Each year, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) hosts engagement and learning opportunities, including two conferences, for its more than 16,000 members. Established in 1982, the CMAA is an industry professional organization dedicated to promoting the advancement and professional practice of construction management. This year, CMAA Focus 2022 was the first CMAA conference of the year.
Our team from Quickbase was in Chicago for the event. We spent time learning from CMAA members about best practices and lessons learned from previous projects. Quickbase reps also discussed what hurdles construction management professionals run into in their day-to-day operations. Here are the 3 things we heard most consistently in those conversations and how Quickbase solves those issues.
Management Systems are Disconnected
Keeping tabs on complex construction projects poses a ton of problems for even the most organized construction managers. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that construction managers are beholden to the systems of record that contractors and project teams employ in their individual organizations. Because of this, construction managers sink a ton of time into learning each team’s different system. Worse still, each of these systems are disconnected from one another, so getting insight on every facet of a project is time-consuming and inefficient.
Construction managers are seeking solutions to easily integrate the vast array of programs they rely on. A flexible platform, like Quickbase, enables the simplistic customization these professionals need to align project data and process in a single location. Integrating all necessary data from individual management systems would simplify the day-to-day operations of all construction managers.
Data Visibility is a Priority
Construction managers need to have a clear picture of where build progress is at any moment. Disconnected data prevents managers from quickly understanding the status of a project without entering multiple systems and manually pulling data. Visualizations in disparate applications provide insight missing context. Simple, clean data visualizations are a critical need for effective construction management professionals.
Flexible construction management software gives construction managers the ability to easily and quickly build visualizations and dashboards that present the exact information from multiple data sources they need in a singular view. A flexible platform minimizes the time and effort expended across different platforms by assembling all project information in a central location. Construction software can also surface valuable information from the field in real-time, allowing executive dashboards to be updated anytime.
Excel is an Imperfect Solution
With disconnected data needing some cohesive view, construction managers are exporting data from different systems and turning to spreadsheets by default. Aside from merely being incredibly time-consuming and clunky to work with, spreadsheets pose several risks when relied upon in construction management. Typos in Excel create unreliable insights, or worse, clearing cells can result in entire systems of record being ruined. Additionally, sharing spreadsheets presents security issues when any user with edit access in your spreadsheet can make changes.
Quickbase's construction management platform seamlessly integrates data sources while prioritizing governance through role-based permissions. Dashboards meant for project executives can be easily accessed by managers and key stakeholders, while remaining inaccessible to project teams entering information from the site. The simplicity and power of a construction management platform is enabling managers to save time and improve their efficiency by cutting their reliance on spreadsheets.
Members of CMAA are on the cutting edge of construction management practices, and conferences like CMAA Focus provide excellent opportunities for them to continue to grow and learn in their profession. Conversations with members revealed that problems like disconnected management systems and data visibility hurdles are uniform. Leaders in the field are seeking solutions, and the most significant problems are addressed by a flexible, integration platform like Quickbase.