How to meet deadlines and lead projects

How to meet deadlines and lead projects

For site supervisors, meeting project deadlines is a big challenge. You want to make sure field technicians get their work done on time, but you also don’t want to be constantly breathing down their necks. To walk this fine line, you must carefully consider how you lead your projects from planning to progress monitoring. 

If you’re an Australian site supervisor having trouble leading projects and meeting deadlines, here are some useful tips: 

Set clear expectations 

At the start of every project, set clear expectations on the deliverables and deadlines of a project. Kickoff meetings and project checklists are great for communicating these expectations and giving detailed instructions to your team. 

During kickoff meetings, discuss the scope of work, material and equipment requirements, budget, deliverables, and timelines for each task. Also, let technicians ask any questions about the project so you can clarify any misunderstandings and prevent costly mistakes. 

You can then create custom checklists to guide team members through different jobs and set deadlines for each stage of a project. These checklists could include step-by-step instructions for safe work method statements, installation procedures, maintenance protocols, and more. 

Maintain healthy workloads

While maximising your field technicians’ time is important for projects, unfair workloads can disrupt your entire operations. Top-performing technicians who are constantly overworked are likely to suffer from burnout, slow down productivity, and resent management for it. What’s worse, hectic schedules often force technicians to rush certain procedures to meet deadlines, which can lead to unsafe practices, missed deliverables, and client complaints.

Efficiently balancing your team’s workload is the best way to avoid these problems. In your project planning sessions, analyse previous project data so you know the general time frame of similar projects. Then, examine your team’s schedules and total hours worked per week to foresee potential workload issues. With job management software, you can automatically assign projects to technicians based on their work hour preferences and availability. This ensures your field technicians have a healthy work-life balance. 

Check on your team regularly

Weekly or monthly check-ins with your on-site team are crucial for keeping your projects on track. These check-ins allow you to track job progress, provide performance feedback, and gauge your field technicians’ well-being. Check-ins also give field technicians an opportunity to report project issues, clarify instructions for specific tasks, and voice other work-related concerns. Finally, when field technicians know that they will be regularly meeting with you, they’ll be more motivated to meet key project milestones and produce results. 

To make your check-in meetings more efficient, you can adopt several best practices. For starters, schedule the meetings as a recurring event on your team’s calendar. You’ll also want to keep meetings relatively brief, between 30 minutes to an hour. These ensure your frequent meetings don’t impede productive work and cause scheduling conflicts. 

You can conduct the check-in meetings either face to face or virtually. The former is great for touching base with your team and discussing how far a project is coming along. However, if your tight schedule doesn’t allow for actual face time, holding virtual meetings via video conferencing and instant messaging is a great solution. WorkBuddy’s smart portals even let technicians log progress reports and chat with their site supervisors.  

Highlight the significance of everyone’s contributions

Projects can lag behind because individual team members don’t understand how their contributions affect the job as a whole. For instance, a technician who is responsible for small tasks like installing electrical outlets may minimise the importance of their role in a large construction project. This mindset spurs technicians to disengage from work and procrastinate, which delays other tasks down the pipeline. 

That’s why you need to show technicians that each task, no matter how small, is pivotal to the project’s overall success. Centralised operational dashboards enable teams to monitor job progress. These display deadlines for each milestone as well as who is responsible for certain tasks, enabling teams to hold each other accountable. When field technicians finish a task, your dashboard can instantly notify other technicians working on the same project so they can proceed with their assignments. Projects can even be set up so that teams can’t proceed to the next milestone unless all tasks from previous milestones are completed. Doing this helps technicians understand the value of meeting their deadlines and how their performance can directly impact the team.  

Make project information easy to access

Pertinent information related to a project, such as deadlines, checklists, and operational dashboards, should be readily available to your team. Cloud-based job management software WorkBuddy helps you do just that. With WorkBuddy, field technicians can access project information anywhere with their mobile devices. If anyone forgets due dates or what to do next, they can just refer to the app to get back up to speed. Plus, when technicians have any project-related questions, they can just ask you directly via WorkBuddy. 

Leading projects doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed managing various projects, WorkBuddy can ease your burden. Our leading job management software comes with intuitive tools to make planning, scheduling, and monitoring your projects a breeze. Book a demo today to learn more. 

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