The construction schedule is a key part of the project plan. Once you plan all the activities, you must follow that schedule to ensure the timely delivery of the deliverables and provide issues in the future.
Advanced construction project management tools like Bridgit help you track the activities progress. Fortunately, they’re quite affordable, so that you can use different types of construction schedules mentioned in this link for efficient project planning.
If you’re struggling with keeping the construction project on schedule, this post will share five tips to help you overcome this issue and finish your construction project within time and budget.
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How to keep up with the construction schedule?
Companies invest enough time in the planning phase while scheduling the construction project. But not keeping up with the approved schedule sends all the efforts in vain. The primary reason behind this is that they overlook a few factors like costly rework, lack of resources, and adverse weather.
So here are the five tips to keep construction activities on schedule:
Create a master schedule
A master schedule consists of all the primary and secondary project activities. It’s the complete version of the construction schedule with all the details related to the project timeline.
You should know how to create an efficient master schedule to get started. But first of all, you’d need to have all the stakeholders’ approval on the final schedule of the construction project before making its master version. That’s an extensive project schedule that breaks down an activity into smaller tasks called milestones.
The project manager and the team leaders of different departments break down milestones into further individual tasks. That process helps you make every team member accountable for their responsibilities.
You can also get help from different project management tools to track each individual’s performance.
The master schedule estimates every construction activity’s timeline and milestones. So it’s obvious that you must invest enough time in creating it.
You must sequence each task in the construction activities. That means you must keep the interdependency factor in mind. That will help you run different tasks sequentially, maximizing the project as efficiently as possible.
You can also add details of subcontractors and suppliers to the master schedule. That will streamline the procurement schedule. If you skip creating the master plan of your construction schedule, you might not complete the milestones required for each construction activity.
Review project plans and documents
You must review the project plans every time you begin a construction activity. Doing so will remind you about the priority tasks. The reviewing process also helps determine what key factors to check before starting an activity. They might include:
- Scope – The scope covers all project parts, i.e., deliverables, milestones, and outcomes.
- Design – Visual representation of the construction project and its components.
- Workforce – The required number of workers for a task.
You already know that every construction project goes on for months, sometimes years. The majority of the tasks are also interdependent in such projects.
For example, the architecture team will not forward the final design to the civil engineering team before the lead architect’s approval. Similarly, the deliverables depend on the testing team before the manager forwards them to the project owner or the client.
Such critical dependencies make construction activities highly volatile if you fail to follow the schedule. Therefore, always review the project plan and the documents with the domain experts.
Make contingency plan
A contingency plan supports the master schedule of a construction project. Therefore, you must carefully review the aspects which affect the schedule while making a contingency plan.
Remember that even after getting the approval of stakeholders, some potential risks remain throughout the project’s completion. That’s when having a contingency plan will help you mitigate the associated risks that disrupt the construction schedule.
Contingency planning is long-term planning that goes parallel with each construction activity of the master schedule. You can easily solve the issues that occur during a project and prevent problems from growing bigger.
The contingency plan should include the following:
- Overtime – Assign over time when you are behind the project schedule.
- More resources – Bring in additional resources to complete a task if the weather worsens.
- Reduce team – Reduce a team to only required members if you run out of budget.
Brainstorm these critical aspects while preparing a contingency plan. You might not completely follow that plan, but having option B is better when things go south.
A study shows that U.S. companies lose $1.2 trillion every year due to poor communication. But when it comes to construction companies, there are more threats than just losing money.
Without good communication, you might never complete a project in the given time and budget. It’s because a construction project keeps multiple departments active at a time. It also needs continuous communication so that every team completes its task according to the schedule.
Lack of communication creates loopholes which eventually cause delays in the construction project. Therefore, you must establish communication protocols for every team so that they get an alert whenever there’s a delay in construction activity. That will also help you identify the small loopholes before they snowball.
Good communication is key if you want every team member to collaborate. It helps you build a strong relationship with the workers, managers, team leaders, and stakeholders. When each project member communicates, you can easily follow the construction schedule without missing deadlines.
Document project progress
The documentation process is an essential tip that helps you keep following the construction schedule. Always keep an eye on every milestone and timeline according to the master schedule. Put a red flag to the priority tasks whenever their deadline is approaching.
Once you have the data, measure how accurately you completed the tasks. You will find the discrepancies if any activity fell back during the construction project. Using the same document, you can identify potential causes which caused the delays.
So, document each milestone to identify the areas of improvement and ensure you target such areas for efficient project completion.
It’s rare that your project completely follows a master schedule. But having a systematic approach and using the right project management tool can help you smoothly complete a project. So, follow the above tips to stay on the construction schedule and complete your project even before the deadline.