Whether you’re working on a small bathroom remodel or building a new housing development from scratch, managing a construction project can be a daunting task. Between dividing your project into scopes of work, setting a schedule, hiring subcontractors, renting equipment, and more, construction projects have a lot of moving pieces. Without a strong project management system at the foundation, many construction projects can run over budget and over schedule.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at Spreadsheet.com’s Construction Project Plan template and explain how key Spreadsheet.com features like Gantt views, Related rows, Automations, and more can be combined to create an all-in-one construction management solution. Take a look at our construction project management workbook and follow along, or create a copy for yourself to experiment.
Schedules are a key component of any construction project, and no construction management system is complete without some sort of timeline. Spreadsheet.com makes it easy to turn simple task lists into interactive timelines with Gantt views and Calendar views.
Before creating a Gantt view, we’ll give some structure to our project task list by creating row hierarchies, or parent-child relationships between rows. With row hierarchies, we can easily organize our task list into a series of scopes.
Categories or scopes of work, like “Pre-Construction Activities” and “Site Mobilization”, serve as our parent rows, with individual items like “Site walk” and “Blueprint review” as indented child rows beneath them. With Project Management enabled, parent rows automatically aggregate information like start and end dates from the child rows underneath them.
By adding a Gantt view to our workbook, we can view our project tasks laid out on a timeline. When you add a Gantt view to your workbook, Spreadsheet.com will enable Project Management settings. These settings add additional timeline-specific columns – like start and end dates, durations, and more – to your worksheet.
The information in the Project Management columns is used to configure your Gantt view. In Gantt views, your task list lives side-by-side with a Gantt chart so you can quickly reference a visual overview of your project timeline. The Gantt view in our workbook is color coded by each task’s status from Column B - Status, a Select column.
Gantt views in Spreadsheet.com can automatically calculate and display a project’s critical path, as well as show task dependencies directly on the timeline. Gantt views are dynamic and will automatically update to reflect changes made to the worksheet’s primary view.
Once a Gantt view has been added to your project plan, it’s easy to add a Calendar view as well. Like Gantt views, Calendar views let you quickly reference a visual overview of your project timeline.
Use the Month view to see a high-level overview of your project timeline, or drill down further into a Week view to see how your project is progressing day by day. If you need to make changes to your project timeline, you can edit events directly in the Calendar view or make changes to your primary Sheet view. Either way, your changes will be reflected across all of your worksheet’s views.
By adding an automation to our workbook, we can automatically notify task owners and team members of upcoming tasks. In our automation, the When a Date arrives trigger and Send notification email action work in tandem to notify a team member via email about an upcoming event.
Our trigger can be configured to send a Spreadsheet.com user a notification on, before, or after a specific date listed in a Date or Date & time column. Here, we’re creating an automation to notify the task owner in Column G - Owner of an impending task two days before the date listed in Column C - Start Date and customizing the notification to use information taken directly from the Tasks worksheet.
We could add another action block that notifies a central point of contact - like a Project Manager - of all upcoming tasks. Or, we could change our automation to send a notification through Slack or Microsoft Teams instead. When our automation is triggered, designated users will receive an email from Spreadsheet.com with a link to our workbook in their email inbox.
Related rows, one of Spreadsheet.com’s data types, let you link rows in multiple worksheets so that your sheets can work like tables in a relational database where editing one changes the data in another.
For our Construction Project Plan workbook, Related rows connect our Tasks, Subcontractors & Vendors, and Rental Equipment & Machinery worksheets so that the three can share information with one another.
Our Construction Project Plan workbook has three worksheets – Tasks, Subcontractors & Vendors, and Rental Equipment & Machinery. Underneath the raw data, all of these sheets have relationships with one another; some tasks are associated with specific subcontractors, some subcontractors require certain equipment rentals, etc. With Related rows, we can create links between these three sheets to represent those relationships.
Column I - Subcontractors & Vendors in our Tasks worksheet and Column D - Task/Scope in our Subcontractors & Vendors worksheet are connected by a Related row with a 2-way link. With a 2-way link, the relationship between records is reflected in both sheets.
The Tasks worksheet shows the subcontractor to which each activity is assigned, and the Subcontractors & Vendors worksheet shows all of the activities that each party is responsible for.
Similarly, Column H - On Loan in our Subcontractors & Vendors worksheet and Column C - Rentor in our Rental Equipment & Machinery worksheet are connected by a Related row with a 2-way link.
Ready to get started? Browse Spreadsheet.com’s Template Gallery to find ready-to-use construction management templates, as well as templates for project management, sales, finance, and more.