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What To Look For In Construction Project Scheduling Software?

Published on March 27, 2018 by Rick Brisse

Challenges of Using Construction Project Scheduling Software

Many years have now passed since the introduction of construction project scheduling software. And technology has been good to the industry. Even the early days wherein construction-scheduling software was confined to LAN-linked desktop PCs has given way to the powerful efficiency of systems designed to function via real-time cloud-based mobile devices.

But what are the challenges of using construction project scheduling software?

According to a recent report from Virginia Tech developed for use by the Virginia Department of Transportation, software tools for construction scheduling simplify the inputs while also creating an environment wherein executives, project managers and fieldworkers are forced to adapt to various changes in the language applied to the processes. New terms, at least in the construction industry, present a learning curve wherein involved parties must deal with concepts such as:

  • Inputs, activities, logic and limited resources
  • Outputs, calculated starts, finishes, floats and resource leveling
  • AND Analytics with comprehensive feedback.

Thankfully, digital-driven project scheduling software makes complex activity a background operation. Thus we get simplified data collection, communications and documentation sharing while also encountering a deeper need for understanding of the resulting outputs, implications and the how-to of a proper response.

Is the learning worth the change? You bet.

Construction Project Scheduling Software – Core Components

Construction contractors operate within a framework wherein Construction Planning defines the what, how where and motion of project activities while Construction Scheduling establishes the task-specific who and when processes. So first and foremost, efficient software for construction contractors must enable planning and scheduling to co-exist on an equal and data-interchangeable digital platform. With this in mind, we now address the specifics of what to look for in construction project scheduling software.

Scheduling is about sequencing, phasing and ensuring timely completion of planned project processes. As such, efficient and effective construction project scheduling software must:

  • Correctly determine and then implement the timing of project activities
  • Accumulate, reference and make use of historical activity timeframes
  • Improve project resource allocation by supplying accurate predictions of resource demands
  • Define a reasonable time frame for completion of each activity
  • Combine all activity time frames to ensure compliance with the conditions for required project completion
  • Establish accurate individual activity start-to-finish time intervals
  • Identify critical path activities
  • Enable rapid and modifiable visualization of single and grouped activity flow patterns 
  • Enable rapid adjustment, injection of new activities and automate the recalculation of start-to-finish affected activities
  • Promote real-time communications
  • Engage in offensive scheduling tactics
  • Help the team avoid liquidated damages
  • Simply coordination of workforce, vendors and subs
  • Function in conjunction with accounting by enabling better prediction of cash flow
  • Issues warnings and flags that help PMs avoid conflicts among trades
  • AND More.

You will not find the components of successful project scheduling in every construction operations software package. Yet without comprehensive scheduling tools, you cannot effectively reap the benefits of real-time mobile scheduling technology. There will be a bit of a learning curb. In the end. But the right package eliminates most of that. So look for a scheduling tool that breaks down the details in a way that helps contractors:

  • Pre-validate staff availability, skills and inductions
  • Simplify scheduling of fieldworkers and assets
  • AND Manage projects on a visual timeline.

This is Assignar, operations software for construction contractors. Learn more by reading “Matching Competent and Available Workers With The Right Equipment To the Right Tasks.”

Or just take advantage of the ongoing Assignar FREE Trial.

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