Scheduling determines when and how efficiently you will finish a project. Companies prefer using progress tracking software like Bridgit to schedule construction projects. But unfortunately, many project managers make silly mistakes while working on the project’s schedule.
At a minimum, nationwide construction projects exceed 16% and sometimes more. The main cause of the overrun is poor management, including mistakes in scheduling, supervision, and resource utilization.
When there’s a cost overrun, the whole project’s budget increases because now you have to pay the additional salary, fuel, and other charges. You can imagine how big the expenses will become.
This post will disclose five common scheduling mistakes so you can be wary of them in your construction project.
Table of Contents
Importance of construction project scheduling
A construction project must have a schedule to measure its progress. Without a schedule, you can never estimate the:
- Required resources – Labor, equipment, budget, etc.
- Quality measures – Test reports, inspection requests, etc.
- Responsibilities – Management, supervision, resource allocation, etc.
Scheduling is a part of planning the construction project. When you schedule your upcoming project in the planning phase, you can evenly distribute the budget and activities by avoiding delays.
Furthermore, scheduling is important in the following areas:
- Strategy making – It helps you strategize the construction project.
- Knowledge generation – Scheduling generates knowledge and required details of the project.
- Better resource management – It gives you more time to manage resources like labor and equipment.
- Better coordination – The construction site and the operational team have more coordination time.
- More lead-time – Enough lead-time for procurement means you can minimize the cost by not ordering resources urgently.
- Improved safety – You can improve workers’ safety by preparing standardized measures before beginning the project.
- Weather protection – Workers have more time to acclimatize and take weather protection measures.
- Risk assessment – Risk assessment is easier due to good project scheduling.
- More time for other stakeholders – Other parties like vendors, designers, and clients can prepare their own activities in a better way.
- Enhanced productivity – You can maximize productivity by completing the project in the shortest timeline.
Although scheduling is essential for the project’s success, many contractors and project managers fail to schedule the key activities.
5 common project scheduling mistakes
Following are the five common mistakes contractors and project managers make while preparing a schedule for a construction project:
Scheduling consists of dividing the construction project into milestones and allocating deadlines. Project managers break the project into several milestones to easily distribute resources and responsibilities to respective departments.
Unfortunately, contractors in direct communication with the project owners set unrealistic deadlines for the project milestones. They assume the team can reach all the milestones within tight deadlines and complete the project.
In addition, some contractors never consult the project manager who has a deep understanding of the project’s requirements. Even if the deadline seems unrealistic, contractors agree to the project owner’s terms.
This mistake leads to the following consequences:
- Project delay – The contractor faces delays in the project’s completion which means they have to pay the liquidated damage.
- Bad reputation – The company’s reputation is damaged because of not finishing the project in the committed time.
- Monetary loss – Cost overrun makes the company suffer a loss.
- Demotivation for workers – Senior management will blame the workers, which kills their morale. They might not perform well in future construction projects.
Therefore, before talking with the project owner, contractors must have the required project knowledge. Alternatively, they must take the project manager on board while negotiating a construction project. Both parties can then agree on realistic deadlines.
During the planning phase, teams don’t collaborate and follow one construction methodology. If the planners use platform A for scheduling, the construction team might use platform B. This methodology gap often occurs when the project manager lacks supervision.
When two crucial teams don’t coordinate on a single construction methodology, you can never schedule the project timeline.
It’s almost impossible to schedule core construction activities using two different methodologies. Therefore, the project manager’s job is to gather both teams on a single platform and schedule the project using their inputs.
No mention of the project’s constraints
It’s important to consider the construction project’s constraints while scheduling. When the planning team fails to mention the limitations, the project’s schedule never aligns with the resource estimation.
In addition, the project’s constraints affect:
- Cost – Company faces cost overrun when contractors only decide the finances, ignoring risk, quality, and time.
- Risk – Construction projects have multiple risks, and the whole schedule falls apart without following the risk mitigation strategy.
- Quality – To deliver quality, you must consider this factor while scheduling the project because quality operation needs the best resources.
- Time – Setting a realistic project timeline is necessary to create an almost reliable project schedule.
No testing schedule
Testing is one of the core phases of the construction project’s timeline. If you close a project without testing its key components, it can cause destruction.
Many planners give the least time to the testing phase during project scheduling. That’s a wrong approach because testing is the only phase where the testing team can thoroughly inspect each project element.
Following are the general tests in a construction project:
- Sieve analysis
- Slump test
- Compression test
Moreover, some tests are before the project’s beginning, like sieve analysis and slump test. Some tests like input voltage and ventilation are run after the construction.
Overlooking natural delays
Project planners shouldn’t overlook natural delays. No doubt, these factors are out of human power. For example, it’s important to consider weather conditions while planning a construction project. Bad weather can cause delays and might waste resources as well.
Contractors must keep natural delays in mind, especially in regions where extreme weather conditions are expected. That includes:
You can focus on these factors while scheduling your next construction project to maximize productivity and deliver the project in the committed time.
Some contractors lack true knowledge of a construction project and end up making the wrong project schedule. A construction project with poor scheduling is a bigger failure because it will cause unnecessary delays.
Moreover, the project manager might not be able to help in such a situation. So always schedule your construction project, responsibly in the planning phase, to fulfill the commitments or invest in a good job scheduling software for your construction business. Check out https://www.jamsscheduler.