ConstructionOnline Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Task Management for Construction Projects

Have you ever been in a situation where the projects you’re managing are consistently falling behind schedule, going over budget, and overall failing due to lack of communication? If so, you know how much damage poor task management can do to your bottom line, and construction projects are no different.

In this guide, we’ll go over how construction professionals like you can use task management to make sure your projects run smoothly; finish on time and under budget; and create more happy clients.

The Importance of Task Management for Construction Projects

Task management is the process of overseeing a task through its lifecycle. It is meant to help team members finish a project by collaborating and ensuring everyone is up-to-date on different tasks.

In our several decades of experience working with construction professionals around the globe, we’ve seen first hand how task management can make or break a construction project.

Good Task Management Can:

  • Keep team members accountable for their responsibilities by letting everyone know who has been assigned what task
  • Keep projects on schedule with task due dates and to do lists
  • Keep projects under budget by avoiding cost overruns that come with delayed tasks
  • Make projects more manageable by dividing the workload into smaller tasks
  • Help team members prioritize by organizing tasks by importance
  • Make initial planning of projects easier by creating tasks for different project stages


FREE Project Scorecard Template


Poor Task Management Can:

  • Make resource management more difficult because you lose track of who is responsible for what tasks
  • Delay the project timeline because it becomes easier to lose track of tasks due dates and progress
  • Make projects go over budget because delayed tasks cause delayed projects which cause cost overruns
  • Makes larger projects harder to manage because there is poor division of larger tasks into smaller subtasks
  • Makes prioritization of tasks harder because there is no structured way of organizing tasks by importance
  • Makes initial planning of projects more difficult and useless because all projects require some level of division into stages and smaller tasks

Knowing who is responsible for what and when tasks need to be completed by having a task management system in place can mean the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful project.


Construction task management

7 Steps to Execute Task Management for Success

Just like anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to do task management. After decades of helping construction businesses of all types and sizes – including residential, commercial and specialty firms – here are several important ways we’ve found can lead to successful task management in your own projects.

1. Centralize Tasks With To Do Lists

Keeping all project tasks in a centralized document or software where everyone on your team can view and access them is the best way to manage project tasks.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re frantically trying to track down a task out of a hundred to-do list items on several different documents, you know first-hand the stress that comes when everything you need isn’t in one accessible place.

When you have one place where all project tasks (or to dos) are organized into a simple list view that’s easily scannable and can be clearly marked as complete or incomplete, your team will have a much easier time keeping up with what tasks still need to be done so that your project can finish on time.

2. Organize Tasks

Having a way of keeping all of your tasks organized is an essential part of good task management, otherwise it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle, which can ultimately delay your project timeline.

It might seem more intuitive to create one big to-do list of all your project’s tasks, but as your project progresses, you may need to only view tasks that are due this week, or tasks that have been assigned to a team member who no longer works with your company, or tasks that are marked as high priority. Making sure you keep project tasks organized from the beginning can help you stay organized throughout the entire project.

You can easily organize your tasks into manageable to-do lists with our new and improved to-do list feature, which lets you filter to dos, group related to dos by different categories, create subtasks for to-do list items, and view to dos in a comprehensive board view.

3. Organize Tasks

Assigning task due dates is a great way to keep your project on schedule by letting your team members know when each task needs to be completed.

It’s one thing to have a list of tasks that still need to be completed, but it’s a game changer to have a set due date for every task so that you can cross-check to dos with the project schedule and see if any tasks are at risk of lengthening the project timeline.


To do list software


4. Focus on Project Milestones

Projects are rarely successful without a way to keep your team accountable for their responsibilities, so having a way of assigning team members to their relevant tasks is crucial to help your projects run smoothly.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where there’s a task that needs to be completed soon, but you have no way of easily accessing which person is was supposed to complete that task, or you constantly have team members asking what they should be doing, you know the chaos that can happen when people don’t know what their responsibilities are and you don’t know who to hold responsible for unfinished or late tasks. 

Having a way of quickly checking who is responsible for what tasks is important for keeping your team performing at peak efficiency and keeping projects running on schedule.


FREE Project Scorecard Template


5. Prioritize Tasks

When it comes to construction projects, some tasks are more of a priority than others when it comes to completing a project.

For instance, say you need to follow up on a permit that halts the project until it’s completed; you could mark that one as high priority. Or say you need to make sure some material orders are submitted on time so that the job isn’t delayed; you could mark that one as medium or high priority.

Having a straightforward way of prioritizing tasks as low, medium, or high priority is crucial so your team knows what needs to be done first and which ones can stand to be addressed later.

6. Keep Track of Task Progress and Status

It’s easy to look at a to-do list and see tasks that have been checked off or not, but you can get a more detailed understanding of a task’s status by tracking the percentage of completion and what subtasks are complete or incomplete.

For example, say you have a task called “Renovate bathroom,” but this task is a little more involved than what can be included in the name. Instead of just leaving the main task as is, you can create subtasks for a more detailed breakdown of what the task requires, including things like calling a plumber, making a change order for the countertop, getting the client’s selection for flooring, etc.

Including this level of detail in tasks that require it can make the project more manageable for your team and makes it easier to see how each task is progressing.

7. Know How Tasks Will Affect Your Budget

It’s important for you to know if and how much a task will impact the overall project budget because after all, the main goal of a construction business is to make a profit.

Two ways you can track how tasks will affect your bottom line are tracking the cost impact and attaching relevant cost codes. This way, you’ll always know if your project is at risk of going over budget because of a task, and you’ll have a better idea of how to accommodate for your budget.

Knowing how various events and items in a project will affect your budget is crucial, and to-do list items are no different, so it’s a good idea to know how your project tasks will ultimately affect the bottom line.

To do list software


The Benefits of Using a Task Management Software

It can be difficult, stressful, and time-consuming to implement something as detailed as task management with ill-equipped software, or entering that info manually on multiple Word documents and spreadsheets. 

In our decades of helping construction firms, we’ve even encountered several professionals who rely primarily on texting and messaging apps to handle task management, which is unmanageable and potentially dangerous to say the least.

The days of running around trying to track down who was supposed to take care of what task, what the status of a task is, and why it has been delayed are over; that’s why we suggest using an easy-to-use project management software created specifically for the construction industry like ConstructionOnline, which gives you state-of-the-art task management tools via our To Dos feature in addition to the other project tracking and estimating tools you need as a construction professional.

Here are some of the benefits of using a task management software for your construction projects:

  • Use advanced filtering options for tasks like filtering by date, assignee, priority, status (incomplete, complete, and percent complete), stage (planning, in progress, ready for review) and more…
  • Group tasks by category like date, assignee, priority, stage, and more…
  • Organize and handle large amounts of tasks with ease and within seconds
  • Keep all team members on board by assigning tasks and giving relevant team members access
  • Avoid schedule slippage by setting due dates, and sending automatic task notifications and reminders, like upcoming tasks, overdue tasks, and tasks assigned emails and texts
  • Create optional subtasks for larger tasks to make things more manageable
  • Add updates to task via comments and timestamps to keep everyone up to date
  • Add relevant attachments to tasks like documents, PDFs, contracts, image files, video files, and more…
  • Keep up with tasks across multiple projects without hassle



Those are some of our tried-and-true tips on how you can use task management to your benefit. If you want to learn more about how we can help your construction firm improve task management with our award-winning software, book your free ConstructionOnline demo with us today!