There have been construction project managers for as long as there have been construction projects.

The principles of project management we apply today are strikingly similar to those applied when humans built the ancient wonders of the world and the very first skyscrapers.

Over time, innovations have allowed us to track time, cost, and resources better and as technology has advanced more tools for project management continue to come on to the market and be adopted, improving processes and outcomes for project teams.

In the last 6–8 years in particular we have seen numerous and diverse technologies come to market, to the point where the sheer volume of hardware and software present an overwhelming array of choices for project teams.

What are the best ways for projects to leverage all this technology?

There is such a proliferation of tools that just the idea of understanding what they all do and how they are different is can be overwhelming. Just the idea of learning how they work and the thought of implementing them and actually getting your teams to use them can be enough to make you stop looking.

So maybe it’s better to ask a different question.

What is your primary goal as a project manager?

The answer is the same as it always has been. You are responsible for delivering the benefits of the project to your client in a timely and cost effective way. The options for how you do that have changed significantly over the course of time but the goal is still the same.

In this fast paced world it has become a project managers responsibility to be the protector of time. That includes your teams time and your own.

To do this you must take a step back and look for areas where technology could improve efficiency. Specifically look at what activities you and your teams are engaging in and consider ways to reduce waste. Stop thinking about what tools are on offer and instead think about what tools you would like to see to overcome key challenges, and simplify your team’s workload.

That might seem a big task. There so many things going on at any given time on a project. You don’t have to build Rome in a day. Start small. Pick something you did today or yesterday and look at it through a the lens of how can this be better.

Ask yourself and your team’s questions like the ones below;

  • That meeting on site to discuss [insert issue here], how else could we have got you the information you needed? Did it really need us physically there or would have a video from the contractor and a conference call with a couple of the designers been enough to resolve it?
  • Are these minutes useful to people? What if I were to disseminate the specific tasks to in a way that meant it was live information so you didn’t have to dig through documents and pick out the relevant bits?
  • How can I make the information in the project plan more easily digestible? What if it were stored in a place that you were able to access over the internet, highlighting areas that I require specific information from you so that it becomes a shared project plan?

This exercise might seem like a lot of extra work for the project manager but it will pay dividends and save you lots of time down the road.

The better project managers can leverage technology and give time back to themselves and their teams the more attention they can give to thinking deeply about projects. Zoom out and get strategic that’s what clients want from project managers.

Think about what tools might actually be beneficial for specific issues you are facing across your portfolio of projects. In this way you will begin to develop a framework for making choices around what technology is worth exploring and it will be less daunting when you are clearer about what you want.

Once you have some ideas about tools you think might help you protect the time for you and your project teams get in touch and we can discuss your existing processes and see if Keepsite can help free you up and reach your project goals.

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