6 Tips to keep your Construction Project Schedule on Track
Research says that almost every construction project runs over schedule. The main reason why construction projects fail is the lack of new technologies and software. Ever since Microsoft Excel came out, it has remained the number one tool for any contractor. Plans are kept in Excel or in managers’ heads.
But with the right technique and tools, it is possible to keep projects on schedule. Let’s see how project managers can track their construction schedule.
Review your plans and scope.
This step requires knowledge and experience about the scope. As a project manager or site manager, you have to understand the scope of the project. Break down the scope into smaller activities and understand dependencies. You have to review all the drawings and imagine in your head how the work will be executed and built. Look for possible errors; there is always something unclear in drawings. These unclear places usually arise during the construction stage. At this time, it costs a lot to fix them, and you start to face delays. Understand the objectives of the project. What product do you have to deliver? Have you delivered similar works before?
While you review your plans and scope, you also have to identify potential risks. Have you done any work before? What were the risks you faced then? Are there any delivery risks, or maybe you need to have special training for your staff? It takes time and practice to start recognizing project risks; the more you research your project and its documentation, the more risks you will find. Draw up these risks and create a plan for how to avoid them. Make sure everyone is informed about the risks of collaborating.
Create a project schedule.
Once the project scope and plan are clear and all risks are identified, only then can the first schedule be drawn. At this step, previous project experiences must be revisited. You have to understand what the performance was on those projects. Were there any obstacles? You must break down the whole scope into smaller activities, which would then be performed by the teams. Any dependencies where other subcontractors are involved must be clearly pointed out. These dependencies must be negotiated.
Communicate and collaborate
As you know, there are many parties involved in construction projects. There can be sites where more than 1,000 workers are involved, as well as hundreds of subcontractors. Communication and collaboration are keys to success. Once you have your schedule and have identified your project risks, you must discuss them with the other parties involved in the project. Make it clear who is doing whose job, when this could be done, and so on. Every person on whose job you are dependent must be aware of this. Nevertheless, you also must communicate and collaborate with your team. Every team member must understand his or her role and duty for the project.
Monitor and document progress
Monitoring in the old-fashioned (spreadsheet) way is tough, but it can be done. There are many people involved in the project, and they should be assigned to the tasks and activities pointed out in the project schedule. Every member must be informed to report updates about their tasks and objectives. Follow up meetings are recommended during project execution.
Monitoring and progress documentation are much easier with construction software. They do this for you automatically.
Use of construction software
There are several construction software programs for trade contractors, general contractors, and investors. By using the right software, project delays are reduced significantly. Thankfully, because of the latest AI advancements, many of the tools are implementing AI. With construction software, it is becoming easier and easier to monitor the progress, identify risks, and forecast the schedule.