Solving Tomorrow’s Problems Today
Have you enabled your project teams to build their projects as fast and efficiently as they can and proactively forecast and identify your project’s issues and risk and eliminate schedule impact? Can your project teams proactively manage and prioritize all issues around their potential schedule impact and know they are on track to finish on time?
Time Saver Technologies has been providing schedule management services and software to the construction industry since 2001. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to improve your schedule management processes.
A construction company should integrate scheduling technology into their operations. This can be accomplished by utilizing construction scheduling software to build, manage, and update their construction schedules. This software should have the capability to build the construction logic and identify a critical path. The critical path is a key part of the schedule management process.
SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
The first step in the schedule management process is to identify an accurate executable plan that produces a flow of work and a critical path that matches the superintendent’s gut instincts. It also has to generate a short term look-ahead schedule that is executable and that the superintendent buys into, owns, and sells to the team. Your superintendents involvement is critical to the schedule management process.
Your teams need to be able to proactively forecast your project’s issues and risk and manage and prioritize all issues around their potential schedule impact.
Your project managers need to be able to plan and manage submittals and material procurement to keep pace with the construction schedule. The construction schedule should never be impacted by material delivery. Utilizing the start date from the construction schedule and subtracting the material lead time you will identify a drop dead material order date or submittal approval date for all submittals. Prioritizing and executing subcontracts and submittal approvals to occur ahead of this date will eliminate material delivery impacts to the schedule. Your Project Management software should be able to produce a list of submittals sorted and prioritized by their scheduled material order date.
All Request for Information and proposed changes to the contract should be evaluated for their schedule impact. You should be able to establish a date needed for all issues and prioritize and execute their resolution around their schedule or critical path impact. Your Project Management software should be able to produce a list of outstanding issues sorted and prioritized by their date needed.
SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT TOOLS
The construction schedule should be a planning tool used by the entire project team to proactively manage and take control of the project’s completion date to ensure an on-time project.
The best schedule management tool is for the superintendent and project team to set a weekly routine to communicate and receive commitments to accomplish their plan.
Day 1: Update the schedule and produce a short-term, look-ahead schedule that identifies tasks that are on the critical path. Review critical path and identify “What is the most important thing to accomplish 2 to 3 weeks from now?” Establish this as the team’s goal.
Day 2: Communicate look ahead to each foreman or trade. “What is keeping you from completing … by this date?” Resolve their excuses until you have a commitment to accomplish the look-ahead schedule. You have to do whatever it takes to see that the team’s goal established in step one is not impacted.
Day 3: Hold weekly subcontractor foreman meeting. Review look-ahead schedule with the team. This will get the team to see how their work impacts the rest of team. There shouldn’t be much discussion since you have communicated and sold the schedule to them the day before. Before long the foremen will realize that they are part of a team. Communicate the team’s goal established in step one to everyone involved. Discuss outstanding issues (RFI’s, RFP’s, submittals, etc.) and how they affect the schedule.
Day 4: Update schedule and logs based on subcontractor meeting. Hold weekly owners/design team meeting. During the meeting discuss the look-ahead schedule and the team’s goal established in step one. Communicate outstanding issues and their priorities, and what is needed out of the team prior to the following meeting.
Day 5: Send out look-ahead schedule, outstanding issue logs, and meeting notes to all team members.
We have found that these proactive schedule management processes are the difference between productive and non-productive project teams.
Keeping up with the ever-changing information that is associated with a construction project is a challenging task. Being able to organize this information and identify prioritized critical action items is an even more challenging task.
We developed our Construction Management 365 software to utilize our schedule management processes and workflows to provide organized, efficient, prioritized, web-based access to construction project information. Our solution provides a construction company with a project workspace for each project that includes a look-ahead schedule, outstanding submittal schedule, list of outstanding logs and issues, and shared documents folders. The project workspace is organized into prioritized action items, and is easily printed as an agenda for weekly meetings. How our solution integrates with the project schedule is what separates us from the competition.
Construction Management 365 is a web-based project management solution that is built on Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Project. Our solution is licensed monthly as a Software as a Service (SaaS).
CM 365 enables your team to solve tomorrow’s problems today. It makes team members’ lives better because they will know that they have control of the project’s direction and have executed the projects priorities in such a way that enables the project’s team to reach their goals.
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For More Information For more information, call 877.821.5423, or visit www.timesavertech.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, JULY 2014
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