Well, I’m a bit biased about this issue! Many a time I’ve gone on about the most important thing for a successful construction project being a Detailed Programme to Completion (DPC). To come up with one of those good old DPC’s requires you to have MS Project on your computer. I have!
It is a great improvement on the olden days! Then we used to have to find a roll of wallpaper or a superseded Drawing and put a programme on that by hand! Trouble was they never were very “Detailed”, or legible to others because my hands are wrecked and my writing worse than a 5 year-olds!
Next, of course, we need to communicate by e-mail, so the best thing for that, in my opinion, is MS Office. That means you can keep track of all communications that are sensitive. Office also gives the QS’s Excel which they use for all their sums and cash-flow forecasts. Word lets us write letters, Minutes of Meetings, Memos, etc.. Mustn’t forget the benefits of Outlook, either!
So there we have the basics of what is essential software for the construction industry: – MS Office; MS Project (for those who can come up with a DPC). Needless to say, to use any you first have to have MS Windows on your PC. Apologies to them, but I have no knowledge or experience of Apple for any of this.
Now all that is great and makes for a much more productive working day than when we had to do everything with pen, pencil and ruler on bits of paper! However, it still means we have loads of paper we have to file away and store, and that costs us time and money. Plus, of course, it costs us time out of our day if we need to send an e-mail to several people because we have to click through Contacts to get their individual e-mail addresses.
So that is software in today’s world, and a vast improvement it is on yesteryear! But what about the future, which actually starts today! So, okay, where financial affairs or commercial confidentiality are concerned, we’ll stick to “today’s world”. But what do we do about the rest of the project’s documentation and its distribution to everyone who needs it? Do we want to continue using “snail mail” or having to wander around a site looking for the guy who needs to know? I speak for myself, but my answer is “No!”
What I Want is Software That Requires No More Than a Bit of Typing and Then Having To Click On “Send” :-
- I want it to cover every single bit of data that needs to be disseminated on a construction project.
- I want it to be readable by absolutely everyone involved in that project, from the client’s people down to every ganger man, or even tradesmen.
- I want to be able to upload my DPC in MS Project onto it so everyone knows what they should be doing, where and when. Because everyone knows, that will be a great stimulus to the whole team to quickly respond to any actions required; they don’t want to look like idiots to everyone else!
- I want to be able to see the lot on my desktop monitor, laptop, tablet or smart phone.
- I want it to be affordable and save lots of money!
- I want it to store all the project data for at least 6 years so my employers don’t have to pay for the storage space for loads of records on paper.
So I’m a bit of a fussy, demanding so-and-so about what I want from my project management software for construction, aren’t I? It seems that techies all over the world are working on it, trying to come up with software for construction. Most of it simply fails to meet my needs and is pretty expensive, too! All my research, though, tells me that there is only one construction software that does everything I want of it: –