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Role of “Daily Diary” in Construction Projects

Often neglected, the subject document is an important piece of paper for construction projects. The document can be used in a variety of ways to improve the project performance and dispute resolutions. I have often seen that the project team believes the document as a burden and useless effort and thus the document is either not maintained properly or in some worse cases the document even doesn’t exists.

Being a professional involved in project control, forensic planning, claims and disputes, I soon realized how important these documents can be if maintained and recorded properly. So I have decided to write this article to share my experience, exposure and ideas on how to improve the document in order to make it easier to maintain and more beneficial for future uses.

Let me start my discussion with some talks on the uses and benefits of the document:

Uses and Benefits:

As mentioned above, the document can be used in a variety of ways at different times and forums to benefit the project and improve the performance of current and future projects. Following are some of the major uses and benefits of having a well-maintained Daily Diary.

  • The document is used to keep record of daily activities on projects. Such information are crucial for future uses and if not recorded properly on daily basis can easily go missing over the period of time.
  • A well-maintained diary can reduce much effort for quantifying any future claims by providing information of day-to-day activities.
  • With having the record of each day, such documents can facilitate in claims settlement, disputes resolution, and cost compensations.
  • They can be used as evidence of any additional costs and delay events during the claims settlement and disputes resolution procedures.
  • They can be used for future planning and forecasting of new projects and similar activities as they contain the information of time and resources for such activities.
  • They can help in costing and budgeting of new projects more accurately.

Purpose of the Document:

The main purpose of the document as the name suggests, is to record the actual works done on site. However, as the document can be used for a variety of reasons at different times and forums its purpose doesn’t limits only to record the works done. Following are some of the main purpose of the document, which must be taken into account while producing the document:

  1. To record the actual works done on site.
  2. To record the actual resources deployed for each type of works.
  3. To record the weather and climatic conditions.
  4. To record the working hours for each shift and areas.
  5. To record any delays, stoppages and other important events etc.

Contents of the Document:

Now to know what information the document should include is very important. Following are the important contents, the document should include:

  • Project Details (i.e. Project Name, Contractor, Engineer, Client, Contract Number etc.)
  • Information of Works done, working hours, weather etc.
  • Information of Resources Deployed (Manpower & Equipment etc.).
  • Space to record notes and comments.
  • Space for signature of both Contractor’s and Employer’s/Engineer’s Representatives.

In addition to the above information, depending on the project nature, the document should ideally include the following additional information as well.

  • Information of Sub-Contractor’s works and resources.
  • Space to record Health, Safety & Environmental incidents.
  • Record of materials received on site.
  • Record of instructions by the Engineer.
  • Record of Delay events.

Layout of the Document:

Its important to keep the document brief as it’s a daily activity. The more brief the document is, the more convenient and easy is to maintain it. But this doesn’t mean to compromise on the information to be recorded in the document, because the information are the soul of the document. The best approach for this is to limit the document to one page only but not more than three pages.

There are multiple ways to capture maximum information in brief like tables, graphs, coding etc. so is better to use a suitable method to capture all the required information (best to use a combination of multiple methods). See the attached sample format to get an idea for a better layout.


Concluding the discussion, it might need a bit of more efforts in keeping a well-maintained Daily Diary but in the long-term, it surely have great benefits. Often these little efforts end up for the contractors in saving some very big amounts at the later stages of the project by making the claims and disputes much easier and favorable to win and also saving the costs of hiring expensive claim & dispute specialists. Above all, these might also help in not having a dispute at all due to clear records and information of each stage of the projects, hence resolving any arisen claim without having any disputes. This brings great satisfaction and trust within the project team and great value to project itself, benefiting all parties.

About the Author:

I am a young professional destined to grow my career in the fields of project control, forensic planning, claims and disputes. I have a formal qualification in the field of Civil Engineering and currently pursuing a management degree as well. I have worked and been working on some of the very exciting projects around the globe including Dams, Hydro Power, Roads, Bridges, Incremental Launching Bridge construction, Pipeline, tunneling etc.

If I am an exciting profile for you, you might be a one for me too. You can connect with me on LinkedIn Ejaz Ahmed Anjumand share your views and ideas. You can comment below your views and share the post to spread the words or can even write to me on anjum858@gmail.comfor any queries and suggestions about the topic.

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