Field Execution With an
Eye Towards Risk
By AJ Waters
September 23, 2020
Whether it be in construction or just life in general, I’m sure many of us can recall a situation where we jumped in and executed on a plan without thinking through all the risks. Case in point: back in high school I played football in Nebraska as a wide receiver. During warmups before the game, we were running routes and catching passes and I happened to get a pass that was thrown a little out of bounds. Thinking “I have to get this ball anyway,” I ran to catch it without surveying the potential risks along the sideline, including a long jump pit. Long story short, I broke my foot and missed the final football game of my senior season (and coincidentally, a championship basketball season).
While this story is obviously minor in the grand scheme of things, in many ways it’s relatable when discussing the long-term ramifications on a construction project, when risks, no matter how big or small, are not taken into account. But now, with the advancements in construction project management software, it’s possible to fully align your project schedule all the way through to execution, with that eye toward possible risks. To understand this better, let’s look at how these processes are now starting to interconnect.
A More Intelligent and Realistic Plan
Many times, in pre-construction, you may have a schedule or high-level set of milestones before you ever have an estimate or fully defined set of scope. But that doesn’t mean your schedule needs to lack detail. While traditional Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules tend to start out with a blank screen, why not leverage your years of experience and begin with benchmarked data based on project size and type? With the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), and a few attributes to categorize similar scope, much of the manual effort that went into creating your high-level activities and sequencing is removed.
Many times, when you’re in this phase of planning for the next project, your project team is still wrapping up their last job. And while they’ve got a lot of work to do to get that one done before moving on, it is still imperative to get their feedback and buy-in on the new plan. This is the point where an advanced software solution like InEight Schedule, can become your game-changer. Instead of planning in silos, you can collaborate as a team, regardless of location, giving you a solid consensus on a more realistic timeline.
At this point you may be asking “but what about risk?” That’s the beauty of today’s software, risk is now built into the system and not a bolt-on third party solution you need to add. Whether it be intelligent suggestions from the knowledge library of common risks for that scope, or robust critiques and feedback from team collaboration, you now have experienced risk mitigation by committee. The integration of these processes, along with true collaboration, creates a more intelligent and realistic risk-adjusted schedule.
Starting with the End in Mind
Here at InEight, we believe in breaking down traditional barriers that have made scheduling with execution in mind a difficult task. With all of the work that has been done upfront, it is only right to connect that data into the planning process. Dates, sequencing, risks, predecessors, and successors, team buy-in, it’s all right there. By integrating the development of work packages and daily plans that the field crews will execute on, every new task assignment inherently contains an eye into the risks.
This is InEight’s connected solution at work. Combining artificial intelligence mining your experience, human intelligence from feedback of the project team, and risk intelligence forecasting true end dates for the schedule, all to drive project certainty through a realistic execution plan. It is a far cry from disparate systems that often lead to a lack of visibility and increased risk.
So, the next time you begin planning and examining risks for the sake of coming up with an end date, remember this too can be used to go out and execute for maximum results. At the end of the day, hand everything you have planned over to the crew to execute on the work they’ve been tasked with — and have peace of mind knowing you’ve taken the long jump pit out of their path of construction. Learn more about InEight’s project cost management solutions.