Choosing the right construction project management software can be a challenging task. There are so many options out there that you are spoiled for choice. Programs like ProjectSight, Procore, WorkflowMax, and Buildertrend have impressive features and easily get the job done.
If you’re searching for a software system to properly manage your construction projects, consider the following tips.
Choosing the Right Construction Project Management Software
The right construction management software should be able to deliver, quick, accurate, and easily accessible results. Other features that it should deliver include security, seamless sharing of files, and quick customer support. All these things are required for the best construction contract software in 2020. So, here is a rundown of the best features that a construction project management software tool should have in 2020.
Essential Project Management Features
Not all systems are created equal in each aspect. Hence, you will always have to compromise on certain features. However, it’s more to get the best blend of all features than to achieve perfection.
You need to always be in the loop of what’s happening with your project. Any progress, setbacks, developments, and additions should be delivered to you immediately. This not only allows for better appropriation of funds, but also for a realistic estimate of project completion time.
Simple Reporting Tools
Simple reporting tools should be featured in the software that allow for better communication between parties. Productivity will increase considerably if reporting tools are made more efficient and easy-to-use.
Access to the important data in a construction project is the key to completing it. Connecting to the project regardless of your geographical location is a very important part of effective communication. You never know what minor detail can change the course of a project or cause a massive loss. Hence, on-site and off-site access to critical information is essential for all the parties involved.
The construction cost tracking software you choose should be able to store your information very securely. This security should be similar to that of a bank because it involves protecting the confidential data of your clients. It should not only be equipped with two-way encryption, but it should also come with biometric or two-factor authentication-enabled access.
The encryption and multiple-factor authentication will be of great benefit where file sharing is involved. It ensures that critical information can only be accessed by those with authority.
Seamless File Sharing
This is another factor that improves communication and productivity within a construction business. Having a system that allows for seamless and instant file sharing is a must to improve communications. There should be a central file sharing point that allows for collaboration, additions, editing, etc. For example, ProjectSight includes Trimble Connect which allows users to share all BIM models, 2D or 3D drawings and documents across the Trimble product portfolio. Whether you are using Trimble land surveying equipment and total station solutions or ProjectSight, make informed decisions and enhance project efficiency by having the latest drawings where you need them. There should also be allowance for certain people to access files, but not edit them in any way. The software should also allow for compatibility across several file formats so that work is not hindered in the slightest.
24/7 customer support is essential even if it requires higher tier billing. Any possible problems that might spring up during the project have to be solved to deliver on the deadline. Sometimes, a minor problem can be the difference between success and failure in a project. At times, critically working on a project requires troubleshooting a persistent bug or figuring out a tricky feature. This is why you should only go for the construction contract software for that employs highly skilled staffers with in-depth knowledge.
Yes, having scripts for common solutions is fine. However, you shouldn’t just be looking for customer support, but tech support in this regard. Expert software engineers and programmers should be at your disposal to solve critical problems at a moment’s notice.
At times, it may be impossible to solve problems at a moment’s notice, no matter how good the support is. In that case, the software in place should have an issue tracking feature. This feature should document the various issues that have hindered the project for the stakeholders to follow up. In any case, this will allow a business to save face, or give an objectively unbiased reason progress was stalled.
Gantt Charts provide for an overview of the project in visual form. This is part of the scheduling and planning of the project. Visual cues are much easier to absorb by people than black and white text. Hence, a visual representation of the project’s progress will be much more valuable to stakeholders and project managers. They will be able to see exactly which elements are lacking and which areas of the project are lagging behind. They will also be able to see the most successful areas of the project so far, and which need support.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Project Management Solution
Here are the questions you need to ask before you choose a project management solution for your construction project.
- Will it simplify work conditions?
- Will it help with real-time project management?
- Is the software transparent?
- Are the results of this software accurate and reputable?
- Does it improve accountability within the company?
- Does it offer solutions to the most chronic of industry problems?
- Does the software modernize my business or my projects?
- What are the licenses and fees required to run this software? Will they decrease or increase expenses?
- Is training offered by the providers?
- How good is mobile accessibility?
- Is the solution web-based or on-site? What do you prefer?
These questions and the above mentioned features should help you finalize what kind of software you need. This will help you select the ideal construction projects management software for your small business.
Dan Conery serves as the Director of Product Marketing for Trimble Projectsight, which provides construction management software for Builders & Contractors. Throughout his 24+ year career, Dan has leveraged a unique blend of backgrounds from the architect, engineering & construction industry, project & program management, and software industry to position tech companies for growth.