The planning phase of a construction project defines all core activities like scheduling, work breakdown structure (WBS), and risk management. To ensure smooth execution of every aspect, companies use advanced construction scheduling software like Bridgit to reach each project’s milestone efficiently.
However, over 61% of project owners saw their projects failing despite proper planning and control. That’s primarily because many project managers and contractors prefer the traditional planning and scheduling methodology. So despite investing more time, they fail to maximize their team’s productivity.
This post discusses eight ways to improve construction planning and finish your project with maximum efficiency.
8 tips for better construction project planning
Planning is the most important step regardless of the construction project’s size. No matter how long the deadline is, you must deliver the project in the committed time without incurring any cost overrun.
Let’s see how to improve the planning of your construction project as the project manager or contractor.
1. Set priorities
First, make sure you set priorities for yourself and your team. There are different types of construction projects. For example:
- Agricultural – Construction project for agricultural purposes.
- Commercial – Commercialized lands and building business hubs on them.
- Environmental – Farms and greenhouses to nurture the environment.
- Industrial – Product manufacturing sites far from the residential area.
- Residential – Housing schemes like apartments and houses.
Considering the type of your construction project, you must prioritize your research accordingly. Prioritized research provides quick insights which help you to plan the construction project better.
Setting priorities also helps you carry out tasks in sequence. The chances of mismanagement reduce because now you give undivided attention to high-priority tasks, such as resource allocation.
You can get support from quality construction software to set project priorities and share them with the respective team members.
Sharing priorities keeps the focus of the particular team on a single task. That way, you can efficiently achieve the project milestones in a sequence.
2. Give more time to planning
Planning takes more time than people usually think. But since it’s a pre-construction step, managers don’t invest more time in planning.
A construction project’s planning provides a layout of how you will manage and execute the project. It covers the whole timeline from the designing stage to the building stage. You also structure your teams and organize them by sharing the project schedule in the planning phase.
So, always give more time to plan the project before the construction begins.
3. Use building information modeling (BIM)
BIM provides a digital architecture of a construction project using the information you gathered during the research. It’s a process that virtually designs a building, giving you an estimate of the following:
- Schedule – How long will it take to complete a milestone?
- Budget – How much budget will you require for the project?
- Labor – How much workforce will you need for the project?
In 2023, over 98% of architecture firms in the US adopted BIM because of its helpful designing and modeling capabilities. You can get construction documentation and plan your next steps accordingly. BIM software helps you analyze a project even before starting it.
Communication and data gaps might create problems while using the technology. But BIM software requires equal involvement from all stakeholders to work at its full potential. Not only contractors and project managers but also clients have access to this system.
4. Invest in training
You must train your team to boost the project’s efficiency. Training for a construction project is for everyone, especially managers supervising the activities.
Some construction projects need special training, like using complex technology or advanced equipment. You might have to spend considerable money to train the respective workforce.
Therefore, always look for an opportunity to train your team members and equip them with the best skill-set in the planning phase.
Additionally, specialized training needs expert trainers. So, check the portfolio and qualifications of the instructor and set the training schedule. Invite all the team members so that no one misses the training session.
Your employees can master specific skills and increase their efficiency in the project. After the training, you will see a positive change in your workforce.
5. Manage workload evenly
As a project manager, one of your key responsibilities is balancing the workload. But what does that mean?
A balanced workload means equally dividing the tasks among the respective teams. Scheduling is the first factor that determines the equal distribution of workload. For example, you must give at least two weeks to the designing team if they ask for 8-10 days to design the project. Similarly, give one week to budget planners if they ask for 4-5 days.
When you evenly distribute responsibilities, you ensure that every team has enough time to execute the tasks without delays and errors.
6. Measure performance
Performance measurement of each employee is critical to keep the project’s efficiency intact. You must keep tracking your team’s progress from the planning phase and set rewards for better performance. That will motivate the workers to go beyond their limits.
Moreover, performance measurement helps you communicate with your employees. If someone has a concern, they can directly approach you. Besides, several performance measurement tools can help to increase your team’s efficiency.
7. Manage risks
Risks are associated with every construction project. Therefore, you must consider them while making the project plan and develop a risk management strategy.
When you don’t consider risks in the planning phase, they come to you as a surprise when the construction begins. That hinders progress and might cause huge losses and threats to the workforce.
8. Communicate with your team
Communication with your team is the easiest way to deal with internal conflicts. It would be best if you keep your doors open for suggestions, queries, and complaints from the planning phase. In addition, ensure that your employees know how to contact you when needed.
Since construction projects are long, you should consider your employees’ well-being. Even though they perform well, you might never know if something goes wrong.
Furthermore, communication boosts confidence which helps you to finish the project before the deadline.
Planning a construction project using advanced tools and methodologies keeps you and your team in communication. You can set a proper schedule and manage each activity. Using the above tips and tricks, you can boost your team’s efficiency and plan your next project flawlessly.