Top 13 Construction Scheduling Software Platforms
Project scheduling is the foremost and vital step in the preconstruction phase of a construction project. Any work breakdown structure (WBS) based project requires defining project phases, the deliverables for each phase, and the breakdown of the deliverables into work packages. The scheduling starts with defining tasks and activities for each work package. Each task or activity is set to execute in order on certain days. This, of course, is subject to various factors like task dependencies, resource & material availability, and more. The tasks are then assigned to appropriate contractors and subcontractors. Once the process is complete, the schedule stands as the central guiding document for the project. The project managers’ responsibility then shifts to steering the project and keeping everyone on track with the master schedule.
The detailed and diligent work of creating and managing an exhaustive schedule and appropriate resource assignments requires an efficient and easy-to-use tool. Relying on paper or spreadsheets is becoming a thing of the past.
Cloud-based construction project management platforms are in vogue due to the many benefits to contractors. These help you set up a schedule, assign resources, track progress, among many things, all of which allow you to make timely decisions and complete projects within budget and on time. One of the most crucial components in a project management platform is an efficient scheduling tool.
A scheduling tool is complete only if it allows the project managers to create a detailed work delivery plan, push tasks, materials, and other resources to subcontractors, allow easy updates as work happens, adjust the timeline as the project progresses, and more. The subs should also receive the assigned tasks seamlessly.
While some tools allow creating indigenous schedules, others only allow you to import pre-created schedules from other applications like MS Project, Oracle Primavera, Asta Powerproject, etc. While some tools support integrated schedules to share tasks with trade contractors and subcontractors, others support only stand-alone schedules that allow independent project management. Critical path calculation and baseline schedule comparison are other essential features to look for in a scheduler.
Although a new entry to the construction project management space, the Linarc platform offers a robust, feature-packed, self-contained, and intuitive scheduler that allows general contractors and subcontractors to create schedules from scratch and manage them effortlessly. The dynamic scheduler allows assigning tasks to subcontractors from its interface. Subcontractors seamlessly receive their assigned tasks on their scheduler, create estimates, break them down into activities, and assign their resources. The scheduler also allows you to export a completed schedule to import it into your favorite construction project management platform.
We have created a list of construction project management platforms that feature a best-in-class scheduling tool that allows project managers to develop schedules directly.
Following are the platforms that support both integrated and stand-alone schedules. An integrated master schedule allows general contractors to cover the entire project tasks covering all divisions of work and milestones. GCs assign the tasks to the respective trades & subcontractors. GCs receive the task progress reports from SCs and then administrate the project.
Linarc includes a powerful cloud-based integrated critical path method (CPM) scheduler that allows contractors to build a concrete project schedule and seamlessly share it with the collaborators. It allows contractors to add the schedule items of different WBS levels in the parent-children relationship and use the Gantt chart to set the dates and define dependencies. You can directly assign jobs to your subcontractors from the scheduler itself. Subs receive the tasks automatically added to the project schedule on their account. They can create estimates, break down the assigned tasks into activities, assign them to their field workers and report their progress from their scheduler. Progress is reflected in the GC’s schedule, which automates the tracking of the progress of the whole project. The data is auto-fetched to provide highly informative and dynamic dashboards and reports that indicate vital performance indicators (KPIs) and various charts to assess the project’s health and take timely decisions. With Linarc’s powerful scheduler and reports, your projects deserve timely completion within the budget.
The BuilderTrend scheduler feature allows consolidated management of schedules of multiple projects running concurrently. The tool is available in various views and filters, including list view, Gantt charts, calendar, and more. You can directly add and configure tasks and dynamically adjust their dates and dependencies with simple drag-and-drop operations. The Gantt chart also identifies the critical tasks and highlights them. The subcontractor is notified whenever a task is assigned to them. They can access the tasks from their scheduler tool on their account. The subcontractor can accept or deny the assigned tasks and modify the planned dates of the tasks.
The CoConstruct scheduler ships with templates for creating your integrated or stand-alone schedules. It also allows you to use the schedules of your previous projects as templates for your new projects. The Gantt charts let you adjust dates and dependencies with simple operations and view critical tasks. The dates of the dependent tasks auto-adjust when you modify a predecessor task. The subcontractors are notified of new task assignments and changes in the schedule and can access their assigned tasks from their mobile applications. Subcontractors can report their progress through different channels, including text, emails, etc.
The Sage 100 Contractor scheduler tool allows you to create a master task list with task descriptions and task numbers. To create a schedule, you can selectively import them as schedule items of successive levels in the parent-children relationship. The start & end dates and the predecessor/successor relationships are set through the Gantt chart. The scheduler also allows you to directly assign collaborators, team members, equipment, and subcontractors to the tasks. The subcontractors are notified of the assigned tasks through email or fax and are sent automatically from Sage 100 Contractor.
