Why planning is the heartbeat of your repetitive project

If you are working on a construction project with a lot of repetition, the schedule is its heartbeat. No matter what, you have to keep it at a regular pace. Here is how you can make it happen.

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As a project manager, you should always think of the schedule as the heartbeat of your project. One of your top responsibilities is to keep your project’s rhythm at a regular pace. It’s like running a race. If you want to succeed, you need to find the right balance and avoid going too fast or too slow.

To make that happen in projects that have a lot of repetition (hospitals, roadwork, apartment blocks), you have to break down your programme into smaller manageable tasks.

Free ebook: Why WhatsApp and Excel aren’t enough for running complex construction projects

Like that, you will be able to plan your next steps with precision, maintain better control over your project and prevent delays before they expand out of proportion. If you plan your tasks in days, then any delay that might appear will most probably also result in a delay of a few days. If you make your schedule estimation in months, however, the delays you will have to face will also be in months.

Bigger chunks of tasks can have a negative impact on your project’s heartbeat and result in outstretched delays. So instead of trying to plan ahead for the entire project from start to finish, it is better to roll out 3-6 week lookahead programmes and link them to the master schedule. In that way, you will have more flexibility when defining the next milestones and you will be able to align your teams around them much easier.

But here comes the real challenge. Many project managers quickly find themselves lost in a sea of disconnected data because they are using the wrong tools to connect their different schedules.

They have their master schedule lying around on paper form, detailed programmes stuck in MS Project, numerous updates from the site on WhatsApp and Messenger, outdated reports on Excel, and document approvals lost on email threads. And don’t even mention the endless phone calls and the information that is lost there.

Read also: Residential projects – 5 mistakes project managers don’t know they are making

However, it’s not project managers to blame for this chaotic situation. Working on all these applications makes it impossible to keep track of what’s happening on the field. This is why you need to move all data and project communication to the cloud like you might have already done with your documents.

If you connect your teams around a live, centralised version of the programme, you will also connect your data and your workflows. This is how Raul Hernandez from Grupo Provivienda managed to cut the building time for a house down from 310 to 60 days.

“The thing that changed was connecting the teams through a live programme that helped us avoid downtime between activities. If your programme is not updated frequently, problems on site get worse because they have not been communicated to the right person quickly,” says Raul.

If you also want to learn how you can keep the pulse of your project steady so that you can deliver faster and cheaper like Raul, download our free ebook here.

Topics: Team collaboration
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