With the increased complexity of construction projects, expert planning and scheduling have become incredibly crucial to project success. The risks associated with inadequate planning far outweighs the cost and time invested. As your project's most valuable management tool, a well-developed and properly-maintained schedule not only helps manage time and control resources; it also helps to more clearly communicate the project plan among team members and stakeholders; and can be a valuable tool in delivering accurate early warnings of potential problems.
It is wise to utilize a qualified and certified professional to assist in the planning and scheduling process. AACE International provides the Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP) credential and offers an online searchable directory of individuals certified by AACE. In addition, it may be beneficial to find an individual experienced in forensic scheduling, as those skills come in handy to help avoid and mitigate project delays and can be invaluable in proper documentation and analysis of delay claims.
A well-developed and properly-maintained schedule addresses some of the most important aspects of a project:
Organizing: A good schedule will organize the project down into manageable-sized parts. This can be done by utilizing either a work breakdown structure or coding to appropriately assign each element in a schedule by area, responsibility, phase and type of work.
Resource Loading: Schedule can be resource loaded, where resources are assigned and manpower projections can be forecast.
Cost Loading: Like resource loading, the schedule can be cost loaded by assigning cost to each element of the schedule in order to allow for expenditure and cash flow forecasting.
Forecasting: By assigning relationships between the various elements of the schedule, the critical path can be identified. The critical path is extremely important to forecasting the earliest completion date of the overall project.
Resource Allocation: As a decision making tool, the schedule can aid in resource allocation
Change Management: The schedule is the main tool used for calculating time extensions for changes.
Communicating: The schedule is an invaluable tool in communicating the project plan (as well as changes in the project plan) among team members and stakeholders.
Trend Analysis: The schedule can be used for monitoring planned versus actual progress, to help in delivering early warnings of potential problems.
Documentation: A properly updated and maintained schedule provides a historical record of when each sequence of work was started and completed.
At Florida Consultants we assist clients with a variety of planning and scheduling services. As an outside consultant, we can provide insight into your projects most valuable tool - its schedule.
Whether you require a detailed baseline schedule, are looking to assemble an integrated master plan, or you would simply like professional feedback on an existing schedule or delay claim, Florida Consultants can develop a cost-effective, comprehensive solution that meets you project's needs.
For more information on this topic, please contact Don Carlow, PSP at Florida Construction & Scheduling Consultants at email@example.com or www.florida-consultants.com.