Plan and schedule construction projects
Plan and schedule construction projects

Plan and schedule construction projects: A step-by-step guide to success

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Without comprehensively planning or scheduling in construction, a large construction project is likely to fail. By enabling stakeholders to work together in an integrated manner, construction scheduling software can do planning and scheduling more efficiently, allowing them to tackle tasks head-on without fear of some mistakes.

In essence, construction planning describes the process of selecting policies, procedures, and processes that are most relevant to achieving project objectives. An action plan can be created with construction scheduling software that combines cost, scope, time, and quality into a detailed schedule. A productive operational workflow results from the proper planning and scheduling of resources (materials, labor, equipment, etc.). A detailed project plan and budget are essential in managing construction projects.

How Important Is Project Scheduling in Construction? 

 

An efficient and productive construction schedule is one that is both specific and established in advance. Scheduling in construction allows you and your team to control quality measures as well as to manage resources in each construction phase.

Parties need to allocate an appropriate amount of time to each activity so that there will be no cost overruns or delays.

Planning 

Throughout the project lifecycle, the planning process is the baseline of a project and a vital component that requires much thought from all parties. There are numerous types and sizes of construction projects. They’re complex and extensive. From agriculture to civil engineering to commercial to environmental, it covers a wide range of topics. Managing construction projects effectively requires project management for construction planning, which defines step-by-step the process, and specifies the exact outcomes. The construction project plan provides a roadmap to help the team complete each step of the project. In order for the plan to remain aligned with the project, the Project Manager (PM) must consider the client’s requirements and wishes. In addition, PMs might use a building project planning checklist to ensure that all i’s and t’s are crossed.

Plan types for construction projects

Strategic planning is usually handled by the corporate planners of the project owner. As part of the master construction delivery plan, the strategic planner specifies guidelines based on both the strategic and contracting plans agreed with the end-users. 

In addition to strategic planning, operational planning entails the construction teams formulating detailed plans to meet the strategic goals. 

Furthermore, there are many categories of planning that go into the overall construction plan.

An effective project plan should include:

  • Baseline of a project (performance measures): are the project’s approved starting points (cost baselines, scope, and baseline of a project’s schedule) that identify whether or not the project is on track.
  • A baseline management plan documents how baselines deviate and how to handle them. Projects deviate from course, and a baseline management plan reflects how the changes are handled. Management will make the necessary adjustments to the baselines when variances occur, based on additional planning. 
  • Documentation: Drawings and documents are useful during the planning phase because they give a sense of what is going to be constructed. Blueprint drawings and specifications, submittals, approvals, scope documents, permits, fees, and licenses all fall under construction planning documents.

Business plan:

Typically, a business plan is started at the beginning of a construction project. The project description drafts the outline and execution plan of a project in a business plan. Additionally, they assign assignments to team members. Business plans should incorporate construction bidding, or Bid and Contract. A project’s success (or failure) on this aspect is critical in the planning process. Business benefits ultimately determine whether a project will yield a return on investment (ROI), and they provide stakeholders with the means to evaluate a project’s success. 

Planning resources:

There are always new projects for construction firms to work on. Insufficient projects can cause financial trouble for a construction company. Occasionally, firms are not able to sustain multiple projects, due to having multiple projects that overlap. In this case, your operations must be geared towards regular resource planning. Consequently, resource planning ensures that all the resources needed for a project will be available, including employees, materials, and equipment. Planned resources are at the heart of construction project scheduling. It prevents projects from running over schedule and causing cost overruns. 

The PM creates a timeline and lists of their needs. A project can be delayed if a company does not use resource planning.

A construction project plan consists of the following steps:

 

1. Discuss key components of the project with stakeholders

Often, plans are misunderstood as timelines, but a plan is almost everything in the planning process. Communicate the progress of the project to the stakeholders. Frequently, stakeholders do not fully comprehend a project’s plan. As a result of the project, stakeholders are affected. In order to gain commitment and bids, it is necessary to explain the project’s plan to stakeholders. Stakeholders approve and evaluate those who are associated with them, so documentation is vital in all aspects of the project plan. 

2. Designate responsibilities and roles

  • Sponsor of the project
  • Experts by defined business
  • Project manager
  • Team members
  • Clients and end-users
  • Others

3. Meeting to kick off the campaign

In order to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive context for the project, a kickoff meeting can be held. The process builds trust among the team members since everyone’s input is considered. The following topics should be discussed at a kickoff meeting:

  • Rules of engagement
  • Responsibilities and roles
  • Commitments to the team
  • Making decisions

4. Create an overview of the project

Project plans are incomplete without a scope statement. Ultimately, it determines what is accomplished in the construction project. Scope will evolve and change throughout the project.

5. Baseline management plans should be created

Developing a work breakdown structure (WBS), which outlines deliverables and serves as a baseline for the scope, is crucial. A scope baseline identifies what needs to be accomplished, then breaks it down into a hierarchy of levels of detail for activities and tasks.

6. Schedule for development 

Team members use the construction project schedule as a visual plan for projects, which is created by the project manager. Team schedules allow teams to break down the entire project into manageable chunks. Planned and scheduled construction projects to keep the team organized. The team explains to subcontractors and employees how their specific timelines relate to the project’s overall timeline, which facilitates communication. When creating the schedule, it is important to establish the cost baselines, which are the costs by time period.

In the construction industry, there are many types of scheduling techniques. CPM and Q schedules are two of the most commonly used scheduling methods. With CPM scheduling, or critical path scheduling, the minimum completion time can be calculated based on when a range of activities may begin and end. Q schedules, which are also called quantitative schedules, use an equivalent of a Gantt chart to track the material quantities used at different times and locations throughout the project.

7. Prepare a staffing plan

The staffing plan indicates which resources are brought in and out of a project at specific intervals, usually monthly, quarterly, or annually. It is similar to a Gantt chart, except that staffing plans do not include start/end dates, tasks, estimates, or critical paths.

8. Assess the quality and risks of a project

An important component of project quality is ensuring that the final product meets customers’ and sponsors’ expectations. Rather than just checking the product at the end and fixing errors, project quality is all about preventing errors from occurring.

In order to ensure that quality reviews and inspections are organized, quality plans must include metrics, standards, and acceptance criteria. 

A proper risk management strategy in project management for construction is crucial to avoid delays, incurring extra costs, and even facing litigation. Mitigate risks by evaluating them, communicating with team members, and training them for high-risk scenarios.

How to Manage a Project in Five Stages

 

1. Initiation and conception

During the initiation phase, conduct a thorough risk analysis. A proactive approach to risk identification will help your project team be prepared for anything that may arise.

2. Definition and planning

Take the time to carefully consider your team members. Can they perform the task and role they are responsible for if they have the necessary skills and certifications? If not, ensure they receive the proper training.

3. Launch and execution

Projects come to life when they are executed. Keep track of the project and ensure that collaboration is available at every stage of the construction process by using cloud-based construction software. By keeping the whole team on the same page, project management for construction software is beneficial.

4. Monitoring/Controlling

Communication is key, as is flexibility. Adapting to problems and modifying them is the key to success for project managers. Prepare yourself for things to go wrong and for things to change in a project.

5. Close

Compile a list of any items left unfinished and assign a team member to complete them. In order to inform stakeholders, communication is essential. The approval of the owner detects the overall triumph of the project.

Conclusion

 

The project manager and contractors must ensure that the completion date is met. Many advantages can be achieved by efficient project planning and planning. If companies do not follow contractually fixed schedules, sanctions arise. To help you succeed in managing a construction company, building software solutions such as construction scheduling software also assist you plan and outline your activities and tasks.

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