Are you an Office Engineer, Assistant Project Manager or Project Manager who is dealing with a significant amount of paperwork on a daily basis? How much time could you open up for your project by reducing that paperwork?
We know it’s not always feasible for your office to go completely paperless. Some of the paperwork that you manage is a necessary part of the job. In some cases, however, additional paper steps have been added on BECAUSE of the cloud initiative. Ironic, right? We agree.
Technology has improved communication in construction these last 10 years, but in some cases, it’s added extra work because of coordination efforts between you and your project participants.
To reduce the stress level of your next construction project, try these 4 tips and use your document management software to it’s fullest potential. Our estimation is that they’ll save you 30 hours or more per month.
4 Tips to Manage Stress on Your Construction Project
TIP 1: Use 3rd Party Resources for file naming and hyperlinking – When receiving the CDs for your project, use a repro shop or OCR software to provide the initial file naming (#, name, issue date) of the set. In addition, if you are using hyper-linking you can use that group or another 3rd party service to do the initial set-up of the hyperlinks.
You’ll save 6 hours because most of the time incurred for this task is in the initial set-up not in the continued maintenance so utilizing a group on the front end is going to be far more cost effective.
TIP 2: Upload and download information once. Many firms have an internal project management service where they work on and store information locally and they are using a cloud-based file sharing system to provide access to 3rd party participants. In most cases, the programs are capable of talking to each other, which would drastically reduce the time you spend adding information to the 2nd system. Have your internal PM service automate the pushing of information to your file sharing service and vice versa. This way you work in one system for uploading and downloading information.
You’ll save 18 hours because in most instances, APIs are available by the service providers so it is just a matter of your IT department configuring the programs to talk to each other.
TIP 3: Make file sharing a 2 way street. For a lot of Project Managers, file sharing in your cloud service can be a one-way street, with you being the only participant. If you are not able to receive information effectively from your 3rd party participants, you are not alone. Why is this? Many file-sharing programs are not industry specific and therefore leave you to be the troubleshooter/helpdesk/manager of their program for your project. Evaluate your time. How much time do you spend answering questions on “how to” by your participants? How much time do you spend just conforming to multiple ways of receiving information because it is easier than being a help desk? Select a service that will provide you industry specific support for you and your participants.
You’ll save 5 hours by using a system that offers kick-off training and continued support for every project.
TIP 4: Make sure that your subs are working from the most current information. It’s likely that the biggest challenge you face is making sure that subs in the field have the most current information. You can curb this by using a file sharing service that provides transactional reporting…nothing new here I know. But, here is the 2nd step to the process that you may be forgetting. Burn a unique date and time stamp on every drawing as they are issued before you share them electronically. For those still working with paper it will be a way for you to quickly identify if they have the right information.
You’ll save countless hours because you’ll be able to quickly identify the contractors that have the latest information, and those who need to download an update.
Document management software was designed to make your projects run more smoothly, not add paperwork and unnecessary stress to your operations. For more information on setting up an efficient document management workflow, please contact a NextPlans team member.