How to effectively manage electrical projects

How to effectively manage electrical projects

Whether you’re dealing with installations or maintenance calls, electrical projects can quickly get out of control if you don’t have a solid management plan. If you’re not on the ball, teams can overlook key details, go over budget, and miss deadlines. These issues can result in even bigger problems with customer relationships and your company’s overall profitability. 

However, with proven project management methods, you can give your team direction and deliver on your client contracts. The following tips will help you keep your electrical projects in line. 

Straighten out project details

The initial stages of an electrical project are all about determining the project’s scope and constraints. This involves looking at contract conditions and noting the project’s deliverables, goals, deadlines, costs, and other requirements. 

Calculating project timelines and budget are another key component. You have to estimate the duration of the project based on previous jobs, worker proficiency, and current processes. Meanwhile, budget calculations require keen analyses of logistics, location, material and equipment costs, and quotes from subcontractors. 

Once you’ve established the project’s scope, identify the stakeholders and technicians who will be involved. List down the expertise and work experience required to complete the project as well as a management hierarchy to clarify the chain of command. 

Create templates for electrical projects

Developing standardised project plans for jobs that you do regularly reduces planning time and allows you to mobilise your teams faster. These plans clarify all the details of a job, down to the milestones and processes required to fulfil contract terms. 

For example, the first milestone of an electrical installation project may cover work orders for procuring the right materials, such as electrical wires, switches, and other components. The second milestone could then outline procedures for ensuring workplace safety, such as illuminating workspaces, checking wire temperature and short-circuit ratings, and avoiding wet or damp areas. Finally, the third milestone could provide checklists to walk technicians through the actual installation process. 

Optimise your schedules

To create a productive workflow, teams often plan their tasks ahead for the next three weeks to break down large electrical projects into more manageable chunks. These three-week schedules include critical job details like appointment times, locations, equipment requirements, and task instructions. 

Of course, to truly optimise your three-week schedules, the right people must be assigned to the right tasks and time slots. Automated scheduling software searches your company roster for the most qualified and available subcontractors and technicians based on the project’s parameters. The software also considers your technicians’ weekly work hour threshold, so you can balance workloads and maximise their time without causing burnout.  

Track project progress

Teams can quickly deviate from the original plan when you don’t monitor projects from start to finish. It’s therefore important to use job management software to track your projects.  

When technicians cross off an item on their checklist or complete a milestone, their progress is automatically reflected in a centralised dashboard. Technicians can even substantiate their progress reports by uploading on-site photos, videos, notes, and timesheets on their job management app. These updates allow you to evaluate your team’s performance and see whether your projects are on track with the estimated timelines.

Job management software also serves as a platform where technicians can lodge incident reports, time-off requests, and expense statements. With all this information in one place, you’ll be able to address issues related to workplace safety and scheduling while making sure your team stays within budget.  

Stay in touch with your team

Effective communication is critical in coordinating your team and preventing misunderstandings that could delay your electrical project. There are multiple strategies you can employ to facilitate seamless communication with your team. For starters, you can organise weekly meetings between project managers, supervisors, and other key stakeholders. These are great for getting in-person updates while giving your team an opportunity to express any concerns with the project. 

If conducting face-to-face meetings isn’t possible with your schedule, holding virtual meetings using cloud-based business communication apps like Microsoft Teams may make more sense. These apps provide audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, screen sharing, and live note-taking features, enabling you to communicate from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Another option for when you need up-to-the-minute updates from your team is WorkBuddy’s smart portals. These offer a central point of communication between contractors, subcontractors, and technicians, so they can conveniently discuss project details, changes, and issues. Contractors and subcontractors can also use portals to give specific instructions and share important documents with their on-site technicians. 

Reflect on project performance

When you’ve completed everything on your checklists, host a retrospective meeting to review the successes and failures of the project. This can be as simple as comparing the actual duration of tasks against estimated timelines to see which processes were hindering production. If accidents like electric shocks occurred during the execution phase, you may have to update your safety checklists and personal protective gear to minimise risks for similar projects. What’s more, reflecting on your scheduling processes could help you discover opportunities to streamline material delivery requests and dispatching.  

Managing the many moving parts of an electrical project can be simplified using the right tools. With WorkBuddy, you can instantly process service requests, use ready-made project templates, streamline scheduling, communicate with your team, access project data, and more. This job management software is a no-brainer for those who want to have complete control over their projects. Request a free demo today to learn what WorkBuddy can do for you.

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