Lessons Learned #25: The Daily Report, More Important Than You Think!

If you’re like most subcontractors, Daily Reports are simply a requirement of the subcontract and are not given much thought. I’d like to change that by giving you my perspective on the value of Daily Reports.

Most of the subcontractors I work with don’t pay much attention to the information that gets into the Daily Reports (DRs) that are turned in by their company. That can be a costly mistake. The DR is a multi-faceted documenting tool with many uses and tremendous value. Since it is required by contract, it’s the only daily document that records the history of the project for your company. As a document that is created in the field to record activities and contemporaneous progress of work, it is presumed to be more accurate than many other documents.

In addition to complying with the contract, DRs are typically used for measuring productivity, preparing change requests, substantiating T&M changes, and in time extension requests. Finally, as the only daily record of work, when grouped, they become the backbone of an as-built analysis of work on a project.

While the DR may not fit the strict definition of the “notice” requirement in most subcontracts, some subcontracts have elevated the importance of DRs by requiring you to record events in the DR that may be the cause of a claim as a condition precedent to a claim (or the claim is considered to be waived). If your subcontracts contain this type of provision, you should make every effort to ensure that your DRs include any conditions that may give rise to a claim. This means that your field supervisor who fills out the DR must be knowledgeable of this requirement and sensitive to the type of conditions that occur on the job which could result in a claim.

I will have more to share about DRs in future issues. However, one more key point is that you have your supervisors complete the DRs at the end of the day (or early the day after) in order to have the information be as accurate as possible.

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