Construction Management Software Requirements Checklist

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October 9, 2023

As projects increase in complexity and scope, managing a construction development can feel like a monumental undertaking. Construction management software takes that behemoth of a task and divides it into more attainable segments with tools to help you take on each one. But before buying, it’s essential to draft a construction management checklist to ensure you select the right platform.

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Construction Management System Requirements and Features

To get you started, below is a detailed list of construction management software requirements, a breakdown of the stages of construction and things to keep in mind while shopping.

What This Article Covers

What Is Construction Management Software?

Construction management software is an end-to-end solution that enables construction managers to streamline their workflows, automate critical tasks and increase productivity. It helps manage multiple projects simultaneously, with features to aid budgeting, estimating, bidding, scheduling, allocation, safety management, communication, reporting and more.

As the cost of resources and services continues to rise, delivering a project on budget and on time becomes increasingly difficult. Finding a solution with all the necessary construction management software requirements is critical to your company’s success.

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7 Stages of Construction

Before jumping into the construction management checklist, let’s quickly go over each phase of the construction life cycle to understand everything you need to deliver a project successfully.

7 Stages of Construction


The owner finds a suitable place to build, expand or remodel and obtains funding. You’ll conduct a feasibility study to determine if the project can be completed within the established timeframe and budget and identify any possible issues that might slow or inhibit the project.


You’ll work with architects and engineers to create designs and plans for every aspect of the build. All parties must agree on everything from subsurface structures to electrical systems and outward appearance.


With the designs squared away, you’ll apply for permits and zoning approvals and put together the required qualifications and bid requests for contractors. Plus, the site will begin prep for when construction starts in earnest.


You’ll look over bids, award jobs to qualified contractors and lease or purchase equipment and materials.


With all the planning and prep done, building can begin! You’ll manage multiple people and teams, track and adjust expenses, and find creative solutions to unexpected issues to deliver the project within budgetary and time constraints.


With construction complete, you’ll test every system for proper function, including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, safety and more.


During closeout, your team will clean up the worksite, and after one last walkthrough with the owner or client, you’ll hand over the keys and transfer all assets.

Unforeseen difficulties, such as supply chain issues, can quickly derail a development. And even when projects go smoothly, some stages can take years to complete. You’ll want a platform that gives you the tools to navigate construction management challenges, both expected and unexpected.

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As you prepare your construction management checklist, keep in mind the needs and limitations of the company and team. Some features may be appealing but not necessary or feasible for your company depending on its size, project load and types, budget and other limitations. So before buying, consider:

Construction Management Software Purchase Considerations

Which Requirements Are the Most Important to Your Business?

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a vendor who provides everything on your construction management checklist for the right price. Realistically, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Deciding early on which features are must-haves will make shortlisting platforms easier.

What Type of Deployment Do You Need?

Typically, there are two deployment types: cloud-based and on-premise, though some hybrid solutions are available. Your choice can drastically impact how you manage your company and projects (and your budget, but more on that later). When drafting your construction management checklist, consider which deployment method best suits your needs and management goals.


Cloud-based deployment allows for instant communication between employees in the office or the job site. Field workers can access schematics, designs, markups and notes via an online database. Typically SaaS, the vendor will handle all of your maintenance, I.T. and security as part of the monthly or annual fee.


Unlike cloud-based deployment, you don’t need to worry about a stable connection to the vendor’s servers affecting performance. Also, keeping everything in-house increases data security, but any maintenance needs or updates will be your company’s responsibility. On-premise solutions may also be more configurable and customizable than their cloud-based counterparts.

What Is Your Budget?

Construction management software can range in price from free to tens of thousands of dollars. So as with any significant purchase, it’s essential to know your spending limit and stick to it when creating your construction management checklist.

Are you a small firm? A cloud-based model might be a good fit due to the low entry point and monthly or annual subscription pricing. The substantial one-time cost of an on-site solution can be preferable for large firms that favor complete control of a product.

Whichever option suits your company best, ask the vendor about any service-tier or roles-based pricing that could increase the total cost of the software.

What Are Your Future Plans?

Where do you see your firm in the coming years? Do you hope to capitalize on the influx of federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act? Are you looking to shift your company’s focus to counteract the decline in demand for new residential developments?

When shopping, remember to think about your current needs and what requirements you’ll need to add to your future construction software checklist. Investing in a scalable solution can save you substantial money and time in the coming years.

Find out more about what your firm can expect in the future by reading our article on construction industry trends.

