A Bottom-Up Approach to On-Time,
On-Budget Projects

Cost overruns and delayed projects are increasingly unacceptable, as owners demand that estimates, budgets and schedules better align with construction reality. Effectively matching actuals to estimates, schedules and budgets is largely dependent on an appropriate level of detail – a challenge a decade ago. Today, modern software for construction estimating, planning and scheduling have the intelligence to capture history and benchmark estimates, budgets and schedules to a granular level.

For instance, concrete columns for a bridge deck require several steps, such as form setting, pouring concrete, stripping, etc. In a building or plant scenario, the granular breakdown might be at the component level – think pieces of structural steel, spools of pipe or conduit. Accurate estimates of time, work hours, and cost to complete each “step” or component provide meaningful intelligence. There is much that can be learned or repeated on future projects at the component level with a bottom-up approach to project management.

Software for construction estimating, planning and scheduling should do more than just store and report on project data. It should capture knowledge – both in terms of expectations and outcomes – at the component level so the uniqueness of each job can be isolated and leveraged to validate assumptions on both current and future projects.


InEight’s software for construction estimating, planning and scheduling enable owners and contractors to create and manage cost models, produce benchmarked project plans and schedules, and monitor project progress against the budget and earned values. The outcomes from each project then add to the history of knowledge about cost and time for future estimating, planning, and scheduling activity.

The benefit? Not only do project outcomes have a greater likelihood of matching expectations, but companies can manage more work without an increase in salaried headcount.

One of InEight’s larger customers strived for years to improve its revenue per full-time equivalent number, a measure of the efficiency of its people. After little to no movement for more than a decade, the operational metric has shown a 10% annual improvement in each of the two years following InEight implementation. With component-level project intelligence captured and institutionalized, the company is better positioned to scale and respond quickly to changing market demands.

*Originally published in ENR magazine, <January, 2019>

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