From planning and budgeting to analyzing project performance, contractors need to manage and report on the many moving parts of their construction projects for every client. To manage these complex projects efficiently, contractors need to rely on reputable construction software to provide real-time insight into a project’s health, status, progress, and much more – all with little effort or fuss. In fact, your project management system should be able to easily produce an array of critical reports in a single click. Project reporting plays a vital role in ensuring all stakeholders – both internal and external – are kept up-to-date on where things are at with the project.
Relying on spreadsheets to generate decent reports can be a multi-day effort just to collect all the data, clean up the formatting and formulas and get it out the door. The nice thing about having a system do all the heavy lifting, is that not only is all the latest data already there, but the reports are already formatted to your liking, and you can generate it by just clicking a button on a screen. On top of that, there are a limitless number of reports that can be selected, that are fit for the many purposes to support the needs of complex major projects. To give you a handful of examples, I’ve listed out 10 key construction project reports that the system should be able to give you right out of the box in seconds.
1. Project Progress Report
The progress report provides an overview of the project’s current progress and any challenges, overruns, expected delays, remaining work, etc., and whether each category is on target. This will clearly show the amount of work that’s been completed to date by various metrics including, percent complete, units installed, budget consumed and amounts remaining. The system should be able to break down the reports to the level of detail necessary for the intended audience. i.e. from high-level down to very granular detail; and show it by:
- Progress by activity, cost code, and WBS
- Progress this period compared to the last period
- Billed versus unbilled (WIP) progress
2. Forecast Spend and Cash Flow Report
Through these reports, contractors can accurately track the usage of cash for each project and use current + historic data to create accurate project forecasts. Here are three prominent criteria to be used when creating this type of report:
- Forecasted spending over time
- Compare forecast to budget and actual
- Compare baseline against current, pending, and forecasts
3. S-Curve Report
The S-curve is commonly used in the construction industry to track the progress of a project, compare the actual progress to the planned progress, and forecast how the project will play out given the current level of productivity. As the S-curve is a graphical representation of all these metrics and performance indicators, it makes it easy for contractors to spot deviations from the original plan and communicate the health of the project to relevant stakeholders.
4. Productivity Report
Measuring and reporting on project productivity is crucial for project managers to gain insight into where they may need to take corrective action to ensure the successful delivery of project activities. Without real-time visibility into productivity levels, there is no early warning as to when and where changes may need to be made; and so is often realized too late, so the damage is already too far gone for corrections to have any effect. The highly versatile productivity report shows analytics, such as:
- Hours per unit – actual versus budgeted
- Units completed per day – actual versus budgeted
- $$ per unit – actual versus budgeted
- $$ per hour – actual versus budgeted
- Percent complete – actual versus budgeted
- Cost variance
- Schedule variance
- CPI, SPI, TCPI
Maintaining high productivity levels is important to complete projects on time and avoid additional spending on labour, raw materials, and other resources. Productivity metrics should be available on multiple levels, including:
- Productivity by activity
- Productivity by subcontractor
- Productivity by deliverable (code or work package)
- Crew productivity
- Labor & equipment utilization
5. Profitability Report
A profitability report tracks the revenue projections, costs, and progress of a project to ascertain how profitable it will be. Here are three different ways these reports can be created to track profitability:
- Compare Target Margin Against Actual Margin: This comparison helps contractors determine if the project is on track to meet its profitability goals and take corrective action, if necessary.
- Breakdown of Profit by Activity: Calculating profitability for each activity helps to pinpoint the best and worst areas of the project and make changes as and when needed.
- Billed and Unbilled Revenue: This includes revenue generated from completed activities as well as expected revenue from currently unbilled activities. Whether revenue is recognized on a transactional basis (T&M) or by progress or milestone (fixed price), being able to report on revenue that has been fully recognized, but not yet billed, is critical to understand. This information provides contractors with visibility into WIP (work in progress) to better manage cash flow.
6. Change Order Report
Change orders play such a pivotal role in any project, that their influence can be seen at all levels. Changes can affect the cost, hours, deliverables, revenue, schedule and much more, so having convenient reports that show the progression of project scope over time is critical for any project manager. Change orders are important legal documents that codify any modifications to project scope, costs, labor requirements, and completion deadlines. Your system should be able to report on change orders as a full registry – showing a variety of key metrics including cost, reason, approval status, source, and much more. Additionally, the effects of changes should be visible in many other cost and timeline reports to see the details of where specifically they’ve modified scope and cost.
7. Budget versus Actual Reports
This type of report is used to compare the planned budget of a project against the actual costs incurred during the construction process. It is also instrumental for comparing planned against actual hours, materials usage, subcontractor costs, deliverables, production rates, etc.
These reports serve as a good reference to track the financial performance of a project and its ability to meet deliverables and profitability goals. Key to this report is being able to compare the planned budget against the actual cost at any point in time during a project’s lifecycle. Your system should also be able to report on planned value (PV) against the actual cost (AC) at any level of the project’s work breakdown structure and cost codes – again, at any snapshot in time; and do this in a single click report.
8. EVM Reports
Earned Value Management is a well-known project methodology that is built on three core metrics – planned value, earned value, and actual costs. Through an EVM report, contractors can predict the future performance of projects and take corrective action to ensure the project remains in line with stakeholder expectations. EVM reports are flush with key metrics showing productivity and project health. Metrics such as: PV, AC, BAC, CPI, SPI, CV, SV, TCPI, ETC, EAC and much more. These metrics are used by project control professionals to make key decisions on where the project is at – and how to correct course when necessary.
9. Accrual Report
Reporting on project accruals is key for finance personnel to gain visibility into accounts payable liabilities to ensure good governance and cash flow management. On the accounts receivable side, your system should also be able to deliver visibility into the upcoming billable revenue (based on WIP) you expect to receive but have not done so currently. It includes factors such as committed cost, invoiced cost, and incurred costs, and helps the team manage project finances.
10. Resource Reports
For contractors managing multiple projects simultaneously, resource reports provide insights regarding the utilization of resources in the following ways:
- Labor and Equipment Utilization: Track the utilization of your equipment (trucks, cranes, etc.) and the labour required to use and maintain it for the duration of a project.
- Labor Hours: Accurately track the hours your team is dedicating to projects and make schedule changes as and when needed.
Making data-driven decisions based on the above-mentioned reports can be a game changer for construction contractors by increasing project efficiency, profitability, and control.
The 4castplus platform is rich with analytical tools, dashboards reports, KPIs an much more. All in an integrated solution designed for the oversight and management of construction projects.
To learn more about how your company can take advantage of 4castplus as your underlying software to leverage these reports and more, please contact us to learn more. We’d love to hear from you.