Feb 11

A Guide to Construction Project Scheduling

Strategic planning is the best way to go into any construction project. Involved in the planning stages is construction scheduling, which encompasses setting schedules, adhering to them, and navigating changes that come up along the way. Read on to learn more about the importance of construction schedules, why they exist, and how to apply them in real-time.

What is Construction Scheduling?

A construction project schedule is a written or visual representation of how the project will be executed from start to finish. This component of pre-construction services is typically provided by the general contractor during the initial stages of the project. A construction schedule could be a written narrative, or it could simply be a layout of generalized plans for how each stage will unfold. Some contractors use bar chart schedules or CPM schedules to represent their plans.

A contractor’s bid and a construction schedule will typically go hand in hand. The timeline serves as an indication of the amount of time needed to complete the project, much as a contractor’s bid serves as an estimate of the cost it will take to complete the project.

Fundamentals of Construction Scheduling

A construction contract will almost always require the contractor to finish the job by a certain date or within a certain time frame. Every construction project involves a significant amount of work that needs to be done before the contract is finished; it is up to the contractor to adhere to the agreed-upon schedule and perform accordingly.

The construction project schedule offers a thorough explanation and depiction of how the contractor intends to complete the project. The work activities, anticipated timeframes, and order of those activities serve as a representation of the job scope. One thing to keep in mind is that the only project management tool that can predict when a project will be completed is a timeline for the project.

The construction schedule should forecast when each stage of the project is projected to be completed based on the contract, the plan, and how the work progresses.

Why are Project Schedules Necessary?

Over the past 15 or 20 years, owners have escalated their demand that contractors create timelines while working on new and existing builds. This trend is mostly the result of two factors.

First, schedules help all parties involved in a construction project manage processes and stay on task. A functional construction project, whether it’s for a commercial buildout, a life-sciences conversion, or another industry entirely, will involve many moving parts, all of which are likely happening at the same time. Well-executed construction scheduling maintains each party’s accountability, which is integral to keeping the project moving forward. 

Additionally, time is money. Every day that a building project is delayed, the owner, contractor, or both will have to pay more money to support it. Understanding where workers are in regards to the intended timeline will help inform future decisions, especially as they relate to managing costs. 

Construction scheduling enables contractors to monitor performance, spot, and address project delays as they happen. Strategic project scheduling is an integral part of any construction project. Make sure you choose a general contractor that includes this process in their approach. For more information on our approach to construction scheduling, please contact Gidel & Kocal Construction Co. Inc. today.