Residential Project Management | Buildertrend
Residential project management software streamlines tasks and helps you keep track of projects and personnel. Whether you need accounting or scheduling management, project management solutions offer many options that make a contractor’s job easier. What features you need will determine what software works best for you; however, certain features are useful across the board to every residential construction project manager looking to manage their projects more efficiently.
Table Of Contents
- What is residential construction management?
- 10 tips for better residential construction project management
- 1. Automate accounting processes
- 2. Streamline your job costing
- 3. Improve team management
- 4. Keep track of progress
- 5. Centralize your job scheduling
- 6. Use digital document and photo management
- 7. Use software with mobile capabilities
- 8. Leverage software integrations
- 9. Communicate and collaborate efficiently with your team
- 10. Keep your clients in the loop
What is residential construction management?
Residential construction management is the responsibility of overseeing the construction process for residential buildings such as houses or apartments. Management tasks include coordinating and supervising the project schedule, financials, client communication, timesheets etc.
Construction project manager skills include having a high level of organization, coordination and responsibility. When you bring in a construction management software, you streamline all processes and take out any risk of human error. Project management software does the tedious work and allows you to focus on areas that require your high-level expertise.
While you focus on what you do best, you’ll also complete projects safely, on time and on budget. Plus, these tasks will be completed faster and with higher accuracy than by hand.
10 tips for better residential construction project management
How exactly do you improve your residential construction project management? This seems like a big question, but don’t worry — we’ve got all the tips for you including construction management best practices.
First, we’ll share practical advice on how to improve your project management process as a whole. Next, we’ll tell you how to simplify each task by using Buildertrend’s convenient construction project management features.
1. Automate accounting processes
Accounting features are crucial, especially if you don’t have someone handling your accounting for you. Make sure your software includes construction budgeting, invoicing, billing, payroll and cash flow options. The costs of every construction project needs to be watched closely, especially as the project moves along, and it’s even better when it integrates with your accounting software. Automation of functions is also very important to a construction program. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, work orders and payroll should all be adjustable depending on the client and the job at hand.
With Buildertrend’s construction software, you’ll have all the tools you need to manage cash flow and track budgets. Some of the construction accounting features are bids, estimates and online payments. Right on the app, you can track finances and make adjustments, compare estimated versus actual costs and review work in progress reports.
2. Streamline your job costing
Your home building construction project management system needs to be able to set standard rates for all types of services your company offers. And on top of this, it should be able to explain the cost for each employee, contractor, production manager and supervisor. Tracking time and expenses, managing project timelines, generating purchase orders, creating invoices and producing actionable data are just a few of the job costing functions necessary in good software.
Buildertrend’s budgeting tools udpate the budget, labor costs, purchase orders and change orders the minute there’s an adjustment. Our construction software enables you to accept online payments and create line-item invoices straight from your estimates and reports to track your daily expenses.
3. Improve team management
Managing dispatched work orders, assigning assets and equipment, creating and maintaining schedules, managing contractors, booking new jobs … the list of responsibilities for CPMs goes on and on, and project management software needs to help. Scheduling features may seem simple, but they remain helpful whenever you need to organize your days and jobs most efficiently and keep track of your team’s activities.
Let Buildertrend help you keep your team organized with the Schedule and accountable with the To-Do’s. The Time Clock feature allows you to see where your workers are on a map and who has clocked in and out for the day. This convenient and accurate data keeps your business moving right along.
4. Keep track of progress
Some contractors prefer separate project management functionality, allowing them to have an overview of their projects, but also to focus on and keep track of every small detail. Even a management team might have a hard time planning resources, tracking project management, managing and integrating new client requests, gathering teams for collaboration, scheduling or changing timelines and tracking any issues that may come up on their own.
Daily Logs in keep a detailed history of the work on your construction site. This history includes weather days, progress photos, notes and upcoming tasks. Not only is this a record of the site, it’s a clear line of communication with your team, subcontractors and clients.
