In this tutorial, construction managers will learn how to use SharePoint Online out of the box tools to manage all their critical project data. We will show in the video demonstration how to:
- Manage all your new projects estimating is bidding on in one SharePoint list
- Hand off new projects from Sales to Operations after the deal closes
- How Construction managers can see all their project data in one SharePoint project dashboard
- How to assign project team resources such as Project Managers, Superintendents and other team members automatically with automated email notifications
The Benefits of SharePoint and Office365 to Construction Managers?
- Store all the projects in one simple location. no more scattered project data
- Speed up the hand-off process for new projects, no more forgetting to tell the team about the new project
- Automate notifications and project information as it goes out to new team members – no more errors and omitting people from the project communications
- Eliminate wasted time in communication project information – it is automatically sent out to everyone
- Works on Mobile for field teams and field-to-office collaboration with construction job sites
Note: You can use SharePoint for project management no matter what industry you’re in.
The 7 SharePoint Lessons in the Demo Video Are:
- Create a SharePoint site for Construction Projects
- How to Create a New Construction Project set up form in SharePoint
- Track new construction bids and estimates coming from business development
- Create automated email notification in Office365 from Estimating to Operations
- Construction Work log Dashboard of all active projects
- Assign Senior Managers, Project Managers, and Superintendents and notify everyone in real time
- Constructions teams manage and update their project data to everyone knows accurate status
We will give you step by step instructions and you can watch the steps in the video below:
Step 1 – Create a Construction Management Site in SharePoint
We like to create a nice SharePoint site for the construction team, where they can easily manage all their projects. A good intranet page for the company can be used as the starting point for construction projects. On the screen below you see a link on the home page to all the Projects. This links to a site for both estimating to track pending jobs and construction managers to track active projects. This example is built in SharePoint online with a communication site template.
When you click on Projects image, you link to the Work log site here:
Step 2 – Estimating and Bidding Construction Project SharePoint List
Sales, estimating, and bidding can work on all prospective projects here. You can create a new project data list in SharePoint. Manage key metrics that drive business such as
- Track new construction projects
- Manage key revenue and client information
- Notify construction and field teams of new projects that are starting or pending
- Automate project hand offs between estimating, contracting and construction management
To get there Click the New Project Setup link:
That links you to this SharePoint List of all pending projects or New Construction Projects. Use this information to coordinate and plan team resources and who will be key resources on the projects. When resources are scarce and teams are busy, it is not easy to find the right leaders for all the work coming up in the pipeline.
Step 3 -Track Pending Construction Projects
We demonstrate here all the data we track for a construction project. You configure any data your company needs in your SharePoint List. From the navigation bar you can do the following items with the project data:
1. Search all the construction jobs, by data field
2. Log a new job
3. Quick Edit allows you to edit all the project data all at once. Many users love this feature.
4. Flows – allows you to make “code-less” workflows in SharePoint Online, so no real code needs to be developed
To start a new construction job clink the New Button. See the form pop up below you fill in:
For Construction these are some recommended data fields you may want to track. You may add more or less, depending on how much info you like to collect. Typically we want the “minimum” amount needed so we don’t slow down or over burden the construction teams with data entry and data management. Just the key metrics to make sure we are:
- On Schedule (this is everything in construction. Typically if you can stay on schedule, things are going well).
- On Budget (everyone wants to know if we are on budget and who’s been paid)
Recommended Construction Project Data
- Project Name – create a good consistent naming scheme that will allow you to search and sort on projects
- Project # – get a good numbering scheme, one that ties to customers, projects, and financials
- Job Address – a location you can later use to plot on a map
- Owner Entity – owner of the project
- Customer PO Reference # – authorizing document from accounting and client
- Customer Contact
- Contact Email Address
- Contact Address
- Contact City/Zip
- Project Billing Date – we like to have a day the client committed to getting billed, and payment terms
- Booking Date – date project closed the sale
- Start Date – the date the client wants to start
- Completion Date – day project ends or is planned to end
- Division – if you have divisions in your company
- Job Type – we like to have categories of projects (small, medium, large. Or; software project, constructions project, marketing project)
- Billing Type
- Architect – who was the architect of the solution
- Job Size – some clients like to sort on job size
- Contract Amount (Pre-Tax) – total revenue
- Estimated Profit – make sure your plan for profitable work before it starts
- Full Time Supervision – does the project need full time or part time attention
- Project Difficulty – some clients rank projects on difficulty, either we need senior resources or junior resources, or a tough client
- Client Interaction – client notes
- Estimator – person that estimated the job so we can validate any assumptions they made on the job
Does this article seem like a lot of work? If you want us to walk you through it in a meeting, click the Get SharePoint Help button and Contact Us
Step 4 – Email Notifications
Outlook Email is a great way to quickly share project information. SharePoint can send a “notification” email to anyone you want when you “trigger” that notification within SharePoint.
