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Schedule Management


Building owners frequently require their new buildings at the earliest possible date, often faster than traditional construction methods would allow, with the result that scheduling requirements can become very demanding, and schedule management essential.

A simple bar chart might suffice for the smaller projects, but normally Gantt charts incorporating critical path scheduling are required to meet the building owner's needs. Such a schedule has to incorporate the work of subcontractors, the deliveries of suppliers, and all the interactions between these and other parties, such as utility companies, building inspectors, etc.

Schedule management also has an effect on the cost of the project, where a number of costs are directly related to duration (such as supervision costs, etc.), and the tightness of the schedule can have a major effect on the productivity that can be achieved by the subcontractors when they are having to work around each other. There will also likely be overtime or shift-work requirements for accelerated schedules. Schedule, cost and quality are the three important demands on any contract, but they all tend to work against each other.

Control of the schedule, i.e. schedule management, also becomes vital in analyzing claims for delay, being the only way to realistically establish whether or not a change order, delay in acknowledging an RFQ, etc., really affects the critical path on the schedule. Consequently, it is not only important to have a schedule, but also to keep it updated.

Scheduling becomes a vital management tool, one that can mean the difference between profit and loss to a contractor, and between the successful completion of the project or not for the building owner.

Construction Scheduling 101 (Bay Dimension newsletter, 4th Quarter 2008)
WBS - Work Breakdown Structure (Bay Dimension newsletter, 4th Quarter 2007)

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