4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

Charlie Rose

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29 29, 2019

React Quickly. React Decisively. Take Corrective Action.

You have to expect that, from the very beginning, nothing ever plays out exactly to plan on major construction projects. Things change. Scope changes. Drawings change. People change. There are hundreds of factors that can surface at a moment’s notice – including mistakes, anomalies and unforeseen predicaments – that can cause setbacks and overages.

Being able to react quickly and nimbly to the jams and messes that project managers face on a daily basis, is the glue that keeps projects humming relatively close to expectations and plan.  Major projects are big and complicated.  There’s a mountain of activity going on every day that requires careful oversight to ensure things don’t go completely off the rails.  With the amount of money and risk on the line, organizations clearly have to keep a tight ship or risk significant financial consequences; along with potential erosion of trust and reputation of your organization.

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01 1, 2019

Labor Productivity and Lean Construction

By Charlie Rose | April 1, 2019 | Categories: Jobsite Cost Tracking | 0 Comments

There is a growing movement in the construction industry to adopt LEAN principles to streamline jobsite labor productivity.  As one of the primary costs of construction, labor alone constitutes as much as 30% of overall project cost, and represents the cost that is most subject to uncertainty and risk.  This risk is predominantly due to compromised site productivity on projects where there’s a high degree of wasteful, non productive labor time. 

In fact, it’s common to view labor productivity as the sole determining factor of overall project performance and profitability – i.e. project success or failure is directly dependant on labor productivity.  Other primary project costs – such as procurement, equipment, materials and engineering – can have associated risk and uncertainty but are marginal in comparison to risk associated to labor productivity.

 

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27 27, 2019
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20 20, 2018

Spreadsheets for Cost Management are a Lot of Work for Little Return

"Excel just wasn’t designed to do some of the heavy lifting that companies need to do in finance.” So says Paul Hammerman, a business applications analyst at Forrester Research Inc. Despite that generally accepted fact, spreadsheets continue to be widely used as the default tool of choice for managing the finances of construction projects large and small. Most individuals that find themselves in this situation however, would enthusiastically agree that the use of spreadsheets for this level of complexity requires a ridiculous amount of meaningless effort for very little return. Far too much effort is put into getting the data into the spreadsheet – and all the formulas straightened out – that little time is actually spent analyzing that data.

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19 19, 2018

Paper-based Ledgers are a Thing of the Past

Several decades ago, organizations used to manage all their finances using big paper-based ledgers, where they’d spend much of their day “doing the books”. These large ledger books worked for hundreds of years, however it would be a challenge to find any modern company today that runs their business on paper-based accounting methods.  

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02 2, 2018

Contract Management: You Get What You Negotiate

As the saying goes, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” 

Every contract is negotiable, and by negotiating, you can achieve more than you would if you simply accepted what was offered; or refused.

Everyone Negotiates

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04 4, 2017

Using Rules of Credit for Percent Complete in 4castplus

How do you figure out percent complete on a project? How is it you go about objectively assigning a reasonable and accurate measurement of how far along you are on an item of work? How many times have you asked, “Hey, where did that number come from?”

Most any manager, VP or director who has to oversee the work of his or her team of project managers has a big worry about this very thing. They know the temptation that exists for a project manager to leverage a little creative license with the numbers to make the project look a little rosier than it is in reality. Customers on the receiving side of a progress draw are equally aware of the tendency to big-up the progress numbers in order to fatten the invoice.

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04 4, 2017

How Technology is Changing the Face of Construction

There are so many new technologies affecting the construction industry today: such as the use of Drones, BIM, Robotics, 3D Printing and significant advancements in fabrication and safety, that it’s now a huge topic that can easily be categorized into the many sub-areas of "Construction Technology".

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06 6, 2017

Top 2 Characteristics of a Good Construction Project Manager

I’m going to start with a basic assertion: to be effective and successful in their job, Project Managers need good information and the right tools. These two things are an absolute must. A bit more specifically: project managers first need current, accurate and complete project data; then secondly, they need the right tools to analyze, and report on that data.

This is especially true when managing large construction projects, where there are so many moving parts, changes, documents, contractors, costs, schedules, etc. to stay on top of. There are other things they need of course, but without these two key things, construction project managers are left feeling around in a dark room, desperately hoping to find a light switch.

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03 3, 2017

Measuring Project Progress: Rules of Credit and Weighted Steps Progressing

Any organization that executes on major projects will know the importance of gathering information on how far along they are on a project. In other words, evaluating Percent Complete. Evaluating that by activity, by phase, by project, etc.  At 4castplus, we refer to this as a "Progress Measurement" and it serves as a critical function for calculating analytics such as Earned Value Management (EVM) metrics. Measuring progress however, is a tricky thing to do; and can cause companies to not bother with it if they don’t have a good system and process in place. This is unfortunate as it is a vital part of project management and project controls on major projects. Without it, you’re flying in the dark.

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