Keep track of your construction project with a reliable tool. Stay on schedule and push tasks as planned. Learn how to leverage the best construction project management software to ensure all these and more.
The construction industry is not an easy business. Think about it, there are hundreds and if not, thousands of moving parts involved in the construction activities. These parts include building materials, cranes, lifts, trucks, and other equipment. A major concern in construction sites, though, is if the materials don’t arrive on time. It can be the cause for lesser productivity, increased operation costs, missed deadlines, and failure to achieve project milestones.
With all of that in mind, you might be considering to have all of the materials and equipment delivered ahead of time. Of course, there is an advantage to completing your construction materials earlier, but if the equipment is rented, it will also mean additional on rent. Then there’s still an additional cost when you need to rent a warehouse to store that equipment until the construction activities commence. This is similar to subcontractors because the business still has to pay for their time even though the worksite is not yet prepared.
Project and schedule delays are some of the main concerns in the construction industry. These remain as something that firms can’t avoid or prevent, no matter how much they try.
Based on a report by the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company, on average, most large construction projects are delayed by around twenty months. This is often caused by failing to hit deadlines and by not scheduling efficiently. This problem should not be taken lightly as this would mean a significant real-world cost.
Although schedule delays cannot always be avoided, you can at least lower its impact by establishing some effective methods and practices. Using the best construction project management software also helps in ensuring that your daily activities are in sync with your plans. Find out how to achieve success in your construction project here:
5 Ways to Keep Your Project on Schedule
1. Make a work breakdown structure (WBS)
In order to avoid issues such as disorganization in the team, project delays, missing deadlines, failing to hit the goal, or team members not knowing which tasks or responsibilities belong to whom, establish a work breakdown structure or WBS. By doing so, it will help you break down tasks or projects into mini-tasks or smaller sections which will make it easier to reach milestones, increase productivity, as well as clearly define responsibilities. Keep in mind to always contain all of the work defined in the scope of the construction project. Don’t miss any small and important details.
2. Have Realistic Deadlines
Here are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your deadlines are reasonable and realistic:
- Hold a meeting with your team where you can discuss important matters such as talking about which tasks or projects were delayed in the past so that you can analyze the situation and know which tasks to give more time on.
- As m entioned earlier, use a WBS system to break down tasks into smaller and manageable sections, and give deadlines to each task. This will make it easier for each member of your team to do the task and hit the deadline. You may even realize that by applying the WBS system, you will know which tasks take a shorter or longer time to accomplish.
- Check the projects or activities from time to time to ensure that the deadlines set are still realistic and valid. If not, make sure to update and adjust it with the help of your team’s input.
3. Don’t forget to include float
It is important and helpful to build a float for the whole project and all necessary tasks that would cause project delay. To explain further, float refers to the timeline or the amount of time for a certain task or activity that can be delayed before it threatens other critical tasks which can result in project delays.
It will be an advantage to use an app or a construction project scheduling software for this one as you can easily use your common sense and intelligence as a construction project manager to determine how much float you will need.
For example, when you look back at your previous projects as well as the tasks and activities involved, recall the days of float used in a complex task? Were two days of a float not enough? If yes, consider trying three or five days in the new project. You can keep on adjusting until you feel you got it right.
4. Connect each activity to resources
It’s not ideal to schedule an activity if you don’t have enough materials for the team to complete the tasks. This will only lead to the members scrambling to look for resources that will only delay the project and decrease work productivity.
All tasks, whether it’s simple or complex, big or small, should still have resources set aside for it. These resources we’re talking about do not only mean the physical resources or materials. It also includes construction equipment, data, and labor. Resources are everything that is required to finish a task or project.
5. Review your schedule with your team and stakeholders
No matter how careful you think you have been in checking the details of your project plan and schedule, there will be some details that you might have missed. Include your team in reviewing the schedule so you can be alerted when there’s something you missed. Set a meeting with all stakeholders, too, to give them the draft schedule in advance so they can offer you feedback.
Methods, Techniques, Approaches
Apart from the tips above, you can also use methods, approaches, and techniques to make sure that the schedule set for the project is reliable, reasonable, and realistic.
Here are three approaches, methods, or techniques you can do:
1.Critical Path Method
The critical path method is the most common method for scheduling projects. It uses a step-by-step technique that allows you to know the timeframe of each task and lets you know which of these tasks are critical or noncritical. This method is effective because it plays a part in preventing project delays by recognizing which tasks must be completed to have a successful project.
This method focuses on the classification of activities and how it connects to each other. To keep it simple, it helps in avoiding two or more tasks or activities to happen or be done at the same time and place. Apart from that, Q-scheduling also recognizes and reorganizes repetitive activities to maintain the balance in scheduling.
3.Have a Strategic Approach
Create a process or a strategy that works best for the team to move forward. Think about your scheduling aims, what roles should be given to team members, and more. While you’re at it, you can make use of a construction project scheduling software tool like Pro Crew to help you manage or establish the implementation of your new strategy.
There are lots of project scheduling software tools out there but it is important to find one that gives your crew the functionality they need in a construction tool. But before you implement the new strategies, you must first reflect and have a clear idea about the process by asking some essential questions such as the following:
- Is it necessary to create and use templates to boost the scheduling for future tasks?
- Do project updates have to be done on the worksite?
- Is managerial reporting an important requirement?
- Does the firm have to share schedules with the client or subcontractors?
- Does the tool let the firm to take advantage of growing and changing trends in construction management?
- In case there is a need for technical support, is it readily available?
- Who will be responsible for making and updating schedules?
Once you’ve found the answers to these questions, it is time to train users on how to use the system and how the newfound strategy should be performed. This training session can be done for one or two days just to get the users familiar with the project scheduling and management process. You can also provide more pieces of training in the future to refresh their memory on the features of the software and even teach new techniques on using the software.
Most importantly, keep in mind to review the method or process of the project controls to make sure that it is performing and functioning at its best. Using a strategic approach to manage projects takes a lot of work and can be challenging, but the results are worth it in the long run if the company is consistent in performing much better than their competition, increase their efficiency, and maximize their profits.
Making sure that the construction project is running smoothly is not easy. It includes a lot of challenging tasks, managing people, handling schedules and finances, and a lot more.
Fortunately, because of the continuous advancements and creation of digital tools, our specific needs as construction project managers can be addressed as these digital tools play a huge part in helping us manage and simply schedules, processes, as well as improving communication, and enhancing document management.
Pro Crew Schedule offers a collaborative and beginner-friendly platform that lets you schedule tasks and projects, as well as managing your team, and monitoring their time. It also has features where you can communicate effectively with your time, send documents, files, photos, videos, and more. Pro Crew Schedule is a flexible app that allows you to manage all these things in real-time. If you are interested to learn more, click here.