Insite Blog

19.jpg

Why construction projects need oversight

Posted by Phil Burke on Sep 26, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Do construction projects need oversight? Yes would be the simple answer but the real question might be much more involved. How much oversight is really needed? What areas should I be reviewing? How in-depth should I really be going? All valid questions that construction team leaders really should be asking.

Let me explain.

There was a time in my life when I wouldn't know how to answer any of those questions. Fortunately I had some exposure which enabled me to work for some great leaders who helped me not only understand the questions but more importantly, how to find the answers.

Like most people who cross your path in life, you take bits and pieces from them and incorporate into your "pot of gumbo." I have been no exception and in fact, I still do it today.

For me you could say that I look at things a little differently than some. I spent twenty years in the U.S. Army and was quickly taught about risk assessment and more specifically, ways to mitigate risk. My fellow soldiers and I were expected to learn how to incorporate risk management into every aspect we faced. We were taught to assess and manage situations that had real consequences and often life-threatening consequences.

We were taught these five steps of risk management:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Assess the hazards
  3. Develop controls & make decisions
  4. Implement controls
  5. Supervise and evaluate

I accepted this was something we had to learn and implement on a daily basis because failure for any of us was not an option. Luckily the military has a tool that guided me through this process, something I had to learn and was expected to utilize in every aspect of my work. Remarkably this tool helped me take a different look at a mission, assigned task or job to fully understand the objective, figure out how to mitigate the risk, and of course, increase the chances of success.

I did not want to be considered the weak link or be "that guy" that had a team member get hurt for something that could have been avoided had I done things correctly the first time. A leader was constantly judged by their decision making ability and being cavalier with risk management is not something a leader can afford to do. 

I had one supervisor that had a standing order that remains with me to this day. It said, "What one man does another man checks." What he meant by that was, always do your work to the very best of your abiltiy and do it so that you minimize any errors or mistakes. No one is above being checked and failure is not an option.

The lesson in all of that for me is this - If you leverage your resources, technology and expertise, and do the very best work you can, your teammates can and will always know they can depend on you. And you on them.

Construction projects are no different. Owners, project managers, superintendents and other leaders are constantly being judged on the work they do on their projects. When someone is performing a task, everyone should expect to do it correctly and assume their someone is checking their work.

When it comes to your next construction project, consider these questions:

  1. How much oversight is needed?
  2. What areas should I be reviewing?
  3. How in depth should I go?

Does your construction project management software provide you with the capability to generate oversight reporting which summarize the budget, upcoming and completed tasks, or important items needing approval. If not, why not?

Here's the deal...you can't have proper oversight on your construction project if you don't have all the information to answer the important questions when they arise. If you aren't leveraging process, procedure and the right technology to your benefit then you are wasting valuable time.

The leaders on construction projects need the right tools to provide the right oversight. One of these tools is software that provides reporting which allows you to gain critical insite to your project when and where you need it. How much oversight is needed? You need enough to properly ensure the project is being performed safely, on time, and on budget. 

Tell me more about reporting

We have these tools and technology. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to us. We would love the opportunity to speak with you.

Topics: Choosing Software, Owner Series, School Districts