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Key Requirements

With the stages of construction and purchase considerations covered, let’s look over the comprehensive construction management checklist. For more information, review our construction management software requirements template.

Construction Management Checklist

1. Document Management

When managing a project, you’ll need to account for hundreds, if not thousands, of documents. Document management features allow you to send, receive, store, retrieve, scan, index and share business-related documents. Digitalizing documents reduces paper consumption, postage costs and storage space while making it easier to search for and access specific files.

Sage 300 Document Management Interface

An example of a Document Management interface.

You can generate submittals, transmittals and RFIs, and update their current status, return dates and revisions within the system. Stay up-to-date on the status of submittals and RFIs, monitor who is responsible for them and make approvals using a digital signature.

You can track multiple versions of documents through the life cycle of a project, saving you time and money when auditing or tracking the source of delays. Ensure document integrity and data security by setting roles-based or individual permissions, allowing only authorized users to access and edit documents.

Construction management software also allows you to create or upload checklists, contractor forms and punch lists to ensure team members have detailed knowledge of their obligations and safety protocols.

If miscommunication slows down your projects, add document management features to your construction management checklist. Beyond PDFs and Word files, you can upload digital photographs and drawing files, allowing team members to view identical charts, schematics or diagrams, keeping everyone on the same page.

  • RFI Tracking and Creation
  • Digital Signature
  • Document Sharing
  • Document Storage
  • Forms and Checklists
  • Document Access
  • Submittal Management
  • Document Version Tracking
  • Transmittal Management

2. Field and Communication Management

Managing a team in the field is a hassle, but construction management software streamlines the process through efficient communication. Integrating mobile devices into the construction process provides your team with collaboration tools that are key to successful builds.

Team members in the field or office can send and receive memos or participate in discussion threads in the system, reducing the need for email communications. Authorized users can leave comments and notes on diagrams, designs, checklists and other documents to provide field workers with up-to-date information and instructions, eliminating the need for return visits to the office.

Knowify Remote Login

An example of a worker checking in from the field.

Including field and communication management features in your construction management checklist ensures your team has the flexibility to react effectively to unexpected changes and setbacks.

You can instantly notify all stakeholders of project updates and changes through real-time messaging applications, emails or push notifications. Real-time weather condition features alert you and your team to dangerous weather systems and provide opportunities to reschedule events or tasks to avoid costly delays.

Some construction management software incorporates 360-degree cameras, allowing field techs to take and upload comprehensive site photos and giving you a holistic view of the site. That way, you can accurately track progress from conception to completion.

  • 360-degree Photos
  • Comments/Notes
  • Field Collaboration
  • Real-time Messaging
  • Real-time Weather Condition
  • Project Update Sharing

3. Financial Management and Accounting

With thousands of dollars and countless expenses to track, managing a project’s finances with Excel is complicated and leaves you open to costly mistakes. If you’re looking to manage and track your cash flow better, consider adding financial management and accounting features to your construction management checklist.

Create and track budgets, estimates and invoices directly in the system, keeping everything centralized and organized. Generate financial summaries and effectively respond to and identify the root cause of cost overruns with built-in analysis tools.

Monitor and manage payments and expenses, including fixed assets like material and equipment costs. Detailed audit trails and financial forecasting features allow you to accurately plan and estimate future project costs.

CoConstruct Budget Module

An example of a budget module.

You can use general ledgers to record business transactions and integrate with other company areas, like payroll, to ensure accurate accounting data. Similarly, an accounts payable and receivable feature capable of managing expenditures and customer information is vital to streamlining operations.

Some construction management software allows you to oversee multi-divisional or multi-company projects, supporting multi-entity entries, financial consolidations and intercompany eliminations and reconciliations.

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Audit Trail
  • Budgeting
  • Cost Management
  • Financial Forecasting
  • Fixed Asset Management
  • Invoice Management
  • Multi-company and Multi-division Accounting
  • Payment Management

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4. Mobile Capabilities

Beyond collaboration, integrating mobile technology into the construction process provides critical data and tools to help you throughout the life of a project. For example, contractors can eliminate the need for redundant trips to the office by accessing plans or providing up-to-date information from the field using a mobile device.

CoConstruct Mobile Example

An example of notes accessed via a mobile device.

Monitor vehicles, heavy equipment and contractor locations with GPS tracking, allowing you to allocate or reconfigure resources in a timely and cost-effective way. Plus, equipment equipped with GPS tracking can provide centimeter-accurate location data for surveying and earth moving, as well as surface and subsurface infrastructure.

