Tips for Contractors to Keep Their Construction Projects on Schedule 

A myriad of variables can affect the progress of a construction project such as: adverse weather, changes in the work, unavailable and/or limited resources, changes in pricing and availability of quality labor, and subcontractor and material supplier issues. Given the foregoing variables, assuring that a construction project is completed in a timely and on-schedule manner can be very difficult. While the tips below will not guarantee that the construction project is completed in a timely manner, they should assist in attempting to achieve that objective. 

Creating and Coordinating a Master Schedule (And Sticking to It!).  Creating a master schedule to guide a project through breaking ground to completion is imperative. Ideally, the schedule should include: an estimated start and completion date for each task to be completed; a detailed description of the resources, labor, and equipment necessary to complete each task; and a detailed description of the sequencing of each task to be completed. 

Reviewing Plans, Specifications, and Other Project Documents.  Reviewing and understanding plans, specifications, and construction drawings provides the ability to create, and most importantly, maintain a project schedule. 

Communicating and Working Amicably with All Parties Involved in the Project.  Clear, concise, and timely communication is critical to staying on schedule to complete a project. A best practice would be to have a standard and seamless way for all parties to communicate on the project. Timely communication between the parties to a project can help mitigate, and even avoid, disruptions to the completion of a project.   

Monitoring and Documenting the Progress of the Project.  Keeping track of the progress of the project with detailed daily reports (or other tracking documents) can be very helpful. This type of monitoring and document review daily can assist in identifying potential issues that may delay or cause disruption to a project. 

Access to Information. Miscommunication can cause numerous problems in construction projects. All the parties involved in the construction of the project need to have access to project information to ensure that they are working in concert with one another. 

Creating Contingency Plans (Hope for the Best and Plan for the Worst!). As discussed above, there are many ways a construction project can be delayed. Developing contingency plans will assist in mitigating and resolving issues before they become serious problems.