In this video demo, estimating sold a project and wants to notify construction teams about the new job. We walk you through a series of emails where we:
- Notify the construction manager of the new job
- The manager “confirms” they know about it
- Manager gets a confirmation email with a link to all the project information
- Estimating gets notified the construction team is ready for the kickoff
If you Click Save from the New Project Set Up Form this triggers Office365 to send an email notification.
The first email that goes tells management of the new job.
There is a Link to all the information about the project. See the sample email here:
All I have to do is click “confirm” button to respond from within my email inbox.
I get a confirmation message from SharePoint and it also sends me a confirmation email that lets me know that it was responded to.
Now estimating and construction know that the hand-off took place, we have record of it, and the next step is to schedule a kickoff meeting. You also get a confirmation email so you know for sure that they got your response and accepted the new project:
The estimator can meet with the construction project team to go over all the information on the job and collaborate on project planning.
Once you are assigned to the project, if anyone other than yourself edits any of the data, we set up a notification that will alert you to any changes so you don’t need to have a meeting or loose any changes, you are always notified, in real time, and fully in the know of all information about your project. See a sample notification about changes to information here:
Step 5 – Active Construction Project Work Log Dashboard
Part of the workflow is to move the pending projects from Estimating over to Active projects on the Work Log for construction. We actually move all the data over to a new data SharePoint List called WorkLog. The project is also still back on the New Project List where you can delete it or treat it as an archive. Once it is active you want to notify all the construction team and they can click a Link back to the project to get all the information they need stored in one place in SharePoint. You can access the list from the Home Page under Manage Your Projects:
The image is linked to the Project Dashboard Work log of all active construction jobs on this new list here:
Step 6 – Automatically Assign and Notify the Construction Resource Assignment
From this screen the construction manger can assign key resources to the project. We show here how to hand-off and assign the resources of:
- Senior Manager
- Project Manger
As you assign people they get this email notification automatically.
Step 7 – Manage Construction Projects Daily from the Work Log Dashboard
Now the Project Manager can see all the data they need about the project, as well as the date it was logged. The PMs can now take over and do what they do best and start to manage the scope, schedule and budget of the project. As they plan the work and “work the plan” The team enters updates to the budget, forecast and actual hours, etc. If they click the link in the email they go straight to the source of the information in SharePoint so everyone is on the “same page” with project information. We demonstrate how we set up a workflow that will notify the team members by email if there are any edits to the project information. This keeps everyone in synch, singing off the same song sheet, using the most up to date information. This is where the magic happens because SharePoint can elimiante a lot email and coordination meetings since everyone has accurate, up to date information, available from their phones, laptops, and any device, from any where. Here is a screen shot of what the Link in the mails goes to. A screen of all the project information in SharePoint.
Construction Management in the 21st Century using some simple tools in SharePoint and Office365 were shown in the video demo. We showed how to automate many of the hand-offs, email notices, and sharing of information through the construction job life cycle. The benefits you will receive may include:
- Happy Construction Workers
- Better relationships between the field and office and between estimating and project management
- Less time wasted on busy work
- Fewer errors because people had accurate information on jobs
- Increased accountability between leadership and on the job teams
- Improved communication because of fewer breakdowns in keeping everyone up to date with notices
- Greater adoption of SharePoint and tools because they are easy and actually help people succeed