Is there a difference between planning and scheduling? John Wiegand, a construction professional with 30+ years of experience, argues that there should be.
For construction projects, scheduling is always a necessity. But planning, which supports scheduling, creates a strong foundation for the success of the project. After all, every future project workflow stems from this foundation.
Using lean principles in the planning process can not only identify issues that might arise but also quickly resolve and evaluate them. These principles also provide the team with clear metrics and goals — key to creating an environment of accountability and transparency.
6 Key Factors to Project Success (and How Planning Can Help)
Minimize the amount of change between conceptual estimate and final budget by working closely with team members (owners, design team and strategic partners) to maintain the integrity of design during the development process. Plan segment reviews and collaboratively provide feedback.
Don’t focus on managing incidents. Instead, focus on the safety culture and participation. Allow for feedback from subcontractors on potential improvements. Share ownership and responsibility. Create safety “mock-ups” for training and understanding.
The goal is always to achieve the original completion date, but managing those expectations still remains as the biggest challenge. Use as many resources as you have to create a truly effective schedule. Plan frequently to break down into more manageable durations. Engage the project team in review process and provide feedback in forecast updates.
4. CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Plan the way that change will be addressed as early as possible with all stakeholders. Agree on ground rules for resolution. Set a measured expectation for resolving change conditions — less than or equal to 30 days from Relative Order of Magnitude (ROM) to resolution.
Define the quality of deliverables and create achievable goals for the team. Provide checklists for on-going inspections and examine leading indicators from these checklists to improve the quality throughout the project.
Teams must understand that fee erosion is a measurement that inevitably could compromise the perception of success. A quick conclusion to site activities allows for final payment and teams to move to their next opportunity. Planning for turnover and setting goals for a short transition is a key indicator of success. Create an expectation for turnover as early in the process as possible, then get feedback from facility stakeholders and incorporate it in the plan.
Although planning on paper can work, there are now cloud-based technology solutions, such as BIM 360, that enable anyone to get the project data at any time and increase overall project efficiency.
For more on how lean principles and document management technologies can help with the planning process, read more here.
This article was sponsored by Autodesk BIM 360.