Critical to Project Success are Field Reports in Construction
Many people, even those who work in the construction industry, think that construction projects are all about getting your hands dirty and getting the job done, by whatever means necessary.
However, while it’s certainly important to have skilled people meeting production targets on your construction sites, it’s communication that drives success in the construction world. On the flip side of the coin, a lack of communication can quickly lead to losses and even project failure.
Many types of communication go into the construction process, but perhaps one of the most important is field reports in construction. Here’s what you, as the client or property Owner, need to know about what construction field reports are, when and how they are prepared, and how they keep everything running smoothly on your construction projects.
What Are Construction Field Reports?
Field reports in construction, as the name suggests, are reports that are completed in the field or on the job site. They also go by several other names, including site progress reports, site reports, site visit reports, and more, but they all have the same general purpose: to provide an up-to-date picture of the progress on site.
Construction field reports are usually submitted to the client or owner of the project by the architect or project management team, but many other sub-reports are prepared by contractors, trades, and sub-trades too. Sometimes, those reports are used internally, but they could also form part of project progress meetings.
Why Do We Need Field Reports In Construction?
Most mid to large-scale construction projects are incredibly complex undertakings, with many different trades, processes, milestones, tasks, and more. Project specifications, scopes of work, pre-construction planning, and scheduling help to give everyone an early idea of what needs to happen, when, and how, but the on-site reality rarely matches those plans exactly.
Anything from the weather to delayed deliveries or an on-site health and safety incident could slow or stop progress on a project, and because everything on any job is interconnected and interdependent, that can cause much more serious problems. Since problems and delays in the construction world nearly always have financial implications, the earlier they can be identified and rectified, the better for everyone involved.
Field reports in construction gather information from a variety of sources to create a detailed, up-to-date picture of the current progress of any project. When that information is compared to schedules and project budgets, it’s easy to see if there are any looming cost overruns or delays and what might need to happen to prevent or mitigate them.
A simple example of this would be if 50% of the time allowed for a project has elapsed, but only 25% of the work is completed. In this case, contractors and trades will need to create and implement plans to accelerate progress to get back on target.
A Snapshot of the Present and a Window Into the Future
As you can see, construction field reports are a very important form of project communication, and it’s very important that everyone involved prepares these reports on schedule and that they are as complete, comprehensive, and accurate as possible.
Good field reports give everyone on the extended project team instant, easy-to-interpret visibility of what is happening on any project and allow everyone to take steps to mitigate risks before they spiral out of control.
We’ve all heard stories about construction projects in every sector that have ballooned out of control, far exceeding their budget and original timeframe. Whether it’s a residential construction project or a multi-story commercial real estate building, that’s never the result you want. Time is money, and the longer it takes to complete your project, the more it will cost.
Getting the Data You Need
As the client or project Owner, you certainly need to have access to construction field reports that give you overall visibility of what is happening on your project and also that instantly reveals any red flags or potential problems. This, in turn, allows you to connect with the project team, drive the process of addressing and mitigating risks, and ultimately get your project back on track.
Doing that effectively relies on certain things.
First, you need a construction management team that is proactive about getting reports from all the other contractors, companies, and service providers who have a hand in delivering the results you need.
Next, they need to be able to combine and collate all of those individual reports into a clear master field report.
Finally, they need to communicate key information from that report, including on-site resources, delays, changes to scope and specification that might be required, and more, in a manner that’s easy to interpret.
The Owner Insite system has built-in field reports that make it easy for your project team to add and upload the information you need, in a format that makes taking action faster and easier.
From the Owner Insite dashboard, you can instantly see if your projects are on track, behind schedule, or something else. You can quickly and easily view key data related to equipment on site, work hours completed, and more, so you can stay on top of the associated project costs.
Waiting until your construction projects are behind schedule and over budget is never a good idea. Owner Insite’s field reports allow you to take a proactive role in the process. It’s an accessible anywhere, cloud-based solution to construction communication built for Owners and Owner Reps. Because the sooner you know there’s a problem, the easier it is to fix.