It sounds simple, but too often scheduling work is not thorough, work isn’t well planned, client expectations are not met, payments are delayed, work is finished behind schedule and budgets are exceeded – not a happy situation. Good planning and schedule management can fix that problem, and that’s exactly what PC3 provides. There are two distinct features to our approach:
Good scheduling requires detailed upfront work. It requires planning something that hasn’t been built, often without adequate information. This upfront scheduling requires the experience to develop good conceptual plans with a framework that allows for details to be added as the projects evolve. If the projects are in design, a comprehensive plan is developed to meet the owner’s scope requirements, and the schedule may need to be rapidly prepared. Construction schedules are again different, where a highly detailed plan needs to be developed and resource/cost loaded directly from the drawings and specifications. And if you are managing a large program, the master schedule needs to be built with a structure that can link many projects into one database to analyze the overall critical path. PC3 is highly skilled and experienced with these situations and challenging work environments. And we are experienced with alternative delivery methods such as design‐build, fast track and integrated project delivery. Having been on both sides of the fence, we understand how to work with owners, consultants and contractors, and not only know how to bridge the gap between them, but have a clear understanding of how these different groups operate. Beyond all the technology ‐ and we’re very good at that ‐ good communications backed by solid expertise accomplishes a lot. And we maintain high standards. We deliver products that meet client expectations and take a leadership role in maintaining strong client relations. There can be a temptation by owners to relax specification requirements. Our experience shows this to usually be a mistake. As a general rule in most anything, it is better to set the standards, communicate them clearly and enforce their compliance.
Appropriate Resource Assignment.
We have evolved to a position where we don’t believe that assigning a single scheduler to the project, hoping he or she can perform all the scheduling tasks, is the best solution. This approach has been tried for decades, and has several weaknesses: The workload varies. Even if the scheduler is highly competent, there are times when the workload cannot be met, and there can be slack time when clients aren’t receiving value for work paid. Greater flexibility is needed. Some tasks require the best resources available; other tasks can be performed by competent staff. A single person doesn’t provide flexibility. Clients should only pay for the required level of competency, and PC3 charges different rates for its personnel. To meet deadlines, scheduling work often needs to be accomplished outside normal working hours. Not only is PC3 able to work outside normal business hours and often must do so, but there are times when multiple resources must be applied to prepare or update a schedule on time. So much of good project management depends on timely, quality schedule submissions.
Using cloud based software, we do not have to be in one location to perform our scheduling work as was the case only a few years ago. We can work remotely in any location and have real-time access to scheduling information and dashboard data. As beneficial as the cloud is, we still recognize the need for ongoing interface and communication with our clients, consultants and contractors during the course of the project, and there is no substitute for direct communication and meetings. Because we use collaborative tools and communicate all the time, there is no drop-off in knowledge or understanding between the members of our team. Primavera P6 is our scheduling backbone; we operate on a network version that can be accessed from anywhere. We are highly skilled in all the dashboard techniques that allow supervisors to update schedules from the field, using various “Reflection” applications that allow our schedulers to review the information before it is input into the master schedule. It is an approach that has worked quite well for our clients. We are also skilled users of Acumen Fuse and Risk software, which both ensures schedule integrity and allows quick and effective evaluation of project risks against specific schedule tasks. Analyzing risks allows the generation of risk adjusted schedules with analytical determination of appropriate cost and schedule contingencies. And dealing with probabilities of achieving schedule or cost targets can often be an effective way for owners to communicate with their boards of directors. For those clients who are able to take scheduling to the next level, we offer 4D scheduling using Primavera P6 combined with Synchro, that combines 3D BIM with the schedule for easy visual comprehension of design alternatives, project progress and evaluation of alternative methods of construction. We also are experienced with LEAN scheduling, with last planner system capability, used by some contractors to assure resources are not brought on to the sight until they are absolutely needed. We also have LEED Accredited Professionals that are certified in sustainable design and construction.