November 5th, 2019
The Importance of Progress Measurement
Progress measurement is a key element of project management for construction projects. It helps to determine earned value, cost at completion, and the estimated finished date of the project. These are all very important things to know if you want to keep costs and schedule under control.
However, being able to answer a question as simple as “where are we today?” is often harder than seems. The goal of this blog series is to educate you about why a project progress measurement system is needed, and why relying on Excel for project measurement is not a good option for success.
Part I focused on establishing weighted milestones and automating progress measurement during the engineering phase of a project. Part II was about how to collect physical progress during the procurement phase. Now, I will discuss the best way to measure progress during the construction phase.
Sources of Progress
As a reminder, Parts I and II highlighted some common ways you can measure progress on a project, including:
- Schedule – task start and finish
- Construction Management – installed quantities
- Design Software – engineering deliverables
- Information Management – deliverables completions
- Materials Management – materials receipts
- ERP – accruals and actuals
Construction Progress Measurement Procedure
In my experience, this is the best procedure for measuring progress during the construction phase of a project. First, send the estimated dates of construction work packages to the construction management tool. Then, retrieve the progress of the installation packages at the construction site. You can do this by using feedback capabilities available in a construction management tool.
The project controller and construction manager should have their own project analysis structure. As a result, they share the same list of construction work packages. The construction manager breaks them down into installation batches. In these batches, physical progress will be indicated in terms of dates, hours worked and installed quantities. This information is then consolidated into the construction work package and communicated to the project controller. Then, the project controller decides which type of progress data to use: duration, dates, times or quantities.
To make the best use of all this information, you need to use a tool that can store this level of detail without burdening project analysis. As a result, you have a choice between several methods of physical progress measurement at the most detailed level.
Successfully automating such a process requires a close integration between construction management tools and project control tools. One example of this are the solutions developed by Hexagon PPM with Intergraph Smart® Construction and EcoSys Enterprise Project Performance. This integration also allows a 4D representation of the project construction, and thus provides a visual perception of the project construction progress.
Utilizing construction management tools in conjunction with project controls tools is a key step in the digital transformation of progress measurement. This digital transformation has an eye on eliminating manual, administrative burdens and maximizing opportunities for automation of objective progress measures and milestones. As a result, you will have quicker, more accurate data. This will fuel better forecasting so project controllers (and all project stakeholders) can take a collective breath, realize a bit more calm, and see clearer picture of the road ahead.
For more information, you can watch this webinar.
Jean-Luc Ozoux is currently in charge of EcoSys Business Development at Hexagon PPM, a company that supports its customers in their digital transformation by offering innovative solutions to adopt new technologies applied to the management of large industrial projects.
He is an MBA graduate of Paris University in Information Systems and Management. He has been helping organizations implement their Capital Project Management solutions for 30 years. His experience with major project management software, as well as the advice he provides to major companies in France and Europe, allows him to take a critical look at the very rapid evolution of tools and technologies that are transforming the working methods, culture and tools that need to be mastered today.