Falling behind on construction projects and schedules is a slippery setback that happens slowly. It only takes missing a few small deadlines and then the whole project can be off schedule. The best way to avoid schedule slippage is to attack the problem early while it’s still small. This may seem easier to say/write than do but with these tips, it can be avoided.
The first step is to always be looking forward; schedule slippage is not always down to poor weather. It can involve a number of poorly managed tasks which usually stem from not having a good outlook of the weeks ahead. It’s important to have tasks clearly defined before they get put into action. Taking the time to make sure everyone fully understands what needs to be accomplished for the day and how it will be completed will prevent re-doing small projects. Once everyone is on the same page, having the right equipment and crew for the right job ensures production will be at its maximum.
Another setback is missing information, if information between management is not being addressed in a timely manner, or is outright lost, tasks will either go ahead incorrectly or people will stop their work and wait. No matter how good a project manager or supervisor is, they simply cannot be physically supervising every activity.
Collaboration Tools to Stay on Track
A great way to prevent hiccups in a project schedule is to always have an up to date 2 week outlook of the tasks and to whom they are assigned. There are a few different scheduling practises that most project managers apply. Two of the most widely used are critical path and milestones.
Critical path in project management, as descried by Business Dictionary, is the sequence of project network activities which add up to the longest overall duration. This determines the shortest time possible to complete the project. An activity on the critical path cannot be started until its preceding activity is complete. If it is delayed for a day, the entire project will be delayed for a day unless the activity following the delayed activity is completed a day earlier.
Milestones are a tool used in project management to mark specific points along a project timeline. These points may signal anchors such as a project start and end date, a need for external review or input and budget checks, among others.
To help stick to the schedule, a mobile collaboration tool for electronically sharing field data is the best solution. They allow for flexile project management for all documents and enable a manger to pre-load tasks for their field workers to complete and check off. Having this insight into your day to day operations helps keep the project on schedule, and spotlights where more attention is needed.