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Construction Project Monitoring: how to track building project progress

Construction project monitoring is a vital process for managing any project, taking on great connotation in the field of construction. Find out how to manage a project effectively.

Construction projects monitoring is a vital process in project delivery which is aimed at ensuring that major objectives and goals are achieved. Monitoring the progress of a construction project, in fact, is an activity that enables a timely identification of potential issues and the completion of work within budget and predetermined timelines.

In this article, you will find useful tips for effectively monitoring the progress of construction projects. Moreover, I’ll be explaining how a cloud platform can assist you in streamlining the entire process. You can start off using this collaborative BIM platform, which provides 10 GB of of free storage space and 15 free applications for managing construction projects.

usBIM, the software to manage construction documents

the usBIM cloud platform interface

What is project monitoring?

Project monitoring is an essential process within project management that requires the systematic and continuous evaluation of a project’s progress over time. This practice is crucial to ensure that the project adheres to established plans, meets deadlines, uses resources efficiently, and achieves predefined goals.

One industry where project monitoring holds particular relevance is the construction sector. The construction industry is well-known for its complexity, involving the participation of numerous stakeholders, intricate logistics, and substantial financial investments. Additionally, there are several factors, often unpredictable, that can occur during the project’s development (from planning to completion), which inevitably influence the quality of the final outcome.

In this highly dynamic environment, the ability to monitor progress and adapt in real-time to changes becomes crucial.

Keeping every phase of the construction process under control not only helps identify potential issues in advance and take timely measures for their resolution but also improves the decision-making process to promote strategic choices that lead to project success.

Why efficient Project Monitoring is crucial

Accurate monitoring of a project’s progress ensures that the work is completed on time, within budget, and with the desired quality. Tracking construction progress helps stakeholders to obtain and share up-to-date, reliable information, which can be used to:

  • Optimize time management: Continuous monitoring keeps the project’s progress in check, facilitating meeting deadlines by promptly identifying any delays and taking corrective measures;
  • Control costs: Tracking progress helps detect possible cost variations and unforeseen expenses in advance, allowing for appropriate actions to prevent or mitigate them;
  • Enhance communication: The monitoring process provides concrete data that can be shared with all project stakeholders, fostering clear communication and shared understanding of work progress, minimizing misunderstandings;
  • Manage risks: Monitoring construction progress enables the early identification of potential risks (such as adverse weather conditions, material supply delays, or safety issues) and the planning of effective mitigation measures;
  • Facilitate decision-making: Data-based information is vital for making informed decisions. Monitoring construction progress provides a reliable database for relevant project decisions;
  • Ensure the final quality: Effective monitoring allows you to verify that a project is delivered according to the required quality standards. If variations are detected, intervention can occur before they escalate into more critical issues;
  • Ensure customer satisfaction: Monitoring and fulfilling commitments to the client (such as deadlines and work quality) contribute to meeting expectations and building a positive reputation.
Objectives of monitoring the progress of construction

Objectives for monitoring the progress of construction

3 reasons why monitoring construction projects can be challenging

Effectively monitoring construction progress can be a challenge for many. The primary difficulties can be essentially attributed to:

  • Complexity of a construction site: Construction projects can be extremely complex, involving multiple teams in different locations or simultaneous activities. This complexity makes it challenging to track all variables and understand how they can impact the overall project’s progress;
  • Data dispersion: Project-related information can be stored on paper documents, spreadsheets, or electronic media, often inaccessible to those who need it. Gathering data from diverse sources can be complicated and time-consuming. The inability to access real-time project information makes it difficult to obtain a clear picture of the situation and make informed decisions to stay on track with predefined objectives;
  • Unpredictable external variables: External events, such as adverse weather conditions, material supply delays, or regulatory changes, can unexpectedly influence project progress. These variables can be challenging to predict and manage, negatively impacting the construction process’s successful outcome.

Effective Construction Project Monitoring

Monitoring the progress of construction work is essential for project success. Here are some useful tips on how to do it effectively:

  • Define objectives: Before you start, it’s crucial to clearly establish project goals and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you want to monitor. You can track progress related to deadlines, budget, site safety, or work quality;
  • Collect real-time data: Use technology to gather real-time data, such as drones for aerial photography, IoT sensors for air quality or temperature data, or mobile apps for on-site activity recording. This data is invaluable for obtaining an accurate view of the project’s progress;
  • Use BIM project management software: Employ specialized software solutions to track activities, deadlines, and budget. With these tools, you can simplify data collection and visualization;
  • Plan regular inspections: Conduct periodic site inspections to check the construction’s compliance with plans. During these checks, pay close attention to work quality, safety levels, and the efficiency of ongoing activities;
  • Analyze and report data: Analyze collected data to identify trends and potential issues, creating periodic reports describing the project’s progress and challenges encountered;
  • Plan corrective actions: If you identify delays or quality issues, plan immediate corrective actions, and if necessary, modify the schedule to ensure the project gets back on track;
  • Utilize BIM: Building Information Modeling provides an excellent foundation for monitoring construction progress, as it allows you to view the project in 3D and track changes in detail;
  • Communicate with the team: Maintain open communication with the construction team, including contractors, suppliers, and subcontractors. It’s essential for everyone to stay constantly updated on developments and work together to address any obstacles;
  • Document the entire process: Keep accurate records of all monitoring data and activities. This documentation can be useful for legal or audit purposes in the future;
  • Identify areas for improvement: At the project’s conclusion, evaluate the monitoring process and seek areas that worked well and those that could be improved for future projects.

A way to simplify all these activities is to use a customizable cloud platform with specific functions for construction project management.

In particular, in the construction sector, a BIM management system is indispensable. It’s a cloud environment that allows the collection of data, information, graphic drawings, and documents and relates them systematically and organized to 3D models stored within the platform.

This platform is based on a cloud infrastructure offering maximum flexibility and scalability in terms of storage capacity and processing power. The cloud enables the visualization of 3D models and all associated information on any device, simply through a web browser, allowing all project participants to collaborate on processing and updating necessary information, managing their accessibility.

You can choose to customize the platform according to your work requirements, with functions for task assignment and managing the resolution of unexpected issues, functions for model review, functions for geolocating all model information, functions for generating reports that allow you to have a comprehensive and real-time view of the progress of the work, and many more.

I recommend starting to use the BIM management system for free and experiencing the advantages it can offer in construction project monitoring.