Construction Schedule Management includes the processes required to complete a construction project on time by meeting the major project milestones. Creating the project schedule is one of the most important processes in construction schedule management. The project team typically creates the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), estimates tasks, lists the resources and decides the activity dependencies before to create the overall project schedule. Since the schedule itself is an estimate, it should be created using various estimation methods by the team members. Because each date drives a successor activity which affects the critical path and the completion date of the project. Tools like Primavera P6 provide solutions to plan and manage large-scale programs and portfolios as well as unique projects. In this article, we will discuss construction schedule management with Primavera P6 & Schedule Reader and the importance of scheduling in construction.
Construction Schedule Management & Importance of Scheduling in Construction
It is clear that conducting an effective schedule management process is key to the success of any construction project. The most efficient way to perform that is to create the schedule and report on progress against it. The reporting should include tracking delays, calculating variances and measuring the performance of the activities.
Schedule management is the responsibility of project managers and team members. It is of significant importance to the client. Because everything depends on the completion date of the construction project in order to use it. For example, the completion date for an office extension project is important for the client to move in and continue the operations without losing time.
Poor schedule management leads to many risks for the client. For example, an important commercial event may depend on the timely completion of an event hall. Therefore the client should recognize that schedule management is important for the completion of construction and commissioning activities. It might affect the expected benefits and incomes of the whole project.
Schedule Management with Primavera P6
Schedule management with Primavera P6 consists of a series of processes designed
to help manage the timely completion of the project.
Below are the processes for successful construction schedule management.
Now, let’s discuss each process in detail.
Defining the Schedule is the first step that includes gathering project information to build up the schedule. At this step, team members define the conditions required to develop the schedule. First, they start with creating the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). A well created WBS is key for the quality of the schedule. Next step is to define the activities (engineering procurement construction and commissioning) required to complete the project. Then, the project team defines the activity dependencies (logical relationships) to model the nature of the construction sequence.
Note that there are four types of relationships.
- FS (Finish to Start)
- SS (Start to Start)
- SF (Start to Finish)
- FF (Finish to Finish)
The end result of this step is a list of activities in a sequence.
After that, the team estimates the duration of each activity by employing estimation methods. Finally, the project team draws the network diagram and calculates the critical path of the project.
Publishing the schedule has some basic steps such as negotiating the schedule with stakeholders and getting the approval. Once all people have agreed and the team has completed the schedule, it will be published and stored as a schedule baseline.
Monitoring the schedule involves determining the current status of the project and making performance calculations to understand how the project is performing. Earned Value analysis is a part of this step. The project manager calculates the delays and determines actions to bring the schedule back to the original status.
The Primavera P6 has advanced project, program and portfolio management capabilities to help Schedulers and Planning Engineers to perform all the processes for successful construction schedule management. It is used by team members to develop the project schedule, allocate resources, perform resource leveling, assign dependencies and create baselines.
Project Control with ScheduleReader
Although the Primavera P6 provides many benefits to the organizations, just a few people may use it within a project. One of the time-consuming task of a planning engineer is to provide layouts and customized project views for the team members. Because each team member needs a filtered schedule to view the activities under his responsibility rather than viewing thousands of activities.
Therefore stakeholders and team members need some tools to facilitate scheduling and reporting. This is where the ScheduleReader comes into play. The ScheduleReader is a stand-alone application for team members that presents project data from Primavera P6 and .xls schedules. It allows to open and view projects exported from Primavera P6. Thus, it provides fast access to project plan information. All the team members and stakeholders can easily open the schedule, filter and share with anybody who is involved.
It is applicable to all types of construction projects from small to large scale.
The ScheduleReader helps team members to track the project activities and control the resources easily. It provides flexibility to see the overall picture of the project by focusing on specific areas of interests of stakeholders.
Effective schedule management is important for the success of any construction project. For this reason, team members use various tools and software for many years. Primavera P6 is one of the most popular tools that has advanced scheduling capabilities. However, due to its complexities, only a few people may use it within a project. Therefore team members need additional tools like ScheduleReader to facilitate scheduling, project control, and communication.