Why Project Time Management Is Your Defense Against Delay and Disruption

When the timely completion of a construction project or a project stage is at risk or has failed, the result is disruption or chaos, and this has been the subject of many lawsuits for many years. Delay and Disruption disputes are often centred on time issues. The CIOB has reported its findings that projects that suffer from disputes about delay also suffer from poor time control. So it would seem that good project time management would be an essential element of any construction programme.Project Time Management is too often neglectedThis is not often the case. Of the issues that commonly determine project success, cost, quality and time, time is the least understood and least often managed with the support of formal models, benchmarks or tools. Managing project timings seems to sit in the shadows of successful project management. Where, for example, Quantity Surveying is a specific and recognised discipline, with professional bodies that govern performance and advise on techniques, there are no such bodies for the time-related aspects. Time management is often viewed as simply a feature of the project management software. But if we don’t lend greater priority to managing time, then time-related issues, such as delays, will have a disproportionate impact when they go wrong.Put a strategy in place for managing time on projectsHaving a strategy in place for training and tools that improve project time management will bring immediate and long-term rewards; good time management in construction project management is key to minimising the risk of a delay and disruption claim. Managing time using tailored and developed time management software is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of any construction company’s best practices. It is a discipline that brings with it a trail of evidence and auditable records that can be used to stand up in any law case and minimises the risk of even getting that far in first place by encouraging best practice and mitigating risk.Pick the tool with Project Time Management capabilitiesThe effects of poor time management relate to every size of project, but the more complex a project the more disproportionate are the effects and impacts of time. So having the backup of strong project management information systems that can show how plans may have adapted throughout the course of a project to cope with deviations provides a strong defensive tool for when things go awry.Choosing the right project management solution is essential. The time management tools embedded in software for managing construction projects, regardless of complexity, are much more capable than the simplistic time management models which are designed to improve personal productivity. They are fundamental to the contractor’s productivity and the effective management of its entire supply chain. They are also necessary for the building of a strong reputation for good project time management, which is essential within an industry long suffering from delay and disruption issues, and will create a distinct competitive edge for the contractor.

Business Growth Secret Revealed – Using a Marketing Calendar

Using a marketing calendar
Many business owners may not necessarily be doing their marketing planning this way or may choose to be doing this in a similar way. Either way, using a marketing calendar can be hugely successful strategy to grow your business through effective marketing.What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is a way to organize your marketing activity to specific dates or deadlines relevant to the target markets of your business;For example a florist could target mother’s day marketing and promotion. It may be a more general month target of for instance targeting Christmas shoppers in November. It can also be used to schedule information or promotion to clients who have been engaged to services for a specific period, such as an insurance company may wish to do certain marketing activities prior to renewal dates for instance.A marketing calendar can be a way of aiming at different key target markets throughout the year and aligning all the marketing efforts for greater impact in gaining your target markets.You may also notice trends at certain times of the year, which you may choose to attempt to exploit more fully in your marketing calendar planning. For instance a financial planner may see a spike in new year resolutions leading to more interest in wealth creation early in the new year.How to do a marketing calendar?
Your marketing calendar is a working document you can revise and update throughout the plan year. A marketing calendar should be simple. I recommend a simple spreadsheet matrix with months or dates with your key target market type described along with the key marketing efforts directed at that target market.Go back and review your target markets.
A good business should know exactly who or what kind of client or customers it would like. Remind yourself the types of target markets that you may be winning more, make more money from, have more competitive strengths in, more specialized in or even just downright enjoy more. The key is don’t be too broad or have too many. The more specific your target market is, the easier your marketing becomes and chance of marketing success.Review all of your marketing activity
If you haven’t already done so, go on and write down all your marketing efforts in detail and check on just how effective each marketing tool is for you. To state the obvious you should then consider putting more focus on the ones that work and eliminating the ones that don’t work. You could also try to match certain ones to the different target markets.Some examples of your marketing efforts maybe be:
• Signage• Social media• Websites• Referral partners• Business networking• Paid online marketing• Asking for referrals• Web blogging or SEO• newslettersWhat if this doesn’t apply to your type of business?
Perhaps your business is not at all dependent on the date or time of the year. If so, consider just having after care schedules to perhaps ask for referrals or cross sell you at a certain point after a sale.Where do I find the time to do this?Well often business owners do not get out of the business long enough to develop some systems to improve their businesses. If this is the case they are unlikely to get different results.So they need to look at ways to free up their time to devote in this area. This can be achieved by delegating or training staff to be more capable and giving the business owner more time to develop their business.Otherwise they may simply outsource their marketing and grow their business that way.Some other examples
• One business owner says he arranges a highly discounted sale of stock or wrongly sized materials. As well as clearing out stock, staying tidy, it brought in new people into his showroom and lead to sale of his real product too.• Use a regular say monthly newsletter of useful information or stock listing to your customer list. It will be a great way to keep you in mind of the customers. You may also be inviting them to buy or use your services at the perfect time they may be considering that very purchase at that time.• Curiously at times of elections spending can slump in economies. So you could factor this into your marketing calendar too.Here are some reasons why a marketing calendar will help your business grow
1. having a plan gets you to a destination. You will be efficient in knowing what to do at certain times of the year and can repeat these year in year out.2. Focusing on less gets you a better result. Improving your efficiency from your marketing tools will get you better results.3. More clients and customers come with more marketing activity. Thinking in this way and implementing a system to gain new clients will be effective in improving your sales.4. Improve your branding and reputation. Honestly, being consistent and having good marketing activity will make you appear to be an even more successful business therefore attracting more clients and customers.5. Become more productive. By working on your business you will learn how to outsource and delegate. This will also get your more profit or results with your time.6. Making more success in your business always improves your personal life balance. So having more profits may in turn means more holidays or more staff to help you better enjoy your non working life.

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