The Daily Log Provides Jobsite Management Data
The daily log (also knows as the daily report, daily diary and daily book) tells you a lot about project profitability. But you need know what to look for in that data. The daily log, or as some have affectionately dubbed it, “the daily slog”, details the activities performed on a given day. A complete log includes who was there, what they did, any issues or incidents, weather conditions, equipment, and the overall progress of the project.
The the project manager, site supervisor or a field engineer has the responsibility for creating construction and maintenance daily log. But they often fall to do so, Paper logs are useless for real time project management. But they can be filed away as a reference in case they’re needed to research safety or HR incidents, prove regulatory compliance, resolve payment issues, etc.
Unfortunately, too many people view the daily log as time-consuming and unnecessary. Digital QR code check in apps make create the daily log a snap. Daily log data can become a strategic tool, uncovering hidden opportunities to increase profits.
Three Critical Data Points in the Daily Log
Here are three kinds of data contained in the daily log that offer insight into the profitability of the project and health of the business.
- Actual vs Plan. A project plan contains your best judgment of the tasks to be performed, who will perform them, how long the tasks are estimated to take, and what other tasks are required to complete a milestone. One area that’s always challenging is staffing. While the construction worker shortage shows no signs of easing, the daily log gives you a real time indication of worker, crew and subcontractor productivity. Metrics include data such as the most productive days, tasks where you’re over or understaffed, and absenteeism trends. When you look at projects or trends over a period of time, you can proactively prevent slips, incentivize key resources, and identify which subcontractors are most reliable.
- Weather: GCs are not meteorologists nor are they expected to predict the weather. However, keeping a record of weather and seeing patterns in it as it relates to productivity offers additional insight. For example, if you’re working in an area that’s been severely impacted by heat waves in July or windstorms in October, you can factor that information into project planning. Additionally, if a weather incident happens in the middle of a project, having the current record along with past records helps justify a delay or change order.
- Equipment: You can align site equipment information with how often it’s used and how long it takes to complete an assignment. This tells you about the skill sets of the crew and helps validate the need for additional training or new equipment. The daily log ideally includes observations on jobsite equipment use.
When you use daily logs to spot trends and better understand how projects are managed and completed, current and future project bidding is more accurate and profitable.
Digital check-ins have also been used to improve incident management. For example, you can quickly report on percentages of workers that have read and understood safety protocols or have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Integrating Daily Logs with Project Management Software
Taking it further, when you integrate daily log data with an online construction management software, your energy and attention shifts from data entry and acquisition to spot bigger picture weekly, monthly and yearly trends.
When you connect what’s happening in the field to project plans, you have a more complete view of company operations. You also reduce risks and liabilities by having digital records that are legible, time-stamped, and verifiable. You build the basis for a digital transformation of your business.