5. Centralize your job scheduling
Job scheduling is a function of construction management software that helps with scheduling tasks, balancing workload (including rebalancing unforeseeable delays) and updating everyone on project timing. This function should also be able to lay out a project timeline and assign employees or subs. It should also create reminders for all staff in the office and on the job site and adjust the project schedule as needed.
The job scheduling tools in Buildertrend take all the painful day-to-day tasks off your plate and put them into our centralized software. Mastering scheduling will ultimately save time and open up communication — but most importantly, keep your projects on track.
6. Use digital document and photo management
All the information and data in construction management can be more than the company is able to handle, especially when it falls on a small team. Document and photo management is an essential functionality for running a more paperless office. The resources of a construction company are also far greater and more intricate than most companies are equipped to handle without a little assistance. The most crucial feature? Unlimited storage. With so many projects going on at one time, construction companies need a platform that can handle the large number of documents and photos they’ve got floating around.
Real-time documentation of your projects keeps your clients in the loop and allows your business to operate paper-free. Buildertrend has all the unlimited storage you need, and the capability to file important project documents — in their separate folders — in one central location.
7. Use software with mobile capabilities
Businesses today need construction management software that can work across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile platforms. The ability for all employees to access cloud-based project data, whether in the office or at the job site, cannot be undervalued. Successful project management leads to more jobs and revenue.
In particular, managing the needs of remodeling residential construction projects can be challenging, as you need to consider the home’s residents in your decision-making. A delayed remodeling job could cost your clients more money. The increased capabilities that web-based remodeling software project management offers can further enable reviewing project conditions, schedules, deadline changes, job progress and new client input in a way that reduces the stress on the homeowner. All of these aspects can help the company complete more projects on time and budget.
Buildertrend’s project management software can be accessed across computer, tablet or phone. Builders are able to check in on all projects from anywhere using Buildertrend’s mobile app. The schedules, files, budgets and to-do’s update in real time creating smooth communication from all locations.
8. Leverage software integrations
Your residential project management software needs to connect to all the other programs you use to help your business function. This includes documents, accounting tasks, payment methods, insurance coverage and email. An effective program will allow you to access these necessities without having to download anything to a desktop or save a document separately. Integration means seamless connection with your software.
Integrations make project management much easier. While Buildertrend offers more than 20 integrations, the five most popular are Excel, QuickBooks and Xero, Buildertrend’s Payment Processing, Buildertrend’s Risk Insurance and Outlook.
With Buildertrend, you’re able to import existing documents, access accounting solutions, make quick payments, safeguard your projects and upload email attachments straight into the software.
9. Communicate and collaborate efficiently with your team
It is crucial to have continuous and fluid communication with your team. When you have multiple projects at all different stages, collaboration within a project management software is essential. This communication must be capable of including photo documentation, access to the schedule, tasks, budgets and messages.
As you may have guessed, Buildertrend has you covered on this. We know that staying up to date, so you’re team can make the smartest and fastest decisions to keep the work moving is essential to your business’s survival. We also know that you need to access this point of communication in one spot.
Don’t go checking texts, emails and voicemails. Log in to your homepage on the Buildertrend app and stay connected.
10. Keep your clients in the loop
At the end of the day, happy clients means more business for you. Your reputation in the community matters and you want to produce good work. The best way to achieve these goals is by keeping your clients in the know on their home projects. Your software should allow you to work smarter and not harder in keeping your clients connected, from preconstruction to turning over the keys. A good software will let you post updates on the project, communicate with your team and allow your clients to see the work as it happens.
If there is a change order, update in the budget, weather delay … let Buildertrend be your central communication hub. By allowing your clients to login to the Customer Portal, you’re allowing them direct access to the project — this builds trust with clients and inturn your company wins more jobs.
Get started with Buildertrend residential project management software
As we discussed above, residential project management requires detailed attention to all the moving parts on all your projects. To successfully manage details on every site, you need a construction project management software on your team.
