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In the construction industry, few things are as vital as an updated punch list. That list is one of the essential elements keeping your project under control and your teams connected to their goals.

Punch lists are where things that need doing get listed – that could include reworks, fixes, or necessary tweaks. Lists like this can be found in nearly every industry and go by many names such as snag lists. None of those lists are as involved as in the construction industry.

For this list to work across multiple divisions and departments, there must be standards that get followed. Below are five of the best practices for this specific industry and how it should handle snag lists:

  1. Include Specs, Plans, and Methods

Ask any newbie construction worker and they’ll all have the same gripe – the details included are never clear enough. For seasoned workers who know what they’re doing, working from memory might work most of the time – but having a documented procedure for each task or sub-project is imperative.

Creating standard practices for tasks that are typically completed by a variety of different people is where you should begin. More specialized tasks can be added at a later stage.

  1. Constantly Improve Processes

Once you’ve listed the first few items, the next important step starts – getting it fixed. If your process for fixing or repairing punch list items hasn’t changed in the last ten years, now is the best time to update your processes and procedures.

All industries need to make room for adaptations and evolution – without constantly improving you may as well be going backwards, even in the financial industry. The status quo is only effective for so long, particularly in such a technology-dominated industry.

  1. Use The Right Programs

Itemized checklists are impossible to monitor unless you’re using a top-notch program. When you first start out in the industry, and even if you’ve been a seasoned professional for many years, you may still find yourself asking - what is a punch list in construction?

Don’t fear. With the best software for your unique business environment, you can focus on the more crucial tasks and leave the mundane (but highly necessary) tasks to the program.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

As much as work should be challenging at times, and career growth relies on going further and doing more – realistic goals are necessary for your punch list. If you have over one hundred windows to repair after a crane accident, but you only have a team of three workers, don’t give them a two-day deadline. All that will do is create more drama as your workers will make more mistakes in their rush to complete their assigned tasks.

  1. Inspections

Inspections are essential for punch list progress reports - without them, you can’t know how far you are to finishing. Conduct inspections regularly, but instead of coming down on your workers like a ton of bricks (excuse the pun) – find ways to criticize work that isn’t done to standard, constructively.

You should lead by example with your site supervisors and treat your employees with respect – no matter how close you are to a deadline. Inspections shouldn’t be used as a tool for creating fear – be fair, and your team will ensure that deadlines get met consistently.