Just to clarify, “4D” means “4 dimensions”, the 4th., in building terms, being “time” – and, no, we aren’t going time-travelling!
Now, in order to do any scheduling you need to know who has to do what, where and when. That means you have to have a pretty detail Programme of Works and LetsBuild happily accepts this into your project details and makes it available for everyone’s’ information. I’ve got to get this in, though! – in 20 years as a project turnaround specialist I never walked in to rescue a project that actually had a Detailed Programme to Completion (DPC) done for the job! It was one of my first tasks to come up with one! If becoming a LetsBuild user pressures you into getting a DPC done for the project, you’re already on a winning streak!
So what to look at when scheduling the DPC? Obviously what Tasks need doing and in what order, but what is needed to do them? Labour, plant, the space to work in and materials are the main ingredients. Get that lot on your LetsBuild so everyone knows and that is an automatic acceleration tool! But a sneaky bit of advice for your DPC – materials are needed so check the procurement period for them all. No good having bricklayers without any bricks! When the bricks have arrived on site the bricky subby knows because his LetsBuild tells him and he’ll have the required number of men on site, on due date!
Something I’ve blogged about previously is the time it takes on site to deal with all the paperwork. Now LetsBuild has “charmed” all this out of your site management’s lives that gives them far more time to get out and about on site. A chat with the lads; point out bits of defective workmanship and, before you know it you haven’t just got “De-Snag as You Go”, the lads, not liking criticism of their work, put it right before you even see their work! They also, just because they are a bunch of show-offs, accelerate their work, too! Time saved and quality assurance all in one go thanks to LetsBuild! The other things saved are any risk of Delay and someone having to pay out for LAD along with the costs, even if completed within the contract period, of remediation.
Another way LetsBuild “charms” everyone is simply because everyone involved in the project knows everything that is going on! For example, if you ask what colour a wall is to be painted, having simply being told the originally specified colour will be changed, you bang in an RFI asking for the colour. The architect, or even the client if it was their decision to change colour, knows that they have 7 days to reply; if they fail to meet the time – Ho! Ho! Ho! They are looking at the LAD bill or extended site overhead charges!
LetsBuild gives everyone involved live updates on progress. One charming possibility is that a series of Tasks finishes ahead of time. The follow-on trades immediately know this and, assuming they have both men and materials to hand, will be on site early! This is “bestest ever” if the series of Tasks finishing early are on the Critical Path; means loads of other things can be accelerated, too! The magic behind this are the sub-contractors and the skilled tradesmen. The subbies, if they can finish early, may well manage to get another contract fitted in during that financial year. The skilled trades are usually all on piecework; if they can finish quickly and slip more work in, then that pays for their family holidays!
That’s pretty well it! Get yourselves a DPC, so that you can put it on LetsBuild, and you’ve got yourself “4D Scheduling”. You’ll then find it works like a Charm, saving you Time, reducing your build costs, improving build quality and, with its live updates, making sure there is no need for re-working anything due to design changes.