In this video, Jim explains that planning also includes determining who will perform the work. He also gives examples of how varying manpower and equipment can impact the schedule.
- As we progress through the planning process, and we're looking at how the work will be done, we also need to figure out who will do the work. What portion will you self-perform, and what will you subcontract out? There are many factors that play into this type of decision. One factor is that there are many general contractors that don't self-perform any work, so obviously they're going to subcontract all the work to multiple trade contractors. Contractors who specialize in different activities: a concrete contractor, a grading contractor, a plumbing contractor, an electrician, et cetera.
Some companies, though, do have in-house labor, and then you may have to decide what makes more sense on each particular project: do it yourself or subcontract it out? Sometimes that might just be a matter of timing. For example, will your crews be available when this work is actually expected to start? Sometimes the type or the complexity of the work needs to be considered as well. Maybe you have your own concrete crews, but the job calls for some decorative concrete work that's a little beyond the skills your crews possess.
And sometimes it's just a matter of pricing. I know we have a very large general contractor here in the city where I am, that has a very large concrete division, yet on virtually all of the work that they're doing right now here in town as a general contractor, they're using another company to do their concrete. A lot of that is just cost. They compare the cost of subbing the work out to the cost of using their own crew, and they decide it just makes more sense to sub the work out on this particular job, and put their crews over on a different job where they might be able to make more money with them.
However this decision plays out, do the work in-house or sub the work out, it can have an effect on the construction schedule as you consider things like availability, which can effect start dates, and manpower capacities that can affect production rates. Even when you know that you're going to subcontract the work out, there are even times when it matters which subcontractor you plan on hiring. Some may have the ability to do the job faster than others, and sometimes you have to fit the sub to the particulars of the job.
I used to have a very good concrete subcontractor that we used to do things like curb, and gutter, and sidewalk, and they had great prices. They were usually lower than the other bids I would receive. But I can only use them if my plan involves small phases, or if the curb work would be done outside of the critical path of the schedule. If my plan was to do thousands of feet of curb and sidewalk at once, I couldn't use this sub or their price, because they could only do a few hundred feet a day. I had to select a sub that had equipment that was going to get me thousands of feet a day, not hundreds, and then I had to use their costs in my proposal.
I've talked for a bit now about making a plan on how the work is going to be done, and I discussed making decisions on who was going to do the work. Now that we have an understanding of these concepts, let's go to the next video and begin to break down the actual process even further, and learn how to go about this in an ordered fashion that will make it easier to incorporate the plan into our future schedule.
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