Why Daily Field Reports are Important for Construction Projects
June 3, 2015
Nobody knows the aggravation of paperwork more than construction project managers. But it is often a necessary evil — especially the daily field report.
Instead of being an annoyance, think of the daily field report as a blessing in disguise. You and your team may be tempted to not see its value since it seems like just another thing to do in a long list of “more important” tasks. However, with the right process and software they can be extremely helpful.
How Field Reports Help
Instead of trying to manually stay on top of everything that happened on the job site, let the field report be your assistant. They are perfect for high level summaries and descriptions on what happened each day, what the weather was like, and how much progress was made.
Site Visitors & Equipment
Keep track of everyone and anything that visits the job site, including your subs and suppliers. This will come in very handy when you have future arguments about who was on site or when a specific piece of equipment was delivered.
It’s always important to document what happens on the job site, for both progress and legal reasons. You may have a safety incident that occurs, and if there’s not documentation you could find yourself in a very expensive lawsuit.
Future Forecasting & Planning
As your project evolves you’ll start to see patterns and trends that occur. Daily field reports allow you to track these trends and make better future decisions as a result. For example, if you continue to notice that your painters get more painting done in the morning than the evening, due to the position of the sun, you may want to adjust the schedule on certain days so they can show up earlier and work more efficiently. These kinds of patterns are easily missed without daily reporting.
Why Field Reports should be done Daily
On top of doing field reports, they should be done daily. Yes, EVERY day.
You may occasionally think it’s OK to skip a few days because it seems like there was nothing significant to report… But daily field reports are always significant, even if nothing happened, because they provide a reference of everything done, said, promised, guaranteed, and agreed to on the job site. Without this reference, you have no evidence, just like a bad lawyer in a court room. Missing even one day could be very costly if something happens that you have no evidence of.
Furthermore, tools like CM Fusion make doing field reports a breeze. They can be done from any device with an internet connection, from anywhere. So you and your team have no excuse. Put 10 minutes aside each day for the daily field report and you’ll be glad you did.
Field reports are both a planning tool and a report card. And certainly, they are an important piece of an effective and efficient project management plan. Let us know how you use them in the comments below!