The right capital construction project management software will provide a central location for all fund types, across all phases. No more stressing over spreadsheets. The right software will handle all the heavy lifting for you. Account for time, value of money, know exactly where the funds are going, and easily report on all of it.
A lot of people we talk to are running their construction programs across multiple, disjointed software platforms—not the easiest way to work. Adopting a full-scale construction management software really does make all the difference. We’ve seen dramatic changes in programs that used to run on antiquated, manual processes.
This is especially true with organizations running capital improvement programs (CIPs). These organizations are typically state funded and have to track funds from multiple sources, across multiple projects, for multiple years.
If you’re not using the right construction program management software, you’re losing money and time.
It’s not uncommon for these entities to run capital programs using Excel. Some of the Excel spreadsheets we’ve seen from clients would make you cringe. While they can work, and you may know this first-hand, those spreadsheets aren’t exactly ideal.
Organizations running on Excel and email (even file sharing systems like Dropbox) often think construction program management software is a glorified database. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Tame Those Pesky Project Requests
It doesn’t matter if you’re a university, local Parks & Rec department, a state facilities commission, or the Department of Corrections, there’s always someone who has a one-off project they want to push. Well, the right capital project planning software takes the pain out of those project requests.
From project requests all the way through closeout, capital project planning software streamlines your projects from square one. In the capital project management software, you’ll be able to create custom project request forms and post these on a public or private request page. Every request will then be conveniently stored in the software, complete with file attachments and all.
Once your team sifts through the requests, the approval process can be managed all in your capital project planning software. You’ll be able to create approval processes that fit your organization’s structure. Those approvals will be sent out automatically to the next person in line. For example, if a request needs to go to public works or engineering first, it’s all automated in the capital project management software.
Automatically Rank Those Same Requests
Every organization is going to prioritize projects differently. Whatever factors go into determining those priorities, they can be defined in your capital project management software. You may have environmental or economic factors that play into your request rankings, simply set them up in your software. And, the right capital project planning software should be flexible enough to allow the creation of custom factors too.
Once your ranking preferences are set, you’ll also get a weighted score. Want to put a heavier weight on safety factors than impact on personnel? Go for it. You’ll easily be able to set up those parameters in your admin panel.
Your ranking criteria will also have custom scoring rubrics that the software implementation team will help you set up. The goal is to customize the software to fit your capital improvement program like a glove. All you need to do is set your preferences once and every request will then be automatically sorted in order of importance. And, as priorities change, your team can easily modify the settings as needed.
Fund Tracking and Allocation
This is where a capital project management software really shines. If you manage capital programs, you understand the chaos that can ensue when trying to track all of your funds, across multiple projects, over several years… Especially if you’ve been tracking everything in Excel spreadsheets.
When you adopt a capital project management software, the fund registry will serve as your baseline for making sure resources are allocated efficiently. This is where you’ll manage each type of fund and easily track every credit and debit for those funds. You can track any type of fund source including state or federal grants, bonds, tax revenue, and more. All data you need will be conveniently accessible in your construction project management software.
For each fund, the summary dashboard will quickly show you real-time status. And, you can do this for every single fund type, phase, and project. At a glance you’ll see each project those funds are contributing to, as well as your planned costs, allocations, commitments, and actuals—all side by side.
Need deeper insights into what has yet to be accounted for? In addition to grand totals, capital project management software displays what still needs to be allocated, as well as fund balances and uncommitted funds. At your fingertips, you’ll have all of your data in a cohesive format that’s this easy to access.
You’ll gain even greater visibility to your program if your capital project management software is tied into your construction project management software. Every commitment and actual will allow you to drill down deeper. Every contract, change order, and invoice will be linked to the funding resource. A good capital project planning software will even show you the percentage each fund contributed to those financials.
You may be familiar with the adage ‘hope for the best; prepare for the worst’. Top performing organizations take this wisdom to heart and apply it directly to their business. For others who believe it to be true, but don’t practice it, the right capital project management software bridges the gap.
Using a capital project planning software, you’ll be able to forecast for those ‘what-if’ scenarios. The most common component to account for is value of money. Inflation is a constant and for projects that span five years or more, you need to be prepared. Sure, you can make these calculations for each project on your phone, but there won’t be the potential for human error when the software does it for you.
Select any rate to forecast and the capital project management software will show you how it impacts your program over time. This is key, because if you just wing it, people will be scratching their heads when it comes time to request additional funding. With these ‘what-if’ scenarios, you’ll be able to easily see what percentage of projects will still need to be funded in any given year. That’s preparing for the worst at its finest.
According to Social Science Research Network, the majority of people these days are visual when processing information. Let’s say you have the perfect spreadsheet to manage your capital project schedules. And, it works for you. You’ll still have to take the time to translate your data into a visual format that makes sense to the rest of your project stakeholders. Again, the right capital project software takes care of it for you. In the software, you’ll be able to view your entire program over time in a view that makes sense to everyone.
In addition, you can adjust your timeline in that same view. It makes it simple to just slide any of your projects to the most appropriate time frame. Since all of your funds are already linked to those projects, the funding values will adjust to match the commitments for that period.
With everything being tracked and linked in your capital project management software, you’ll be able to future-proof your program.
Real-Time Reports = Real-Time Insights
As you can see, the right software can completely transform the way you plan and manage your capital projects. Still, you know the folks upstairs are going to want analysis. The capital project management software gives it to them, in any configuration they prefer.
Narrow down by fund, fund type, project, or phase—it just takes a few clicks. Whether you want the big picture or prefer to hone in on data at a granular level, your reports will provide a clear breakdown of how your program is doing. And with a cloud-based platform, pulling reliable and consistent reports is easy, regardless of where you are or the device you use.
While using Excel spreadsheets and email can work, they often create a tremendous amount of manual work and data confusion along the way. Consider adopting a capital project planning software to streamline your entire process. Not only will you gain better insights, but you’ll no longer have to stress about adjusting resource allocation over time.
Plus, who doesn’t want to be free from manually handling those project requests?