Managing commercial construction requires being thoroughly aware of the scheduling required during the project. Let's discuss why scheduling is important, and look at four proven commercial construction scheduling techniques that you can choose from when evaluating and establishing the timeframe for your next project.
Why Be Concerned with Scheduling?
Scheduling in a commercial context is not simply a matter of making sure work is performed during a particular shift. Effective scheduling:
- Ensures that work progresses at a steady pace, with the least number of interruptions and delays possible.
- Makes sure that labor, materials and other necessary components are available when they are needed.
- Ensures that the job is finished on time. Contractual requirements often specify when a project must be completed. Any variations from that schedule could result in penalties to the builder.
- Boosts your professional reputation, demonstrating that you understand the importance of timely completion and the need to practice efficiency.
- Increases your profits by allowing you to get more done in less time. This lets you avoid financial penalties for late work and frees labor to start early on other projects.
Commercial Construction Scheduling Techniques
There are four useful commercial construction scheduling techniques that you may want to choose from for your next project. Depending on the nature of your commercial project, it may be a good idea to combine some of these commercial construction scheduling techniques to reach the greatest level of productivity and efficiency.
- Bar charts provide a visual representation of the entire project, with individual components, activities or phases indicated by separate bars extending horizontally across a page. The beginning of the bar indicates the start of the task, the body of the bar indicates the duration, and the end of the bar shows when the task will be completed. Bar charts allow managers, supervisors and laborers to see at a glance when project tasks are supposed to start, how long they are supposed to last and when they are intended to be finished. Larger and more complicated tasks can be broken down into smaller and smaller bar charts to the level needed. Linked bar charts can be created that show logical or chronological links between activities represented by the chart.
- Critical path scheduling is a method of showing individual projects or phases in detail, but also indicating which tasks must be completed and in which order. Critical path scheduling identifies elements that must be finished before another part of the project can begin. This sequential completion is the critical path that must be followed to correctly finish the tasks represented by this method. Critical path scheduling often provides significant detail and options, including early start dates, first possible start dates, late start dates and last possible start dates to avoid affecting the overall project.
- Line of balance scheduling is often used to schedule repetitive tasks. This technique makes it easier to allocate resources and ensure that appropriate amounts of labor and materials are available at each step of the process. This is especially important for repetitive work that needs resources at a particular step before the next step can be started.
- Q scheduling, or quantitative scheduling, uses a bar chart format to indicate quantities of materials that will be used at different locations and at different times during the project. This type of scheduling allows an easy assessment of the amount and type of material that will be needed at various time and physical locations. This type of scheduling can also be referred to as queue scheduling, which indicates a certain order that tradespersons and other experts must pass through to work on a project without interfering with other specialized work.
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