Life of a Project: Traditional vs. Collaborative Project Management

Jennifer Grieser, Construction Analyst for Le Duff America, has been in the construction industry for over ten years, specializing in project management. Alan Davis, Engineer at Alan Plummer Associates, Inc., has been with his company for over 17 years and has been using Projectmates for over a decade. Together, Jennifer and Alan share their secrets to success using Projectmates Construction Program Management Software over a roundtable discussion at the CMAA North Texas Conference.

They spoke about their experience now after the implementation of cloud based collaborative system versus the way they used to do it before. Both Jennifer and Alan highlighted the Document Management process of design, construction, and close-out.

Jennifer particularly liked that she was able to share documents without having to have a user name and password.

What one feature that Projectmates has… is that I can send a document link to anyone that I want and give them a day's access, like three days access or thirty days access, to get just that file. And I can control that and send it to someone who is not a user in my system. That was really important to us because I don't want to create everybody as a user."

Alan, on the other hand, enjoyed how Projectmates' provides a convenient way to share information with sub-consultants during design projects.

One of the features that I liked about Projectmates I that you don't have to use every feature of Projectmates to be able to use Projectmates. If you want to just focus on construction you can do that. If you want to focus on using it as a design tool or something to help you collaborate with your sub-consultants, you can do that. Or, if you want to take a project from conception until close-out, you can do the whole thing in Projectmates."

At the end of the discussion, Jennifer and Alan explained what they got out of Projectmates and what their companies experienced that they did not originally anticipate before implementation.

Jennifer had a lot to say about G&A headcount.

I'm actually able to take on more work with less G&A headcount. I really can. And what G&A headcount I have, I utilize in better capacity. Instead of having somebody push paper, we actually have them actually assist in the project and being a key person into getting that project moving. And then at the end, we scan what paper we do have and then we put it on Projectmates, and we trash the paper… We were able to save some G&A headcount by doing this in an automated fashion. It's the way of the future."

She was also very ecstatic about being able to streamline bidding and contracting.

Sometimes it would take us an hour to get out a bid out the door just to request. I can do it in 20-30 minutes tops, and that's without phone calls and interruptions."

Alan emphasized the submittal module in Projectmates and how it has reduced the time spent during the submittal process.

Historically, before we made the switch, a large portion of our project engineers' time was on administrative work, on receiving the submittals or RFIs, stamping them and getting them shipped out to reviewers… And just the tracking of that whole process. Projectmates became the administrator for all those things. That's the piece that I really love about Projectmates is that it takes my project engineers' time and applies it to engineering rather than to administration. That's really helped us out a bunch!"

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