Top 10 Construction Project Management Tools for Project Managers

Jackson Row
Jackson Row
April 12, 2024

Before you go and open that fresh spreadsheet and start creating a nightmare, have some foresight and consider these Top 10 Project Management Tools and relevant construction management software for your role as a Project Manager. Ideally, you are reading this as a client-side project manager working in capital projects/construction projects and have an open mind and keen for a better way.

If you love working after hours on a spreadsheet and doing things the hard way, you can stop reading here and return your spreadsheets :D

Project Manager Jobs to Consider When Choosing Construction Management Software

As a project manager working for a client/project owner, there are a few key jobs and tasks you perform between you and your client/project owner (upstream) and then you and your general contractor, designer, engineers, etc. (downstream)

Downstream: Some key jobs managing your general contractor, designers, and engineers. You might not use these tools, but you will want to see them used to construct the work for quality and risk mitigation.

  1. Project Timeline/Project Schedule so that you can identify an end date.
  1. Construction Superintendent or Contract Administrator of contracts like AIA A133-2019 (in the US) or Standards Australia AS4000 (in Australia).
  1. Correspondence & Documents with your general contractor and design team.
  1. Safety & Quality, to protect your client's asset and reputation.
  1. Defects/Punch list.

Upstream: Some key jobs managing your project for the client ensure you save time and look good doing it.

  1. Monthly Report or Status Report that you send to your client/project owner,
  1. Budgets and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for financial management of EAC/FFC.
  1. Risk Management, with a risk matrix inside a cool risk register.
  1. Meeting minutes.
  1. Stakeholder Management

Let's get into it!

Top 10 Construction Project Management Software Tools for Project Managers

For these ten jobs, here are our Construction Project Management Software:

1. Project Timeline / Critical Path

Recommended Tool: Microsoft Project or Primavera P6  

The world of capital projects isn't spoiled for choice when it comes to scheduling tools, and for good reason. Microsoft Project is free, and Primavera P6 is pretty good, so it is great for planning or tracking the project timeline, including the critical path.

They provide the robust scheduling features you need, and the general contractor will probably own this role in the construction stage. Spreadsheet jockeys could do it in Excel if needed. If you are looking for something simpler that manages the phases of the project from inception, check it out here.

Primavera P6 Reporting - Using Primavera P6 Tabular Report Capabilities
It's tough to look at such expensive software, but everyone knows how to use it and seems to like it.

2. Construction Superintendent / Contract Administration

Recommended Tools: Hard copy, Spreadsheets

There's a bit to unpack here. From preparing notices, tracking submittals, and RFI registers to preparing payment applications. Construction contract superintendent or contract administration roles require many tools. So, it has become a balance of traditional methods with modern technology.

Overall, though, most construction contract superintendents or contract administration duties use the good old hard copy of the contract printed, combined with Microsoft Outlook emails. Try to keep registers of your contract interactions. Mastt makes tracking variations and payments easy for you, while Aconex will assist with mail and correspondence of notices.

3. Correspondence & Documents

Recommended Tool: Aconex  

General contractors manage many subcontractors, and the number of construction drawings flying around is crazy. Aconex does a great job of solving the drawing and document management problem, where centralization, distribution, and revision are needed.

It also streamlines the correspondence among project teams and stakeholders, so you can track who you issued documents, transmittals, or notices to. Honestly, I'd be worried if your general contractor is not using a document.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Aconex keeps all the essential drawings, specifications, and documents in one centralized repository.

4. Safety & Quality

Recommended Tool: Simpel

Maintaining high standards of safety and quality is non-negotiable on a construction project. We want good-quality construction, and no one wants to get hurt.

We found this fantastic new tool at Simpel that offers many features for digitizing safety and quality processes (think boring but essential stuff like forms, workflows, checklists, tasks, etc.) to good effect. It is worth asking what your general contractor or builder uses for these things.

5. Defects / Punch Lists

Recommended Tool: Procore or InEight  

Ok, so the end of the job is here (substantial completion/practical completion), and there are a ton of defects (as usual). Hopefully, your general contractor isn't using memory to keep track of these.

Procore seems to be the go-to solution for tracking and resolving defects or punch list items. If you aren't a fan of Procore, the team over at InEight has a Defects Module, which would be a good alternative.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Punch list in procore ready for you to punch!

6. Monthly Report or Status Report

Recommended Tool:  

It's a little harmless to put our tool first. However, the pain in preparing monthly reports or status reports is high. It is time-consuming and requires a lot of information, but it is vital to keep stakeholders updated on project progress.

Mastt offers a fast, easy, and simple way of automating a monthly report or status report. It's best for all key metrics, such as project health, budget, and timelines, ensuring all parties are aligned and informed. Visualizations look great, and therefore, it's easy to communicate project information for crucial decision-making.

Mastt provides monthly report and project status report tools to automate these jobs for client-side project managers.
Mastt provides monthly report and project status report tools to automate these jobs for client-side project managers.

7. Budgets and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Recommended Tool:

There's a bunch of software in the market for project controls and finances. However, it's important to identify who they were designed for: subcontractor, general contractor, etc.

For detailed budgeting/work breakdown structure, Mastt is designed with project owners in mind and connected to Dashboards and Reports. So, if you are a project manager working for a client, Mastt will prepare your monthly report and payment-related jobs like payment applications.

8. Risk Management

Recommended Tool:

Let's face it, spreadsheets suck for risk management. If anyone has tried to right-click + insert row on a risk register, you'll feel the pain. It also seems odd that a spreadsheet remains the go-to project management tool, even though identifying and mitigating risks is crucial in construction projects.

Mastt has an automated risk management tool that provides a comprehensive risk management module. You can also easily prepare a risk register or matrix, assess impacts, and implement strategies to minimize risks. It also connects to your reports again, making your monthly report a breeze.

Risk Management in Mastt is a lot sexier than a spreadsheet!
Risk Management in Mastt is a lot sexier than a spreadsheet!

9. Meeting Minutes

Recommended Tool: Microsoft Word with Copilot  

We've not yet found a software tool that is as easy or free as Microsoft Word, and especially now with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Copilot, taking meeting minutes and drafting them has become super-fast. If you use Microsoft Teams, record the meeting and ask Copilot to draft them for you. If you are in-person, take scrappy notes or record the meeting and then ask Copilot to do the same. If you're looking for a Meeting Minutes template, download a free one here.  

10.  Stakeholder Management

Recommended Tool: Spreadsheet  

Again, we've not yet found a software tool as easy or free as Microsoft Excel for keeping track of stakeholders. A basic spreadsheet lets you track basic stakeholder information, contact information, etc.  

What does the future hold?

Incorporating these specialized tools into your life as a project manager can significantly enhance efficiency, accuracy, and overall project success. Each tool has been selected for its ability to address specific aspects of your job, but each does come with different costs and training requirements. Good luck, and we hope this was helpful!

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