Using a strong software will take the tedious work off your shoulders. The scheduling, managing and rearranging that all takes a lot of brain and manpower can be offloaded with the use of software.
Are you ready to start using the top construction management software in the industry, trusted by more than 1 million construction business owners across the globe?
Contact Buildertrend today to learn how we can help.
Residential project management FAQs
What are the phases of a residential construction project?
The four phases of a residential construction project are planning, pre-construction, construction and close-out. This first step includes concept and design; it determines the main goals and general direction of the project. Pre-construction covers the estimate, obtaining permits, materials, equipment and labor. The construction phase is when the project is in action. The close-out means double checking the final details and handing the property over to the homeowner.The four phases of a residential construction project are planning, pre-construction, construction and close-out. This first step includes concept and design; it determines the main goals and general direction of the project. Pre-construction covers the estimate, obtaining permits, materials, equipment and labor. The construction phase is when the project is in action. The close-out means double checking the final details and handing the property over to the homeowner.
What are some risks associated with residential construction projects?
Some risks associated with residential construction projects include delays and going over budget. Delays are inevitable in the industry, but when they relate to material and weather … it’s out of everyone’s control. Delays along with unexpected costs and poor work leads to another risk — upset clients.
How do residential construction project managers keep track of the progress of their projects?
Residential construction project managers keep track of progress by setting clear goals and deadlines, performing daily site and subcontractor check-ins and completing regular budget analysis. The best way to organize each step of your project from concept to completion is to use a residential project management software.
About The Author
Meghan Townley is a freelance copywriter for Buildertrend.
Domestic versus Global Project Management
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Please describe the similarities and differences of global and domestic project management.
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Both domestic and global project management involve the assembly of a team for the purpose of initiating a project, planning how to go with it, implementing the plans, and controlling the results of the project. The purpose of projects is to achieve specific goals and meet certain success criteria. It is the duty of the project manager to lead the team to succeed in achieving their objectives.
Project management involves collaboration between project members in a team. They set their schedule to hold regular meetings, coordinate with each other on the various phases of the project to ensure they meet their goals on time. While it is easy for domestic project managers to physically collaborate with the team, it is . ..
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* An explanation of how project managers can handle global team members
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The Complete Guide to Project Management
What is Project Management? It’s the alignment of processes, tools, team members, and skills to deliver projects that meet your goals and even exceed your expectations.
You and your team are about to take on a massive project. Your job is like lining up a long row of dominoes – it’s great when they stack effectively in a chain, and it’s a shame if something goes wrong just because of one element.
Such projects are always a bold and exciting undertaking. You may be impatient to get down to business. Maybe you’ll cross your fingers for good luck, so that everything will work out by itself? Or rub a magic lamp to ask a genie for help?
Let us know if this magic works! And yet, in reality, the best recipe for success in working on a large and slightly intimidating project is the ability to effectively manage it.
Key members of the project team
Each project should begin with a definition of roles and responsibilities. A clear understanding of your roles at the start of a project sets the team up for success and helps them meet deadlines. The project has the following roles.
- Project Manager . Supervises the work on the project as a whole and is responsible for its success.
- Project manager . A senior manager who supports the project and works closely with the project manager.
- Team member . Directly carries out the tasks of the project.
- Supplier . Provides needed goods and services.
- Interested party . A person with an interest in the project. There are two groups of such persons.
- Primary stakeholder . Performs direct work and actively participates in the project.
- Minor stakeholder . May occasionally attend meetings and make small contributions to the project without making key decisions.
- Influential stakeholder . Has information about the project, but does not participate in the work and does not have much influence on the project.
- Customer . The person to whom the result of the project is addressed (except for projects for internal needs).
What to look for when evaluating project management software
Choosing the right project management software can be a daunting task. In order for your team to get the most out of the project management tool, we recommend finding a solution with the following features.
