Reducing Risk with
Construction Scheduling Software
August 31, 2021
Risk in construction is unavoidable. Long-term capital projects, due to their sheer size and complexity, are a particular concern. While you cannot eliminate all risk, what you can do is reduce its likelihood and impact. It all comes down to planning. Today’s advanced construction scheduling software can help you to better adapt to changing conditions and forecast for “what-if” situations so you can create contingency plans and schedules around them.
Reduce scheduling risks with industry-specific software
Planning and scheduling for projects with a long build duration can find you facing some limitations when using traditional point solutions. For example, you may be hampered by an inability to plan all the way out to your desired completion date with any degree of certainty. Or you may not be able to account for work scope that is often in flux. Layers of phases and individual job tasks often occur simultaneously, causing more challenges. In addition, you and your stakeholders may not get the notifications you need to make informed decisions when deviations in timelines occur. These instances include when job tasks are out of order, a project milestone is about to be missed, or site crews or equipment are scheduled to be in two places at the same time.
The agility and flexibility of construction scheduling software makes it possible to look out for and address such scenarios as they’re happening, or even a bit ahead of time when a risk is only on track to occur, rather than when it’s too late to course correct.
How does that translate in day-to-day planning? You can plan for lengthy builds by importing past project data without having to start from scratch every time. In addition, you will be able to see schedules adjust as impacting variables are taken into account automatically — not just during the planning phase but throughout the project life cycle. You will be able to create timelines using the most popular scheduling methods, such as critical path method, resource-oriented scheduling, bar charts — all to help you manage the many concurrent construction phases and activities. Receiving automatic alerts when there are sudden or gradual schedule deviations is now possible, so there’s ample time to make decisions and implement any previously created contingency plans. Advanced capabilities of industry-specific scheduling and planning solutions allow you to also plan more confidently against the project’s desired completion date.
Forecast for anticipated risks
Does everything always go as planned in construction? Of course not. When it comes to construction-related risks, there are the traditional items most projects should account for: weather-related delays, inventory shortages, transportation delays affecting material delivery and equipment malfunctions.
This is where, in addition to its more obvious role, construction scheduling software takes on forecasting and planning duties as well. It could be for when you’re putting together an estimate that includes schedule-impacting scenarios, or tackling situations that occur unexpectedly that weren’t accounted for in that estimate. Perhaps a necessary last-minute change order is made that has to be accommodated where even a required change order presents a potential risk to the schedule.
Input these and other scenarios that may be unique to your project or your geographic area into your construction scheduling software, and you can gauge the impact on budget and timelines. Using these results lets you create and select the most appropriate risk-adjusted plans to keep the project moving forward — from realigning site crew schedules to reallocating budget resources — so there’s as little disruption to the project as possible.
Rely on artificial intelligence for real scheduling
Scheduling can become its own risk factor — from timelines that are a bit too ambitious, to gaps in scheduling, to tasks and dependencies that are missing in action. How can software help you get a better handle the potential effects of these kinds of risks on your project? Construction scheduling software with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities can help mitigate the chances of these happening in the first place. By “learning” how to structure schedules based on your real life data feed from your prior projects, the power of AI can be leveraged to identify any anomalies and suggest more pragmatic ways to realign the current schedule. This process of inputs and outputs in essence becomes an interactive tool for risk-adjusted planning and data-driven decision making. In other words, the more the software understands your project, the more it can help you understand it.
More and more companies are recognizing the benefit of incorporating historical data with software that can analyze risks. And as the pool of actionable data from prior capital projects grows, it becomes easier for that software to accurately learn and identify risks in current and future similar projects. All of this takes project predictability to a new level, which can certainly make contractors and clients alike more assured and confident in scheduling and estimates.
This kind of project certainty is only possible when you have the right software solution. As a risk management tool, construction scheduling software like InEight Schedule can help you create backup plans in real time for when the unexpected happens. Find out more by scheduling an InEight demo today.