Do you know the most significant difference between project success and constant delays or budget overruns? A well-thought-out construction schedule. An effective construction schedule is critical for the success of a firm. If you do not adequately research or prioritise specific tasks, you will scramble throughout the project and fight constant delays.
As construction projects are complex, making a schedule can be a notorious task. Even though the entire process of making the schedule can be time-consuming, you want to avoid shortcuts and meticulously go through all the steps to create the most appropriate schedules so that you have fewer issues when the project plan is finally executed. This article will help you understand what goes into making an effective construction schedule.
What is a construction schedule?
A construction schedule is an estimated timeline for every event and task within a construction project that aims to define the resources needed to complete the process. It is the backbone of any robust project management, as it helps to keep track of budget, milestones and project progress. Ideally, a construction project should include resource management, project deliverables, asset allocation, dependencies between different tasks, tasks required to finish the construction, construction deadlines, budget and task durations.
Five steps to make a robust construction schedule
If you follow these five steps, you will create a construction schedule that helps your project thrive:
Get the necessary information and tools: Many resources, participants and stakeholders are involved in construction scheduling. You can begin by listing all the sub-contractors involved in the job and once you have the list, reach out to them, asking how much time they would need to procure the materials. You can also ask them the estimated time that it would take to complete their part of the project. Moreover, since code restriction depends upon the type of construction and materials you are using, you will have to speak with the local court office to get a list of requirements and inspections for your build project. Similarly, when it comes to budgeting, you need to ensure that a steady influx of cash continues as your project moves forward; therefore, understanding bank processes is helpful. Finding a project management tool that suits your needs will help make this process smooth. (Pppssssstttt…. Our application has many construction scheduling templates to help you in your planning phase. Our cloud-based tool has many solutions for your scheduling needs that will allow you to automate tasks so that you can easily visualise and organise your project).
Prioritise tasks: Now that you are armed with content and the appropriate tools, you need to break down the project into smaller steps to help the construction plan grow into the completed project. Here, it is essential to mention that you cannot expect an accurate and effective construction schedule until you have a detailed list of every task that must take place from the beginning to the end for successful construction. A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is recommended as it can handle different sizes and scopes of projects. This tool will allow you to visualise your deliverables by starting with the basic levels and parts. It doesn’t hurt to gather your team and sub-contractors to pick their brains during this planning phase. Their input can make your construction schedule more accurate, realistic and practical. Remember, overlaps between tasks can derail a project, so your focus should be on the scope while creating a schedule. WBS can help you link dependencies to others, but we recommend utilising Gantt chart software if your project is significant.
Add duration: Now that you estimate all the tasks, give them a start and finish date using the Gantt chart. Depending on how long-term your project is, you may need to calculate your construction schedule, taking into account your workers’ holidays, sick leaves and vacation days. Additionally, do not make the mistake of neglecting non-task-related scheduling such as delivery, procurement and other such processes.
Allocate and execute: Now that you have estimated the length of work, begin colour-coding the task so that you can easily distinguish between different tasks and teams. Once the schedule is constructed, it is time to venture into the real world by balancing your resources. Our application has many workload calendars that can simplify this process, helping you send alerts when new tasks are assigned or deadlines are due.
Review: The nature of the construction schedule is so complicated that it necessitates permanent monitoring. Remember, even the best construction schedules are not written in stone, and you will have to review the schedule throughout the project. For this purpose, you must look at the schedule daily and, depending upon the project phase, update tasks as they are being conducted. Our construction daily report template will allow you to keep track of your construction project in real time, helping you grab an accurate snapshot of your progress.
A construction schedule helps to define the resources needed and the teams responsible for making a construction project successful. To meet the most accurate schedule, you must begin by collecting information, selecting the most appropriate tools, prioritising tasks, adding duration, allocating and executing resources and finally reviewing.