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The different levels of detail needed in construction management
Different partners usually have different jobs and are interested in different info. Still, they should rely on one single source of information. Here's why
Not every partner involved in a project wants (or needs) to know about everything that is going on. Most of the time people in construction projects are interested in specific bits and pieces of information – it doesn’t matter if those are highly detailed bits like “what do I have to do today?” or broad pieces like “will the project be delivered on time?”. Humans tend to be interested only in information which they really need to do their job. And it makes perfect sense! You want to avoid being overloaded. Because once overloaded, you usually are not able to do anything anymore.
Keeping in mind that different project partners have different jobs, it is only natural that they are not interested in the same things. Should they therefore also rely on different sources of information? I don’t think so. Why? Because everything is connected. But let me walk you through my take on this more carefully.
Imagine three people working on delivering the same project: Building a beautiful new hotel right in the centre of Berlin.
The first person we want to look at is Mike – a plumber and foreman. His team’s responsibility is to connect the prefabricated bathrooms to the building infrastructure, once they have been delivered and positioned correctly. To be able to do his job and e.g. assign work to his colleagues, Mike needs to know which prefabricated bathrooms should be connected today, tomorrow, etc. And since Mike is a hands-on guy he doesn’t really care about the schedule that was set up weeks and months ago. He would rather like to know what really happened: Was one of the bathrooms delayed? Should my team work on another one instead since it was delivered ahead of schedule? Those are the questions Mike’s source of information should be able to answer.
The second partner is Karen. She works for a cladding company and supervises the delivery and assembly of the hotel’s façade panels. To be able to do her job she doesn’t need to know anything about the prefabricated bathrooms but instead is interested in questions like: How many panels have been produced? How many have been delivered to the site? How many of those have already been assembled? Is the cladding of the new hotel running behind schedule? If so, which panels are running behind and why? Do we face reappearing issues which could be solved? She would need a source of information which helps her answer those questions in order to deliver the cladding on schedule as well as budget.
Third and finally, the project manager Tom. He is the one who must report to the owner of the hotel, informing him about progress, issues and potential changes in the project schedule. Because of that he wants keep track of literally everything. But of course, on a different level than Mike or even Karen. He certainly doesn’t need to know about Mike’s daily activities and he also isn’t interested in the progress of every single façade panel. He needs the bigger picture: Which parts of the project are running behind schedule? Which milestones have been reached? Do we need to double down on certain works by bringing in more workforce to keep the schedule? To perform best, Tom would need a source of information which helps him answer these questions.
Which brings me back to my initial question: Should Mike, Karen and Tom rely on different sources of information because they need different types of information to do their job? I would still have to say no. Why? Because every part of the hotel project is connected which each other. Karen‘s cladding e.g. can only be installed after the prefabricated bathrooms have been positioned on each level. And after Mike’s team is done connecting the bathrooms another team would come in and e.g. install the sprinklers. And even though Tom does not need to know every single detail he might want to dive deep in case it’s necessary.
In order to make that possible, we have created our comprehensive Lean Construction Management Platform. Sablono offers one single source of truth to everyone involved in a project – from trade to management to owner. Our easy-to-use approach to create and schedule up to a million activities per project helps you to create weekly workplans on an unprecedented level of detail so that everybody always knows exactly what to do next. The progress database stores everything you put into the system using one of our mobile applications and thereby knows what really happened on site. And the Sablono web platform shows all that information on three different levels of detail – activities, deliverables and summary views – so that everybody involved always finds exactly what he needs. And the best part? You can easily switch between those levels of detail. Dive deep whenever you want to, it is all there – one single source of information!
Join our mission to make information accessible to every project partner at any given time.