The secret to saving money using contemporaneous records

April 1, 2022
The secret to saving money using contemporaneous records

Records! Records! Records!

Good record keeping is essential to the success and delivery of any construction project. The secret to getting paid and ensuring you are able to substantiate payment applications is keeping a detailed log  of all works carried out on site. These records should include details such as close calls, resource used , reasons for delays  and planned vs actual quantities.

It is vital to keep consistent, contemporaneous records as inconsistent project reporting and documentation can lead to underpayment.

So what are contemporaneous records?

Contemporaneous means originating, existing or happening during the same time. Contemporaneous records are records taken at the time an event or activity is occuring.

In application, this may be documenting a close call on site as it is discovered, including detailed descriptions of the hazard, photographs to support these records, and a clear report of any actions taken to resolve the close call. Keeping contemporaneous records ensures that any small details of events occurring on site are captured accurately and with the correct levels of detail.

No matter how good your memory is, you won’t be able to attain the same level of detail if you sit down to record shift events at the end of the day!

What do contemporaneous records give us?

Essentially, contemporaneous records allow site teams to fully understand the who, what, why, where and when of the project, as it takes place on site.

Therefore, keeping contemporaneous records provides teams with the structured commercial intelligence, boosting collaboration across project facets because the full story of the shift is accessible to all. Having access to this information in real-time also ensures that teams are able to proactively inform stakeholders about project progress, meaning that any potential risks to desired outcomes can quickly be transformed into opportunities.

Having missing information or incomplete sets of records can quickly put a project at risk of a loss of reputation or income.

Once I’ve collected my contemporaneous records, how do I use them?

Collecting a detailed and complete set of records is only half of the job, finding a way to view data as it is collected on site is where the real opportunity to realise long term efficiencies and accelerate project progress lies!

Raildiary captures data in a clear, structured manner and transforms this information into powerful data-led insights, available and accessible to teams in real-time. This increased visibility and transparency of data not only allows project teams to cultivate best practice within the capture of data on site, but also allows project managers to make accelerated, effective decisions.

Additionally, by keeping detailed, contemporaneous records stored within the Raildiary platform, teams are easily able to utilise historical data, and augment decision making for future project plans.

In summary, the effective use of contemporaneous records is a powerful tool for achieving cost savings and improving project outcomes in the rail industry. By enabling proactive decision-making and problem-solving, improving cost management, enhancing contract management and administration processes, and enhancing reputation and credibility, contemporaneous records can help businesses achieve long-term success sustainable growth.

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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