There is no such thing as the perfect schedule in construction. Unless you can see into the future and predict everything from sick days to the weather, there will always be some guesswork to scheduling jobs and worksite crews. But that doesn’t mean your schedules can’t get better. There is always room for improvement. While we can’t give you future vision, we can give you a few tips on making better scheduling decisions.
VISIBILITY IS KEY
You can’t complete a puzzle if you don’t have all the pieces. The same can be said of scheduling. You can’t build an accurate schedule if you don’t know the statuses of your workers, equipment, and materials. Without this information, you can easily double-book heavy equipment, overestimate labor needs, or stall a jobsite altogether. Knowing when assets are available, how many there are and the amount needed are key to setting up a reasonable schedule. This is where efficient workforce and equipment documentation comes into play.
Changes are going to happen; it’s how you react that makes the difference.
The ability to adapt is crucial to mitigating delays and budget increases when something unexpected occurs. Weather is a prime example. A sudden downpour may mean certain tasks can’t be completed safely, but that doesn’t mean other tasks can’t be done. Sure, there will still be work to make up for, but some progress is better than none.
Recording adjustments like this is just as important as making them. As we all know, even a slight delay can lead to bigger problems further down the line. If a task was not completed on time, the office needs to be made aware immediately to weave it back into the schedule with as little disruption as possible.
Additionally, having documentation on hand to demonstrate to project owners what happened and what was done to mitigate damage is critical—especially if a project faces serious complications. It illustrates transparency and thoroughness, which go a long way in building client relationships.
Most construction companies have more than one active jobsite at a time, which needs to be accounted for when scheduling. You need to take a company-wide view to make the best use of all your resources. Look for peaks and lulls in job activity to maximize worker and equipment use. When you have the full scope of how much work needs to be done and how much availability you have within your company, you can better estimate when to reach out to subcontractors or pull in additional resources.
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP
Many moving pieces go into scheduling, and it’s one of the most difficult aspects of any job. But the right construction management software makes it easier in several ways:
- Centralizes data in one location, including worker certifications, equipment manifests, maintenance reports, and other pertinent data.
- Visualizes complex data to give a clearer picture of what assets are available, allowing more accurate workload estimates.
- Mobile compatibility allows for instant schedule confirmation and keeps workers up to date in real time.
You may not be able to predict all of the changes on a worksite, but you can be better prepared for them by having greater visibility into your assets, taking a whole-company view of your jobsite needs and reallocating tasks when plans are disrupted.
About the Author:
Fred Haynes is a solutions engineer at Assignar. For more, visit www.assignar.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, April 2022
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