Managing a project in any industry requires a great amount of planning and control and things can spiral out of control without the necessary tools (read software) in place to manage the show. The construction industry is no different. While construction management software that offer complete solutions for each stage of project management abound the market, the cost factor could be intimidating for a lot of construction firms.
We are here to discuss the top 4 open source software that can help you to get quick fixes in your project management without any monetary investment. The caveat being they are just that: a quick fix solution. So, if there are too many holes that need patching, it probably makes more sense in investing in a more comprehensive package rather than taking the help of different open source solutions.
- Estimate without a sweat with Estimator Application:
Getting an estimate of construction contracts, printing the estimate along with a proposal is no mean feat in itself. Estimator Application does all of this for you effortlessly in the quickest possible way. The following are the significant features:
- It can copy all the substantiations from various estimations, so also all the contract specifications from the different estimations.
- The data can be extracted from and to Excel making it extremely convenient to use.
- It provides you with a default cost type and project cost type along with their group libraries.
- The installation is pretty simple and it being Java-based makes it a handy application to use.
- Manage your drawings with CurrentSet:
A construction company has to deal with numerous iterations of the same drawings, and it can get cumbersome to manage all of them in a single place, not to mention the perils of losing data or having the team not in sync with the updated versions. CurrentSet by Procore is your saviour in that sense as it contains features true to its name:
- It consolidates all of them into a master set and even automatically numbers the individual drawings. No more horrors of misplaced drawings.
- The recent and updated versions automatically get prioritized. This ensures that the team is up to date with the latest drawings and can easily collaborate.
- The sheets with any reference link up to another sheet are automatically linked using the OCR technology, so you’re saved from manually flipping through sheets to locate the drawing that is being referred to.
- CurrentSet is also a huge money-saver since there’s no cost of printing and mailing the innumerable sheets of drawings.
- Document management made easier with OpenDocMan:
Handling large volumes of documents that are accessed and edited by hundreds of users within the company can be nightmarish with a good document management system. OpenDocMan is a free PHP-based software that not only stores all your documents in one lace but also allows for granular access for every file stored. Some other key benefits include:
- The document review and file expiration process is automated.
- Files can be edited, but you have a check-out feature that prohibits overwriting the edited version. You can also get access to the revised history if need be.
- A quick search as well as full search using the name, author, category or department is possible.
- Security levels can be made stricter by assigning department access control or even adding user levels with granular access.
- You’ve got the added advantage of multi-lingual support.
- Get the 2-Plan project management software to manage your project:
Want to plan your project and also execute another simultaneously? Your best bet is 2-Plan: a robust software with the 2-Plan desktop version designed especially for companies that need to handle multiple projects. An online tool that also functions well with the iOS, 2-Plan does a whole lot for you:
- Even if the task level details are yet to be defined, you can use 2-Plan Desktop to plan your project schedule either in the top down or bottom up fashion and even add a reserve time as a buffer.
- The Graphical WBS lets you have a visual depiction of the breakdown structure for your project. You can not only get a bird’s eye view of the inter-relationship between the components, but also add/delete/rearrange the components with the interactive tool.
- You can have complete control over the resources at all stages of the project: planning, execution, supervision and the final closing. You can monitor as well as create milestones and also manage the costs.
- The project scheduling and management tools allow you to create work packages, define roles, allocate resources to the work packages, and also define dependencies.
- The planning tool allows you to work on multiple projects simultaneously and even lets you drag-and-drop components from a previous project to the current one saving copious amounts of time.
Like we said, the above free software can come in handy if you are stuck in any of the stages in a project and need a quick-fix solution. For a long term solution, we’d recommend investing in a comprehensive and fully-integrated software solution.
Have you used any of the above software in your company? We’d like to know your feedback.