Document control in construction project management

Document control is managing technical contracts, design documents, manuals and plans. In construction project management, document control sets out procedures to make the project more systematic.

Document control in construction project management

Hence, the purpose of document control in construction project management is to enhance the management, accessibility and feasibility of the project documents so that they can be easily shared with the relevant stakeholders.

Document control is now a sought-after topic because the days of storing construction project documents in filing cabinets are obsolete.

With the advent of the digital age, construction industries are slowly waking up to the benefits of digitising documents and storing them in the cloud so that anyone can access them anywhere. You only need an internet enabled device to access such documents, which makes real-time task tracking a breeze.

If we think about it, the actual backbone of construction management is document control. Without document control, you will have no method to track your schedule, refer to the contractual agreements or see the design specifications.

Document control in construction project management

You must have your documents under control if you wish for a successful construction project delivery. Improving document control and workflow will also improve your delivery time. As the complexity of projects grows, so does the need to track the project’s progress. Hence, the need of the hour is authentic, transparent and easily amendable documentation.

If you utilise construction project management software, all your users will have access to all your essential documents.

This is a great leap for the construction industry, where traditionally delays in updates led to delays in information which consequently affected the construction delivery time. As all relevant stakeholders can access the information within minutes of the update, delays are obsolete. It also ensures that misinterpretation of information is reduced and milestones are never missed.

Another advantage of integrating construction project management software into your document is reduced response time.

Think about it, in the earlier days, if there was an accident at the worksite, most workers would find out about it when their shift began.

This would lead to the wastage of precious time, effort and resources. Accidents can be updated in real-time, so that project managers can reallocate resources and employees, significantly reducing downtime. When the workflow across the whole project becomes smoother, it leads to the smooth operation of the construction project.

Job site and office intercommunication

Efficient communication channels between the job site and the office are critical to the health of the construction project. Thankfully, you do not have to rely on clipboards or notepads to record your information. The disadvantage of handwritten notes is that they were continually reviewed at the end of the week, increasing the risk of delays, mistakes and bottlenecks. Moreover, by the time these updates were received, it was often too late to rectify.

Job site and office intercommunication

The traditional method disconnected the construction site from the office. Now that handheld devices are available with construction management software, workflows have considerably improved. The updates take place in real time.

For example, an on-site foreman can document his report, take photos, and capture employee information as these events unfold. This gives the office daily progress update and notifications of any potential problems. The office can upload updated plans, new schedules or change orders. As everyone is involved in the flow of information, work never suffers.

General and sub-contractor communication

The best part about document control and utilising construction project management software is that it removes the pain of waiting for updated information. The problem that all subcontractors faced daily was that they were continually waiting for approvals.

General and sub-contractor communication

This delay was often seen on the job, with construction projects continually exceeding their estimated deadlines. Since the construction management software stores all documentation in a central database, sub-contractors have access to all the necessary information. They simply need to enter the database instead of chasing the general contractors. This reduces delays and frustration, keeping your project progressing towards delivery.

Project manager and accounting department communication

When communication focused more on paper, the accounting department was always the last to get the updates. They had to log into different systems to understand employee times, which made payment time-consuming.

Now, thanks to project management software, employees log on and log off the system from remote handheld devices. This gives an accurate summary of their working hours, helping the accounting department calculate the payment they need to chalk out. It also prevents underpayments or overpayments, saving both the employer and the employees.

Saves time and reduces risks

Saves time and reduces risks

Documentation controls help maintain a project’s vitality as the complexity continues to grow. Manual systems can no longer keep up with the complexity and increase in demand for projects. Addressing phone calls, emails, and paperwork is time-consuming and eats up the valuable energy of the staff. Manual systems are draining and can negatively impact employee productivity.

It can also lead to compliance issues as auditors cannot keep up with the document trail. Another disadvantage of the document trail is that mistakes are more common. However, as one switches to a digital system, errors reduces, productivity increases and more cost-saving opportunities are identified.

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