Developing the Construction Executive Dashboard

Successful project management requires an earnest personal commitment, especially for those with multiple, ongoing, multi-million-dollar construction projects.

Construction executive dashboards can be used to oversee various projects but require quality data, which can get complicated. Let’s face it: gathering and analyzing project data across a complex portfolio would be exhaustive. This would be even more true if your project’s data was siloed, an all too common phenomenon in the industry.

The tendency for different departments and companies working on the same project to not share data sets is widespread. However, contractual requirements often mandate creating and maintaining CPM schedules for status updates. Several reasons support this practice, including:

  • To help ensure timely completion
  • To facilitate communication
  • To identify potential issues
  • To support claims or disputes

In fact, CPM schedules are the exclusive data set in construction that lists all project activities from start to finish and explains the interdependencies among them. When used correctly,  this data set provides visibility into several key performance indicators.

 

Construction Executive Dashboard: How to Gain KPIs with the Click of a Button

 

Using input provided by our customer base, SmartPM has released a Construction Executive Dashboard that provides a “macro-view” of a company’s entire project portfolio across mission-critical analytic categories. The Construction Executive Dashboard allows users to see how their entire portfolio is performing based on:

  • Average Project Health Index
  • Average Schedule Quality Grade™
  • Average Compression Index™
  • Average SPI
  • Average Finish Variance™

These performance-based metrics provide critical insights into projects from creation to completion. It enables executives to identify repeated areas of concern and create long-term corrective actions that reduce overall project risk.

 

Developing the Construction Executive Dashboard

 

Taking the complicated concepts behind schedule analytics and making them simple for clear visibility into performance is what SmartPM does. This development is no different. In developing this new dashboard, we prioritized ensuring that it is equally as user-friendly as our Project Workspace. Its design is centered around functionality and customization. Its features allow users to categorize data (by region, project type, business unit, etc.) based on their company’s operating structure.

The functionality and customization work together to reveal insights about certain initiatives or identify potential problem areas to achieve better outcomes. To show you what I mean, the Executive Progress Map is a highly requested feature from the SmartPM customer base. The map allows users to explore specific geographic-based metrics to reveal areas of concern.

 

 

The construction executive dashboard has other views according to specific date ranges, allowing users to determine which months performed best. Alternatively, users can identify which time frames had intrusive obstacles arise, informing mitigation strategies for current or future builds. Regardless of how an organization categorizes data, the executive dashboard auto-populates information for each user’s quantifiable outcomes within a project.

One of my favorite aspects of the construction executive dashboard is the geographical “heat map.” The heat map identifies hotspots based on quality, compression, performance, and other critical benchmarks. All this information can be restricted based on job title or project responsibilities. This way, executives can view the entire portfolio, while a regional manager may only be able to view projects in their domain, simplifying executive oversight and prioritization.

 

Putting the Construction Executive Dashboard Together 

 

As the construction industry better understands the importance of studying various project metrics, discovering potential risks can propel successful project outcomes, even if unforeseen circumstances arise. For instance, if a CEO sees that all the company’s projects are highly compressed in New York only in January, they can safely assume that this is due to winter weather conditions. On the other hand, if the company’s compression metric worsens on a more irregular timeline, the CEO has a red flag that compression is caused by something else. This provides the user with an actionable item to adjust their schedule and reduce risk moving forward.

Crafting new business strategies directly from the objective, clear KPIs becomes feasible for contractors and owners with the Executive Dashboard. The broader perspective gained from this type of dashboard brings the potential for long-term strategic improvements, both in project performance and risk mitigation.

 

Continuous Improvement

 

My overall goal for this development aligns with our mission for Continuous Improvement, aiming to help construction stakeholders enhance their long-term project performance and risk mitigation strategies.

Giving clear, objective KPIs across an entire portfolio generates confidence that you are moving in the right direction rather than delving into individual projects that may or may not be performing according to your standards. In doing so, it removes the necessity of relying on “gut instinct” when it comes to project-based decision-making.

This last point is a critical one. Using gut instinct is often effective, especially when it is exercised by a construction professional with years of industry experience. However, the reality is that projects have become far too complex to let gut instinct guide the decision-making process. It’s the companies that can access the most accurate, real-time project data that will have the best overview of their projects–and who will be able to pinpoint problem areas while they are still relatively minor and correctable.

Most importantly, in a world where we are all pressed for time, the new Construction Executive Dashboard can quickly highlight the areas that are most in need of your attention. Knowing that you are focusing on primary causes of concern can save you a ton of worry–and let you sleep a little bit better at night… Unlike me, most people like to sleep.

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