Harness Your Team’s Expertise to
Boost Scheduling Certainty

Originally aired on 2/21/2024

46 Minute Watch Time

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Collaborative approaches are driving a transformative shift in the ever-evolving field of project management. Technology needs to keep up. Construction professionals know what it will take – recent InEight research shows that over 85% agree that real-time project insights, instantaneous team communication, and improved risk identification are critical for project success.

So how can we get there? Explore the practical adoption of collaborative approaches to construction planning with Nate St. John, Vice President for Scheduling & Risk Management at InEight. Replay this webinar to learn about:

    • • Why it’s critical to adopt collaborative planning as the industry shifts, including a look at the inherent benefits and the challenges that must be navigated.
    • • What it takes in realistic terms to shift to a collaborative approach to scheduling and planning.
    • • Strategies for fostering team collaboration, ensuring seamless communication, and enhanced project transparency.
    • • How technology can empower collective decision making, with the ultimate outcome of minimizing project risks through shared insights and deeply informed decisions.

 

TRANSCRIPT


Scott Seltz:

Hello and welcome to this webinar Harness Your Team’s Expertise to Boost Scheduling Certainty. This event is brought to you by Engineering News record and sponsored by InEight. Hi, I am Scott Seltz, ENR Publisher and your moderator for today’s event. Collaborative approaches are driving a transformative shift in the ever evolving field of project management. Technology needs to keep up. Construction professionals know what it’ll take. Recent research shows that over 85% agree that realtime Project insights, instantaneous team communication and improved risk identification are critical for project success. So, how can we get there? Well, today we’re going to explore the practical adoption of collaborative approaches to construction planning. We’re excited to welcome our presenter, Nate St. John, vice President of Scheduling and Risk Management at InEight. I’ll be rejoining our presenter at the end to field your questions that come throughout the webinar. So please don’t forget to submit them in the Q&A section of the webinar console. And now I’ll hand things over to Nate St. John to kick off today’s presentation. Nate.

Nate St. John:

Well thank you Scott and welcome everyone. Like Scott said, my name is Nate St. John and I’m responsible for the vision and strategic architecture of scheduling and risk management at InEight. In addition to my R&D responsibilities, I head up project risk services offering clients expert guidance in their risk quantification and mitigation strategies. I joined the InEight team and the broader software world in 2020. Prior to that, I spent 15 years in construction on both the owner side as a construction manager, and more recently at Kiewit where I was given the unique opportunity to travel around the country visiting multi-billion dollar projects in the capacity of internal consultant for all things planning, scheduling, and risk related. I very much enjoy keeping connected with industry associations. I sit on the board of advisors for CII, and I will say it’s been a couple years since my last event with ENR and I’m really excited to be here with you all today.

So, for those not familiar with InEight, we provide field tested project management software for the owners, contractors, engineers, and designers who are building the world around us. So, from pre-planning to design, from estimating to scheduling, from field execution, turnover and InEight has powered more than 1 trillion in projects globally across infrastructure, public sector, energy and power, OGC, mining and commercial construction. Over 575,000 users, more than 850 customers worldwide rely on InEight for real-time insights that help manage risk and really keep projects on schedule and under budget across the entire life cycle. So if you’re interested in learning more about InEight, I encourage you to visit ineight.com. Today we’re going to talk about collaboration and the transformational effects it can have on the planning and scheduling process. So, we’re going to break down four key categories of plan development and then highlight how with technology we can bridge the gap between traditional work fronts can increase awareness and communication and drive towards project certainty. But first, let’s scan the state of the industry. So, here’s some recent data reflecting current challenges in the industry.

And as I highlight these, keep in mind the theme of collaboration. Ask yourself how could it address or improve these areas of consideration? So, the left-hand side of the slide is broader industry. So, we know that complexity is at an all time high, right growth projections over $4 trillion USD over the next 15 years. The emergence of shared risk models, and I’d probably say even post emergence because I think they’re here, and now we’re sustaining these shared risk models and the integrated delivery methods that they partner with require and are really best serve with data transparency and unified software services. In addition, the more novel and complex projects being undertaken results in the need for innovation and the rise of that demand with it in regards to integrated project management systems. And then as we continue to hear about this retiring labor force and with that keep in mind is the exit of this institutional knowledge that has been built up over the course of a career. Whether some of those are schedulers or not, we are still seeing a shrinking pool of scheduling expertise in relation to the other roles on projects.

So, if we flip over to the right side of the slide, this is perhaps maybe a little bit more project control centric. The first here is that as companies progress through their digital transformation journey, I think there’s this recognition of the need for a unified software, what I call the power of a platform. What that really is, it’s systems talking and exchanging data seamlessly to deliver and enable the full advantage of digital transformation. Secondly, I think there’s this growing interest in addressing risk management gaps and that’s regardless of your maturity status. Whether you don’t address risk today at all and you simply want to start, or if you have a really sophisticated protocol, the commonality here is more collaboration is being asked for. The third bullet here and something we’re interested in at InEight and we keep an eye on is there’s an ever more crowded market for construction scheduling point solution and startups.

