Construction Project Documentation Managed by Top Trade Contractors

Documentation is a necessary part of every construction project. It is difficult to keep up with all the requests for proposals, daily reports, design models, and punch lists involved in construction projects.

There are many documents out there, and making sense of all of them is part of what the team has to do. As a result, you have to build systems in order to accomplish this. The problem arises, however, when documents are drawn up inconsistently, or when they are not in compliance with the standards that have been agreed upon.

1. The progress of everyone's work becomes more difficult to measure as time goes on
2. The progress of tracking expenses and spending becomes harder
3. The progress of the cooperation amongst teams and members becomes difficult

Team members who have clear rules for how documents are created and distributed will be more successful with their projects.

Throughout this article, we will discuss how standardized and consistent project documents can be achieved with the right software.

Is there a problem with project documentation in the construction industry?

Generally, construction workers learn the right way to do their job the first time, and then they stick with it.

For example, a junior foreman in 1995 may still use some version of the original report writing and filing process he or she learned in 1995. Document your work on paper, clip it into a binder and stack it in your office.

Construction teams that use digital technologies also have difficulties with documentation. In a building project, a lot of information is reported, tracked, and documented, as was already explained. Additionally, a wide variety of people use their own reporting, monitoring, and recording methods.

Many separate information systems are involved in construction projects. It is essential to access critical project data for each of these systems since each serves an individual purpose. It is therefore common for engineering, workforce, materials, vendors, purchase orders, and other data to be separated into silos.

It is easy for teams to make costly mistakes when they store important project documents separately and when they have multiple versions of those documents.

Your processes are more efficient when documentation is consistent

By standardizing documents, all members of the team are able to see whether the work is aligned with the project's objectives.

Your team will be able to accomplish so much more with this alignment:

1. Managing multiple projects becomes easier with this tool.
In this way, the teams can quickly see what a given project's status is at any given time, and then make informed decisions from there.
2. It facilitates communication between teams in a more efficient manner.
A clear and accurate document makes it easier for teams to work together and lays the foundation for a great working relationship across all teams when it is clear and accurate.
3. It helps to maintain and create more consistency for upcoming projects.
Since the format and process for sharing documents is the same from one project to the next, it is easier to share documents from one project to the next, so there is less confusion and miscommunication.

It is imperative that we make the point that standardizing documents in the construction trades has one more key benefit that we should mention. There is a theory that consistent documents create one source of truth and that this is what we are trying to achieve.

There can be a tendency for your team to adopt whatever tools and processes the general contractor uses when they work with you. This simplifies the work. In addition to this, your team is also at the mercy of the General Contractor's reporting policies. Having good documentation practices will allow you to be able to tell at a glance when you are getting bad information from others.

If there is ever a disagreement between your reporting and the General Contractor’s reporting, you will want to have your own trusted systems for establishing a source of truth.

How Do You Create Consistent Documentation for Construction Projects?

When you are standardizing your work documents, you should keep the following targets in your mind:

It must be complete
As part of this process, you will want to include all the documentation that you have available.

To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.

Video Source: e-Builder

It must be generally and easily accessible:
It is important that these documents are easily accessible to everyone who needs to have access to them. Cloud-based storage is the ideal solution.

It must be properly organized and could be searched easily:
Whenever you need information, you will be able to find it easily with this process whenever you might require it

Final Thoughts

It is possible for teams who use good document management software to create, track, send, and store all of the documents that are needed for their projects from one central location.

If a designer, the General Contractor, or another stakeholder submits a request for information (RFI), no one has to rush to provide the requested information. The tool makes it all easy to see for everyone.

Construction Project Documentation Managed by Top Trade Contractors