With widespread adoption of BIM in project management and new legislation around hiring international contractors, construction project management has changed a great deal in 2017.
One of the areas of greatest advancements is construction project management software. New software solutions are providing project managers with innovative ways of doing everything from forecasting costs to setting timelines, paying invoices or maintaining clear communication with contractors.
With that in mind, we’ve put together 5 innovative features that you should be looking for in your construction project management software.
1. Cloud based
Cloud-based software is imperative in today’s connected world. When everyone is communicating from their own device (and frequently from different cities, states and countries), having a central online platform to store documents and communicate is a necessity.
A good cloud-based solution will provide you with the flexibility you need to confidently make decisions, whether you’re in the office or on site.
2. Big data analytics
Big data analytics is shaking up the construction industry and providing forward-thinking companies with a competitive edge in the process.
Data analytics can be useful for forecasting projects and re-adjusting timelines, resources and budgets when you hit a roadblock mid-project. This is a lot more efficient than using estimates to formulate and adjust plans.
Advanced software takes data – staffing, costs, timelines, milestones – from previous jobs, categorises it, and uses it to make accurate forecasts about current and future projects. This is a huge benefit to you in providing peace of mind to your clients, which at the end of the day is what a lot of the job is about.
3. Mobile solutions
Mobile technology is one of the fastest growing tech sectors. Its proliferation defines the last decade, with most site officers and architectural project managers writing and receiving emails and documents on their phones daily.
Since construction managers are likely to be working across multiple sites concurrently, solid mobile responsiveness is required from construction project management software.
Your software provider should have an app available, and that app should provide you with most of the functionalities you have on desktop. At the very least you should be able to access your calendar, financial information and to make amends to documents and spreadsheets.
4. Document management system
Gone are the days of rifling around through your paper folders looking for a particular invoice. But with digital files arise a whole new set of problems – the pinnacle of which is version control.
There is nothing worse than completing work based on a set of expectations, only to find that the document you’ve been working off is actually an old version and the guidelines have changed.
A solid document management system will help you file and retrieve documents easily, and to categorise based on a number of different criteria. It will also provide you with a central storage space and should have options to ensure collaboration with outside parties can be managed centrally.
Basically, every time you buy some tactile indicator studs there should be a simple process for digitally filing an invoice for easy recall in accounting. The peace of mind a system like this inspires is worth its weight in gold.
5. Software integrations
The best construction project management software should offer seamless integration with your suite of most-used programs. You should be able to easily pull emails from Gmail or Outlook, pull documents in and out of Word and create spreadsheets that easily translate into Excel files or Google Sheets.
Similarly, if your business is currently using another suite of management or budgeting software, your new software should offer plugins to your existing package to provide you with an easy transition to your new platform.
There are many ways to develop efficient processes for project management, and software can really help you on that journey. By keeping some of the above features in mind, you will be on the right track to finding something that delivers upon your needs, at the right price.
This being said, it’s important to get the foundations right, and knowing what to track will go a long way in managing projects effectively. Try using our free project management spreadsheet templates to store core information and ensure smooth-running projects. Get them by clicking the image below.