What is the value of a
construction daily report?
July 15, 2021
Designed to keep project owners and other stakeholders in the loop, a construction daily report looks back on the activities and progress that took place on a construction project, capturing all the details unique to that day. Its most important purpose, other than serving as a record of events, is defining problems — scheduling hiccups, unexpected expenses or safety issues, for example — that occurred or may be developing so they can be remedied before they worsen.
Its relevance doesn’t end there. In addition to uncovering problems, it can draw attention to opportunities for improving inefficiencies, whether scheduling, cost or labor. And we can’t overlook its value in documenting contract compliance. Plus, it provides real-time evidence if there are any disputes, saving the need to rely on people’s memory.
The details that make up a construction daily report can vary by company or project. But the process can be simplified using a prebuilt or customized template that includes standard questions.
What are the job details?
Consider these your project’s vitals. These identify the essential details that give context to the job: Job name, construction type and phase; start and anticipated completion dates; location; date of report; and name of the person compiling and submitting the report.
What tasks were completed and what quantities were installed?
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a line-by-line accounting of every task that was done. Project owners are more interested that you’re making headway. So, aim for a high-level view of progress on the major tasks, as well as any outstanding work left to complete them. This shows the owner not only that work is being done to meet the provisions of the contract, but also where things might be ahead of schedule or falling behind.
What craftspeople were at the site today and how long did they work?
Now that you know what was done, you need to know who did what. Details to include would be name, position and total hours each logged that day. This matters because if, for example, tasks aren’t being completed according to the timeline over a period of days, it could indicate there aren’t enough craftspeople — or ones with the right skill set — to complete the job. The resulting risk is that initial milestones may be missed, or that the extra expense of overtime or extra labor is imminent.
What equipment was on site and what equipment went down?
Your construction daily report should detail each piece of equipment on site. Was the right equipment there when needed or was it late? Was it used and for how long? Was it in working order? Any equipment that is underutilized or no longer necessary could present a hazard or liability if it’s not meant to be there, and could represent wasted costs if it’s being rented for longer than the job requires.
What specific materials were used and how much of each?
As with equipment, you’ll want to record all the materials in the field, how much was used and what remains. Was there sufficient inventory of needed materials for work done that day? If not, it could point to a supply chain hiccup (including delivery to the wrong location), material shortage (requiring a discussion with the owner about alternatives), or even an issue with the actual purchasing of the materials.
Were there any delays?
How do delays tie back to your overall schedule? They could be weather-related, shipment problems of equipment or materials, a shortage of site crews necessary to finish a task, or an on-site accident, for example. The owner will naturally have questions such as, “How long is the anticipated delay? What is the potential impact on the project? What efforts are being taken to mitigate this?” In addition to proactively addressing these questions in the construction daily report, keep the owner and other stakeholders apprised of progress against these delays.
Sometimes the weather has other plans for your project as well, unleashing windy conditions or stormy weather that can sideline your progress or even damage equipment. Knowing the weather’s impact provides a backdrop for the work that took place that day, which then focuses attention on steps taken, if possible, to work around any limitations that adverse conditions may have created.
Were there any safety, quality or environmental inspections or incidents?
This could be anything from a violation of safety protocols during the course of work to an on-site accident resulting in damage to equipment or structures, to an environmental requirement not being met. No matter how minor, each incident should be documented along with corrective action intended or actually taken. And if a regular safety inspection was conducted, note whether anything was flagged as an issue to address.
What documentation can you provide to verify the above incidents or progress?
Your construction daily reports don’t have to stop at just telling; they can show, too. Uploaded videos and photos provide visual details and add more context to the story of that day’s work. These can be markups, blueprints, on-site photos, or screenshots of vendor communications, for example. Anything that can supplement what you’ve included in your daily report, especially if they can add to a discussion on how to improve project performance and progress. Documentation can play a key role in any disputes that crop up, such as those resulting in retainage being withheld.
A truly good report relies on requiring the right information, completing it in its entirety and on time, and constantly monitoring to ensure no potential problems or improvement opportunities are left unaddressed.
You can get even further value out of your construction daily reports with a planning software solution. Options like InEight Plan and InEight Progress digitalize the entire process, allowing you to capture the details you specify. And it eliminates the tedious completion of physical paperwork so you can deliver a more accurate, comprehensive daily report in a fraction of the time. Request an InEight demo to get started.