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How to unlock real-time progress tracking - for free!

Today we talk about progress tracking, in real-time!

Believe it or not, it can be done and there is a number of different ways to do it. All of which require you to consider your technology PRIOR to issuing your scopes for tender to your project team and supply chain. That's it. That's the secret!

So, what exactly does real-time construction progress tracking achieve? Among other things, it offers:

  • Reduced schedule delays

  • Enhanced visibility

  • Improved decision making

  • Improved accountability among the whole team

With such benefits on offer, you might wonder why more people aren’t claiming them. The answer is pretty simple: they’re not using the right processes or considering it early enough into their project.


If you can scope out your project technology stack prior to tender, then it gives all your supply chain ample time to understand and scope correctly the correct infrastructure and processes in their tender returns, as well as put a realistic cost to the budget for this to happen.

All too often the technology is an afterthought, BIM is a "line item" with a lump sum on the bill of quantities. "BIM Consultants" are then brought in late in the day to race to the bottom on price, all-knowing they will just show up once a week and run a few clashes and therefore make a small profit, even if it's not how it should be done. The client is left with a sum of money spent on something with no value which could have been better spent on a local charity or event.

This is the cycle we have been seeing over the past 5 years and still get glimpses of today. For the most part, we stay away from these projects, as no one wins. It is from here the mainstream media of BIM hate, BIM is a waste, BIM is a cod, comes from.


While it’s helpful to track everything, improving progress tracking in just one area can make a huge difference. Even if you can only add another system or two a year, it’s worth starting now.

For real-time progress tracking, you don't even need "BIM" some might say. And it is not as complicated as you might expect.

Below are 3 examples that are Free:

Both Google and Microsoft offer users the ability to create Forms (Checklists) and push the answer data from the forms into Excels (Database). Although you pay for Microsoft, most organizations already have this cost incurred in their overheads. Google is similar, although for any readers with neither, Google offers you free applications for a period so you can test this first hand.

  1. Wall Closures: I want to see a floor plan of all my walls with traffic light colours on whether they are 'To Do', 'In Progress' or 'Complete'. Simply create a form on google. Populate the data in the morning, on the status of the room (or if you are really smart assign a QR code to the room). A few simple macros in the google sheet tied to a floor plan will give you (very quickly) a live heat map of your installation works backed by a signature from your site team.

  2. Snag Closeout by Room: Take that QR code that you just conceptualised. Place one somewhere where it won't be removed, like the door jam of every room. Now, every time you have a snag in the room, just scan the QR code and raise the snag. You can use the data in the office on the Google sheet of Microsoft excel online to not only give you a heat map of snags per room. But you can also create dashboards of performance and snag counts per company. One better align these snag counts to milestones on your schedule and provide a forecast burndown for area handover!

  3. Tracking Commissioning tags from L1 Factory to Handover: Take you QR Code printer and set to overdrive! Stick a QR code on your assets, your equipment for commissioning. Make this part of the Factory witness test process if necessary. This way you can actually use the data from the forms to tell your project team whether your equipment is in a factory in Belgium, or passing through you site gates getting FAT tested. As above you could link this to floor plans, or colour heat maps in the model.

Art of the Possible

The opportunities are endless. We often find once we set up the workflows and the technology for our clients it is they who have the really beneficial ideas. It is like we have opened their minds to the art of the possible, from there the trust and reliance on technology expand and our client and customers adoption to digital becomes more achievable.

Obviously buying an app like BIM 360 Field or even our very own Planloader opens you up to having more control, more standardisation across projects and better experience with less manual processes, but we are here telling you that if you wanted you could do it for FREE!

The key thing to take from this article is the concept. If you take this concept I am sure you will (or already have) come up with even better applications in your own field of work. It is the concept of what is possible that will encourage you to seek innovation within your field and become a disruptor to our outdated and inefficient industry. There is no better time to do this than now.

Connect the Dots

At GagaMuller this is what we do. Except it is more complex than how we have illustrated above. We have a team of software developers who automate a lot of the above. We strategise and build the infrastructure that will work for your business. Most importantly we haven't forgotten how to build. Our team of highly skilled Project Managers understand the capabilities of the technology and align these into our customer's workflows. We have Digital Project Managers working across some of the largest mega-scale projects in Europe proving substantial cost savings often equating to over 10x of the initial investment in our business.

We project manage and deliver the project from Preconstruction risk mitigation and Design for Manufacture and assembly strategy through to project schedule delivery protecting the client budget. Specialist in future-proofing assets and portfolios for smart buildings promoting Internet of things technology. We always begin with the end in mind.

See why we have scaled across 8 countries in 2 years solely depending on the word of mouth of our customers such is the quality of our work.


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