At BWC Consultants, we believe the fundamentally most important element of a project is the project schedule (sometimes referred to as a project program). For this reason, we place particular importance in providing our clients with a detailed schedule that incorporates the following information.
- Advance Lead Times
- Advance Order Scheduling
- Advance Payment Notification
- Advance Cost Management
- Advance Project Delay Notification
- Progress Reporting
- Active Monitoring of Project Completion
If used by a Contractor, in addition to the above, you can also you the project schedule for;
- Resource Management
- Organisation of Directly Employed Labour
- Organisation of Company/Project Resources
- Advance Subcontractor Notifications
- Individual Subcontractor Progress Monitoring
- Progress Reporting to Clients
- Extension of Time (EOT) Submission Evidence
- Project Delays due to Client Supply Items/Variations
What is Construction Scheduling?
A construction schedule is analogous to a contractor’s bid. Just as a contractor’s bid is an estimate of its cost that it expects to spend to build the project, the schedule represents an estimate of the time required to construct the project.
What is a Construction Scheduler?
The construction scheduler is the person on the project who is responsible for developing and updating the project schedule.
The scheduler knows and understands construction means and methods, as well as the capabilities of the software. Most importantly, they also understand what construction scheduling best practices are and how to incorporate them into the project schedule.
The scheduler can work with the project manager to ensure that the plan residing in their heads is accurately depicted in the project schedule will protect the contractor’s risk, or, the Clients/Employers completion date.
Why do we need Project Schedules?
Increasingly, over the last 15 or 20 years, construction owners have required that contractors prepare schedules during the construction project. There are two primary reasons for this trend.
First, as projects become more complex and have tighter budgets, we need schedules to help us manage our construction projects. As a construction project management tool, a schedule enables the project participants (not just the owner, the contractor, the engineer, or the architect) to understand the plan for completion. It allows the parties to coordinate all the elements of the work.
To some degree, this trend has also been driven by litigation. Time is money. Every day a construction project is delayed, either the owner and/or both the owner and contractor, will incur additional costs to support that project. Therefore, we need a way to measure to what extent the project is delayed.
The schedule allows us to identify not just what the work is, but the responsibilities of each party, and the party responsible for each of the activities.
It allows us to track performance. Ultimately, having a reasonably accurate schedule, be that a bar chart or a CPM schedule will also enable the project participants to identify and resolve project delay as it occurs.
What is Critical Path method Scheduling?
The most used construction scheduling technique is the CPM approach. This approach models or depicts the construction plan in what is called a network. This network consists of activities and logic relationships that determine the overall sequence of construction. If the construction project is to fall behind the detail schedule, the critical path will be adversely affected. This would provide all project members an advance warning of a future project delay.
By being able to identify future concerns and delays allow the management team to actively look for options to mitigate future delay. This type of active management is only possible by using a project scheduling system.
By using the critical Path scheduling approach other important factors of a project become identifiable. Some of these factors are:
- Weekly or monthly cash flows.
- Future budgeting.
- Effective Resource Management.
- Running several tasks concurrently as opposed to in sequence.
- Advance order scheduling.
- Identifying delays in advance.
- Identifying issues and having the advance notice to actively mitigate delays.