Jim describes the use of the construction schedule as a management tool that is used to order materials and schedule people, subcontractors, and materials to the project. Jim explains the importance of maintaining and updating the construction schedule.
- The schedule's complete. You've done a lot of work and gathered a lot of information. Now that the schedule has been committed to a calendar, it's time to take another look and make sure that it makes sense. Does the logic and the workflow still seem logical? Did you get all of those immediately preceding activities correct for each work item and have your subcontractors and labor force confirmed that the durations in the schedule are reasonable? If not, now's the time to make changes. Of course, don't forget to check the big ticket item on your new schedule.
Is the proposed project end date inside of the end date required by the contract? If not, you have some work to do and it should not be done in a vacuum. If your schedule shows your completion date being out past the required contract date, bring in the parties that helped create the plan to discuss your options. Maybe you need to work some weekend days. Maybe there's a portion of the work that can be done with double shifts, by bringing in a second crew to work at night or maybe there's another way to approach the job and finish sooner.
As you saw in the last segment, the scheduling software that's available will let you quickly and easily test these options so you can evaluate them and select a solution and don't forget about any required milestones. Some contracts will have provisions for dates that have to be met in addition to that final completion date, things like handing over portions of a building for furniture package installs or opening a lane or a section of road on a public works project. Make sure these milestones are noted in the schedule so you can track the critical path items leading to those dates and as the project progresses, you'll need to maintain the schedule and make updates so that the schedule remains relevant.
This is another one of those things that's tedious to do by hand but it's much easier to do with scheduling software. If the schedule's being maintained and updated, it can remain a relevant management tool throughout the project lifecycle. It can be used for things like creating a two week lookahead schedule which is a typical activity on many projects. This is simply a look at where the project will be in the next two weeks and what will need to be completed in order to get there. This is a really valuable tool in construction management when it's shared with subcontractors and crew leaders at regular weekly meetings.
This is also a good way to keep an eye on any near-critical items. Remember those items that we said have float and are not on the critical path? Well, if we ignore those too much and we use up that float, some of those items could eventually get pushed into the critical path and then have an effect on everything downstream. When I talk about updating a schedule, I mean just that. If you put in 10 days for an activity duration and it only took five and the start dates of the following activities got moved up, make sure the schedule reflects that so that the dates of all the downstream items are updated as well.
If you know early on in a project that you'll need a subcontractor a week earlier than you originally planned, that's really good information to get in their hands as soon as possible. Remember that those trade contractors are juggling schedules on multiple jobs with multiple crews so having a schedule they can rely on is really important. Knowing what date you expect them to start and having that date be accurate helps them to help you stay on schedule on your project.
This course identifies the steps needed to develop a proper plan, and demonstrates how that plan is transformed into a construction schedule. Throughout the course, instructor Jim Rogers shares examples of his own successes and failures in the areas of construction planning and scheduling, so as to lend real-world context to the concepts he covers.
- Types of schedules
- Planning versus scheduling
- Work breakdown structure
- Developing a schedule
- Creating a network model
- Assigning durations, costs, and resources
- Identifying the critical path
- Letting the software do the calculations
- Checking and updating the schedule
- Scheduling's impact on productivity