5 Strategies To Build A Delay-Proof Construction Schedule

delay proof construction schedule

Is it possible to build a delay-proof construction schedule? 

Probably not. Delays are inevitable in construction. There are forces beyond our control that derail even the most well-thought out plans. 

  • Weather 
  • Force Majeure events
  • Labor shortages 
  • Material delays

But there are plenty of factors we can control. 

The following strategies give us the power to complete our projects on schedule, and on budget.

Collaborate Early to Build an Accurate Construction Schedule from the Start

Early collaboration between owners, design teams, contractors and suppliers should be non-negotiable. The research supporting this method is too strong not to insist upon it.

For instance, in a recent McKinsey analysis, collaborative contract agreements resulted in a 15 to 20 percent improvement in cost and schedule performance over traditional methods. 

So how does it work? 

The Collaborative Project Management Approach

  • Project partners define the project scope together
  • Constructability assessments are jointly made
  • Design and scope changes occur prior to the build
  • Costs are confirmed and validated against value-engineering standards
  • The Master Schedule is built collaboratively with the active participation of all stakeholders
  • Stakeholders then share risk and profits

We owe it to our stakeholders to advocate for this level of collaboration at the outset of every project.

Orient The Entire Project Team Around the Construction Schedule

A great deal of time and effort goes into creating a master schedule. But then what?

Too often the schedule becomes a target to aim for, or a ‘best-case scenario’ ideal. But when the schedule is the center of our operation, we ensure greater schedule awareness and adherence.

The most cost effective way to do this is through a schedule-centric project management platform. Breakthrough software technology makes this easy.  

  • Link plans, specifications and work assignments to Work Breakdown Structures
  • Provide a central platform for all project communications
  • Assign work packages to subs and specialty contractors
  • Incentivize work assignments by linking them to the schedule of values
  • Track performance, completion rates, and work remaining through daily work reports
  • Gain efficiencies with predictive, look-ahead analytics for faster decision making
  • Take advantage of automated schedule notifications to eliminate manual messaging and bring your stakeholders’ attention back to what matters most: The Schedule

Create a Dynamic Resource Management Plan linked to the Schedule

We can’t control the supply chain or the labor pool, but we can optimize our resource allocations to avoid delays. We gain several efficiencies by linking resource procurement to the construction schedule:

  • Vendors and suppliers have full-visibility of their commitments and their effect on the schedule
  • Monitored vendors improve performance, quality, service, and delivery
  • End-to-end visibility enables long-range resource planning to avoid delays
  • Reduced material and transportation costs are realized through volume ordering and Just In Time (JIT) delivery
  • Track resource usage by linking their associated schedule activities for efficiency and less waste
  • Crew-based, role-based or individual named work assignments are schedule-dependent for efficient labor allocation

A centralized resource management pool gives project teams the resources they need–as they need them. This strategy lessens the likelihood of resource-related delays and stacks the deck in our favor.

Drive your Construction Schedule with Predictive Analytics

We know that monitoring critical path slippage is important. Slippage in these activities cause immediate delays. But it’s even more important to monitor near-critical path, non-critical path work as well.

At the beginning of the project there are very few overlapping activities. But as the project develops, complexity develops along with it. More trades, and more suppliers, and more activities overlap and interact with one another. 

This creates inefficiencies as crews work around each other. Minor conflicts and short-term delays compound over time as a result. And these compounding inefficiencies cause more delays, schedule slippage and overruns.  

Construction scheduling software with predictive analytics solves this dilemma. The software monitors the work in progress. Automated alerts notify stakeholders of important schedule deadlines. And reporting dashboards keep everyone abreast of schedule progress, conflicts and potential delays.

Early notification and timely updates allow faster decisions. And faster decisions save time and preserve schedule integrity.  

Mitigate Delays in the Construction Schedule with Technology

It may not be possible to build a delay-proof construction schedule…..yet.

But innovations in construction scheduling software are making it easier and easier to create efficiencies where we once had no control.

It is absolutely possible to complete more projects on time and on budget by implementing simple strategies consistently. Project management software makes it easy by centralizing the schedule on a simple to use, cloud-based platform.  

Get an in-depth demonstration of how the Linarc collaborative solution can help you complete more projects on time and on budget

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