The Connected Construction Professional Series: Operations and Project Management Roles

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How Connected Construction Solutions Can Simplify Your Work, Reduce the Typical Project Headaches, and Get You Home in Time for Dinner for a Change

Construction Operations Managers and Project Managers are the center of construction building—and also the most overworked.

If you’re a construction operations professional or construction project manager, you’re likely at the center of your company’s universe. You’re the meat and guts of your organization’s construction projects—the gears that keep the construction machine moving. Whether you’re working in the back office today or out in the field tomorrow, you’re likely kicking butt and taking names (along with taking in a whole lot more information).

Yet, it’s not always about marshaling the troops and gaining ground. In fact, construction operations and project management professionals are often the most overworked, time-sieged, and oftentimes completely flustered folks in the entire construction process. And more than anything, you could use a break … maybe even something to work the way it’s supposed to for once?

The Role of the Project or Construction Operations Manager

Project Managers must keep multiple projects, each with thousands of moving parts, on time and on budget.

Construction project managers and operations professionals are the shepherds of their company’s construction work. Construction projects can have so many people involved and so many moving pieces of data flowing at any given time, and project managers especially may have multiple projects they’re trying to stay on top of at the same time. Something is bound to get missed or fall through the cracks.

Virtually every project manager or operational professional will likely say they’re consistently behind—swamped with work and buried in a mountain of paperwork. Your role is probably no different. Effective project management means controlling the data flow and staying on top of transmittals, submittals, RFIs, email communications, change orders, materials, inventory, job cost and WIP reports, labor hours and wages, union rules, safety regulations, insurance and bonding, compliance data and a whole lot more.

Your body of work is judged by four words: “on time” and “on budget.” As the saying goes, battle plans are perfect…until the battle begins. A construction project can be planned out down to the very last nail, but even in the best-planned project, something always goes awry.

And with many construction companies today still using a mix of manual processes and outdated, non-connected software systems, it’s not making your job any easier. Lack of connected workflows, real-time data and collaboration among project stakeholders, automated processes and modern tools that keep you alerted to key issues you need to know now can have a devastating effect on your ability to get the job done right the first time.

Without accurate, timely data that is easy to access and understand, project managers and construction operations professionals can often get lost in the details.

Construction projects—and firms’ bottom lines—can suffer from delays, mistakes, conflicts and other challenges if the data being tracked and reviewed is days or even weeks old. In fact, unnecessary rework resulting from mistakes or lack of accurate information can account for as much as 20% of project costs on average—eating away at profit margins in an industry with already razor-thin margins to begin with.

The inability to analyze project information in real time can also make it hard to accurately gauge current job costs or work in progress. Instead, you’re often working with information culled together from multiple reports generated from software systems. And most of the time, that data isn’t complete or ready for you to access until it is fully processed by your back-office teams. Whole phases of your project could be completed before you realize there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Furthermore, even day-to-day tasks when everything appears to be going right can drain you. Having to wait until reaching the office or relying on limited VPN connections to manually enter project data into your systems means additional delays. How often are you having to work late to try and get caught up?

What Construction Operations and Project Management Professionals Want

Though the wish lists of project managers and construction operations professionals tend to be long, today's connected construction technologies can deliver.

Modern connected construction technologies are changing the game in construction—especially at the project management and operations level. Contractors that have digitized their operations and moved their data and workflows to hosted cloud environments via connected construction suites are able to tie together their people, projects and processes like never before.

So, what does that mean when it comes to the operations and project management folks? It means delivering on a wish list they’ve had for years:

  • Speed and Accountability: Everyone in your organization is utilizing the same set of standardized, real-time data—and that data is securely reaching the right people, including extended project stakeholders, when and where they need it (which helps ensure that everyone in your company is working with up-to-date, accurate information, and the audit trails to back it up).
  • Intelligence: Having powerful, real-time data reporting and analysis tools at your fingertips (and stupidly easy to use and make sense of) can make you the smartest person in the room or on the jobsite. Spot issues, trends, and more before they become costly problems and run the most efficient, profitable projects possible.
  • Digitization: It’s the 21st century—why are you still rifling through stacks of paper, plans, drawings, etc. Why are you having to track down lost documents or correct crews working from the wrong versions? Digitize and pull up the real, accurate information you need in just seconds.
  • Accessibility: Why drive back and forth between the office and jobsites when you have mobile devices with high computing power in your pocket. Cloud applications give you instant access to all the data you need, no matter where you are (and the ability to easily enter data from the field and inform the rest of your teams).
  • Simplicity: Working within your construction management solution interface or mobile applications should be easy and intuitive—so much so that even your field crews will love it!
  • Automation: Let’s face it, typical construction workflows have you drowning in the process. Imagine if you pushed a button or two and all of that work magically just happened and was ready for the next person that needed it?
  • Freedom: Self-serve and collaborative abilities that allow others on your team to source their own data, enter their own hours, track their own materials and equipment and more, so you’re no longer the gopher trying to track down ALL of the information your teams and crews need.
  • Security: The latest security protections, user permissions and backups in place at all times to protect your company’s sensitive and essential data, and ensure the right people are seeing the right information you need them to see.

Why a Connected Construction Suite is Your Answer

A connected, cloud construction management suite that features tools like ProjectSight can streamline your construction operations.

For everyone across the organization—and especially for construction operations and project management professionals—Trimble Construction One is the connected construction suite you’ve been dreaming about!

It’s a connected, cloud platform that drives productivity, efficiency, and accuracy at each phase of the construction project lifecycle. Leveraging cloud data and automated workflow capabilities, Trimble Construction One ties together all facets of each project, from estimating and bidding through workforce management to project closeout and delivery, in one collaborative working environment. Project and document management tools built into the suite, like ProjectSight and/or Viewpoint Team, give your construction operations managers the full range of connected project workflows they’ve only dreamed about before.

With Trimble Construction One, you can shave hours of painstaking operations and project management work from each day, yet remain in complete control of your projects. A truly connected construction environment brings together the entire organization, as well as extended project holders, into the fold. As the quarterback of your projects, it can make the difference between scoring a touchdown and getting sacked.

Watch what a true connected construction environment could deliver for your organization:

Want to learn more? Connect with Trimble Viewpoint today for your own personal tour of how Trimble Construction One could reshape your construction organization.

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.