The capacity of construction scheduling software to streamline operations, boost precision, and facilitate communication amongst different members of a project team has led to its meteoric rise in popularity.
This article will explore the fundamentals of construction scheduling, its rising popularity, and the factors that contribute to its success.
What is construction scheduling?
To finish on time and within budget, every construction project needs a detailed timeline to guide everyone involved. It’s a thorough plan that spells out all the steps that need to be taken and the time limit within which they need to be accomplished. Typical elements of a construction schedule include the beginning and ending times for each job, the critical route, and any interdependencies between activities.
For a project to be finished on schedule, the critical path is the longest chain of activities that must be done. A construction schedule’s critical route is the single most essential factor in determining the entire project time. Every hiccup in a critical route job might generate ripple effects across the project. As a result, keeping an eye on the key route and fixing any problems promptly is crucial.
The construction timetable should not just account for the critical route, but also for any potential delays that may arise. Such examples include accidents, difficulties in acquiring permissions, and the availability of supplies and equipment.
How is construction scheduling done?
Contractors and project managers in the construction industry may choose from a variety of scheduling approaches. Decisions on which scheduling approach to use must take into account factors including the scope and complexity of the work to be done, the resources at hand, and the preferences of the project team.
The four most prevalent construction scheduling approaches are covered here:
Gantt charts are commonly used as a scheduling tool in the building industry. Timelines, tasks, and their interdependencies may all be seen at a glance in a Gantt chart, which is a graphical depiction of a project schedule. It’s a visual tool that lets managers see the big picture and zero in on the most important steps and milestones.
Project managers may use Gantt charts to delegate work to team members and monitor progress. A horizontal bar of varying lengths stands in for each individual task, with the total time of all tasks being represented by the vertical bar at the top. Completed tasks are shown in green, those still being worked on in yellow, and those still outstanding in red on the chart.
Critical path analysis (CPM)
Project managers in the construction industry often resort to the critical path method (CPM) when developing schedules for massive undertakings. Mathematical methods are used in CPM, a network-based scheduling approach, to determine the project’s length and the critical route. In order to conclude the project on schedule, there is a certain sequence of activities known as the critical route that must be carried out without delay.
Project managers using CPM must first decompose a large endeavor into a set of more manageable tasks, then provide a framework for tracking the interdependencies among them. Each task’s start and end times are specified in the CPM schedule, and the earliest start and end times are determined using the tasks’ dependencies. As a result, project managers are better able to set priorities and assign resources, and the calendar also highlights any free time for each activity.
Program evaluation and review technique (PERT)
Another network-based scheduling tool used on building projects is the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). PERT is a scheduling technique similar to the Critical Path Method (CPM), except it enables project managers to account for uncertainty by creating three time estimates (optimistic, most probable, and pessimistic) for each activity.
To account for the inherent uncertainty in duration estimations, PERT employs a probability distribution in its calculations. Tasks, as well as the critical path and free time, are all laid out in detail on the PERT schedule.
Line of balance (LOB) method
In repeated building projects, like housing complexes, where several units are built using the same design and materials, the line of balance (LOB) is a scheduling strategy employed. LOB is a visual way of scheduling that may be used to track the development of a project over time.
LOB schedules graph the project’s progress line by line, according to its sub-components. The y-axis represents the amount of units and the x-axis represents the time period during which they were developed. With the use of LOB schedules, project managers can pinpoint delays in the building process and distribute resources more efficiently.
Why is scheduling software for construction crews so popular?
Project managers and contractors in the construction industry may reap several advantages from using construction scheduling software. These programs streamline the laborious processes of developing and maintaining building schedules. Here are some of the ways in which scheduling software may aid the construction industry:
In order to precisely estimate the time it will take to complete jobs, identify bottlenecks in the workflow, and optimize plans for both time and money, construction scheduling software makes use of cutting-edge algorithms and machine learning.
Project managers in the construction industry may now use scheduling software to easily communicate and coordinate with their teams in real time. Team members can see the timetable, monitor progress, and pinpoint problems.
Cut down on your wait time
With the help of construction scheduling software, many of the mundane but necessary steps in developing and maintaining construction schedules may be performed automatically. For project managers, this means more time for strategic work like resource management and problem resolution.
With the help of construction scheduling software, project managers can keep tabs on the status of their projects in real-time, quickly pinpoint the source of any problems, and implement solutions.
There has never been a greater need for construction scheduling software. Its widespread use is due to the many benefits it offers in the areas of automation, precision, teamwork, and continuous oversight. Project managers can save time and money by using construction scheduling software to optimize their processes and ensure that projects are completed on schedule and under budget.