- Anthony De Souza
Build Solutions: what software and systems are helping project leaders manage remotely.
Let us face it, design and construction projects are technical and complicated, greatly influenced by region and very risky. Not having proper visibility into planning, day-to-day operations or data can leave a project delayed and/or over budget. Although experience is our best control panel, systems can greatly help safeguard against obstacles.
By the same token, fast-growing organizations find themselves having to tackle projects in different states with different teams and no historical references. We have been there… and quickly learned from our experiences by developing and implementing software solutions. While there are many moving parts to consider, we have found three buckets - when setup correctly - provide our teams and clients best results when managing projects remotely.
Best practice here equates to creating collaborative spaces—i.e. somewhere all stakeholders can land to find all necessary information for decisions making. We currently use virtual Plan Rooms, which have their own URL and security access features. Clients and subcontractors alike can log on to find latest plans, specifications sheets, submittals, even the weather that day for a project. When everyone knows where to go for answers, and those answers can be accessed remotely, project management becomes less complicated.
Construction is the process where ideas and sketches become tangible real spaces—for example, read our blog From sketch to reality.
Our next bucket is monitoring & controlling the place where and how things are built, or Field Management. As you can imagine, controlling what is going on in the field 1,500 miles away can be difficult. We believe progress reports are a great tool; however, format and accountability are critical. For example, our onsite teams use mobile applications to take daily photos while on their job walks. These get populated into a daily progress reports which are stored and accessible anytime. Each report has an individual owner, time stamp, and visuals to address quality, safety and schedule. Provides the experience of being onsite every day… without being onsite ever.
Financial Management and Reporting
Each project has unique financial requirements, so no project can be measured for success without a budget. Whether it is forecasting estimates at complete, bank draws, TI allowance tracking, etc., a centralized accounting workflow minimizes mistakes and provides detailed reporting. At coDesign, we use RedTeam + customize templates to meet client needs. Knowing when and what the numbers are telling us is an invaluable asset to management from afar.
We are just scratching the surface here. Reach out to coDesign to learn more about how we can help you manage multiple projects nationwide.
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