Do you know that delays in a construction project cost companies up to 20% more than the estimated budget? Those project delays occur primarily due to poor construction scheduling.
You can’t align project milestones and deliverables with the allocated budget without a sound construction schedule. As a result, you may fall behind, compromising the integrity of the entire project.
Many construction companies use Bridgit to automate project management and workforce collaboration which also supports manually scheduling a construction project.
So if you are looking for how to prepare a construction schedule, this post will guide you through the whole process.
Five steps of construction scheduling
A construction schedule depicts the duration and order of a project to the stakeholders, including:
- Contractor – A company or an individual to complete a construction project.
- Project Manager – A person who has construction knowledge and management skills.
- Team Leads – Leaders of different teams of a construction project.
The schedule helps the stakeholders to determine the construction activities in order. That’s how companies set an estimated budget and priorities.
Here are the five steps of scheduling a construction project:
1. Collect project information
It’s important to gather project information before starting any construction activity. This information refers to the different project aspects like project plan, budget, standard, legal requirement, and constraint.
The information collection phase is done in the project schedule. It’s because stakeholders require every piece of information before beginning the construction. This data also helps you prepare a project timeline and plan the construction activities accordingly.
Information gathering is a time-consuming process as it requires thorough research and validation. So, ensure that you invest the required time in the first step.
For example, the condition of the soil is a critical piece of information. You must run the required tests to validate the condition of the soil before construction. The whole testing process might take days, even weeks. So make the timeline accordingly.
Municipal authorities and the project owner usually ask for this document before consenting to construction. Therefore, you must have all the information to avoid any conflict with the stakeholders.
2. Keep communication alive
As we are ready to begin the construction, ensure active communication among all the team members and stakeholders. In a construction survey, around 68% of employees declared that they experience some problems due to poor communication.
Those problems include:
- Jobsite accidents – Injuries and casualties among the workers due to poor communication.
- Failed tasks – Workers don’t complete their tasks due to a lack of communication between the team members.
- Project delays – The whole construction project is delayed due to poor communication.
You can also imagine how important it is to keep communication alive in the construction project. You can achieve it by:
- Communicating with all the team members without any biases.
- Keeping a friendly environment in the workplace and allowing everyone to share their concerns. That will help the employees to keep communicating throughout the project.
3. Use the right management tool
According to a survey, 66% of companies using a project management tool completed their project within the estimated budget. That’s quite an achievement.
If you’ve been in the construction business for a long time, you already know how difficult it is to finish a project without exceeding the allocated budget. However, the key point here is to use the right project management tool.
You will find over 50 authentic construction project management tools offering a plethora of services. All those tools might look helpful to you. But you should analyze the project requirements before investing in software that fulfills the needs.
Undoubtedly, project management software makes construction scheduling easier. It offers multiple features, including:
- Real-time communication – All stakeholders and team members can collaborate in real-time. They also can host meetings with specific project functions.
- Scheduling functionality – The software can analyze the project requirements and suggest suitable timelines for construction activities.
- Design templates – Architectures and designers can get help from available design templates for construction.
Therefore, always go through the construction project requirements and then look for the required features in the project management tool.
4. Draft a schedule
Never finalize the construction schedule on the first attempt. Although it’s just a schedule, you must leave space for delays while determining the project constraints. So make the schedule dynamic and feasible enough to revise it whenever needed.
The construction schedule draft is important because it includes delays due to unexpected reasons. For example, a buffer is an additional time you add to the project schedule to cover up delays. You must mention it in the draft schedule to prepare a realistic deadline for a milestone.
But what are the unexpected delays in the construction schedule? They might be:
- Site inspection – A team of civil engineers needs time to inspect the construction site and observe its condition. Their responsibility is to prepare a detailed report which must provide the site status.
- Weather conditions – That’s a natural factor that affects construction projects. You must have an authentic weather forecast report before beginning the construction.
- Research – Research is the part of information gathering which also needs time because the research team prepares survey reports according to the construction project.
The schedule draft helps you and other stakeholders mutually decide realistic milestones and deadlines. That document also helps understand the project timeline and the priority construction activities.
5. Revise schedule draft
After drafting the construction schedule, it’s time to revise it. The revision process includes all the project’s stakeholders.
While revising the schedule, ensure that you must include the communications for references. That’s a critical part of the construction project because you don’t know the history of the contractor and the client. So, you will have written evidence of the project schedule, which is an agreement from all the parties.
The revised schedule also confirms the viability of the actual project schedule as the project manager and team leads verify it, respectively. Each member goes through the relevant functions and checks the critical factors like lead times and procurement because they include third parties.
Using the revised schedule, you can also prepare a work breakdown structure (WBS) for your construction project. Once you and the stakeholders approve this document, it becomes the final version of the project schedule.
Construction project scheduling is a critical task. It helps estimate the resources, budget, project milestones, and key deliverables. So, follow the above five steps and prepare a flawless construction project schedule.