And to me that’s indicating there’s a very high demand for improving current planning and scheduling systems. I think for the most part, projects still rely on CPM despite any meaningful advancements. Yes, we’ve digitized the scheduling process and we have more robust analytics, but I think we’re still missing the mark on providing systems that through collaboration can produce more realistic forecasts. And I would just finish this off finally, with the evolution of Contech Construction Technology. I think owners are becoming more open-minded to alternative options, and I think in the long run that’s a very positive sign.

So, a few additional metrics around market challenges. First one, construction businesses are losing one full day of work per week due to inefficiencies in their process. So, I think things like rework, double data entry, resources for training and onboarding tech systems during churn, things that we, myself, as builders of software should be designed for. Next year, 82% of owners say they need more collaboration with their contractors, no surprise there and that’s what we’re here to talk about. 35% cite lack of staff to support technology. Again, that tells us as software designers, we need to keep that in mind. We need to make it easy, scalable, and commit to delivering solutions with everything you need and nothing you don’t. And finally, I would 78% say project risks are increasing. I really think this is an area where we can lean into collaboration to help lower some of that risk exposure.

So, knowing all the statistics, we shouldn’t be too surprised unfortunately that projects rarely achieve all of their goals. I think we’ve probably have all seen a graphic like this indicating that of the 100% of projects less than 50% complete on budget, under 10% complete on budget and on time, and very rarely projects achieve the trifecta on budget, on time, and on benefits, meaning that the expectations equaled the outcomes. So, if we’re of the mindset, and this is my personal philosophy on this, is that projects fail due to poor planning rather than poor execution, then we focus on how to build better plans.

So, decentralized input. The success of any project relies on its foundation and that foundation really is the plan. So, we know the information and the knowledge used to build the plan are not available in one place but are rather scattered across locations. So, we’ll highlight four key categories here and focus on how do we increase the quality and efficiency of that input via collaboration to improve the certainty of the plan. So, the first one, scope objectives aside from the obvious items of scope, this can also include things like the expectations and motivations of various stakeholders. Think back to the previous slide, delivering on benefits. The second main category is history and experience. I mean we’ve been benchmarking costs forever, but I would ask is your historical schedule data being put to use? And if it is, to what extent? The third main bucket domain experts.

All right, so how is the knowledge being captured from those that know best and placed into the plan? Or more importantly, I would ask at what phase of plan development are you bringing experts in? And finally, progress status. So, this is transitioning from planning into execution. What’s your source of truth and are teams aligned in communicating that single source of information? So, let’s go around the horn again and annotate perhaps what happens when these inputs are developed in a silo or they’re inaccessible to the team. So, in terms of scope objectives, we talk about incomplete information. We need to be able to establish a central location for stakeholders to input their information, make that data available to consume. So, I’ll give you an example in the design phase, let’s focus upfront for containing the knock on effects, right? So, in the design phase, we should be able to cross-reference design components against their associated schedule activities, and that way we can ensure that we have full scope coverage across engineering deliverables.

The second one, delays and overruns. Are we starting planning and scheduling from scratch every time? Meaning do we begin with a blank to start scheduling or are we leaning in on history to plan early on and within realism of what has been achieved in the past? Domain experts, this risk of unforeseen risks, right? There’s a wealth of knowledge out there that we need to capture to uncover risk. If we don’t ask, we simply won’t know. So, are we accounting for the confidence from those domain experts in the plan, those responsible for executing the work? And finally lack of alignment. I think it’s fair to ask are groups aligned with reality? So, although there’s much more than just this that goes into the plan, these are the four common buckets we will break down further to understand how collaboration and technology are able to improve each one of these.

So, before we continue any further, we have our first poll question one of three and invite all of you to respond please. The question is, how often does your organization solicit feedback on the schedule from those outside of the planning and scheduling department? I’ll give it a little bit of time for you to all fill in. Okay, well keeping up and on time, look at the results. Rarely is the dominant answer and unfortunately that lines out often with when we’re brought into clients trying to solve this problem. Kudos on the six folks who say always. Would love to know who you are and how you’re operating, and I would also on the other side of the spectrum, those few folks that say never glad you’re on the presentation, so.

