Having the right systems in place helps keep construction tasks trackable and teams accountable. But where do you start and what systems should you...
Getting The Most Out of Your Weekly Construction Progress Meeting
Maybe you’ve just started a new project and are responsible for managing the weekly progress meetings for the first time. Or perhaps you’ve been running these meetings for a while, and you’re looking to sharpen things up.
Without care and consideration, it’s easy to let things slip a little. But with some structure, you can ensure you are getting the most out of your weekly progress meetings.
Why have weekly progress meetings in construction?
First and foremost, it’s important to know why you have weekly progress meetings. If you’re responsible for running them, this will help shape the meeting and improve your setup. If you’re attending them, you should understand why it’s valuable to you and the project.
Weekly Progress Meetings help make it possible to stay on top of your plans, liaise with other team members, identify potential issues, and generally keep the project on track. Having these meetings regularly makes it less likely that smaller issues will amount to costly problems and delays on the critical path.
What does a weekly progress meeting look like?
Even though meetings differ from one project to another, they traditionally take place in a Project War Room and follow a routine that looks something like this:
1. Take attendance
Taking attendance helps you keep track of who knows what and make sure everyone is aware of the latest plans. It’s also helpful to know who was and wasn’t in the room when sending the meeting minutes.
2. Review the previous weeks’ performance and failed tasks
What went well, what didn’t, and most importantly, what can be done better in the future? This is an excellent opportunity for you and your team to review the trials and tribulations of the previous week’s plans. Use this time to flag any issues, and figure out what can be done better moving forward.
3. Review this week’s plans and highlight critical activities
After reviewing the previous week’s performance, it’s time to start looking ahead. This is a good opportunity to highlight any ‘critical’ or high-priority tasks, so that the wider team is aware and can plan accordingly.
During this phase, teams working in the vicinity of other works should voice any concerns of potential clashes or issues that they may be aware of.
4. Review potential blockers and designate actions to mitigate issues
Once you’ve laid out your plans and highlighted priorities, there will inevitably be blockers and potential issues that need to be addressed.
As ever, communication is important here. This is a make-break moment where you have the opportunity to prevent delays from happening before it’s too late. The best way of doing this is to ensure that every concern raised is designated to a suitable person to mitigate those issues.
5. Coordinate between teams and trades
Take a moment for different teams and trades to coordinate between themselves. Focus on timing and the use of site space to make sure where they are working, who needs the area next etc. This will help avoid any potential clashes
6. Set targets and make promises
You’ve reviewed the previous week’s performance and made plans for the week ahead. The only thing left to do is set targets and have delivery teams make promises on the work they are responsible for.
In many cases, it is better to have the delivery teams that are undertaking the work set their own targets and take ownership of their plans. This often ensures buy-in from teams and can help drive site performance.
As with most things, there’s always room for improvement. And if you’re looking to get the most out of your weekly progress meetings, there are a few easy wins that you might want to consider:
Equipment and facilities
Is your war room set up as well as it could be? Do you have enough stationary, sufficient seating, tea, coffee, auditory equipment, and the best available tech? All of these things make a difference.
Set an Agenda
Set an Agenda and ensure everyone has a copy before the meeting. This can help keep the conversation on track and let everyone know when to flag issues.
Take meeting minutes
Have someone keep notes of the meeting and then send them to everyone afterwards. That includes people who weren’t in attendance but will benefit from knowing what was discussed.
Use the right software
Using the right software helps save you from time-intensive tasks and helps keep your project on track. Aphex can help build your short-term schedules and track critical data, but also consider things like site diaries and attendance software.
If you need inspiration, check out these 8 Construction Management Tools.