In the construction industry, there’s always a focus on meeting deadlines and maximizing profit margins. In order to keep everything on schedule and within budget (while maximizing returns), an all-around effort to create a schedule and control it efficiently is a must. Enter the schedule analysis.

What is Schedule Analysis?

A schedule analysis is a deep dive into the details of a project schedule in the beginning of the project and at each iterative update.  What you are looking for in a schedule analysis is variations of the plan, ultimately translated into cost overruns and risks thereof. A schedule analysis identifies anomalies, facts and issues that can happen throughout the process of the project due to both intentional or unintentional actions. This is used to verify compliance with the client’s contract specification, overall schedule coherence and logical sequence between activities. Now, let’s look at reasons why schedule analysis is the number 1 project control in construction.

Ensures Realistic Completion Timeline

Every construction project is different – from the design, to the location, to the most important difference – the entities involved.  The reality is that every single project starts the same – with an estimated schedule and budget – based on no real actual data. For this reason, it is very important to study the data as it turns from hypothetical to actual – i.e. as the project progresses.  This enables project management to update the estimate plan with real data, to ultimately produce a more accurate depiction of the project plan – with realistic deadlines. Having achievable deadlines is one of the most important parts of schedule analysis. By being able to spot and identify potential issues that could impact the timeline of the project, you can greater ensure profitability. You can develop a well-planned and realistic schedule by questioning the duration of the work, the logic of the program and the order in which the work is undertaken, offering timely and efficient project execution.

Minimizes Risk

Construction Projects typically come with a lot of uncertainty and risk, which translate to delay and dollars.  One of the greatest challenges in construction is to identify risk issues, determine short and long-term effects and development of a risk mitigation strategy.  This can be achieved through analyzing the schedule, and in particular looking at historical delay and inefficiencies – all of which can be seen through the schedule.  By focusing on potential project risks, you can ensure that all of the known risks can be managed and you can also reduce the likelihood of these risks having a major effect on the project’s completion.

Documenting History

Delay is one of the largest root causes for overruns.  When delay occurs, it either results in extended overhead or inefficiencies amongst the trade – and more often than not, both.  Delay can only be studied through the schedules (and various updates), and for that reason, it can and should be used to document history of the project.  

Manage Changes

Something that can be greatly beneficial to the programs of work is analyzing the schedule for historical and potential changes while also understanding the likely effect these changes may have. If you consider how much the value of the program is reliant on efficiency and accuracy, you will be sure to have a successful change management system in place. Construction projects with a good change management system in place are more prone to stay on schedule, on budget and are likely to meet the objectives for the project.

While there are many things that happen during the construction process that cannot be controlled, there are ways you can “control” these types of mishaps using schedule analysis. By being more prepared and having a plan of action before issues arise, you can have a tighter grip on the process and ensure a more accurate timeline for the construction process.

SmartPM Technologies, Inc. has automated the schedule analysis process completely to arm anyone who has access to a construction schedule with everything they need to know to effectively control project schedule, budget and risks thereof. Contact us today to learn more.