All right, let’s move into our first of the four buckets. Scope objectives. We all want to land on a plan that contains complete information and has aligned expectations that allow for the most efficient use of resources. Now the plan’s going to contain all kinds of information. It’ll talk about the design, obviously what are we building? What is the cost associated to build that? As you refine the plan and turn it into a schedule, you’re looking at milestones, major, minor interim milestones. Expectations, we can’t lose sight about what’s the perceived value upfront and is it going to equal the outcome at the end of the project? Of course, there’s risks both positive and negative, and the resources that it will take to build the project. The one early barrier in common deterrent to a solid plan is the siloed methodologies in which the data is generated, where it’s held, and how it’s communicated.

So, whether that data is already housed in technology, whether it’s the stakeholder goals or simply experience that’s residing in the human brain, a unified approach to data capture is critical to accurately informed teams. So, for example, when facilitating risk workshops, far too often teams get bogged down trying to find and get scope clarification rather than focusing on the task at hand. And yes, early on scope clarification is important, but where we get bogged down is with this question, right? So, what does that activity actually represent? And that question is much easier to serve or eliminate entirely if planning data is more connected upfront. The objective here is to make fast work of capturing all this input and unifying it to be made available for decision making.

So, the second bucket. History and experience, this is all about collaboration with technology, right? Here’s an example of how the two can work together to enhance this process. InEight schedule has this concept of a knowledge library. So, storing artifacts such as, as-built schedules, past risk, productivity rates, et cetera. The computer can then prompt a user given where they’re at in the schedule to ensure that they’re planning within reason and awareness of past risk exposure. So, this is how it works in practice. You begin building out your plan, you have a WBS, and you get to some point within the WBS. The computer has context of your project, what size, what industry, what’s the procurement model? And it says, “Hey, I noticed you’re on, I don’t know, Underground Utilities WBS, here’s some recommendations of things that have been pulled from your company’s past history.” And those things can include activities, realized durations, recommended logic sequence as filter realized risks.

What happens then is the user’s able to preview, we’ll call that a fragment, a schedule fragment. The user will be able to preview that fragment and see what it would look like if it was inserted to the plan. And then one of two things happens, either the user likes it and they hit accept or they don’t and they hit reject. If they hit accept, the computer goes, oh, so that suggestion was helpful. Let’s keep the matching criteria that we used to pull from their data. And on the flip side, if they reject, the computer goes, oh, okay, that wasn’t the perfect scenario. Let’s rejig and re-weight our matching criteria, so that the next time we can help, it’ll be a stronger suggestion. The end user still has the final decision maker, but this allows not only the human to learn from the computer, but the computer to learn from the human. I think this approach not only accelerates plan development, freeing up time for more analysis, et cetera, but it also ensures we’re planning within realism because we want to be avoiding an overly optimistic or aggressive schedule domain experts.

So, when we remove traditional scheduling from a silo, it allows for others to contribute to the planning process and that ultimately leads to more confident and realistic schedules. Something we do here at InEight is we strip out the statistical complexity surrounding traditional methods and we capture buy-in or pushback via a simple certainty scorecard. So, I’m assuming you’re engaging experts during plan development. Maybe some of you not so much based on the last poll. Rather than asking non-schedule experts to convey their opinions and min, most likely, max, all that stuff, we can pull various feedback together for knowledge driven planning. So, let me give you an example.

In practice, let’s say you have a baseline schedule and it’s ready for the critical, what I consider the critical step of plan validation, right? We need to validate that plan given that it’s most likely developed by a single person or maybe a small group of schedulers. So, we want to get that feedback on an activity. So, we kick off what we call a review cycle, right? And then contributors that we’ve identified, excuse me, as experts, they receive an email, they click on the invite and it says, “Hey, Nate from InEight is asking you to contribute your thoughts on this activity,” right? Let’s use this graphic in the lower left as an example. We ask three people their opinions on this activity. The foreman says, “Oh, it’s eight days.” The planner says, “Oh no, I think it’s 10.” And the design lead says, “Oh, it’s 14.” Well, we can just use those three points of data and inject that into our statistical analysis as options to be calculated through things like a Monte Carlo that will spit out potential variations of the deterministic plan.

The beauty about this is that we have kind of a pause moment and I see it all the time in risk workshops. I say, “Hey Foreman, hey, Design Lead. Why do we have low consensus?” And we converse and we problem solve all in this digital environment and we shake out. And in this example, the design lead said, “Oh, I misunderstood the scope,” or “I had a poor assumption that wasn’t accurate.” We can simply mute that person and leave just the foreman and planner. The computer automatically changes that and it says, “Hey, pull a range of a low end of eight days and a high end of 10. Don’t worry about the design lead, out with 14 days. That person was misunderstood.”