Improve your company’s look with responsive web pages optimized for mobile devices. Take some work off your plate by having contractors and employees track their time via a mobile application.

Even if you take jobs in remote or developing locations, adding mobile capabilities to your construction management checklist is still a good idea. Some software allows offline access via native mobile applications, though real-time data and updates may not be available. Any data your team enters will automatically sync with the system upon connection re-establishment.

  • Mobile Plan Access
  • GPS Tracking
  • Mobile-optimized or Responsive Web Design
  • Mobile Time Tracking
  • Native Mobile Application
  • Offline Access

5. Platform Capabilities

When choosing construction management software, consider how to improve team members’ day-to-day use of the system.

ConstructionOnline Estimate Management Module

An example of an estimate management module.

Beyond the larger, more complex processes and features, does the platform allow users to:

  • Quickly create or change schedules, adjust resources or edit timelines with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Streamline coordination with clients by allowing them access to project information like daily updates and progress reports via a customer portal.
  • Simplify workloads with voice-to-text capabilities, allowing you to edit forms, create lists, add notes and provide the team with instant updates simply by talking.
  • Set up custom notifications and alerts to inform the owner and team of delays, equipment or materials shortages, weather changes and other factors that could impact project progress.
  • Customer Portal
  • Customizable Notifications and Alerts
  • Drag-and-Drop Functionality
  • Voice-to-Text Capability

6. Pre-construction Management

Construction management software optimizes the pre-construction process so your team can break ground on projects sooner. Including features like digital project plan rooms in your construction management checklist can help establish project scope while keeping your team involved and collaborating from anywhere in the world.

Aconex Design Markup

An example of design markups inside a solution.

Construction management software provides designers and managers with online databases to store, access, edit and search for drawings. Plus, architects and engineers can markup drawings and photos to offer instruction and clarification for contractors.

Help your project takeoff by generating accurate estimates that account for resource and equipment allocation, labor, electrical, deadlines and markup costs and update and adjust estimates as needed. You can create customizable proposals or use comprehensive pre-built templates.

From within a single interface, you can manage all elements of existing bids for any given project. Create a list of qualified bidders, send bid invitations to subcontractors, analyze and compare offers and track bidder activity in real time. Simplify contact management by storing and viewing each contact’s vital information, including qualifications, certifications and more.

  • Markups and Drawings
  • Bid Management
  • Customizable Proposals
  • Editing, Viewing, Accessing and Managing Drawings
  • Estimate Management
  • Markup Cost
  • Planroom Management
  • Pre-qualification Process for Contractors
  • Takeoff Management

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7. Project Management

From keeping meeting agendas and minutes to tracking complex inventories, project management tools are a critical part of your construction management checklist, allowing you to react to unexpected changes during development.

Construction Cloud Inventory Management Module

An example of an inventory management module.

While some projects may warrant their own inventory management software, many construction management systems offer tools that are more than up to snuff, allowing you to manage stock based on either value or quantity. Moving goods automatically triggers the creation of a new document that updates all stock quantity and/or value and can alert you of low stock levels.

Utilize inspection management features to perform accurate quality control measurements, ensuring the parts and components used are up to standard and fulfill every bill of material.

You can replenish inventory by sending purchase orders directly to suppliers and having them respond within the purchase order, reducing the likelihood of missed communications.

Work breakdown structures (or WBS) make massive, complex projects more manageable by shrinking them into distinct chunks, providing valuable insight into project prioritization and job costing. You can also track the progress of each chunk in real time.

Equipment and fleet management tools allow you to do more than merely handle dispatch and track allocation. You can also schedule proactive maintenance by setting alerts based on usage or timelines, reducing the chances of costly breakdowns and delays. When repairs are needed, issue, track and approve work orders from within the system.

Risk management tools help you manage cost overruns by identifying risks associated with individual projects, such as failure to comply with quality requirements, contractor delays, etc. Also, you can track the approval of any change order and monitor its effect on costs and schedules.

You can start finding future projects by using the system to manage leads, communicate with prospective clients and store valuable contact information that you can use to help you secure deals.