- Shared calendar to track milestones and project deadlines
- File and document sharing for easy collaboration
- Create to-do lists and assign tasks to team members
- Project progress tracking and reporting
- Simplify and streamline communication between team members and stakeholders
- Project duration and budget estimate
- Ability for team members to comment on assignments and provide feedback
- Create automatic reminders and notifications
- Customize project templates to streamline project creation
- Manage resources and workload
- Risk Management
- Change Request Management
- Create Detailed reports
- Project performance monitoring
Why use Confluence for project management
Confluence stands out from the competition as a collaborative knowledge hub that empowers project management with thousands of templates, scripts, and integrations for maximum flexibility and scalability.
Connect tools and centralize work
With Confluence, you get tools for managing knowledge, tasks, projects, and teamwork. Embed a Trello board for Kanban project management like Sprout Social. Or integrate Confluence with Jira Work Management for an agile project management approach like Castlight Health. Jira makes it very easy to plan, track and manage projects. And Confluence will increase transparency and allow you to centrally store project-related discussions and resources.
Scale as your team and company grows
Confluence is designed to enable project management for technical and business teams, as well as small businesses, remote teams, and enterprise-level companies. Scale with unlimited instances to ensure organizational independence, data separation for security reasons, or to customize your environment. Plus, Confluence provides the security, compliance, performance, and reliability you need to support your enterprise, including guaranteed availability SLAs, data storage in the US, EU, Australia, or Germany, as well as GDPR, SOC2, and more. .
Security and protection of work and knowledge
What happens when team members leave your company? Does their job go with them? Confluence protects project work from loss, even if employees leave the company. You can create permissions, customize controls, and assign administrator roles.
Performance analysis and optimization
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Combined with Jira Work Management, you can track progress and activity, and generate reports to help streamline project workflows and other processes.
Project management is the engine of team productivity. However, not all project management solutions are created equal. Find out why over 85,000 companies use Confluence.
Key Benefits of Project Management
1. Collaborate more effectively
Achieving goals requires interacting with other people, but effective collaboration is not easy for most people. Collaboration is complicated by different communication styles, different approaches to organization and many other factors.
Project management software allows teams to see what colleagues are working on, deadlines for tasks, how individual assignments fit into the overall project flow, and more. Hence its main advantage – more convenient and efficient collaboration on projects.
2. Information centralization
The team has not kept up with email, chat and comment communication. Information is lost in disparate streams.
This is a waste of time, which is bad for projects. When team members need to draw information from disparate sources, deadlines are missed, assignments are lost, and confusion ensues.
With project management software, all project data, from deadlines and status updates to feedback and questions, is stored in one shared location. This allows you to streamline the interaction so that each team member can share knowledge and effectively manage its distribution.
3. Manage tasks more effectively
For projects to succeed, team members need to know what tasks they are responsible for and by when they need to be completed.
The problem is mostly related to the unclear area of responsibility and unclear instructions from managers, but working in multiple applications and tools only complicates the situation.
If a task needs to be completed in one application, and the employee spends most of his time in another, then he will simply miss an important notification. Project management using one software solves this problem, and also allows you to break down the execution of large and time-consuming projects into separate steps and stages.
You can collect tasks in one place, assign them to competent team members with a certain deadline, and they will receive notifications about this.
4. Single source of information
Project management software is becoming the main source of project related information. Documents, resources, updates, deadlines, meeting minutes, and everything else is stored in one place. (Here’s a handy meeting minutes template, for example. ) This ensures that all the information you need is available, structured, and easy to find. Team members can find the information they need in the shortest possible time.
5. Increased Productivity
Add these benefits together and you get the big one: Teams can get the job done faster. Much faster than .
With project management software, team members can easily collaborate with each other. They know what is expected of them and what to do next. They can easily find the information they need.
Working together, like a well-oiled machine, greatly reduces lost time. Available in Jira Work Management, a project management template with proven workflows helps teams get started faster, rather than starting every new project from scratch.
