4 Big Things Missing From Your Closeout Process
During a busy construction project closeout process, it’s easy to overlook things that may seem trivial but are actually vitally important. Ask yourself, have you covered all the bases? Is there anything you can do that adds value to the project experience even at this stage?
The closeout process should be more than a reckoning of the project’s affairs. It’s also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on your operations and to make sure they are running as smoothly as possible and can be a shield against litigation or problems that can arise with the build in the future.
While there are specific requirements you need to conform to, taking these four extra steps will help make your project management team stronger and operate more efficiently in the long run. A close out that works for you instead of against can be a powerful tool.
Construction Document Management Best Practices
When it comes to construction document management, many builders skip over these two items. Are they absolutely required? No. But maintaining these best practices with your closeout process will bring you ROI down the road.
1. Prepare A “Lessons Learned” or “Takeaways” Document
Of all the steps that are frequently skipped over during the closeout process, the lessons learned document is probably the biggest. You know how it goes: you’re in a rush to put all of your ducks in a row to put the project to bed, and sometimes you have to cut corners to finish it.
However, compiling a document of lessons learned can be a great tool for helping you with future projects. And not only that, it can be an excellent selling tool when prospecting for new clients.
Some of the benefits of creating a lessons learned document include:
- Discovering what worked well during the project and what areas can be improved
- Learning from hindsight what types of surprises arose, how they were dealt with, and how they can be anticipated in the future
- Identifying the processes which would have been handled differently
- Improving your organization’s efficiency by allowing you to avoid future errors
- Showing future clients that your organization has continually improved, has learned from past mistakes and has gained useful knowledge from the process
By taking the time to document the lessons you have learned during your project management, you’ll gain valuable insight into how your projects function. Past errors can be used as teaching opportunities. Surprises can be reduced. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to determine what works and what doesn’t.
2. Make Documentation Centrally Accessible
As part of the closeout process, you’ll have a wide variety of documents from different sources that need to be gathered, collated and assembled.
Invoices, licenses, payables, receipts, plans, permits, photos – all of these have to be centrally collected and stored. The problem with storing physical documents is that it’s a very cumbersome process for individual team members to access and work with them.
So what if there was a way to store all of your closeout documentation in one place, electronically, so that everyone can have access to it in real time? Fortunately, there is.
Services such as MySmartPlans give you the ability to take your construction documentation management to new levels of collaborative functionality. Documents can be stored and managed virtually, with a full version history available enabling you to develop a process timeline and know what’s current. Our documents alone can be accessible and relevant to access for the next 50 years.
As well, they provide incredible security, ensuring that only authorized personnel will have access to sensitive information. At the project’s end, you’ll have a fully archived set of documents available upon request.
Save yourself time and money by implementing a construction project management system. It will bring enormous transparency to your project, sparing you hidden costs and allowing you to focus on your project rather than filing documentation.
After The Closeout Has Been Filed, You’re Still Not Done
In addition to construction document management practices, there are two other steps in the overall closeout process that are frequently overlooked.
3. The Closeout Meeting
Having a closeout meeting at the end of a project is an opportunity for the project management team to discuss how well it was executed. While its goal is similar to the Lessons Learned document, it presents the added value of giving team members a chance to dynamically influence the state of other projects being undertaken.
For example, project members can gather feedback from each other and immediately revise and implement best practices that will affect other projects in process. By undertaking a fearless evaluation of all processes, your organization will be able to react quickly to things that aren’t working and rapidly implement ones that are.
4. Get A Project Assessment From The Client
Once the project closes, the final step should be to solicit feedback from the client. Meeting with them and helping them to provide you with a full assessment of the project from their perspective will pay dividends.
For one, it will help your organization understand where it succeeded and where it under-delivered, particularly in areas your own internal evaluation failed to determine.
Also, after a successfully completed project, a positive assessment from a client can be a helpful sales tool when it comes time to securing future business.
So when you’re going through the construction closeout process, don’t forget these four frequently missed steps. You’ll improve the efficiency of your operation, identify areas for improvement, and save time as well as money.
Let MySmartPlans lead the way through your project’s closeout. Contact us to learn how you can improve collaboration, transparency, and security with regards to your documentation, so you can focus your attention on executing the perfect project.