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Tools for Managing a Construction Project


Government agencies and construction firms are hearing demands for greater accountability while doing their work with greater precision and at lower costs. Tax payers and their representatives want faster answers. Construction firms need to efficiently predict their income and their subcontractor payments. And change orders that are inevitable in any project need to be documented, approved and tracked to ensure proper payment. We are better able to address these needs in this age of information technology. Better yet, we can adapt standard processes that have stood the test of time, while simultaneously applying automation that smoothes the procedures and facilitates better sharing of the information. This paper is designed to provide guidance to all stakeholders working towards a successful transportation construction project and describes how automation and good business processes can augment their practices. Once the pre-construction work (design, cost estimation, advertisement and tendering) is complete and the contract awarded, are we starting our construction phase with a blank sheet of paper? We shouldn’t be! We don’t want to waste any of the keystrokes that were previously used in the project lifecycle. We should automatically load the contracts and plans into the construction management system and derive the maximum benefit from our previous effort. This paper reviews the following key functionality: Track all labor and materials that make up each estimate / payment. Add change orders to a contract so that the new line items of material and labor are indistinguishable from the original contract. Have all daily work reports by inspectors and their supervisor approvals captured and kept in one system. Govern our construction processes using automated business rules that are enforced by the system. Over-ride the business rules, if needed, but keep those over-rides noted in the system. Materials sampling, testing, and tracking are simplified. The materials are associated with a construction contract. The proper testing and approval of materials become a part of the criteria for an estimate / payment. Additionally, the tests are assigned to and test results accepted only from personnel with the proper material testing certifications. The material processes are governed by automated business rules that are enforced by the system. There is an ability to over-ride by management if needed, but those over-rides are noted in the system. This paper looks at successful management practices and the application of automation to better administer construction projects. It outlines a comprehensive set of processes that provide a “closed loop” of construction activities and payments for those activities. The benefits of the paper point to consistency in process and results.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Philip J. Rodriguez
Construction, Maintenance and operations