The Completion Percentage – Dilemma That Stimies AEP
Written By James Simpson
The complexity of a modern construction project makes accurately tracking progress difficult. Different contractors have different methods they use to determine their progress on their various assignments, which can skew the overall determination of completion percentage. Short of having the same person use the same criteria to evaluate the project’s progress on a daily basis, there is no standard, objective way for someone to determine how far along a project has advanced. One thing is certain, however: if you’re not tracking the progress of your project, you’re missing a key opportunity to identify ways in which you can save money and boost productivity within the project. A manager’s ability to track the status of an overall project–as well as the various component jobs–provide him or her with the ability and information needed to make informed decisions. Regularly assessing the progress toward completion also gives managers the ability to determine accountability for errors or delays; creates opportunities to address problems in a timely manner by identifying them and fashioning solutions; and improves the overall communication for the project team. But how can someone reliably determine the progress of a job if everyone has their own way of determining its completion percentage? Here are some steps you can incorporate into your project management to help you get and share a consistent methodology for determining how far along the project is: Know the criteria being measured by subcontractors: Some may measure their workload by the number of manhours consumed by the project versus what was expected. Others might benchmark completion by the percentage of ordered material installed. And for others, it will come down to money. To make sense of the various metrics, you’ll have to standardize all those different estimates into one methodology that reflects what the various partners tell you. Relate to the expectation of the client:Does your client care about the percentage of conduit installed on the job, or are they more concerned about the amount of money being spent? Are they focused on the countdown to moving in? How you refer to the progress of the job means you should have a common measure to use with your client. Your client is likely to care less about the percentage of the linear feet of wire strung through the building and more about the number of light switches connected. If you can understand how your client defines “completion,” you’ll have better insight into what information your client wants to hear. Consolidate data onto one platform:Having an automated way to integrate input from subcontractors and vendors onto one platform on a periodic basis gives you the ability to incorporate multiple streams of information in one home that will provide a standardized view of the data. This dashboard approach should be customizable to provide updates to various stakeholders, from the client to the foreman on the site. From the start of the project, make sure that all involved, from other contractors to the client, understand how you’re calculating the completion percentage and what that means to the overall workflow. Establish specific benchmarks for determining how those assessments are calculated. Perhaps refer to different data points to calculate your estimate. And share that information in a way that makes sense to everyone involved because the way you’re calculating the percentage of the work completed may not match what they’re estimating.

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