“Plans are nothing; planning is everything,” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The 34th US President said more poignant things than just the ‘military industrial complex’ warning in his 1961 farewell speech. He is right about planning too.
That’s why your programme of works is crucial to success, as you know.
In this article, we'll explore actionable advice, unique insights, and real-world examples to help you navigate these obstacles successfully.
Getting project timings right is essential for a smooth programme of works. So, how can you improve your time estimation skills?
Here are some tips:
This approach enables a more precise understanding of the overall project timeline.
Example: When constructing a building, estimate the time for each phase, such as excavation, foundation work, framing, and interior finishing.
Example: If you've previously built similar structures, you can use the average time taken for each phase as a starting point for your new project.
By including buffer time in your estimates, you can better manage unforeseen circumstances.
Example: Add a 10% buffer to each phase's estimated duration to account for potential delays, such as weather, permitting issues, or material shortages. There may even be compliance and regulatory issues that delay you.
Example: Use the three-point estimation technique (optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates) to account for uncertainty in task durations.
Example: Hold a meeting with subcontractors to discuss the estimated time required for their specific tasks and adjust the schedule accordingly.
By applying these strategies, you'll be better equipped to estimate project durations accurately and keep your projects on track.
Efficient resource allocation plays a significant role in successful programme of works management. To tackle common challenges in this area, consider the following:
Example: Create an RBS that includes categories such as labour, equipment, and materials, and further break down these categories by trade, type, or specific resource.
Example: Track equipment usage to determine if additional units are needed or if underutilised equipment can be reallocated to other projects.
Example: Level resources by shifting tasks within the project's critical path, and smooth resources by adjusting workloads during periods of high demand without affecting the overall schedule.
Example: Prioritise tasks on the critical path and allocate resources accordingly to avoid delays in project completion.
Example: If there is a limited supply of a specific type of equipment, schedule tasks requiring that equipment in a way that prevents conflicts and maximises utilisation.
Implementing these suggestions will help you optimise resource allocation and ensure that your project runs smoothly.
Clear and effective communication among stakeholders is critical in construction programme of works. To enhance communication and avoid delays and conflicts:
Example: Utilise a combination of email, project management software, and weekly meetings to keep everyone up to date on project progress and any changes that may arise.
Example: Hold weekly progress meetings with key stakeholders to discuss project status, upcoming milestones, and any potential issues.
Example: Create a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing concerns or suggestions, and ensure that any changes or issues are communicated promptly and clearly.
Example: Develop a communication plan that includes regular progress reports, stakeholder meetings, and a centralised information repository accessible to all team members.
Example: Use collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, to facilitate real-time communication and document sharing among team members.
By investing in open communication, you'll build a strong foundation for project success.
Harnessing the power of technology can help overcome common programme of works challenges. To make the most of these innovations:
Example: Evaluate project management software options, such as Archdesk, to determine which best supports your project's size and complexity.
Example: Provide training sessions and ongoing support for team members to ensure they can utilise the project management software efficiently.
Example: Use Building Information Modeling (BIM) to enhance collaboration among project stakeholders and improve the accuracy of project data.
Example: Consider the potential benefits of drone technology for site inspections or augmented reality for design review and visualisation.
Example: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to technology usage, such as user adoption rates or time saved on specific tasks, and use this data to inform future technology decisions.
Embracing technology will streamline processes, improve collaboration, and ultimately enhance your programme of works management.
Learning from past experiences is vital for future success. To facilitate continuous improvement in your projects:
Example: At the end of a project, gather feedback from team members and stakeholders, and document any successes, challenges, or recommendations for future projects.
Example: Offer training and development opportunities for staff and provide a platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned from past projects.
Example: If a past project encountered delays due to permitting issues, adjust your future planning to account for potential permitting challenges and allocate additional time or resources accordingly.
Example: Review industry reports and surveys to assess your organisation's performance in areas such as project completion time, cost management, and customer satisfaction.
Example: Develop a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle to systematically evaluate and improve your project management processes, incorporating lessons learned and industry best practices.
By focusing on continuous improvement, you'll strengthen your organisation's project management capabilities and achieve better results.
By following the actionable advice, unique insights, and examples provided in this article, you'll be well on your way to managing construction projects more effectively.
But, programme of works software is the way to go. It’s just too tough to manage without a tool to help. Even if you produce the perfect programme and the job goes perfectly, the effort when manually, compared to using software is giant.
Archdesk can help you. Get in touch with me today and I’ll talk you through it.
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