How Project Managers Can Use Construction Templates to Their Advantage
Even though the construction industry is moving toward mobile collaborative construction management solutions, there is still room for the project manager to take advantage of construction templates to accomplish basic tasks. Excel has many templates specific to the construction industry that can be used for the most basic functions of project management. These construction templates can then be used in conjunction with a mobile and collaborative project management solution to provide the best results.
Here are some of the Excel templates that construction project managers can take advantage of:
Construction timeline template
An Excel template is a great place for the project manager to begin to get his primary planning documented in an organized way. Excel has a template that allows the project manager to chronologically record all activities and durations to create a schedule. A scheduling template is important for the project manager because it gives the PM a starting point for planning and scheduling. From there, the PM can determine the earliest finish date of the project, and have a timeline in place to guide the project. The project manager can take the durations and chronology laid out in the template and enter it into a project management software that will check for any inaccuracies that may have been overlooked.
Excel also has a template for estimation, which will help the project manager to create estimates for costs on the project. This estimation template will aid the project manager in preliminary budgeting and resource allocation. Having accurate estimates is key to having an accurate budget.
Once the project manager feels as though he has accurate estimations, he can establish the budget. Not only does the budgeting template allow you to set and adjust your project budgets, it also serves as a great benchmark to check your spending on a project at any given point.
Construction projects require a lot of back-and-forth communication and therefore a lot of documentation. For the subcontractor, documentation is money, and without the proper tools to keep your documents organized, the subcontractor will struggle to get fairly compensated. If the subcontractor does not have the capability to digitally send, receive, and track all documents and communication flow, then a documentation tracker will prove useful. This documentation tracker template allows the project manager to keep track of all documents sent and received. This will not only ensure that the subcontractor gets paid, but will also expedite all processes. There are also separate templates to log change orders and RFI’s in order to keep a record of back-and-forth communication.
Daily and weekly reports
Construction projects often require the workers to submit daily reports and the management team to conduct weekly inspections, which create the need for inspection reports. These reports are easy to lose in the mix of documents; however, both of these can be documented using Excel’s reporting templates. By using the same template for all similar reports, reports will be easier to write and interpret.
RFI form template
The RFI is an integral part of construction communication and must be submitted in a concise and logical manner. If the project manager does not have a project management system that has the capability to send out RFI’s, then he can take advantage of the RFI form template in Excel. This Excel template allows for a standardized and organized way of requesting information.
If the project manager does not use mobile timecards, then a payroll template will be useful for the PM to keep worker’s wages organized and standardized. Accounting can then easily understand the payroll information and manually enter it in a uniformed way.
Time & Materials Invoice
Having a template for a time and materials invoice is useful to the project manager when unexpected situations arise that cause the subcontractor to have to expend extra time and materials. Good documentation of this is imperative for the subcontractor and the project manager to get paid.
Excel templates can be useful for the project manager in conjunction with other mobile construction applications, however, it is important to keep in mind the limitations (and risks) of Excel and other physical documents on team collaboration and communication. eSUB Construction Software eliminates the uncertainty of managing individual templates and a network. eSUB encourages the field and office to remain connected to every project.