John Wiegand is a construction professional with 30+ years of experience, Wiegand has had the fortunate (and frequent) pleasure of talking to a variety of customers and construction industry experts. The more conversations John has had, the more he realized there is a sizable knowledge gap when it comes to understanding the value of proper planning. In fact, many Wiegand spoke to still view planning and scheduling as one-in-the-same, a misnomer he’d like to dispel.
Planning is certainly important to support the scheduling process but also bring significant value throughout the project. Understanding and implementing proper planning is the foundation for all activities on which project success is built. Every project workflow originates from this foundation, so if there are cracks, risk of failure is greatly increased.
Within the project lifecycle, there are 6 factors that are absolutely mission critical and can be significantly enhanced with proper planning:
#1 – Preconstruction
#2 – Safety
#3 – Schedule
#4 – Change Management
#5 – Quality
#6 – Close-out
Proper (and effective) planning means that not only is there a process in place to ensure that the project team is quickly made aware of any issues that can compromise success, but also that there is a system in place to quickly resolve them. The ability for these processes and systems to identify and resolve issues must be continually measured and evaluated. Providing the team with a clear picture of “what success looks like”, in the form of metrics and goals, is key to creating an environment of accountability and transparency. This will allow the team to thrive and continuously identify opportunities for improvement. In addition, fostering a culture of respectful and agile behavior allows for small course corrections during execution, rather than the sporadic firefighting that tends to take place on more traditional construction projects.
Planning, in an ideal sense, starts at the inception of the owner’s desire to build something. From that moment on, it is extremely important to develop strong team dynamics and an overall foundation of trust and collaboration – one that will inspire new stakeholders as they join the team throughout the planning process.
Written by John Wiegand, a contributing writer for AUTODESK.