• Duane C. Barney

It is only a dream until you schedule it

A project schedule is the most important tool you can have to reach the timely completion of your project; the plans and specifications are a representation of the destination the schedule is the road map.


Your contract with the builder is signed, everyone is excited and ready to go, you know where you are going but how will you get there? The next thing you need to insist on is the road map, the project schedule. Some builders will balk:


· I’ve done this before, we don’t need a schedule

· A a schedule is a waste of time, we should be working

· It only changes, why do we need that?


The simple fact that it changes, predicates the need, how do you know it changes if you do not have one? When it does change, weather, delayed deliveries, prolonged decisions; how do you adjust, what are the implications? Things do change whether you are building a custom home or a family trip to Wally World, getting there can be a better story than the destination unless you get hopelessly lost.


The project schedule is the road map, gaps emerge, opportunities present themselves and impossible conflicts need to be re-thought. It can be done on the fly, but the ramifications will be multiplier impacts on the completion date. Set your plan and work towards it, make it as detailed as reasonably possible.



HVAC will start on June first, ok think backwards


· equipment ordered and delivered, 4 weeks

· submittals are required, 4 weeks

· contract will need to be signed, 2 weeks

· scope and pricing/bidding, 3 weeks


A start date of June first in the field is a start date of March 2nd in the office with the architect aware so they can be prepared for the submittal review.


Start later than March 2nd and the project completion date just got delayed, multiply that by 30-40 trades and potential delays in the process. This can be a schedule killer before the work even starts and field conditions, weather, deliveries and other delays can all further impact the job, without a plan there can be no plan “B”.


· Architect does not have staff available to meet the projected submittal schedule, buy-out schedule may need to be adjusted

· You need to know when selection decisions are required, it is one thing to have a tile subcontractor but with out tile, the schedule goes out the window.

· Sub can’t perform; need to start over; think road closed due to storm, what is your alternative route?


Your project needs a schedule, it will change, regular review and updating are required and the information needs to be communicated to everyone involved. It does no good to have gained two weeks on the schedule if the painting sub is not aware and signed another job ahead of yours. He just can’t make it. Two weeks gained and lost over poor planning and communication. Event planning is a great corollary, the event CANNOT be behind schedule, the event date is locked so critical planning is required.


Insist on a project schedule or it will be a LONG(er) project. Collaborative Construction is the strategy, the schedule, a big key. You are managing your team, if you need advice we have the experience and expertice.


Questions about how to start your project? We recommend this book as an essential first step.

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