Construction Schedule Tracking - Analyse, Review and Know EXACTLY What is Happening in Your Projects
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Keeping a construction project to schedule might be a difficult task.
It takes a planned and methodical approach of tracking the schedule to keep things on point.
That said, it would be wrong to spend all that time arriving at the best course of action, then only a few months in, completely lose track of that lovely plan that was put together!
As with most skills, tracking construction schedules can be learned, improved and used to keep your projects on track, within schedule and under-budget.
Here is a list of things that you might implement straight away into your projects that you might begin benefiting yourself and your business.
1. Clear Schedule Review Process
After spending all that time coming up with your plan, drawing up a schedule to implement, don’t leave it neglected!
How many of the issues we face come to us from areas we should have avoided by just sticking to a good plan!
You’ve already gone ahead and made a plan for the project, so take a little bit more time and make sure you have planned for the schedule reviews.
Not only with each month, but also who on the contractor’s side is to submit to who on the owner’s side, what format are they to be submitted in, what is the process for making revisions, etc.
Make sure that this is all crystal clear before starting the project, the old saying of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure is especially true here - just consider the leveraging effect of millions of dollars invested to multiple this slip in judgment also!
Implementing a process change when the wheels are moving may be easier said than done!
Take a breath, don’t rush and make sure you have planned for this process.
The next two points following on nicely from this:
2. Get Buy-In.
Now that you have drawn up a plan for how schedule reviews are to be done (that you might keep track of your schedule) - you need to get the buy-in of the stakeholders.
This doesn’t just mean sending an email and receiving an “ OK.” response either!
I mean gather every relevant person in a room, garner their attention, and make them understand WHY this matters to them.
Let them know, that McKinsey and Co. reported that 98% of projects incur costly overruns or delays.
Let them know that the average cost increase is 80% of original value!
Let them understand why this matters to them, what might happen to them if they go over budget, how might this affect what they care about.
Right, now they should be listening.
Now tell them what they need to do each month to keep on schedule:
3. Proper Schedule Reviews (Tracking)
There is a reason why people spend years of studying and training in project planning and management.
Don’t think that you can just guess your way through schedule review/tracking.
As the project unfolds, there are hosts of changes that may occur in each update, the type that people spend years of practical experience to learn.
This is where we come to the normal business decision:
A skill is required - construction schedule tracking - so you may either hire it, partner with it, or learn it.
Learning how to properly analyse and track a construction schedule may take you years upon years.
So maybe not what we had in mind!
Partnering may mean splitting a large portion of the profits down the road and it may be difficult to find a talented schedule tracker to give up hundreds of dollars per hour, to work for free on your project with the hope of profit down the line.
This leaves us with hiring.
Really, if you can’t afford to hire a scheduling professional then you can’t afford to build anything substantial. It really is that simple.
The amount of money you might lose from a single scheduling mistake may be more than years of billing for this sort of professional.
That said, there may be people here who have been put in charge of schedule tracking and can’t afford to hire someone to do their job.
Nowadays there is an option for that also:
4. Use Schedule Tracking Software
Schedule Tracking is no different to the host of other professions which is seeing much of what they do now being done for them by computers.
This software takes your schedule file from the above types of program and runs automated analysis of the schedule at every single schedule update.
This way we might see - within a few clicks - exactly how the project has progressed and changed since the original, or, baseline schedule.
Not only this, but the best of this software gives you an explanation of what has happened, why this maters and how to seek a resolution.
This software, for those who cannot afford a professional, is the next best thing - coming in at less than one hour of a consultants’ billing per month in some cases.
To read more about this sort of software - click here.
5. Have Patience
You might have figured this out from what has proceeded, but it is still worth mentioning.
As excited as one might be for cracking on with the project - don’t rush!
Use some intelligence and carefully plan out the project, go through all the necessary steps and encourage those around you upon patience also.
There are steps you have to go to leverage your time, judgement, and money as best as possible to scale your business.
You have to go through this and there is no avoiding it.
Just know, that if you can do this you will have done what you need to do to massively leverage your time and judgment to maximum returns.
Just think, those who have received the best in this life, they weren’t blind rushers into projects.
They were calculated people who used their intelligence to come to the most powerful action they believed in to reach their goal.
Construction Schedule Tracking
Be the captain not a berserker.
Come up with a plan and review it, take a bird’s eye view of what is going on in your construction project.
Find the proper place for the resources and direct them them properly to multiple your judgement to keep things on track.
To learn more about what you might do to optimize your projects, check out the related articles below.
Thanks a lot for reading and take care,
The Project Cracker Team