Blog Title

Published June 2021, Updated April 2023

Construction Schedule S-Curve

Published October 2022

Why Quality Construction Schedules Matter : Your Project's Most Powerful Tool to Minimize Risks

A quality construction schedule is your project’s most powerful tool to minimize risks for cost and time impacts. If you don’t have a quality schedule or clarity on what’s inside it, you may end up fighting fires and being in reactive mode instead of proactively identifying and tackling risks in the order of how critical they are.

Quality schedules are important because they will tell you where to prioritize your efforts for the greatest returns, serve as the most effective tool to identify and address risks, and objectively substantiate delays if they occur. Schedules additionally translate to money and can have significant effects on the financial health of different parties involved.


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Summary

While building itself is a complex and diverse process, the schedule (which is often cost loaded in military construction projects) brings it all together into a single point of reference. It also serves as the linchpin that brings different stakeholders together.

Construction schedules play a significant role in project costs, especially with issues related to inefficiency issues delays.

Depending on the size of your project and its complexity, a delay could cost thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars per day.

As we noted in sections above, schedule risk can be mitigated by proactively identifying and prioritizing actions that have the greatest positive impact.

By identifying potential problems early on and addressing them in the order of how critical they are, you can save significant time, costs, and stress down the road.


Schedules translate to money – inefficiencies or delays can severely hurt the financial health of the contractor, owner, or other parties involved.

In the event there are delays to the project, a quality construction schedule can be used to substantiate them fairly and objectively.


The schedule can confirm if there have in fact been critical path delays or not. If there have, you can evaluate ownership or responsibility of the delay, who owns what portion – whether it’s the owner, contractor, another party, or a combination of any or all.


A quality schedule is key to being able to objectively evaluate delays. If the schedule lacks quality, is too generic, or wasn’t actually used by the contractor to plan and prosecute the work, it’s not a reliable tool to use as a basis for analysis.


Unresolved delays from not having a quality schedule to evaluate those delays could stretch into weeks, months, or even years, which can be contentious, stressful, and costly for project teams. It’s important the schedule is developed and maintained with a level of quality to allow it to serve this purpose.


Proactively identifying and mitigating risks with the schedule as we touched upon earlier in this article helps minimize the potential of this happening.


If there are delays, you can use the schedule to substantiate them fairly and objectively so all parties can come to a resolution.

The schedule is your most powerful tool when it comes to proactively identifying and mitigating risks before they impact a project. Having visibility on critical and near-critical activities as described above lets you prioritize what you need to do and in what order.


Using this schedule to leverage this visibility lets you be proactive about risks - the longer it takes for issues to be identified, the more likely it is delays will occur.


Have you ever worked on a project where there an activity that didn’t seem urgent at the time but all of a sudden appeared on the critical path, catching everyone off guard?


If you’re not looking beyond just the primary critical path, you may be reacting when new items appear on the critical path instead – making it harder to recover than if you saw it ahead of time.

Schedules are the most effective tool to identify and address risks before they become delays.

Construction environments are full of competing priorities. As someone involved administering a construction project, you’re overseeing work in the field, quality control or assurance, inspections, and administratively overseeing RFIs, submittals, correspondence, and more.

The schedule helps manage the inevitable conflicts that arise between cost, time, and quality. It allows you to identify potential problems early on so they can be addressed and resolved before they become impacts.

Having a quality construction schedule allows you to understand the priority of actions based on how critical they are. If you address the most critical actions first, you’re lowering overall risk and providing the greatest positive effect on the project.

Imagine this: you had a list of prioritized actions, so you knew exactly what needed to be tackled first, second, third, and so on – lowering overall project risk and exposure for cost and time impacts. It would make your job easier, wouldn’t it?

By analyzing schedule float paths and individual activity late start and finish dates, the schedule can be used to prioritize actions so you and your team is then ready to execute. It gives you a roadmap so you know where to focus efforts for the greatest return.


The schedule tells you where to prioritize your efforts for the greatest return.

In this article, we’re sharing our thoughts on why quality construction schedules matter and ways you can use them to their fullest potential to minimize risk.


If you don’t have a quality schedule or clarity on its content, you may end up fighting fires and being in damage control instead of being able to proactively identify and address issues before they become delays.


A quality construction schedule is your project’s most powerful tool to minimize risks for cost and time impacts.


Quality construction schedules are important because:

 
o    They tell you where to prioritize your efforts for the greatest return.


o    They’re the most effective tool to identify and address risks before they become delays.


o    If there are delays, you can use the schedule to substantiate them fairly and objectively so all parties can come to a resolution.


o    Schedules translate to money – inefficiencies or delays can severely hurt the financial health of the contractor, owner, or other parties involved.

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This blog is for general informational purposes only and is not to be considered an official interpretation or enforcement policy of the UFGS standard specifications. As individual project requirements vary, refer to your specific contract. See our Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for additional information.

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