Skip to main content

4 Steps Construction Productivity Tracking

Construction Productivity

Why Contractors Need to Understand Productivity Tracking

In any project, success starts with the ability to measure progress. Construction projects are broad and diverse, with many elements and stakeholders involved—from owners to subcontractors. Their wide-reaching nature can make tracking productivity a challenge, especially without a centralized data and document system in place.

Benefits of Effective Construction Employee Productivity Tracking

There are many ways to approach construction productivity tracking, but the best ones focus on tangible results rather than hours worked and rely on a single source of truth for information.

Calculating the production rate, or the amount of work each worker completes in a given time period, is one way to approach productivity measurement. While more specific than simply tracking hours, the production rate can present confusion as well. Start by clearly defining tasks and benchmarks and calculate the rate within each of those task categories.

When tackled manually, such calculations can be cumbersome, but a digital solution can streamline your process—and allow you to track progress in real time. Having access to instant updates and snapshots of progress adds tremendous visibility, helps teams and managers make better decisions, and reduces rework and delays.

If you’re ready to move toward real-time construction productivity tracking in your organization, here are a few steps you can take:

1. Invest in a Centralized Digital Project Management System

The first and most important step toward assessing construction productivity in real-time is establishing a centralized digital project management system that’s accessible to all stakeholders. This digital system provides a single source of truth, eliminating the confusion of emails, paper documents, and other data silos. The system needs to include capabilities such as automated workflows, reporting, configurability and process management tools.

Once you invest in a system, it’s important to seek buy-in from all your stakeholders to make sure all needed information is flowing through the system. Also, work toward integration with other enterprise systems you may have in place, such as financials.

2. Track Tasks

Break down your field management by teams, responsibilities, and goals within the digital system. Then, set up workflows that define specific tasks and allow you to track progress along the way. Time tracking in particular can be a challenge to implement, with many companies facing issues such as:

  • Frequent Inaccuracies
    Whether they stem from poor tracking methods or a lack of accountability for workers, inaccurate time tracking can give you a false picture of what’s really going on at your job sites.
  • Lack of Classification
    If types of work are not differentiated in your time tracking methodology, it affects wage determination for workers — which then impacts your budget.
  • Manual Tracking Methods
    Handwritten timecards can get lost or misplaced, leading to mistakes that bleed into payroll records and are difficult to correct.

A centralized digital management solution can help streamline your task tracking processes, ensuring greater accuracy and efficiency. Within ProjectSight, tasks can be ordered and prioritized to help keep teams on track. Each milestone can be marked as it’s completed, creating a record of progress.

Additionally, a comprehensive project management program stores records related to workflows and provides an audit trail throughout the entire process, allowing you to build on or refine your processes.

3. Track Submittals and RFIs

Traditionally, submittals and RFIs depend on paper documents and email exchanges between concerned parties. Using digital construction management software, those processes can be digitized and streamlined on a central platform.

Without a digital tracking solution, RFIs can become a drain on your internal resources and even cost prohibitive to a project.

Setting up the processes within a system such as ProjectSight requires an up-front time investment, but pays off in increased efficiencies and shorter workflow turnaround times. The submittal process includes milestones that can be checked off along the way, so you always know where you are in the process (and who is responsible for the next step).

Similarly, RFIs can be routed to the right person from the start and kept in a single repository for review and response. Without a digital tracking solution, RFIs can become a drain on your internal resources and even cost prohibitive to a project.

4. Use Photo Documentation

Photographs provide an excellent documentation method for productivity analysis in construction—but an influx of disorganized photos isn’t necessarily helpful. Today’s digital construction management systems allow teams to create photo databases, tagging images by category, GPS location, task or workflow. With Trimble software like Trimble Construction One and ProjectSight, photos can be linked to drawings and BIM models, helping to create an organized, visual way to assess your project’s progress.

Successful construction productivity tracking starts with harnessing the data you already have—and making it simple for teams to add updates and track their own tasks toward completion. A top-tier construction management software for builders and contractors, ProjectSight provides all the tools you need to track project progress through tasks, digital documents, and budget management tools.