Every Successful Construction Schedule has this Critical Piece
You know that a successful construction schedule isn't a task to be completed. Construction scheduling is an ongoing process to be managed.
A collaborative process which begins in the early stages of pre-construction planning and doesn't end until you make the final hand-off to your happy, satisfied owner.
But collaboration can often lead to confusion and conflict.
Unexpected physical, financial, and time constraints are inevitable. Scheduling conflicts, differing agendas, priorities and lack of clear communication make collaborative efforts difficult to manage.
So you map the job out and do your best to identify every issue and potential pinch-point that might disrupt your work flow and knock you off schedule.
But you don't have a 360-degree view. You can't see everything.
You need a plan -and you need help.
The First Rule of Construction Scheduling is…
Think BIG - but plan small
Every project begins with a vision -an overarching concept of what we're trying to achieve.
This is the main deliverable you'll hand off at the end of the project.
That's your Level 0 deliverable. So, for instance:
"Construct a new, six-story, 180,000 sq ft, 48-bed critical-care hospital with an adjoining parking structure."
Great! You're building a hospital. But that's a massive undertaking.
How will you manage it?
You break down all the work required to build that hospital into phases or levels. And from there, you design a plan based on a critical path for all your MEP and subcontractors to follow.
- L-0: Vision
- what, exactly, are you going to build?
- where, and who will it serve?
- L-1: Design
- what will it look like?
- how does it fit into the environment?
- what building materials should we use?
- L-2: Planning
- who, exactly, will handle what, specifically?
- when will these things be scheduled and where?
- L-3: Execution
- when, exactly, will each detail of the work take place?
- who will do what?
- how? -and in what order?
- was the work completed?
- L-4: Stabilization
- how does everything fit together now that it's in place?
- does everything run smoothly and as designed?
- does the owner's staff have everything they need to operate their new systems effectively?
- L-5: Deployment -Your hospital project is complete!
You completed on schedule and under budget! The owner is thrilled! And together, we've improved the community and we all live happily ever after because of it.
Now, there are many ways of building out your project schedule. And your terminology may be different. But you can quickly see that we're just scratching the surface here.
There is much more work involved and many, many tasks required to accomplish your vision in a safe, timely, -and, dare we say, profitable manner?
Plan your work. Work your plan.
The design team has captured the owner's vision and expressed it in an architectural design. You've assembled your team of suppliers, vendors, and construction professionals. And now we're on to the critical design phase of the project.
In order to build out your master schedule, you'll meet with your MEP contractors, subs and suppliers.
There's a lot of work to be done at this meeting defining the scope of work. You and your team will integrate all the Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) and task dependencies from everyone involved on the project. And you need to include every work stage and process.
Depending on the size of your project and the scheduling system in use, this process may take several meetings. It may take even longer if you're creating the WBS manually.
But it's critical to get the planning stage right. The Work Breakdown Structures you define here will drive your master construction scheduling, so it has to be accurate.
Because 20% of construction projects overrun their schedules.
And you don't want to be another statistic.
But by breaking down, or 'decomposing,' every work structure into smaller, more manageable task assignments, your prime contractors, subs and suppliers can visualize how their roles fit within the whole. So you're one step closer to meeting your timeline already.
Unfortunately, after spending all this time and effort decomposing the work, the WBS are rarely updated.
Linarc construction scheduling software allows you to visually planned your work. With 100% of the tasks needed to complete your project, always right in front of you.
You can decompose the project scope from the top-down into manageable work packages.
Linarc WBS system gives you the flexibility of further defining your major project activities into detailed task breakdowns. So you get a complete picture of everything happening within your schedule from the highest level, down to the smallest detail.
And as the general contractor, you now have a 360-degree view of every element of your project.
Giving you total control over the timeline and execution of your project from initial planning through completion.
And we're just getting started.
See the Linarc WBS system in action! Get your free Linarc construction scheduler demonstration.
And stay tuned for our next article where we show you how to meet more schedules -and schedule less meetings, with Linarc
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.