Project management in construction is evolving. With the proliferation of mobile devices in the field and the ability to access data in new ways, the traditional methods of managing projects just aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Construction teams that recognize the next wave in project management is coming are preparing for changes accordingly. Dade Service Corp., www.dadeservice.com, Daytona Beach, Fla., a design and construction firm specializing in facilities for the cold-storage industry, has used Prolog from Meridian Systems, www.meridiansystems.com, Folsom, Calif., for many years to manage projects.
The organization was recently awarded a number of projects and determined it need a new way to manage construction. In particular, the company chose to expand on its use of Prolog by adding Prolog Converge to improve collaboration functionality.
Prolog Converge is a Web-based application that enables project teams to share information in an online and offline setting.
Prior to implementing Prolog Converge, Dade Service was using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to manage costing and sales tax reporting. The company was also using Microsoft Outlook for communication. With the new application, it can now manage the day-to-day tasks in Prolog Converge.
Ashley Perryman, sales and marketing coordinator, Dade Service, says, “When we were using Excel, we had to print out invoices, match them to the printed purchase order, put them in a binder and cross reference them, too.”
She says the time spent on costing has been reduced by 50% and the amount of paper has been reduced by 50% as well.
With this type of collaborative technology, construction teams can share information more readily and minimize manual tasks in third-party systems such as Excel and Outlook. Some point to collaborative technologies such as this as the next-generation of project management in construction.
Another big area for potential growth in the arena of project management is accessibility of data on mobile devices. Many software providers are coming to market with capabilities to access information on the go.
In May, Flowfinity, www.flowfinity.com, Vancouver, B.C., announced new mobile project-management software specifically targeting the construction industry. The company says the new product automates day-to-day tasks on smartphones and tablets and allows information to flow to and from the field.
For example, customizable forms for site surveys, inspections, punchlists, and incident reports can be completed in the field using this technology. In addition, information such as RFIs (requests for information), submittals, change orders, and approvals can be accessed on mobile devices.
Project management is changing. As the industry is clamoring for new ways to access and share data, technology providers are coming to market with solutions to meet the needs of today’s contractors. As this trend progress, it will be interesting to watch what’s next for project management.