When most people think of a construction project beginning, they often envision a ceremonial groundbreaking with construction executives and a “who’s who” of local politicians donning white hardhats and gripping chrome-plated shovels. However, at OMNI Building Services, we understand that this journey begins long before the first shovel hits the ground. Our approach emphasizes the critical role of meticulous planning and scheduling from the project’s inception to its completion.

Before any of the physical on-site work begins, there is a crucial phase of decision-making and evaluation. It starts with the resolve of a stakeholder to explore the necessity to expand a controlled environment space, renovate a tired, dated building, or remedy inadequate warehouse storage. A positive outcome of this initial assessment serves to trigger the beginning of what we consider the “construction process” which then leads to the development of a design, construction budget, and selection of equipment/finish materials. It is during this phase, the groundwork for the entire project, including the development of a comprehensive project schedule will come to life and guide the team through each project stage.

In its basic form, a project schedule can be defined as a detailed plan that outlines tasks, their sequence, and the expected timeline for completion. However, the project schedule is not simply about forecasting progress and time management; a well-crafted schedule will serve as an initiative-taking tool for anticipating and resolving unforeseen challenges, allocating project resources wisely, and monitoring progress effectively. To ensure project success, emphasis must be put toward the importance of the schedule, which should be in-depth, credible, well-constructed, and meticulously controlled through the entire duration of the project.

This success is also significantly dependent on the collaboration and buy-in from all project stakeholders. It is imperative to initiate and welcome engagement with all project team members from owners and designers to vendors and subcontractors. Utilizing this method to compile and analyze project team input allows the ability to identify potential timeline issues thus providing opportunity to make any necessary schedule adjustment. Through the use of advanced scheduling software, the processes for organizing activities and developing sequential logic have become significantly less burdensome, however, a credible schedule still requires someone to do the work of providing proper activity descriptions, realistic durations, and the proper predecessor and successor relationship to each appropriate activity. A wise man once told me “Credible information comes from credible sources” The process of collecting and comprehending individual scopes of work checks all the boxes of that wise man’s statement, it is a proven time-tested means of avoiding unnecessary challenges. In schedule development, the inclusion of bad information can often be far worse than missing information. The schedule’s accuracy and reliability depend on thorough validation by the entire construction team. That same wise man I mentioned above went further and told me- “you need to know how to build it before you can schedule it.”

One must realize that every construction project is unique and requires a tailored approach to scheduling. However, the schedule needs to also fit the project. Controlled environment construction is different from an office renovation. A laboratory addition and a movie theater each have individual and unique activities with sequencing logic necessary to perform specific scopes of work. Although similar trades may be used in each project, the scope and sequence requiring a particular trade on-site will vary. A well-constructed schedule does not only display the path to the completion milestones and the critical path but it should also be organized in a manner to allow various levels of reporting and sharing with the project team. A customary practice is to present a two or three week look-a-head summary level schedule during interim progress meetings. This presentation allows the project team to be aware of any changes to the initial timeline and offers the opportunity to plan material deliveries or modify manpower requirements. A more detailed schedule can be used internally to monitor various project phases such as site, shell, envelope, MEP and finishes.

Schedule management is an ongoing process, requiring regular updates to reflect evolving project dynamics. Construction projects are dynamic endeavors, subject to changing requirements and unforeseen challenges. Despite its importance, it is an unfortunate fact that schedules are often overlooked once construction begins. Successful schedule management requires technical expertise and effective communication. Project managers and project superintendents must understand construction methodologies and allocate resources wisely. Open communication and stakeholder engagement is crucial for project transparency and accountability.. In today’s dynamic business environment, agility is essential for success. A well-constructed schedule must also be able to adapt to changing circumstances. At OMNI, we embrace change and continually refine our schedules to meet evolving project needs. By recognizing their critical role throughout the project lifecycle and adhering to rigorous scheduling practices and fostering collaboration, we mitigate risks and deliver projects on time and within budget.

In closing, ultimately, schedule management is about delivering value to your clients. This is done by planning and executing projects meticulously and exceeding expectations to drive tangible results. Accurate and timely schedule reporting will allow the Project TEAM to make better decisions for the Project, which will not only potentially impact the timeline…but will play a role in safety, client satisfaction, cost, and the quality of the project.

OMNI’s commitment to schedule excellence sets us apart and ensures project success.

<b>Ed Walsh</b>

Ed Walsh

Vice President
OMNI Building Services

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