Work is not delayed because the team has been provided with the resources necessary to achieve a fast and high-quality result.
6. Tracking progress
Completing a project is not an end in itself. The main thing is to implement a project that meets the tasks, budget and deadlines.
It’s easy to lose sight of these important details when you’re busy with ongoing work on a project, which is the main problem. If you don’t keep a close eye on constraints and expectations, you’ll be forced to reschedule, overspend, and waste effort because team members have to redo work to get the project back on track.
Project management software organizes your work so you can easily track costs and deadlines. In addition, you will be able to create reports to monitor progress. This will allow you to quickly find the problem if you missed something.
How to create simple and effective project plans
Good project plans are more than a list of what needs to be done and when
What is a project plan? It is the result of the project planning process, during which the project manager makes decisions, prioritizes, and allocates the tasks and resources needed to complete the project. The project plans include the names of the members of the executive team, the list of tools and materials needed, and the course of action required to achieve success.
Most people think of a “project plan” as a list of what needs to be done and when. However, this is only a small part of the project plan.
A good project manager writes a plan that covers everything from the problem to be solved to scope, deliverables, risks, and dependencies. After that, he outlines the course of action for the successful completion of the project.
Without a project plan, project participants do not have a detailed idea of how and when everything will be done. They get tangled up in a pile of tasks and needs and often just don’t know where to start. Or, even worse, they rush forward with absolutely no idea how (or when) their work will fit into the scope of the project.
Step-by-step project planning
There’s a bit of recursion in doing this, doing a step-by-step process to create a plan, which is essentially a step-by-step process. However, this is the key to creating a sound and successful plan.
Before starting to plan, review everything you know about the team, organization, resources, and what you are trying to do. Once planning begins, it is important to reach a common understanding with the team.
Step 1. Present your plan as a project map.
When mapping, it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the destination path? How will you know the project is complete?
- Who will follow this map?
- What checkpoints will be passed along the way and what is the approximate distance between them?
- What obstacles might you encounter? Are there alternative routes?
Step 2: Get to know your stakeholders.
Become familiar with the unpleasant facts of organizational politics, difficult personalities, and possible debatable issues that can affect the project management process. Larry W. Smith, PMP and Project Manager at the Software Technology Support Center, emphasizes the importance of doing stakeholder analysis. According to Smith, everyone involved wants the project to succeed, but forgetting the needs of at least one influential participant can ruin everything.
Smith recommends taking the time to:
- Clarify who the project stakeholders are.
- Understand their expectations and level of influence.
- Decide how to implement feedback from peers and stakeholders as the project progresses.
- Align all needs and expectations with risk planning and risk response activities.
- Plan all communication strategies for the project in good faith.
The communication component is hard to overestimate. Bernie Ferguson, Project Management Expert at Atlassian, initiates communication with stakeholders early on in a project. He says: “We use the project map method to reach a common understanding between participants and stakeholders. What are we doing? What is the value for customers and business? Why do we think this decision is correct? We get feedback on the answers to all of these questions before anything hits the team’s roadmap. ”
Step 3. Without further illusions, create a work schedule.
One of the common mistakes project managers make when planning is being too optimistic. Don’t assume the best possible situation, but carefully consider the issues that may arise and their potential impact on the project management schedule. Be sure to perform a basic due diligence check. Hold a fake-failure workshop or a series of one-on-one meetings with key participants and stakeholders.
You can make a schedule by asking other project managers how long it took to plan similar projects. You can meet with the teams you will work with to understand how long it will take to complete specific tasks. If you have a project management tool, check the archive for old project schedules.
Then communicate and communicate again. Communicate details to all interested parties. For what? Would you like to remain ignorant? Simplified Gantt charts are a common and effective way to visualize a graph and are easy to understand for everyone.
Step 4: Get help.