  • Bills of Material Management
  • Contact Management
  • Change Order Creation and Management
  • Purchase Order Creation and Management
  • Dispatch Management
  • Equipment Management
  • Fleet Management
  • Inspection Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Job Costing
  • Lead Management
  • Project Meeting Agenda and Minutes
  • Project Prioritization
  • Punch List
  • Risk Management
  • Subcontractors/Subcontract Management
  • Timecards/Timesheets
  • Work Order Management
  • Work Breakdown Structure

8. Reporting and Dashboards

Efficient management requires monitoring a barrage of information from multiple entities and departments. Construction management software provides configurable dashboards that display data consolidated from various sources to gain a holistic view of your project. You can customize how your data is displayed using charts and graphs with real-time data to view progress at a glance.

Procore Dashbaord

An example of a dashboard.

They take the stress out of reporting by scheduling when to generate daily, weekly, monthly or event-triggered reports. Reports are entirely customizable or built using pre-made templates.

If you’re frustrated with waiting until the end of a project to find out the health of your margins, make sure to add reporting features to your construction management checklist. You can track the financial health of your project compared to its progress with work in progress (WIP) reports. Plus, impact reports allow you to see how actual and hypothetical changes affect schedules and your bottom line.

  • Consolidated Reports
  • Custom Dashboards and Visualizations
  • Custom Reports
  • Daily Logs/Reports
  • Pre-built Reports and Templates
  • Progress Dashboards and Visualization
  • Report Scheduling
  • Work in Progress (WIP) Report

9. Safety Management

As construction continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations, comprehensive safety features are some of the most critical construction management software requirements.

Paskr Weather Overview

An example of a weather overview.

Many systems offer mobile-friendly construction safety inspection tools that provide predefined and customized templates for different safety inspection items, or you can create customized safety checklists.

Create a proactive approach to future on-site safety by adding safety management capabilities to your construction management checklist. Incident reporting systems analyze, monitor and document any accidents on a job site. Using this data, you can improve your safety practices moving forward. Plus, the solution allows you to track personnel, fleet and equipment for safety, OSHA and FMSCA compliance.

  • Safety Checklists
  • Incident Reporting and Management
  • Safety Compliance Tracking

10. Scheduling and Calendar Management

Though a more integrated approach may be on the horizon, for now, construction remains a highly-segmented and fragmented process, making efficient scheduling difficult. Fortunately, by including scheduling features in your construction management software requirements, you can optimize your scheduling practices and reduce the chances of bottlenecks or delays.

ConstructionOnline Schedule Management

An example of a schedule management module.

Critical path analysis tools help you create and manage an accurate project baseline by determining which tasks and events are time critical and which can be moved or flexed. Utilizing that data, you can create, edit and share a digital schedule or project calendar that details the most efficient path to completion, including allocation of resources.

Customize schedule views, such as a Gantt chart, to illustrate dependency relationships between tasks. Plus, you can set up to-do and task lists with dependencies to ensure the timely completion of tasks and that no processes begin before meeting key steps.

When change orders or adverse weather arise, you can reschedule events, duties or deliveries. The system will automatically notify employees, saving you the time and hassle of manually reaching out to contractors or team leaders.

  • Schedule Creation, Editing and Sharing
  • Project Baseline Creation and Management
  • Critical Path Scheduling
  • Customizable Calendar View
  • Event Management
  • Gantt Chart
  • Project Calendar
  • Rescheduling of Tasks
  • Resource Planning/Allocation
  • To-do/Task List

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Final Thoughts

Simply put, construction management software keeps all processes needed to deliver a project under one roof. Automated features take tedious, time-consuming tasks off your plate so you can focus on more crucial work, while real-time data ensures you’re making the right decisions.

Get help determining your company’s needs and create a shortlist of vendors now with our construction management software requirements template.

What requirements are on your construction management checklist? Are there any that we missed? Please comment below to let us know!

Gerrad FreiConstruction Management Software Requirements Checklist

1 comment

Join the conversation
  • scott j nielsen - February 17, 2022 reply

    This is an impressive and helpful list. (Helpful because it links needs with solutions. Far too often we try to fit needs to available solutions.) But, and it is a BIG BUT, this list misses what the industry misses: Coordination among Developers-Design-Contractors. This is reason two-thirds of projects are over budget and over schedule.

    Developers (that’s my company) need integrated software to coordinate the entire process from Acquisition to Asset to Sale. Neither ProCore nor Autodesk (Plangrid) cut it. For example, there is no Design Review/Assist-Plan Coordination software available robust enough for the Developer to guide the process and which Design & Contractors can use to input their highly specialized skills. Teams use 20-30 different softwares on a project and it still is inadequate.

    That’s one scratch on the surface. Contact me if you want to hear more.

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