SPREADSHEET APPLICATION for SMALL ENTERPRISES in MANAGING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
The Indonesian small construction enterprises are considered giant in numbers, i.e., about 100,000 contractors, but dwarf in performance of managing their construction projects. Besides they lack of skilful and professional human resources, small contractors have also limited knowledge and tools for managing project, e.g., project management software. The research was aimed to develop a simple, affordable and powerful computer application for planning and controlling construction projects by small construction enterprises. To attain the objective of the research, a workshop was conducted to gain useful information on current practices and problems in managing construction projects based on opinions from 20 small size contractors. The workshop revealed that small size contractors usually use spreadsheet application in managing the construction project instead of utilizing commercial special-purpose project management software since they cannot afford to purchase, operate and maintain the commercial software. Moreover, small contractors are practicing very simple and rather inadequate management tools for planning and controlling the projects, i.e., S-curve, bar chart, progress curve, and cost and time deviations, that are merely used for reporting purposes only. Based on the workshop findings, a spreadsheet application called Gnome PM was developed to automate the current practices of managing projects by small size contractors and to introduce as well as to educate them on how to manage the construction projects adequately. Therefore, the performance of small construction enterprises in managing construction projects could be improved and the performance of the Indonesian construction industry could be improved as well.