Construction workers shaking hands; reduce project risks concept

Reduce Project Risks and Uncertainties With Construction Software

Construction projects are full of risks. For successful delivery of projects and the profitability of your company, it is imperative to reduce project risks.

“Being able to effectively identify and manage risks can lead to increased profits, establishing good relationships with clients that result in more projects, and being able to expand your business into new markets and sectors,” writes Kendall Jones, editor in chief at ConstructConnect.

Reducing project risks isn’t an easy task. It requires trade contractors to anticipate uncertainties that may arise and plan accordingly to address those factors before they cause problems on jobs. Technology plays a critical role in this responsibility. 

With its process standardization, document management and data centralization capabilities, construction project management software, like eSUB, helps trade contractors mitigate risks and lessen their impact on projects.  

Standardize Documentation Processes to Eliminate Data Silos

Successful construction projects are powered by data. “The use of data analytics in the construction process can help to reduce risks, improve project performance, and increase efficiency,” writes the CEO Today team. 

The uncertainty that arises is the accuracy of the data used to make critical, real-time project decisions. “One of the biggest challenges in the construction industry is the lack of centralized, accurate data,” explains business advisory, accounting and technology firm Eide Bailly. That data disparity is often a result of data silos which are created when project information is owned by multiple project stakeholders. 

In this competitive industry, data inaccessibility and unreliability are risks trade contractors can’t afford if they want to deliver successful projects and build a profitable business. 

The solution to mitigating these risks is digitizing and standardizing document control processes so it’s quick and easy to share project data. Construction project management software helps eliminate data silos so everyone has access to the data they need to make smart project decisions.

Simplify Communication to Prevent Miscommunication

Miscommunication wreaks havoc on construction sites. “Many of the problems and delays that occur on a construction site are due to job site miscommunication,” writes the BCI Construction team. “From the project owner to the construction crew working in the field, miscommunication can create major confusion.”

The risk of communication breakdown is particularly high if your crews rely on traditional forms of communication, such as email, phone calls, and in-person meetings, to share information. To avoid the time delays and human errors that often accompany these outdated modes of communication, trade contractors need to use a tool that simplifies information sharing and collaboration. 

Digital construction project management tools “give construction teams a space to store all project details and make any changes to the plan as necessary,” notes the MRI Network. “When changes are made, all key players can simply use these digital tools to instantly see the most up-to-date details.”

This eliminates the risk of miscommunication and the project problems it causes so your teams can produce successful projects. “Effective communication in construction is the invisible tool that binds the visible elements of a project together,” writes the CCI Construction Group. “It’s the difference between a project that flows smoothly to completion and one riddled with setbacks.”

Engineer talking to worker at a construction site; reduce project risks concept

Allocate Labor More Effectively to Fill Skills Gaps

Skills gaps are another risk that trade contractors are constantly trying to circumvent. It’s no secret that the construction industry is facing a labor shortage that is causing critical skills gaps that negatively impact project outcomes. 

“This lack of skilled construction workers affects the industry in a number of ways,” writes Jennifer Kary at MetalMiner. “For instance, projects may cost more to complete and take longer to finish. There could also be problems with productivity and quality control, raising questions about the general caliber of building projects.”

The best way to mitigate the risks posed by skills shortages is to allocate the labor resources you do have effectively. To do that, you need access to real-time labor data that construction project management software provides. 

The technology centralizes labor data such as time sheets, field notes, and daily reports so trade contractors can see exactly how much time workers are spending on which project-specific tasks, as well as where time and skills may be wasted. That information will highlight any potential opportunities for labor reallocation to fill skills gaps with your current labor force. 

Track Job Costs to Avoid Overspending

One of the most difficult things to do on construction projects is stay within budget. Study after study year after year demonstrates that overspending is rampant in the industry. In his book, “How Big Things Get Done,” author Bent Flyvbjerg says “91.5% of projects go over budget.”

And it’s not just mega projects that bust their budgets. “While larger projects have a greater chance of more frequent overages, even small projects aren’t immune to exceeding their predicted costs,” writes the team at the CAT Rental Store

Consistently going over budget puts your profit margins and company reputation at risk. 

To mitigate the risk of overspending, it’s imperative that trade contractors know what their job costs are at all times and how their expenses are tracking compared to a project’s budget. The best way to compile and store job cost data in real time is with construction project management software. 

Manual processes, such as tracking expenses in a spreadsheet, make it nearly impossible to access up-to-date information on project spending because data is dispersed. When data is centralized through the software, you can get accurate, real-time job cost information at any moment in time so you can make adjustments as necessary to deliver more projects on budget.

Engineer doing inspection work by checking pattern drawing on ipad; reduce project risks concept

Streamline Change Order Process to Circumvent Mismanagement

Change orders have the potential to derail projects. While they aren’t inherently bad, their unpredictability makes them one of the biggest risks to project outcomes and how they are handled can determine the success or failure of a project.

“Change order management is one of the most important tasks over the life of a construction project, yet one of the processes that is often poorly executed,” notes Spire Consulting Group, a construction consulting firm. 

Communication and documentation are critical components of successful change order management. “Documenting every aspect of the change order cannot be overstated,” asserts Jerry Aliberti, principal at construction consulting services firm Pro-Accel. He calls documentation the “backbone of the change order process.” 

When communication or documentation is missing, it’s exponentially more difficult to manage change orders. This is a common problem for companies still using manual project management processes.

Digital tools improve those processes and mitigate the risks change orders can pose to projects. By streamlining communication and project documentation, construction project management software ensures project teams can easily share information related to change orders so they are approved, implemented, and managed as efficiently as possible. 

“eSUB makes it really easy to enter change orders,” recalls 3G Drywall co-owner and project executive Matthew Gurley. “It’s nice that you can break it out by status of change orders where you can see everything from approved to pending to potential or whatever. It’s very organized.”

Rely on Centralized Data to Avert Project Delays

Every construction project runs the risk of delays. 

According to a 2022 survey by Cornerstone Projects Ltd., 91 percent of responding construction managers indicate they have been involved in projects that experienced delays in the last few years. 

There are a number of reasons why projects get delayed. Some, like inclement weather and late materials deliveries, you can’t do anything about. Others, such as skills gaps, miscommunication, and missing information, you can address. All you need is data. 

With accurate, real-time information, trade contractors can make smarter project decisions in an effort to avert project delays. You can reallocate labor, foster collaboration, and eliminate data silos in an effort to maximize productivity and efficiency so projects are delivered on time. 

“Delays during the construction process are inevitable,” writes the construction management team at Park University. “The most successful construction managers anticipate delays in advance, apply construction delay analysis techniques, mitigate risk to the extent possible, and adjust their plan to limit downstream impacts when unexpected delays occur.”

Construction project management software centralizes project data so project managers can anticipate potential project delays and make adjustments before those delays have a chance to negatively impact project delivery.

It’s impossible to eliminate every risk to your construction jobs. You can, however, reduce the likelihood of encountering some risks by employing the right technology. Construction project management software, like eSUB, ensures trade contractors have access to accurate, real-time data so you can successfully deliver more projects.  

Schedule a demo of eSUB Cloud today to learn more about how this software helps you identify and address potential risks and uncertainties. 

Images used under license from Shutterstock.com.