Construction Project Schedule: 13 Tips To Make It Effective & Efficient

Construction Project Schedule 13 Tips To Make It Effective & Efficient

Last Updated on December 2, 2021 by Construction Digest

Each year, over $5 trillion are invested across the globe in construction.

While this market is expansive, it is also static with significant opportunity to improve efficiencies and profitability.

Construction projects involve many complex stages that require the involved stakeholders to work together as a team to achieve their respective goals within specific timeframes.

These processes can be made more efficient through building out an effective schedule for all parties involved, one that reduces redundancies and allows for clear communication.

Here are 13 tips on how you can make your next construction project schedule effective.

1. Identify Stakeholders & Assess Goals

Each person involved in a construction project has various goals they are trying to accomplish which are critical steps toward completing the overall goal of the project itself.

These goals influence how each stakeholder may contribute to the project, whether that is in the form of building an item of infrastructure or providing some input during a meeting.

Identifying these goals allows you to properly communicate with the involved stakeholders, ensuring that they are clear on what their current role within the project is and what roles are still available for them to take on.

This will help lessen any misunderstandings based around specific timeframes or deliverables associated with individual tasks.

2. Understand Your Project Cycle

As there are different types of construction projects (i.e.: commercial vs. residential), it is important to understand where your project lays within its overall cycle before developing a schedule for yourself and your team.

For example, if you’re working on a commercial construction project that involves building out an industrial site, your schedule may involve more time devoted to planning and design than if you were constructing a residential house.

3. Dividing the Project’s Phases

To develop an accurate schedule for yourself and your team, it is important to fully understand how the overall project will progress.

For example: You might be scheduling out tasks such as bidding on subcontractor services or ordering certain materials throughout each phase of development.

Ensure that you have identified all critical path milestones within each phase before moving forward with scheduling.

Without knowing these milestones, you risk creating a schedule that sets unrealistic expectations for what can be achieved at different stages of the process.

4. Identify Critical Path Milestones & Tasks

There are certain milestones and tasks that need to be completed within a construction project’s overall timeline, as these events will help you reach your goal of completing the construction project.

To identify these critical path milestones and tasks:

5. Check Your Schedule for Overlaps & Conflicts

As multiple parties work on each phase of the construction project, there is an increased chance for overlap or conflict with other team members’ schedules.

These conflicts may arise from two parties needing to use the same piece of equipment at once or having an individual assigned to attend two meetings scheduled simultaneously.

Checking your schedule for overlaps and conflicts is crucial as it helps ensure that all parties involved can effectively communicate their needs throughout the process without any surprise conflicts arising.

6. Establish an Effective Meeting Schedule

As there are many different parties involved within a construction project, it is important to establish an effective meeting schedule that allows each party their requisite amount of face time with the other members of the team.

This can help prevent delays in decision making or production by setting clear expectations for when individuals will need to be available for collaboration, coordination and communication.

7. Keep Your Team Updated on Any Changes

Construction projects continuously change throughout their development, so it’s crucial to keep your team updated on any changes that have been made or may come up in the future.

By proactively communicating these changes, you allow stakeholders to adjust accordingly if their role will be impacted by future decisions being made about the project’s schedule or development.

8. Set Builder’s Expectations Early in the Process

To avoid any misconceptions in your project schedule, it is important to set expectations early in the process with any builders working onsite at your construction site.

By understanding their availability and how they will be affected by any upcoming changes, you can ensure that they are prepared for what is ahead of them on a given day.

By setting these reasonable expectations from the start, you help prevent potential conflicts with other team members schedules down the line.

9. Leave Time for Unforeseen Events & Emergencies

As many unforeseen events and emergencies often happen during the course of a construction project, it is crucial to allow time for these unforeseen situations when creating your schedule.

As these events are outside of your control, it is important to give yourself some wiggle room in the case that they arise.

These unforeseen situations can consist anything from inclement weather impacting the work being done onsite to a team member failing to show up for an appointment that was planned in advance.

10. Update Your Schedule Frequently

Typically, construction projects are highly fluid, meaning there are frequent changes occurring throughout their development.

To avoid getting caught up in miscommunication or missed opportunities due to outdated information, update your schedule frequently to reflect any changes made or updates needed.

By keeping these changes updated within your schedule, you keep everyone involved with the project aware of any upcoming milestones and able to act accordingly when necessary.

11. Analyze Data from Previous Projects

In order to create a process that works best for you and your team, it is important to gather information from previous projects to help influence how you design your current project’s schedule.

By doing so, you gain insight into what worked well for you in the past and what did not, helping guide any future decisions being made about scheduling on future construction projects.

12. Seek Feedback from Your Team

Once your schedule has been established, seek feedback from each member of your team involved with its development.

As everyone will have their own unique perspective on the schedule based on their role within the broader construction project’s scope of work, gathering this feedback can help identify potential conflicts or challenges that may arise during the course of the project’s development.

Bonus Tip: Prioritize Safety From Day 1

You know what can bring a construction project to a grinding halt? An employee injured or a fatal accident that could have been avoided if proper construction safety procedures was in place.

Always prioritize safety and put processes in place to enforce it regularly.


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