4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

08 8, 2016

Subcontractor Performance Management

If you are hiring subcontractors to work on your projects, you likely want to keep track of how they are performing for you.  Being able to objectively measure subcontractor performance is critical for project managers, so that they can make key decisions to keep their projects running smoothly. However, subcontractor performance management is difficult if you don’t have the right tools in place to measure productivity.

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08 8, 2015

Linking Budget and Schedule – it’s a Challenging Task

One of the first principles of project controls is that the project budget has to be time-phased over the duration of the project. Here’s why: It’s not enough to simply know the total budget for a project – it’s critical to also know when that budget is planned to be spent. In other words, each quantity of material, labor hour or subcontractor service that’s planned for the project, is planned to occur at a particular time on the project.

Click here to learn more about time-phased budgeting

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25 25, 2014

What’s the Difference Between a Change Order, Change Forecast and Budget Transfer?

Changes are inevitable on projects. No project manager in their right mind moves forward with a project not expecting changes to happen - fluctuations in scope, cost, schedule and activity can happen almost daily.  In this article, I want to tackle a segment of change management that I often come across in conversations. Which is: the different types & states of Change Events that can be registered on a project; and some of the nuances of each. The three main project change events are:

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19 19, 2014

EVM Explained: Variance

“If you keep going at this speed, you’re going to be late!”

That’s my simplistic real-life analogy of earned value management. It’s a simple bit of math that we all do in our heads anytime we’re trying to get somewhere or finish something.  If you gave yourself an hour to get there and after a half-hour you’re still less than half-way, you’re going to be late.  It’s that simple. As simple as it is, it requires us to know quite a bit of information about the current situation in order to calculate late vs. on-time.  Just like EVM, you need to know 3 key elements to make the calculation:

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03 3, 2014

Rules of Engagement: Collaboration is Key

Tell me you haven’t heard this one before: “Our teams need to collaborate!”
And then everyone in the room nods their heads in approval.

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25 25, 2014

New Report Finds Project Profitability and Replacement of Manual Methods as Top Reasons For Project Management Software Buying Decisions

After interviewing thousands of buyers looking for Project Management software, Software Advice has compiled an insightful report that sheds light on key factors buyers are using in their purchasing decisions

Key Findings Include:

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22 22, 2014

EPCMs Need to Up Their Game When it Comes to The Software They Use

EPCM organizations that are using just Timesheet & Billing software are finding themselves swamped in spreadsheets to cover the greater technology needs they face.  It used to be that all an EPCM needed for enterprise software was a decent-enough timesheet tool to track their billable hours; and an integrated billing tool to invoice their customers. Things have evolved however, and EPCM’s are now seen as the go-to company for project management, procurement, document management, project controls, etc.  These requirements obviously go well beyond what a timesheet tool can support.  So, confronted with a lack of available tools, project managers & engineers have resorted to building cobbled-together solutions in spreadsheets to cover the gaps.

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25 25, 2014

Managing procurement for construction projects

Managing the complexity of procurement for large construction projects requires an exceptionally robust technology solution.

Most commercial procurement software solutions are designed to handle general purchasing for a broad range of businesses and industry applications.  Procurement for construction projects has more complex needs such as:

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23 23, 2014

I Have Mastered the Art of Talking to Myself Without Moving My Lips

Hey, don’t laugh, it’s a key skill. The only creepy thing about it is I can look at someone right in the eye and be muttering to myself at the same time. And even though I have at least another 40 years before I’m at that station in life where muttering is just something you do,  I’m getting an early start because I’ve discovered that it has high value.  I’m not the first to discover this, as it turns out. Experiments have been done to prove that regularly talking to yourself is a positive thing: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/25/talking-to-yourself-may-actually-be-a-good-idea/.

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16 16, 2013
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