Best-in-class heavy civil construction contractors not only excel at estimating, project management and field supervision. They also learn from experience and apply the gained knowledge to future projects. Post-project review meetings are important to accomplishing this, and using an e-forms and reporting tool, like B2W Inform, to document the results of these meetings in a structured manner and make that information easily searchable is a smart move.
The review meeting should include all key players involved in a project. At a minimum, this would be the construction estimator, project manager and superintendent. Additionally, project engineers and Foreman may also attend. All key aspects of the project should be discussed in terms of what went right, what went wrong and what was learned that could be used to improve the outcome of future projects. Topics typically include:
- Issues with contract scope and estimate
- Change orders
- Challenges with project owner
- Subcontractor performance
- Production rates on self-performed work
- Unique challenges and solutions
- Project staff teamwork
Discussions and determinations should then be recorded for future reference. A standard, structured format for the meeting agendas and findings assures that all matters are covered. This is where the e-forms tool can help.
Unfortunately, many companies record this valuable history on paper and file the reports in filing cabinets. This negates much of the benefit of the post-project review meeting, because the information trapped on paper is not searchable and discoverable in the future.
For example, if you want to evaluate a certain subcontractor before hiring them for another job, rummaging through paper files to review their past job performance is very tedious if not impossible. Another example would be challenging field work, like installing an unusual type of box culvert. Some employees might vaguely remember that this was done in the past but not remember the details of the job or who the superintendent was. There may be significant lapses of time between the event and the need to know. Employees involved may have left the company. The critical answers that could improve the outcome of the next job lie buried in a filing cabinet.
The B2W Inform e-forms and reporting element solves this problem. With B2W Inform, you can create a standard and structured electronic form to guide the post-project review meeting discussion and record results. The accumulated reports are then searchable by fields or keywords, making it easy to retrieve specific information in the future.
For that subcontractor you are evaluating, just type in the company name and all the relevant results will be at your fingertips. The same is true with that unusual box culvert. Just type in the description and go right to the electronic meeting report for the job, with all the tips and traps that the project team learned, plus who was involved.
“Organizational memory” is an important asset of any construction company. An e-forms and reporting tool like B2W Inform allows you to maximize it at your company.