This is a guest blog by Dave Nevogt
Managing an engineering team can be a highly difficult task. With major responsibilities like overseeing the project’s progress and keeping track of team member’s daily work, it’s important to have a competitive mindset, the right skill set and must-have engineering tools for engineering teams.
Digital tools that are helpful to engineering teams have grown in popularity over the past few years. The wide array of features that modern apps have can drastically change the way engineering teams work together.
Utilizing this software will help managers handle projects more effectively, gain more control over their time, and ultimately, increase their productivity. Let’s have a look at the essential engineering tools that can make engineering team management more streamlined.
Building Information Modeling Platforms
According to ASCE Library, building information modeling (BIM) platforms are one of the largest developments in the engineering industry in recent years. Known for its 3D rendering capabilities, BIM offers a number of impressive features beyond that. All of which aim to make communication between engineers, architects, designers, and builders much more seamless.
With BIM software, engineers can run projects better. BIM takes into account the surrounding geography and job site requirements. It can suggest materials that can be used, and detect structural collisions while in the planning stage. When used properly, teams are able to get a clearer understanding of the project. Which allows them to work better and commit fewer mistakes.
The information that engineers can acquire from BIM allows them to make calculations with higher precision. Another useful feature for engineers is BIM’s energy modeling, which allows them to create energy-minimizing plans for their projects.
Time Tracking and Location Monitoring Software
The concept of time tracking isn’t new, but the latest features that time tracking software offers can lead to significant positive effects for engineers.
Time tracking effectively eliminates the need for the paper-based timesheet (yes, companies still use these), which cost managers additional time due to their potential inaccuracies that need to be confirmed.
Most time tracking apps allow you to assign tasks to team members. So that, everyone knows what to focus on that day or week. Time trackers are especially useful in preventing confusion among team members when it comes to their responsibilities, which can greatly disrupt the flow of the project.
Location monitoring helps managers understand where team members have worked throughout the day—whether they’re in the office or on-site. Managers can get a general idea of what has been accomplished without having to ask everyone individually.
Project Management Apps
One way to manage multiple projects you’re leading or working on is to map out a plan. But even with the most detailed plan, it can be difficult for things to go accordingly during the execution phase itself. Engineering project managers must make sure that the project closely follows the schedule, and that everyone on the team is on track.
Project management software helps managers plan projects better, create more accurate budgets and estimations, and collaborate with the team to make sure everyone is on the same page.
With project management apps, you can address issues at every stage of the project lifecycle. They afford flexibility and decision-making support that managers need to adapt to whatever situation that arises.
Have you considered trying new software when it comes to team management?
Technology — and engineering tools to be specific — make tasks easier and help produce better projects.
From the early planning phase to the day-to-day responsibilities, they can provide support not just to team leaders and managers, but to everyone else on the team as well.
When your team has access to software and programs that make their work more efficient, they are able to focus on high-priority tasks over admin work, such as timesheets.
If you haven’t used any of the digital tools mentioned above, it is highly suggested that you give them a try. Technology may very well be the solution to the productivity and management roadblocks you have been dealing with for awhile.
Dave Nevogt’s Bio:
Dave Nevogt has created several million-dollar companies, and is the co-founder and the current CEO of Hubstaff, a time tracking software for engineering teams with streamlined timesheet, payroll, billing, and more. He writes about growing businesses and leading teams.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on what tools you think are must-have engineering tools for engineering teams.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success