Plan and adjust the importance of Schedule building and tracking
Scheduling is a powerful tool in life and is an essential component to your construction projects. A schedule will dictate project timelines, billing, and will be the most affective tool when estimating delays and cost overruns. Often schedules can be a daunting task especially for projects extending over 6 months. The key here is to start with a holistic view of the project and focus in on the details as you go.
A classic project schedule should be created using a Gantt Chart. Templates are available on the web, google sheets, and excel. I use Microsoft project for my schedules but it’s not necessary to get the job done. Your Gantt chart at a minimum should have these column headers.
There are two ways to set up a schedule, by contractor or by sequence. When creating a contractor organized schedule you will be listing each contractors tasks in order of their sequence and tying each item to a predecessor. I prefer building my schedules in the sequence in which the work is done as it will force contractors to coordinate with others as their list of scope items will be broken up by the other teams working on the project
To build your schedule
1. Start with your Task Name
2. Understand your scope
3. Pick your first trade and begin listing all of their tasks
Do the same for all other contractors
4. Manipulate the items it into sequential order
5. Add an estimated duration to all of the tasks
6. Add your predecessors
Each predecessor will tie to the task number for example:
The carpentry needs to be complete prior to starting the plumbing and electrical scope and your schedule should indicate that.
Your schedule should be referenced daily and adjusted monthly. If your durations are growing why are they growing? where can you save time in the schedule? Is your contractor slipping on his commitments? These are some of things you should be asking yourself when going through the schedule.
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