PM software is integrating with accounting and design solutions. As a whole, it will benefit every project and company because of the efficiencies it adds to the project lifecycle. Here is how projects benefit from an integrated PM software.
What Is A Project Lifecycle
The project lifecycle is usually broken into five parts; the project conception and initiation, project planning, project launch, project performance, and project close. Sometimes it is broken down even further, but these basic parts describe the project lifecycle. Specific tasks get categorized into these parts based on what they contribute to. So asking for project designs from an architectural firm would be part of the project initiation section, while final quality assurance checks could be part of the project close. Projects are broken into these sections in order to make them more manageable. However, even if they’re broken down, steps can be missed and projects can become more complicated. That’s why integrating accounting and design with PM software can simplify and improve the project lifecycle.
Project Conception and Initiation
The first stage of a project, project conception, and initiation is building conception. The owner or owners give the idea for the project to architects and structural engineers in order to receive possible designs. Once the owner settles on a design, they are able to take bids on the project.
This is when contractors and subcontractors are able to submit bids. In these bids, they’re outlining a realistic timeline and material cost for the project. Owners can take these bids into consideration, comparing them against each other, and seeing how they fit within their estimated budget.
When PM software integrates with accounting and design at this stage it is easier to push and pull information from these original designs and drawings into the PM software. Overall it reduces the duplicate data entry that can hurt a company’s bid chances.
When the contractors are chosen but before construction itself, the project enters into the planning stage. In the planning stage, the project is outlined and put into writing. It’s essential to have a written plan in order to ensure that the stakeholders are on the same page for the construction project. It’s also a chance to hammer out the best practices for communication and project management.
Everyone has to be on the same page and work collaboratively to achieve the project goal. This is one of the few chances that they have to really address possible issues. Having a set risk management procedure before construction begins can benefit the project long term.
Integrating accounting and design with PM software makes it easier for contractors to access the latest plans and drawings. Contractors deliver better projects when they have access to the latest documents and drawing immediately rather than working off of older plans.
Project Launch and Execution
The next phase in the project life cycle is the launch and execution phase. This is where the contractors will develop their deliverables to satisfy their contracts. Using the plan developed in the previous step, contractors will assign specific tasks and allocate resources accordingly. The tasks can include assigning work to the teams, conducting meetings, updating the schedule and modifying any plans depending on the current speed of work.
While most of this happens on the job site. Not every stakeholder is on the job site regularly. Project managers should keep them in the loop on the project. Using a PM software makes it easier for those in the back office to have greater visibility. They can use the daily reports, RFIs, and change orders to get a better understanding of what’s going on. They can also push that information into their integrated accounting software and use the designs to see how far the project is to completion.
Project managers use this phase of construction to track the progress and adjust things as needed. They adjust key performance indicators to ensure that dependent parts of the project can be completed to the new schedule. They can use their PM software and design software to quickly and easily compare photos to models. Project managers use the models to determine the completeness of the project, and release new estimations. They can also keep track of project finances through change orders, purchase requests and other documents submitted. By pushing them into their accounting system, they’ve reduced the need for double entry and they can keep track of the documents as well as final costs.
The last step is the project close. Stakeholders have this opportunity to finish any documentation about the project and evaluate the finished project. The final team meeting led by the project manager officiates the end of the project and gives members a chance to learn from any issues they had so they won’t be a problem in the future.
If the project had payments tied to set project goals, then contractors, suppliers and the like would have the majority of their payment. At project close, they would receive any final payment or bonuses for the work they did.