Communication and documentation are fundamental aspects of a successful construction project. This starts at the field level with Superintendents and Site Managers reporting timely and accurate progress of the onsite activities back to the home office. Whether completed by hand, or with an interactive online project management software, such as Procore; Daily Reports are key to the knowledge transfer process. Butler-Cohen uses Procore Project Management software for several tasks, and Daily Reports is one of the most beneficial to the project team.
The Daily Report, while it may seem like a simple task, is a powerful communication tool for all members of the project team with several layers of reporting. The report can provide both real-time data, as well as a means for recording long-term historical data and trends of numerous events. The Daily Report is no longer simply a construction progress report. These events include; documentation of general contractor and subcontract personnel onsite, work hours, weather, manpower, general notes, equipment, visitors, inspections, deliveries, accidents, safety violations and associated progress photos to these categories. As with any documentation, it is important to record only facts. Keep a professional tone with personal feelings, opinions, and jokes out of the notes. The reports become project record and are shared with the client and project team.
A Daily Report best practice is to complete the reports every day, with as much real-time information as possible, and finalize all reports no later than the following morning. This is to ensure the reports are completed while the information is still fresh. When using online project management software, the data is instantly available for review for all parties. Ideally, each report would be drafted each morning once the safety meeting and daily coordination meetings are held. At that time, the site personnel can document the various subcontractors and workers onsite, arrival time, any anticipated plans for the day, and record the safety topic discussed that morning. Then throughout the day, the report can easily and quickly be updated with progress pictures, notes, and additional events as necessary such as inspections or deliveries. Following this data entry methodology allows the recorder to quickly review the content at the end of the day, make revisions as necessary, and finalize the report before leaving for the day. Prolonging this process only devalues the quality and quantity of information reported.
In addition to the real-time documentation Daily Report provide, these reports are a powerful historical data recording tool. From weather delays to aggregate manpower, the data recorded can be mined manually or used to generate reports automatically with programs like Procore. At the end of each month or project, reports can be generated to clearly document and communicate the weather delays experienced that period, the tasks effected, and the overall time-loss effect on the project schedule. Similarly, manpower reports can be run for individual subcontractors, or the field project team as a whole, to communicate the safe-work hours completed that period or clearly communicate manpower issues with individual subcontractors. The more data entered; the more powerful the daily report becomes. Documenting the absence of events is equally important. For example, “No inspections made” or “No safe incidents occurred” visibly records the events, and absence of events, for that day and add to the overall project history.
Completing work in a safe manner and ensuring the safety of all workers is of upmost importance. While precautions are taken to ensure hazards are identified and risks are mitigated, incidents do occur from time to time. Correctly documenting these incidents, or potential incidents and near-misses, early and accurately is essential to Butler-Cohen’s safety culture and record keeping. Documenting and reporting all incidents in the safety violation and/or accident logs is vital to maintaining a clear and open reporting structure. By documenting the most minor incidents in these sections allows one to track the safety trends and better plan future work.
A fundamental aspect of Butler-Cohen’s culture is to promote open communication and documentation with our clients and project team. This is one of our greatest added values that costs us nothing. All members of the project team; Architects, Engineers, and Owners are granted access to our Procore project pages and Daily Reports. This transparent, real-time reporting and documentation of construction progress with associated event logs for our customers is priceless and is critical to the success of our projects and Butler-Cohen.