The critical path-Gantt scheduling tool uses the latest technologies to harness powerful client-side operations and inline data entry for the fastest operation. The easy-to-read Gantt chart allows you to edit start & end dates and dependencies with simple operations. You can assign resources like team members and subcontractors to tasks. The team members and the subs are sent email reminders on task assignments. The email reminders are updated for changes in the schedules dynamically.
The BUILDXACT scheduling tool suits small residential builders and trades. The scheduler allows you to add your schedule items of successive levels in the parent-children relationship manually or using a saved template. The Gantt chart will enable you to set start and end dates for the child-level tasks, and the parent items auto-update accordingly. You can also set the dependencies of the tasks for critical path calculation and automatic update of dependent tasks when a predecessor is edited. The Gantt chart also allows the assignment of tasks to team members and subcontractors. The team members and the subcontractors are notified of task assignments and updates through SMS and emails.
Contractor Foreman features a critical path Gantt scheduler that allows you to add phases, tasks, and activities in the tree view and adjust their start & end dates and dependencies in the Gantt view. The Gantt chart allows consolidated management of schedules pertinent to multiple concurrent projects. The Gantt chart also allows the assignment of tasks to subcontractors.
Supports Stand-alone Schedules
Following are the platforms that support stand-alone schedules. A stand-alone schedule allows independent contractors, trade contractors, subcontractors, and more, to create a schedule for their independent & stand-alone projects. They also support a schedule to cover the tasks assigned to them by a GC.
The BuildBook scheduler serves custom homebuilders and remodelers to create and manage schedules from scratch. You can add phases, tasks, and activities to view them in a Gantt chart. The Gantt chart allows you to dynamically adjust the start & end dates and set dependencies for the tasks and activities. You can also allot tasks to your team members. The team members are notified of their task assignments and updates through email. They can access the tasks from their login to the BuildBook scheduler.
The Oracle Primavera Cloud scheduler combines lean construction and CPM for complete project coordination and control. The easy-to-use templates and best practice guides aid you in creating quality CPM master schedule networks, tasks, and activities. The digital task assignments with color-coded task cards and mobile support enable field workers to receive their jobs and send live progress updates back to the main office. The intuitive dashboards provide plan percent complete (PPC) reports that help you measure the effectiveness of assignments and inform the CPM network about incompatible dates or statuses in real-time.
The timeline and Gantt chart views let you create an unlimited number of schedule items, add linked dependencies, and more. You can also add notes and extra details to the scheduled tasks to keep your team informed and on the same page. Cloud compatibility gives you the ability to assign, organize, and distribute work from anywhere on any device. The scheduler also supports critical path calculation to keep your project on time and on budget.
InEight Schedule incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) that aids in rapid and detailed schedule planning. The scheduler provides the risk analytics that helps you continuously analyze schedule quality from the bid phase to the close-out stage. The digital collaboration enables sharing your schedule with the team in the field and aligning construction execution with the timeline defined in the schedule.
e-Builder Enterprise incorporates a simple scheduler that lets you add a project schedule manually, import from a template, or from other third-party scheduling software like MS Project and Oracle Primavera P6. The user-friendly Gantt charts facilitate the definition of task durations and dependencies with simple drag-and-drop operations. The scheduler provides configurable views of multiple tasks assigned to different resources on multiple projects, with real-time schedule status in a format that makes sense to you and the organization. The scheduler also features out-of-the-box reports with schedule and cash flow data, plus the ability to build your own schedule reports.
Microsoft Project is available as cloud-based and on-premise solutions for general-purpose project planning and execution. It contains a simple-to-use scheduler that allows you to add the list of phases, deliverables, work packages, tasks, and activities in the tree view. The Gantt chart simplifies defining the schedule items’ start & end dates and dependencies. The auto-scheduling feature automatically sets the dates for the dependent tasks for the changes in the parent and predecessor tasks. The schedules created in MS Project can be imported seamlessly into popular construction project management platforms like Procore and Autodesk Construction Cloud.
Many other popular construction project management platforms provide schedulers with similar features but cannot create indigenous schedules. Examples include Procore, Autodesk Construction Cloud, and Fieldwire, to name a few. These platforms require the full schedule to be created on a third-party scheduling software like MS Project, Oracle Primavera, Asta Powerproject. The newly created schedule can then be imported into the platform’s scheduler tool.
Linarc supports exporting of schedules. You can use Linarc’s easy-to-use scheduler with vast features to create detailed project schedules, which you can import to other platforms. Thus you can gain access to one of the best project schedulers, regardless of the core system you use.
A cloud-based CPM scheduler that lets you create and manage integrated project schedules is essential for any construction project management solution. “Integrated” implies that the jobs assigned to subcontractors should be seamlessly shared with them through in-band communication, that is, through the platform itself to enable Subs to start their portion of the work swiftly.
Linarc’s scheduler is built from years of consulting with major players in the construction industry and addresses these core requirements.