Pre-Construction Meetings: What You Need to Know

Construction
Rea Regan October 13, 2021 8 min read

Taking a closer look at what happens at a pre-construction meeting and what you need to know about them.

Construction team in a pre-construction meeting

Quick Guide

    They say that actions speak louder than words.

    But that doesn’t mean that words don’t matter either; this is particularly true in the construction industry when the right words can have a big impact on actions. 

    When working on a construction site, a pre-construction meeting can make all of the difference in the world.

    As the name implies, a pre-construction meeting takes place before work at a construction site begins. 

    But, what happens at a pre-construction meeting, and why is it so important? 

    In a way, the name gives it away, but a pre-construction meeting is too significant to give just a simple answer. Let’s take a closer look at what happens at a pre-construction meeting and what you need to know about them.

    Who’s in Attendance

    The first step in running a pre-construction meeting is making sure the right people are in attendance. If someone important is left out of the loop, it could have consequences for the rest of the crew, potentially leading to mistakes or accidents that could cause injuries. 

    When in doubt, don’t be afraid to invite a few more people to the meeting, just to be safe. If there’s a question over whether or not a person should be there, there’s usually no harm in letting that person be present.

    However, attendance at the meeting likely depends on the size of the company and the size of the project. A small contractor will usually have several people wearing multiple hats during the project, so attendance during a pre-construction meeting will be small. 

    We’re talking about

    • the owner
    • crew leader
    • crew members
    • and estimator

    But the bigger the project, the more people need to be involved in the pre-construction meeting. 

    The last thing you want is too much information being distributed second-hand. 

    In short, anyone who’s going to play a role in performing work during the project or making key decisions while construction work is being performed should be at the meeting and taking in all of the information being disseminated.

    What’s on the Agenda?

    What is a pre-start meeting? Well, it depends on the agenda and the information that needs to be shared with everyone involved in the project. The meeting should start with an introduction of the owner and all of the leaders on the project. Even if it sounds obvious, everyone should know all of the key players and who’s managing the project. Announcing the chain of command for the construction project should be at the top of the agenda. 

    It’s also essential to make it clear the responsibility of everyone in attendance, most notably the quality control roles.

     Pre-construction meeting to discuss what’s on the agenda

    After introductions are completed, the rest of the meeting will cover all of the key documents related to the project. This part of the pre-construction meeting can get tedious, which makes it all the more important for everything to be listed on the agenda. This makes it easier for everyone to keep up and ensure that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten. If one piece of information or point on the agenda is forgotten, it can throw the entire operation off.

    Cover the Basics

    When it comes to construction work, the devil is in the details. Everyone needs to be on the same page, which means covering the basics and making sure everyone is up to speed. This is a big part of what happens at a pre-construction meeting. 

    The most fundamental aspects of the project should be reviewed so that everyone has a good understanding of what’s going to happen.

    This will include items like the project schedule and the payment schedule. This should answer any questions about how long the project is going to take and when certain work needs to be performed. 

    Naturally, this will also lead to drawings and plans being shared with everyone at the meeting. This is also important in clearing up any confusion about how things are going to proceed once the project officially begins. Finally, pre-construction meetings should cover all of the policies and procedures that are specific to the job site. Everyone should be oriented with the place where they’ll be working, especially since many construction workers jump from one site to the next. Specifically, safety procedures should be discussed at length so that workers understand all of the safety hazards that exist and what can be done to mitigate them as much as possible.

    Who’s in Charge

    A big part of pre-construction meetings is making sure there is organization as it relates to leadership. Of course, every member of the team needs to understand their job. But it’s equally critical to lay out the people who are in charge of the project and what part of the project they will be managing. 

    For example:

    • Who is the project manager?
    • Who will be in charge of quality control? 
    • Is there a dedicated safety manager on site? 
    • Will there be different leaders for different parts of the project?

    Once work begins, you can’t have workers wondering what’s happening and who they talk to when they have a question. All of the leaders need to know the workers who will be under their supervision, and the frontline workers need to know who their manager is on the project. This should all be cleared up by the end of the pre-construction meeting to avoid confusion once work begins. 

    If there are lingering questions about who has the authority to do certain things related to the project, it will slow down progress and get the project behind schedule.

    Answer Any Questions

    There should always be time set aside for questions at the end of a pre-construction meeting. It’s the job of the leaders to welcome any questions from those attending the meeting just in case something discussed wasn’t clear. 

    No matter the questions that are being asked, it’s always better to answer them in front of a large group to ensure that everyone is on the same page rather than trying to catch everyone up later. 

    Ideally, there will be at least a few questions asked after a pre-construction meeting. 

    In fact, having a few questions to answer is a sign of a successful meeting. If there are too many questions, it’s a signal that things weren’t clear or the meeting didn’t share enough details about the project. 

    You also don’t want to be in a situation when nobody asks a question after the meeting

    Of course, it’s possible that the meeting went perfectly and everything was explained clearly. But it’s more likely that everyone was confused but doesn’t want anyone to know that they don’t have an understanding of the upcoming project.

    Effortlessly Run Your Construction Business With Connecteam

    Running pre-construction meetings is just one aspect of the never-ending list of tasks on your plate.

    So, if you’re looking to effortlessly run every aspect of your day-to-day then you need to implement the leading construction app, Connecteam, pronto.

    Not only is it an easy to use tool, can scale with your business, is customizable, and is highly affordable but the robust features are critical in enhancing your business operations.

    • Automate daily workflows and receive reports from the field (safety inspection report, accident report, tool inspection checklist, etc.)
    • Schedule individual or team shifts with drag and drop, recurring shifts, templates, etc., and dispatch jobs for your on-site employees
    • GPS time tracking for accurate payroll (which you can export in any format)
    • A foreman kiosk app so everyone clocks in from a shared device with a unique code
    • A digital library and knowledge base to onboard and train your crew, even share quizzes to ensure total understanding of material covered
    • Raise compliance with read and sign forms
    • Manage all HR requests like time off, updating contact information, issue performance reviews, and more
    • Easily find contacts with the in-app employee directory
    • Start a group or 1:1 chat to enhance operational announcements
    • Boost engagement with live polls, a suggestion box, and surveys

    Now the above features are only just scratching the surface. Start with the free 14-day trial to see what Connecteam can really do for your construction business.

    The End Result Of A Pre-Construction Meeting

    When putting together a pre-construction meeting, it’s always best to understand the goals of the meeting and the results you seek afterward. Of course, there are many goals, most notably finishing the project on time and without any serious accidents or injuries occurring. 

    But you also want everyone attending the meeting to walk away understanding their exact role, when they have to do it, and how it contributes to the overall project.

    To some extent, you want to inspire discussions among the leaders of the project – especially since those conversations are usually better to have before the project begins. This is the time to hammer out all of the details about how everything should come together. If nobody involved has any questions or concerns about the project ahead by the end of the meeting, it’s safe to say that your pre-construction meeting went well.

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