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Digital whiteboards: the simple solution for your complex construction projects

High material costs, ongoing supply chain disruption and a shortage of skilled labour mean construction companies rely on strong project management to keep programmes running on time and budget. But while projects begin with clear plans, they often break down at site level.  

Managing the day-to-day execution of complex construction projects is no easy task, and many companies still rely on paper documents, physical whiteboards and even post-it notes to allocate jobs and track progress. 

Digital transformation has already enhanced the built environment’s design and strategic planning processes. Now, it’s time to embrace digital whiteboards in construction projects to improve site collaboration.  

Keep reading to learn: 

  • Why paper-based processes can’t keep pace with day-to-day demands. 
  • How digital whiteboards enable better site management.  
  • Which digital whiteboard software is best for driving construction projects. 

Paper-based processes can’t keep pace with day-to-day demands.  

The growing complexity of construction projects is placing more and more responsibilities on site-level staff. Today’s site managers are tasked with:  

  • Keeping track of real-time progress and understanding the impact of changes, setbacks and delays on the overall plan. 
  • Coordinating material deliveries and mitigating the impact of delays on project timelines and contractor productivity
  • Managing multiple contractor and subcontractor schedules and understanding the impact of slipping timelines on their availability
  • Ensuring all trades communicate so problems are addressed quickly to avoid rework and delays
  • Meeting rigorous health and safety standards, including completing relevant risk assessments and permits, and ensuring that work is quality controlled
  • Managing the impact of unpredictable factors such as extreme weather
  • Incorporating unexpected costs into project budgets and limiting their impact.  

Spinning this many plates with paper-based processes is almost impossible. Even well-organised site managers will struggle to build a real-time picture of what’s happening or respond quickly to unforeseen challenges.  

For project teams to work effectively, they need clear prioritisation of their workload and visibility of how their progress impacts others. Using digital whiteboards in construction projects simplifies collaboration and enables teams to work dynamically throughout each project.    

Digital whiteboards enable better site management. 

For companies unfamiliar with the concept, digital whiteboards replicate physical sticky notes in virtual format. This seemingly simple act of taking paper-based task management online delivers huge benefits.  

The best whiteboard software uses pull planning techniques to break down high-level programmes into shorter phases, which can be divided into tasks. Each task is allocated to a team member and posted on the whiteboard as a sticky note.  

Taking this approach gives project stakeholders:  

  • Better visualisation: every contractor has oversight of the tasks allocated to each trade, plus they can view their assigned workload. 
  • Closer collaboration: by viewing workload through whiteboard software, project stakeholders can understand the relationship between trades to ensure a smooth handover from one contractor to the next. If progress falls behind schedule, contractors can also factor in these delays and work on other tasks in the interim.  
  • Clearer prioritisation: site managers can dictate the sequence of work to focus contractors and subcontractors on the most important jobs for driving progress.
     
  • Real-time updates: writing a note on a physical whiteboard or a post-it note can issue an instruction, but it can’t tell site managers how quickly that task progresses. Using whiteboard software in construction projects, they can assign deadlines to each task, identify jobs that have fallen behind schedule, and rearrange workflows to catch up as quickly as possible.  
  • Automatic notifications: whiteboard software will notify contractors and project managers when a task has been completed. This avoids tradespeople waiting for a verbal “go-ahead”.
      
  • Flexible working: if projects face hold-ups or changes that affect the master plan (as is inevitable in complex construction projects), site managers can simply click and drag tasks to update programme schedules. Not only does this create an accurate schedule for site staff; it establishes a realistic timeline for the end customer. 

Choose the best digital whiteboard software to drive your construction progress.  

As the benefits we’ve shared demonstrate, managing site-level tasks via a digital whiteboard can simplify the execution of complex construction projects. However, your choice of software will dictate how much simpler project collaboration becomes.  

Some construction companies opt for basic whiteboard software, which involves manually creating and assigning each task to team members. This is a time-consuming job, and it’s still challenging to align day-to-day workflow with the project master plan.  

Asta Connect takes collaborative task management to the next level by combining digital whiteboard tools with pull planning capabilities. Project leaders upload the master plan to our software and divide work into smaller phases, which can be pulled down and separated into tasks on our integrated whiteboard. 

Combining digital whiteboard and pull planning software allows site managers to coordinate workload dynamically, so everyone on site works together to drive project progress.  

Book your Asta Connect demo to see how you can improve site-level project management using digital whiteboard software.   

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