Why Are Daily Allocation Sheets So Important In Construction?

December 5, 2022
A daily allocation sheet is a document that records the labour, plant and materials allocation for each day’s work against the activities undertaken.

Daily allocation sheets have been used in the construction of infrastructure projects for decades, often filled out by a foreman on a duplicate pad at the end of each shift and filed away for a rainy day.

But is this the construction data gold mine that is essential for tackling the 30% of profits estimated to be lost each year in the construction sector?

Although the latest drone technology or AI-driven planning tools have huge benefits,  issues often still boil down to the granularity of a project's who, what, why and when.

Allocation sheets are powerful tools which have the ability to provide teams with this detail daily, however, they are hardly ever used in a proactive manner.  

But what if we could change that?

What is a Daily Allocation Sheet?

A daily allocation sheet is a document that records the labour, plant and materials allocation for each day’s work against the activities undertaken in that period.

Commonly laid out as a matrix with each resource type, role and competency compared against a list of activities completed.

A foreman would typically allocate the hours for each person or plant item to allow project management teams to understand how the resource was utilised during each shift.

Additionally, a similar allocation of materials is commonly included to allow for used quantities to be assigned to each activity undertaken.

Should you combine your Daily Allocation Sheet with your site diary?

A Daily Allocation sheet is a fantastically detailed contemporaneous record, but what if you could supercharge it and provide teams with even more detail and context of what happened on a particular day or with a particular activity?

Well, what if you combined your Allocation Sheet with your daily site diary?

It seems obvious when you think about it, you are capturing very similar information regarding resources, work activities and issues affecting progress so why not combine them into one?

Combining these two essential contemporaneous records allows teams to delve even deeper into site events, giving them the granularity that they often crave to proactively understand and action issues on-site without the usual manual effort and time lag caused by duplication of effort..

Imagine a world where your teams can easily provide you with detailed who, what, where and when of each project all in one place AND in real-time.

What are the short-term benefits of a Daily Allocation Sheet?

Having the detail of the resource utilised delivering a particular activity or associated with an event, such as a delay on-site, provides huge benefits to project teams in key areas such as:

  • Identifying inefficiencies - labour and plant are often the core cost components on projects so when these resources are stood down or inefficient it is important to understand why.Having the detail behind these events in the Daily Allocation Sheet allows teams to quickly triage issues and address the root cause without having them repeat over and over again, removing inefficiencies and instead continuing to drive the project forward.
  • Substantiating change - if something is different to what was expected on site then it's often difficult to explain why and the impact on resources. Daily Allocation Sheets, combined with a Site Diary fix this problem, allowing teams to clearly apportion resources against the changing scope or activity delay whilst allowing teams to fully understand the root cause of the change on-site without the fuss.
  • Highlighting best practices - a Daily Allocation Sheet is not just for when things go wrong but can be instead to easily highlight best practices and understand where teams are more efficiently using resources to deliver works compared to the envisaged plan or tender.

What are the long-term benefits of a Daily Allocation Sheet?

The benefits of capturing detailed Daily Allocation Sheets go far beyond the delivery of the initial project but instead provide huge value to the wider organisation and future projects in the following ways:

  • Estimating future works - having detailed records of labour, plant and material usage for each activity within a programme is invaluable for any estimating team. Rather than relying on assumption or guesswork, teams can use their own data to understand daily outputs, optimal resource allocation, and the cost to deliver each element. Not bad from a single document filled in on-site by the Foreman!
  • Creating risk registers - managing project risk can be incredibly difficult and rely on the input from multiple teams and stakeholders but data from Daily Allocation Sheets provides granular detail on historical issues and how they have impacted both cost and programme meaning that project teams can use their own data to better understand, price and mitigate project risks.
  • Resource planning - understanding how resource usage directly links to planned work banks allows teams to better plan and manage future resource requirements and invest in areas of future growth.  

If you are looking for a quick way to understand on-site issues and drive productivity efficiencies then consider creating an actionable plan to utilise your  Daily Allocation Sheets. A good daily allocation sheet is a simple way to add some structure to an often chaotic environment as it gives you the ability to control costs and make informed decisions based on accurate forecasted projections.

Why Are Daily Allocation Sheets So Important In Construction?

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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