Being a site foreman on a construction project is similar to being the conductor of an orchestra. About anything that happens on the job goes through your hands, and you must act as a link between the workplace and the job site. That said, it’s a work that comes with a lot of responsibilities and, if you don’t use the right strategies and resources, it can be incredibly complicated and stressful. You must stay one step ahead of the project manager at all times and relay sensitive concerns to them before they become project risks.
WhatsApp, Excel, Messenger, and email, as useful as they are, are insufficient for your project. They’re all incredibly useful in their own right, but they’re not designed for construction. What is the explanation for this? They are unable to maintain a continuous real-time link between site changes and the various schedules you are working on (master plan, short-term schedule, acquisition schedule, and so on).
As a consequence, you can easily become frustrated by a mountain of scattered data, leaving you with no clear picture of where your project stands right now. This bureaucratic nightmare is the first step toward slower decision-making, misunderstandings, and, ultimately, higher costs.
As a foreman, you must know how to successfully manage a construction site.
By now, you should have a good understanding of how you can start functioning more efficiently after you’ve freed yourself from the administrative pressure and disconnected data. However, now is the time to delve a bit further. Without further ado, here are the five items a site foreman must remember at all times:
Make use of construction-specific tools:
You must invest in digital technologies that are specifically designed for the construction industry’s needs. This is the best way to ensure that your field reporting is still aligned to the master schedule as well as any other schedules you’re in charge of. Having a real-time, shareable view of the curriculum would improve transparency and reduce the chance of miscommunication. By using their mobile device, everybody would have access to the same information.
Have faith in a common basis of truth:
You know how much admin work comes with any job that needs to be completed on site as a site foreman or even a project manager. And we can only guess how many hours you devote each week contacting people, filing notes, and holding meetings just to make sure you haven’t forgotten something.
You didn’t go into construction to deal with too many logistical duties on a daily basis, did you? You wanted to make a difference and be a part of efforts that will change the future, so you joined.
Connect your planners:
It’s time to start connecting your schedules after you’ve connected your teams in a single point of reality. This is the last move of ensuring that the data is still linked. On a construction project, you’ll typically have to juggle several timelines, including your master plan, 3-6 week lookaheads, sourcing schedule, and document acceptance schedule. With so much material flowing in on a regular basis, it’s easy to lose track of what’s next and get trapped in a vicious cycle of miscommunication and errors.
However, if you want to focus on a digital approach for construction, you will be able to keep all of these critical updates synchronized and provide a special on-site view using only one app. Simply put, accessing your master schedule and checking the status of all of your other schedules with a few taps. Imagine being able to move from one schedule to another at the touch of a button, with changes made in real time depending on the most recent input from the site.
Maintain constant communication with the project manager:
You already know it, so it never hurts to go over it again. All of your best allies is a project manager, and you can really be on the same page as them. To do so, you’ll need to set up a well-functioning contact channel, which you can do by using construction-specific equipment. No matter how helpful WhatsApp, email, and Excel are, they are not built to help such fragile and time-sensitive development procedures, and they can end up causing more problems than they fix. As a consequence, until you change the way you communicate and report progress, miscommunication, lack of critical knowledge, and delayed answers will still be a possibility.
At all costs, keep lawsuits away from the project:
Last but not least, you must keep meticulous records of all. This is the most secure method of protecting your initiative and yourself from commercial claims. We understand how difficult it can be to keep track of every single aspect on a construction site. After all, it’s no coincidence that site tours are always a frustrating experience.
If you don’t have the right equipment, you’ll have to walk around the area, spot a challenge, and then record it thoroughly once you get back to your desk. However, there are moments where there are just too many topics to work on. Alternatively, the site tour could be disrupted for one purpose or another, leaving you uncertain whether you have seen and documented anything. It goes without saying that this will make communicating with the project manager / foreman difficult and challenging.
Another example is why mobile field monitoring is so critical is because of this. It allows you to post alerts or important questions using your mobile as soon as you come across them. You will relieve a lot of the administrative and emotional stress this way. Around the same time, by reporting anything on a single point of fact, your project manager would be able to easily lift or respond to allegations. You won’t have to search for the one email or screenshot that shows you aren’t to blame for a scheduling change for weeks or even months.