Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

With the recently passed Infrastructure Bill generating more demand for work and an ongoing labor crisis, contractors and their crews have to do more with much less. Jobs need to be completed to get paid, but crews risk being overworked or underutilized without thoughtful scheduling processes. The labor crisis isn’t predicted to end soon, and work from the Infrastructure Bill will be rolling out for at least the next decade. Contractors need to be thinking long-term and sustainably when it comes to their work management processes, especially when it comes to scheduling.


Even the best-planned schedule is going to undergo changes. Whether it’s bad weather or an equipment malfunction, something will happen to make you revise your plan. But when making those changes, you must keep the entire work backlog in mind. 

Construction is a series of related tasks. Changes aren’t made in a vacuum; making one change will result in three more elsewhere in the project. You need the ability to see those changes to make the best decision, not just for the task at hand but for your entire work pipeline. A decision that seems to fix the problem in the short term could result in more significant consequences in the future. Without the ability to view the impact in its entirety, you can’t foresee those long-term changes.


When scheduling, you must look beyond availability and focus on the job’s specific needs. Examine not just the work but what the environment is like, the client’s priorities and requirements, and current budget status and progress. All these factors can play a part in choosing the best person for the job. 

For example, if a job is well under budget, sending a qualified worker with slightly less experience might make more sense than sending your most experienced (and expensive) laborer. And don’t forget to consider the company’s backlog at large as well. Just because a worker is the most skilled at a particular task does not mean it is automatically the best assignment for them.


A perfectly designed schedule won’t do you much good if you don’t have the permits to start the work or your excavator operator’s license is expired. Incorrect documentation is one of the most common scheduling mistakes in construction. Not only should you include document review as part of your regular scheduling operations, but you also need a transparent process that defines where documents need to end up and the exact steps to get them there. Personal documents, like worker licenses and certifications, need built-in accountability measures for both the individual worker and management.


While contractors must make decisions with the entire project’s scope in mind, it’s hard to manage when information is spread across multiple emails, spreadsheets, and whiteboards. Technology can help by bringing all those moving parts under one roof. Platform solutions like construction management software allow contractors to allocate, schedule, and manage projects within a single program.


Visibility and transparency are essential to making smart scheduling decisions. But, as projects and operations have grown in size and complexity, it has become increasingly important to take a holistic view and make informed decisions. The right technology solutions can help by removing the administrative burden of organizing and coordinating data, so contractors can make the decisions they need to get

About the Author:

Marcel Broekmaat is chief product officer at Assignar, a cloud-based construction operations platform. For more, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2022
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