Using Construction KPIs to
Improve Project Management

 

The success of a project cannot be measured using only financial metrics. Many project managers will look at budgets and whether they have gone over or under, and this isn’t enough. It can be difficult for teams to not become solely driven by money.

 

There are many other essential construction KPIs that tell us whether a project is on track and provide valuable insights into what needs to be done to improve.

We have put together some of the critical key performance indicators (KPIs) alongside the data they might scrutinize, to help managers track construction project progress and productivity more effectively, so they can meet their long and short-term goals!

 

1. Safety

Safety first and all that!

It’s important to remember that when you have a safe site, there are less risks and therefore less long-term costs. However, we all know that accidents do happen, and when they do, your project could be set back both in time and money. And don’t forget about those insurance payments. Having a good knowledge and understanding of your safety rating is key to cutting costs and maintaining a good level of staff productivity.

 

Here are some key construction safety KPIs:

  • Safety/ incident rate
  • No. of safety meetings/ communications
  • No. of accidents per supplier

 

2. Employees

Okay, this is a really important one. Yes, employee performance and productivity are important to the success of a project. We know this. But we cannot forget that actually, employee performance and job satisfaction are inextricably linked!

It is a well-known fact that employees who are happy and invested in their work are more motivated and will work more efficiently in the long-term. Think of that dreaded employee turnover rate. As a project manager, you need your workers to be happy with where they are, so that they don’t leave you high and dry. Because if they do quit? This is a major expense. Reducing this cost is a biggie.

 

Here are some KPIs to focus on that will help you analyse employee motivation and retention:

  • Worker satisfaction
  • Training completion percentage rate
  • Turnover rate

 

3. Performance

Okay, now we can get into the ‘money-driven’ ones. You obviously want to track and improve productivity. This is a high one on the list at meeting: “How productive are we on this project? Are we making money? Should we be cutting costs?” You know how it is.

Well, performance metrics can indicate how productive a project is. Hallelujah. This means measuring how much time and effort is going into a project. Once you’ve analysed this, you can work with your team to adjust and allocate additional resources or tools to the areas that need them, and better meet your project goals.

 

So, what are these golden KPIs?

  • Average revenue per hour worked
  • % of equipment downtime
  • % of labour downtime
  • Waste/recycling per job

 

4. Quality

Remember that budget? And how important it is to stick to it and keep on schedule? How could you forget! Well, having a strong understanding of the total quality of your projects will help you to keep a closer eye on the all-important budget. Quality KPIs are your new best friends.

 

Here’s a good list of KPIs that will help your team maintain a high level of quality:

  • Number of defects
  • Total cost of rework
  • Number of site inspections conducted
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Internal customer satisfaction
  • Number of defects due to workmanship
  • Time to rectify defects
  • Ratio of the number of inspection passed to total number of inspection

 

5. Great, but how do I implement and evaluate KPIs??

It’s brilliant to know which KPIs you need to be looking at to improve different aspects of projects. However, many managers might sit down and not know how to evaluate them and implement change so that things can improve.

You need to prioritize the top concerns for your project, whether it be that your analysis shows a high turnover rate or a high cost of reworks. It’s also important to involve everyone who needs to be involved in these discussions, like your foremen or your senior site engineers. Standardize how you go about all of this, including your reporting and measurement process.

As a project manager, it is your job to keep employees in the loop. You should incentivize participation, and if you receive feedback that coincides with your analysis, it might be time to sit down and talk to those on the ground. Good leadership means good communication. Once you’ve made the appropriate changes, don’t forget to evaluate the impact, and keep an eye on things so that you can make ongoing adjustments! Monitoring is key to your project’s success.

 

Financials are important but try to think beyond this and use construction KPIs that relate to safety, quality, performance and staff so that you can get the full picture of your project. This will still pay off in the long run, because it will allow for better control over costs and schedule, all the while you are developing your ability to be a great leader as a project manager!

 

 

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