Whether you’re a production builder or construction pro, you know that each job that launches carries unique challenges. Whether adding multiple homes to a new neighborhood or a single custom home for a client, it’s hard to totally predict what may throw you off.

To prepare for the unexpected, before the first nail hits wood, you must create milestones to help the project stay on track and give customers a general idea how long a project may take to complete.

That’s where job management schedules come in. These important tools provide a structured framework to maintain a flow from estimate, site prep, supplies shipped, to sign off and the final hand over of the keys.

Now let’s explore the different types of schedules and provide expert schedule management tips so you can nail deadlines, stay on track and deliver a product on time.

What is a construction management schedule?

A construction job management schedule provides a roadmap for your entire construction project:

  • It outlines the timeframe to complete all the tasks necessary to finish the job.
  • It enables you to navigate your project no matter the complexity — ensuring a successful completion on time and within budget.

Why a construction project schedule is important

A construction job management schedule is more than a timeline. It is the crucial tool that guides the success and efficiency of your building project.

Here are 3 reasons you need to consider a construction job management schedule in your workflow:

1. Manages your timeline

Meeting project milestones and deadlines is critical to success. It can also help identify potential delays and labor and resource shortages for future jobs of similar scope.

2. Removes the ‘guessing game’

There are numerous moving parts to any building project, from managing labor to ensuring materials arrive on time. You—or your team—can plan and allocate resources more efficiently by creating a detailed schedule using a construction job management schedule. This can help prevent bottlenecks and avoid miscommunication.

3. Better coordination through communication

Think of a project schedule as the hub or communications center for the team, both internal and external. This “hub” allows sharing timelines, milestones, and dependencies among team members, contractors, suppliers, and the homeowner or, in larger projects, the developer. In other words, as the saying goes, everyone is on the same page.

Types of Construction Schedules

Numerous types are available when you’re considering a construction job management schedule. Here’s a quick roundup:

Quantitative scheduling

This involves using numerical data and mathematical models to create precise schedules for construction projects.

Critical path method

Popular in construction, a construction job management schedule helps prioritize tasks, manage resources efficiently, and highlight activities that can cause delays if not closely monitored (i.e., lack of subs or labor for the upcoming month).

3 Calculations for Critical Path Scheduling

This typically involves a series of calculations to identify the critical path of your project, from “the earliest time an activity can start” to “the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediate successor activity.”

Gantt charts

Gantt charts are mostly visual tools that display tasks, activities, and how long each task will take. Gantt charts are helpful for your team to understand the overall timeline and associated critical paths.

Last planner system

This collaborative scheduling approach in a construction job management schedule involves input from all project stakeholders, from trades to field teams. It dials down into short-term planning and weekly work planning sessions for real-time reaction.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique

A construction job management schedule analyzes tasks and the time needed to complete a building project. Using three-time estimates (optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic), it can calculate how long activities will take and provide a realistic deadline.

Line of Balance

This scheduling technique is helpful for repetitive construction projects by plotting production rates versus the time needed. Ideally, this will provide a list for efficient resource allocation.

Resource-Oriented Scheduling

Focused on managing and optimizing the allocation of resources, such as labor, equipment and materials, it helps ensure that resources are used efficiently, from overallocation to shortages.

3 strategies to mitigate scheduling problems

Here are three strategies a construction job management schedule can do to mitigate the most common scheduling problems in construction.

  1. Conduct a risk analysis at the beginning of your project so you can identify potential scheduling challenges in advance—remember to include factors like weather conditions, regulatory approvals or supply chain disruptions—and develop contingency plans to mitigate these.  
  2. Encourage communication and collaboration among trades, subcontractors, suppliers and project managers. Hold progress meetings to discuss potential scheduling issues, share updates and address concerns.
  3. Use technology and scheduling software to streamline construction job management schedule processes. Construction job management schedule software, like Buildxact, can create a critical path construction schedule. Building this type of detailed plan will outline all the tasks, timelines and resources necessary to complete the project and will specify what gets done

Choosing a Construction Scheduling Tool

Are you ready to purchase a construction job management schedule tool?

If so, here’s a quick list of ‘must do’ items to consider:

It should define milestones, provide regular updates and monitoring and critical path analysis to help guide your team to complete jobs or milestones efficiently, stay on schedule, and meet deadlines while addressing unplanned challenges.

Buildxact provides an abundance of features to allow you and your team to stay the course and complete a project, including creating schedules directly from your estimates, building reusable templates based on typical schedules for both office and field teams, and creating and assigning tasks to your team, contractors and suppliers with automatic; reminders and attached documents.

Try Buildxact today! 

Do you need help with construction job management schedules or a tool to help keep the team aligned?

Schedule a demo today with a Buildxact team member, or if you are ready to jump In and try it, sign up for a free trial today!