Keeping a construction project on track can be difficult at times; however, implementing a few techniques can help ensure that the operation will run much smoother. Efficient scheduling may help eliminate many of the problems in production, inform everyone when different materials are needed, and improve the productivity of the project. It’s all about finding what works best for your project and with your team.
1. Excel Templates
First up is a classic, Excel. A simple way to stay organized and keep the details of your construction project together. Everyone working on the project can have access to the documents and add their comments, pictures, etc. Once a change is made, everyone added to the document will be able to see it. This will help keep everyone updated and able to communicate changes to each other. With spreadsheets though,
2. Gantt Charts
Another way you can keep your construction project on track is by using bar charts. Gantt charts are the easiest and most straightforward way to set up schedules. They’re widely accepted on construction sites and are popular for their simplicity and versatility. Gantt charts consist of a list of activities with all of the information about the activity, in regards to time. The start time/date, duration, and completion time/date are all included. The detail of the information varies with each project. The more complex a project is, the more complex the schedule needs to be.
Gantt charts, however, aren’t just used for time tracking but to track other aspects of the project as well. They can be used to monitor the number of resources needed which will also keep the project on schedule considering the necessary equipment will always be available.
3. Critical Path Scheduling Method
The Critical Path Method (CPM) or Critical Path Scheduling is where it tends to get a little more complicated, considering it’s much more detailed. Each activity on the sheet shows the activities “path,” as in all of the activities before the main activity and everything after as well. This is done so that everyone knows what must get done before what can get started. The Critical Path Method includes start dates and times, as well as end dates and times. It essentially splits the activities into segments with little gaps in between to account for delays and leave room for error.
CPM also includes an estimate of the fastest possible time to finish a specific activity. These calculations are generated with different algorithms and computer programs.
4. Resource Oriented Scheduling
Resource Oriented Scheduling revolves around the resources of the project. It is implemented in projects with minimal resources available. In these circumstances, it is much more likely for delays to occur because a lot of time is spent waiting for more resources. There is no telling how long it will take for more resources and the longer it takes, the higher the costs and the lower the productivity. Schedules that do not allocate for such conditions are generally not realistic. Resource Oriented Scheduling can also be used in projects that require unique resources.
5. Line of Balance Scheduling Techniques
A Line of Balance Scheduling Techniques is generally used for repetitive work. This process allots the resources required for every individual step of the operation. This is to prevent delays in the activities. This technique is related to the planning of manufacturing processes. Manufacturing processes are often used in road construction, as well as construction work in general. When circumstances allow, this process is incredibly easy and effective.
6. Q Scheduling
Q scheduling is derived from the Line of Balance Technique. The two techniques differ because of the non-repetitive models in many construction projects. The Q in Q Scheduling has several different meanings. The first is Quantitative Schedule. Quantitative refers to the quantities in various elements of the project. These quantities make up the whole schedule.
The second is Queue Scheduling. The queue refers to the queue sequence in which trades pass through. The queue consists of many different segments, with no contact between two activities in the same place.
The Q techniques are relatively new however its popularity with contractors has grown very fast. This is the only technique that allocates for the costs in regards to the sequence of the project.
The scheduling of a construction project is crucial to the timely success of the project. How productive the workdays are will rely on the details in the schedule and generally the more the details, the better. The schedule shows the managers the overall project and what they need to get done and by when. Scheduling minimizes the number of delays and helps the project run much more smoothly.
Ola Abuelhassan is a Content Marketing intern at eSUB. She is a current student at University of California, San Diego pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Business.