Eliminate waste, increase productivity - A quick guide to Lean practices for construction professionals

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7 ways to improve your construction schedule

Written by LetsBuild

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What’s the biggest struggle that you face as a project manager?

If you answered staying on schedule, you’re not alone. Less than one-third of contractors finish their tasks on time and on budget.

So if you don’t want your next project to end up as another statistic for missed deadlines, you need to improve your construction schedule.

We’ll discuss five techniques you can use to create a construction schedule that keeps your project on track.

1. Review every detail that affects your construction schedule

If you want to ensure your project stays on schedule, you need to review and document all of the details of the scope of work. This includes going over your spec book, construction drawings, etc.

Understanding every single project document allows you to create a more efficient construction schedule:

  • Analyse historical data of similar projects to get a better idea of how to allocate resources and time for different activities.
  • Collaborate with material manufacturers and suppliers to ensure the right materials arrive at your site in the right quantities at the right time.
  • Determine the optimal placement of equipment and material storage areas, access points, etc. using site drawings.

And don’t forget about your subs—have them review project documents that affect their work, gather their feedback, and work with them to create a construction schedule that works for everyone.

Free eBook: Quick guide to Lean practices for construction professionals

2. Create and implement contingency plans

Every on-site and off-site issue can throw your construction schedule off track. While it’s impossible to guarantee nothing will go wrong, you can identify potential risks and create contingency plans to mitigate them before they get out of control.

Get together with other project stakeholders and come up with contingency plans for different situations—you likely won’t need all of them, but you’ll have a plan in place for every potential issue ready to go.

When your project gets off schedule, it’s usually due to multiple minor problems rather than a single massive one. Carefully monitor project progress reports to catch issues as they occur and implement your contingency plans immediately to mitigate the impact on your schedule.

More to read: The importance of keeping construction daily logs for every site activity

3. Measure project performance at every step

Keep an eye on daily reports and how your project progress compares to your construction schedule. Are on-site activities matching up with your schedule? Which tasks are ahead of schedule, and which ones are falling behind?

Determining why there are discrepancies between your construction schedule and project progress helps you improve your planning and scheduling in the future and create a benchmark to measure performance.

Your schedule likely won’t stay static throughout the project—keep your subs in the loop, adjust their tasks, and make any necessary changes to your schedule to ensure you meet each deadline.

Further reading: How to ensure that your 3-6 week planning will be delivered faster

4. Coordinate tasks with a master construction schedule

Your master schedule is key to guiding your project down the right path. By breaking down your project into stages and breaking those stages down into single tasks and individual activities, you gain much more control over the process.

  • Determine the estimated time that each activity will require.
  • Assign start and completion dates to subs for their tasks.
  • Sort tasks into ones that must happen sequentially and ones that can happen concurrently with other activities.

Encourage your subs to incorporate their schedules into the master one to ensure everyone stays productive and keeps the project on track to be completed on time.

You might also like: How to connect your project schedules and align better?

Site foreman construction management software | LetsBuild5. Establish better communication and collaboration practices

How well everyone communicates during the project is a significant factor in determining whether or not everything stays on schedule. Early communication is crucial – establish a process that allows subs to notify you of delays or constraints immediately. The earlier you introduce your contingency plans and adjust your schedule, the less damage will be done.

Collaboration means more than everyone doing their part and completing their tasks according to the master schedule. It means forming relationships and working together to make every aspect of the project a success.

Encourage every stakeholder to share their expertise and ideas to solve problems and make decisions quickly. When everyone is on the same page, maintaining your construction schedule is a much easier task.

Related content: Bridging the gap: 3 steps to improving communication in construction

6. Hold regular meetings with your team

Regular meetings with your team can help you stay on top of any issues that may arise, and provide you with the opportunity to make necessary adjustments to your construction schedule. These meetings can also help you identify potential delays before they become bigger problems.

During these meetings, you can discuss any issues or challenges that have arisen and work together to find solutions. By doing this, you can identify potential delays before they become bigger problems and take corrective action to keep your project on track.

Regular meetings also provide an opportunity to review your progress and make necessary adjustments to your schedule. By monitoring your progress and identifying potential delays early on, you can adjust your schedule to ensure that you meet your deadlines.

7. Improve construction planning and scheduling with construction management software

Construction management software can help you stay organised, communicate effectively with your team, and track progress. These tools can help you identify potential delays, track costs, and manage your resources more effectively.

Remember when we mentioned that the majority of contractors don’t finish their projects on time? What do you think the biggest reason they run past deadlines is. Almost three-quarters of construction professionals blame poor jobsite coordination.

So how do you improve jobsite coordination to make your construction planning and scheduling more efficient?

With LB Geniebelt.

  • Ensure everyone’s on the same page with 24/7 access to real-time progress.
  • Keep contractors and subs up to date online and offline with a single app.
  • Get real-time snapshots of your project with automated weekly reports.
  • Track and make changes to your master schedule from anywhere.
  • Reduce admin time and weed out inefficiencies without lengthy meetings.

Keep your teams in sync and deliver projects on spec, on time, and on budget with LB Geniebelt—try it for free or book a personalised demo to see how easy staying on schedule can be.