Data collection for productivity analysis in construction

The construction productivity model is a complex issue involving many factors such as productivity measurement, productivity improvement, productivity analysis, productivity software, etc. It is possible to measure productivity in different ways depending on the project scope.

The information needed for productivity analysis exists in various forms in construction projects, including project-related information from drawings and specifications productivity measurements, time records for productivity calculations, and cost records. These types of productivity data are generally not available in an integrated form but are instead fragmented.

All engineering and management project leads benefit from data collection in productivity analysis to further monitor site work and daily progress. Doing so provides a complete picture of the project’s heading and the impact of certain unforeseen circumstances on the timeline and budget. 


Data Required For Optimal Productivity Analysis

Data collection for productivity analysis in construction
Data Required For Optimal Productivity Analysis

Data required for productivity analysis are dependent on the productivity measurement system adopted by a company. Generally, there are four main groups in classifying the type of productivity. 


Structural productivity measurements

For structural productivity measurement, productivity reports should include the person-hours required to complete a work activity, productivity rates, and productivity indices.

Labour productivity measurements

Productivity reports should include the number of workers required to complete a work activity, productivity rates, and productivity indices for labour productivity measurements.

Equipment productivity measurements

For equipment productivity measurements, productivity reports should include information such as person-hours or kw/h consumed by different types of equipment, productivity rates, and productivity indices.

Resource productivity measurements

For productivity measurements, productivity reports should include information such as person-hours or kw/h required to complete a work activity, productivity rates, and productivity indices.

Organizations may adopt labour productivity measurement, equipment productivity measurement, or resource productivity measurement collected depending on the type of project work completed. Depending on the type of work performed, they can also use structural productivity measurements, equipment productivity measurements, or resource productivity measurements.

The labour productivity measurement approach used in construction projects usually has a large labour component-construction units where labourers mainly undertake production activities. On the other hand, you can do productivity measurement in equipment projects regarding heavy equipment units working on road projects, bridge construction, or power plants. 

The resource productivity measurement method, used typically in mining projects, accounts for productivity measurements in tonnes produced regarding different types of equipment in the mines.


Methods In Collecting Necessary Data

Data collection for productivity analysis in construction
Methods In Collecting Necessary Data

Productivity measurements can be collected using different methods. As productivity measurement in construction projects is generally done by dividing the project into working units and reporting productivity for each unit, you can also perform productivity measurements similarly.

However, productivity measurements using such a method may produce inaccurate results since productivity varies from one work activity to another. A productivity measurement approach that is more accurate for productivity analysis in construction projects is to use time-based productivity measurements. Examples of such are the following: measure the productivity of a working unit by considering the actual time (elapsed time) taken to complete one or more work activities instead of viewing hours worked on each day.

Although this method considers both the number of hours worked and productivity rate in measuring productivity, it may also produce inaccurate productivity measurements when the number of hours worked per day is not considered.

Consequently, a productivity measurement system that considers both elapsed time and the actual working time (i.e., including holidays, sick leaves, and so on) is more useful in productivity analysis.

Productivity indices aid in comparing productivity for different projects and productivity rates in other working units in a single task if they are collected using the same productivity measurement system. Productivity indices are calculated by dividing productivity measurements for each project or working unit with specific reference periods, e.g., net output per person-hour or day or kw/h per hour.

The productivity indices will vary based on the productivity measurement system used to collect and reference periods. Still, they can be compared for different projects or working units within a single project if collected using the same productivity measurement system.


Why Productivity Standards Are A Must For Construction Projects

Data collection for productivity analysis in construction
Why Productivity Standards Are A Must For Construction Projects

Establishing productivity standards is one of the most critical steps during the design stage of construction projects. These standards help to ensure that productivity targets are set deliberately and systematically throughout the project. 

It is necessary to establish productivity standards for construction projects so that project leads can compare productivity measurements to these productivity targets. To do this, they must consider productivity standards early in the design stage of a project, and they should cover all aspects of productivity such as: 

  • Productivity-related issues
  • Productivity information sources
  • Productivity tools and methods
  • Software development life cycle 

Having an initially established productivity standard and using that as a metric to compare productivity across different projects will make productivity analysis of productivity standards more feasible. It will also help productivity improvement for future productivity projects, as project leads can adjust the productivity standards based on observed productivity measurements.

Project leads must plan projects with specific objectives in mind, and productivity is one of the leading influences in the project’s success or failure. Furthermore, productivity is directly proportional to profitability, which is why productivity is a significant factor in determining the success of a project or company.

According to productivity measurement, productivity improvement will lead to profitable growth, and productivity loss will reduce productivity. Consequently, productivity standards must be set carefully throughout a project with inputs from all possible sources. It is necessary for everyone involved in the productivity improvement process to understand productivity measurements and productivity measurement tools.

Productivity analysis at different stages of projects can help decision-makers to determine whether it meets their productivity targets or not, so they can take appropriate action for productivity improvements before project completion if necessary. It is also important to note that project teams should re-evaluate productivity standards as they vary depending on productivity measurement tools and production methods.

The productivity standards must be clear and feasible for all involved parties during the performance stage. This standard helps productivity monitoring throughout the entire life cycle, which is essential for productivity improvement.

Data collection for productivity analysis in construction
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