreme emphasis on organizational management. An important aspect of organizational management is the use of time tracking in order to ensure that teams are held accountable, there are clear goals, and that work processes are streamlined. Here, we will learn how construction companies implement these concepts in order to not only avoid huge financial losses but to even gain greater revenue. So, if you’re considering if you should start using timesheet software to track your time during construction project management, keep reading to find out more!
What does time tracking even mean?
In project management, time tracking is the process of allowing members of your team to add entries to a project tracker that will log time entries to a certain task. Though it may not seem like much, it means that managers are able to, at a glance, evaluate the accuracy of work timelines as well as the productivity of their employees. It also allows them to re-delegate and move resources around as needed so that every task has adequate resources assigned to them to get the job done not just on time, but done well. This process is vital for project managers to make sure that costs and budgets are followed as much as possible, and to predict potential overruns so that they can request more funding if needed.
Time tracking is a great tool, but it is ultimately benign and its effectiveness is dependent on how well it is implemented into work processes. Ensuring that you have well-implemented time-tracking processes will give you accurate and effective data that will not take up more time than it’s trying to save.
The benefits of time tracking
The management of your budgets and the timelines of the project is essential to controlling the flow of the project, and they are intertwined with each other. For example, knowing whether your project is on time, behind time or ahead of time is vital in knowing how much you need to pay your workers who, more often than not, operate off a per-hour shift basis. In this instance, knowing how your project is doing on a timescale can help you predict with accuracy the costs that will be incurred. This also goes for the amount of time that you quoted for the project during the bidding process, meaning that you’ll be able to correctly calculate your profit forecasts. You can even set it up so that when you go over a preset budget threshold, it will alert you, meaning that you don’t have to diligently look over the numbers constantly.
This will help you keep track of expenses and ensure that every invoice you sent out is accurate and that you will not underbill or overcharge for a certain service. This keeps your income flow steady and also means that you have full, categorised logs to fall back on at any point in time. For anyone who has managed accounts before, this is truly a godsend and something that can streamline and simplify many payment and acquisition processes.
Simplification of administrative and logistical tasks
As mentioned above, time-tracking software can take most of the legwork out of handling all the different planning aspects of project management, leaving you more breathing room to oversee other aspects of the project. You can get a wider view of the whole project at a glance, allowing you to identify outlying issues and help log all the hours for your workers. This is great not only for you but for your workers as well! They will enjoy easier and more streamlined inputting of hours, meaning that there will be little to no need to chase them to enter their hours or dispute entries.
You can also use time tracking software to keep track of intended days off and leave, as well as track ad-hoc workers all in one platform, meaning that you don’t have to switch between Excel sheets to keep track of everything. Neat!
Simplify collating and making reports
With time-tracking software, you have access to almost all the information about the current progress of the project, from budgets to timelines and work processes. This means that you’ll be able to collate all this information, easily available in one place, and put them into a report with little to no effort. Not only that, but managers will also have to sift through far less paperwork as everything can be entered in by those responsible. This means no time wasted on back-and-forths and who-did-whats, as everything will be available at your fingertips. This is great for managers who need to provide consistent reports that span a wide variety of different aspects of the project. Additionally, it will be easier to identify new ways to increase productivity and also identify issues faced, be it finances or work processes or labour. This allows you to make changes in real-time, improving the workflow of the work site and eliminating any uncertainty.
Construction is a challenging job to manage, and many find it rewarding to manage many different aspects of the job. A lot of this burden that managers in this industry feel can be alleviated through the leverage of time-tracking software, allowing you to keep tabs on the projects you work on without you having to micromanage. By having access to employee performance through the tracking of work progress and hour tracking, as well as being able to view what issues they are facing, you’ll be able to better the entire project by addressing these issues that would otherwise be difficult to identify.