As the project manager, it is your responsibility to plan the project (and eventually complete the project). But this does not mean that you should hide in your office and compose it there. When developing a project plan, it is essential to involve all stakeholders in this. Interact with them as often as possible. You will see that they are excellent professionals.
By listening to your team and working through ideas together, you can come to sound conclusions in a timely manner. Such joint work contributes to the creation of a more effective plan and the mobilization of forces to support the entire project.
Atlassian staff use templates to reduce the overhead associated with the planning process and initiate the discussions needed for optimal project planning. Project plan templates are a great way to get employees to pay attention to aspects of project management that they may not have considered before.
It’s one thing to prepare a good “elevator speech” for a project, but creating a sound plan is quite another. Templates force you to think carefully about your actions and make sure that nothing is missed. It’s fair to say that thinking about dependencies and risks isn’t all that interesting. In the absence of some instrument of coercion, it is easy to lose sight of these elements of the plan.
Tip. The project plan template is available for free. You don’t even need to provide an email address. Get a PDF file.
Step 5. Define goals and scope of work.
State the nature of the problem, specifying exactly what you are trying to solve. Then develop a hypothesis about what you think should happen as a result of the project. Next, sketch out an explanation of the project’s premises and the data or insights that support them. Define metrics to measure progress – these will likely form the basis for several areas of the plan.
Ask yourself and team members what you need, want to have, and don’t need. By agreeing on the scope of the project early on, as well as defining what is not included, you will reduce the chance of misunderstandings between stakeholders. You know how much time you need to ask for the project from other people who participate in it. And you can easily recognize changes in the project area.
The uncontrolled expansion of the project area is a real phenomenon. The main thing is to balance the project scope, schedule, and resources so that nothing gets out of hand.
Step 6. Anticipate (and prevent) unexpected situations.
All project plans contain the actual budget, schedule, and scope of the project. However, a good plan also answers important questions about the project, including:
- Resources: What skills are required and who is involved in the project? What is the budget?
- Decisions: who provides advice and who ultimately makes the decision?
- Communication: who receives project messages, when and in what format?
- Risks: what should team members look out for and what is the process for recording and tracking risks?
- Reviews: How are you going to get feedback before you release a project?
- Statements: who else must sign this plan? Who makes the final decision?
- Timing: Does your work schedule match the project schedule? How did you determine the time frame for the project?
The plan does not need to go into detail on each of these issues, but it should provide enough information so that you can proceed smoothly with the project without too many surprises.
Tip. Use the DACI method to make informed project decisions in a timely manner.
Step 7. Choose your preferred project management approach.
As a project manager, you can choose from a waterfall model or an agile approach to project management. An agile approach delivers results quickly through small, iterative tasks and continuous evaluation of requirements, plans, and results. This method assumes that resources and deadlines are fixed. If something needs to be abandoned, the scope of the project is reduced to required components, at least for the current iteration. Further iterations can be added later, supplemented with desired components.
The waterfall model is a more traditional, sequential (like a waterfall) linear process of step-by-step execution of a project by one team after another. In this method, the scope of the project is fixed, while the timing and resources are flexible.
Step 8. Write and review the plan.
After you’ve answered all the questions, had all the discussions, and created the sticker pile, it’s time to write the project plan. When writing and designing it, adhere to the principle “the simpler the better.”
The following are some useful details that should be included in any plan, regardless of its format.
- Project name
- Plan objectives
- Marked milestones and expected measurable impact
- Planned start and completion dates for each task
- Callouts identifying individual task performers
- Task details and clarifications
- Callouts listing interdependent risks and tasks (or teams) to prevent delays
When a project plan is complete, there is a moment of triumph and you can celebrate your success with others. However, before you celebrate, wait a little. Have someone who wasn’t part of the plan check it out.
Tip. When estimating the scope of each assignment, try not to go into too much detail. Remember, these are only speculations, not blood oaths.
Step 9: Share your plan…and stick with it 😉
Your project plan is complete and reviewed.