So, by pooling together this feedback, we can ensure we have a plan that’s driven by expert opinion. This is a screenshot from our markup tool. This is where you land when you receive your digital invite, right? And we really look to capture up to three main bits of information here. First, we want to capture what we call uncertainty, confidence in the plan duration. This is the scorecard I was saying here on the right. Non-experts can simply go in and indicate their confidence in durations. It’s going to be less time, is it okay? Or perhaps it’s overly aggressive. The second bit we want to get is any kind of risk information or commentary. So, whether that is quickly pulling up the existing register housed in this environment and saying, “Yeah, you need to map this risk to this item” or just any new considerations that should be taken into effect when we land in a review process. And I guess I would add the third thing is in execution, this is where we can capture digitally capture progress updates. So, how many days remaining? What’s your percent complete?

It’s important to note that in theory you could invite N number of people into this process, but say you invite these three folks in the example, they’re marking up their own copy, their own version of the schedule, right? They’re not changing the master plan, they’re not affecting anything officially. And then we take those three copies and we bring it into this consensus pool and that’s where we build consensus, we build buy-in, we close any kind of scope misunderstanding, and we land in a commitment for the remaining duration of those areas of the schedule. So, once consensus is reached, we commit changes to the plan. And now we’re working from a highly certain schedule. And I think the final point on this one is that when we capture that institutional experience and place it in that library, knowledge then becomes the company’s most valued digital asset. You can churn that through and grow your database, become more data rich and cycle through this self-perpetuating better planning process.

So, achieve buy-in. Let’s talk about this. I recently heard this stat and it really bothered me and I wanted to share it all with you. I can’t recall where I heard it, but the quote was, “Less than 20% of team members believe in the CPM schedule.” And maybe that’s indicative of some of the polls early on, but that’s a problem. How do we fix it? We have four steps that come to mind that we can provide to move teams from doubt to belief. The first is ease of use. We need software that’s tailored to the persona when we develop that simple scorecard, we developed it that way because we knew non-schedule experts are going to be using that view. Keep it simple. The second is invite the act of just invitation. Now with technology, we can digitally invite these people, land them in a user-friendly page, and we’re lowering the barrier of entry for participation in the planning process. The third here is accountability.

So, once people are in, and once they begin to contribute, we can hold them accountable for their inputs and their opinions because we see them, we place them in situations where they’re able to brainstorm and problem solve. And lo and behold, when accountability is established, buy-in is reached and the team can now trust the CPM schedule. So, we’ll pause here. This is another I think a good opportunity for another poll question. The second one here it reads, how confident is your team in the accuracy of the CPM schedule? All right, looks like most of them are in and we’re in the middle. So, somewhat confident, could be better. Kudos to the one person, very confident. Again, that’s fantastic to hear. Sounds like most people are kind of in the middle. Maybe they’re at 20%, maybe they’re at 50%, but thank you for answering.

Okay, so let’s move to our final main bucket. So, we talked around the horn with things that are inputted into the plan. Let’s talk progress status. Another challenge with establishing more collaboration and that’s beyond connecting just individuals, is bringing together groups of people. Disjointed stakeholder groups are way, way too easy to form and worse, when they do form in a disjointed manner, they’ll sustain the differing objectives and targets throughout the lifecycle of the project. So, if we hone in and in terms of project status, in my mind, this is how I delineate the two main groups that need to be aligned. So first, there’s the project controls group, right? So, those involved in caring for the CPM, preparing it for the monthly communication to the stakeholders, performing high level analysis. They have their goals and their objectives and they’re running in a certain direction.

On the other side, we have field execution, right? Those that are involved in conducting weekly look ahead meetings, daily planning meetings, focusing on the imminent needs of detailed execution, and they have their own opinions and priorities. When these two groups become disjointed, confusion, doubt and the dreaded side schedules begin to appear on projects. So, at the center of these two groups, we have a really great opportunity to ensure alignment is always maintained and we can easily create what I call connected planning.

So, let me give you a simple example of this and we’ll look at this graphic on the right. Everything above the dash line is the CPM. Everything below it is what I would call a short interval plan, a weekly look ahead plan, a look ahead plan. So, on the top we have our scheduled WBS, it’s construction early site works, we have two activities, Activity A and B. And then in the same view, we can analyze and visualize the lower level of detail. That’s common to a look ahead schedule. We have two crews, crew A, and then crew B split up in two different operations. When we look at the plan like this, and when we unite these two groups, we can ensure we’re always planning within the context of the CPM, just like the low consensus during risk workshops, when we bring these two groups together, we can expose hidden constraints and opportunities. We’re taking what’s often an analog process and sucking it in to a single digital environment. And that really opens the door for all kinds of things, mainly clear visibility of project milestones.

So, here’s a screenshot specifically from InEight. This is our short interval planning view, and it shows what planning within the context of the CPM in a single digital environment can look like. So, let me orient to you to the screen here. On the left-hand side, we always start out with what we preach with the WBS or whatever you’re grouping and sorting your schedule by, and the terminal level CPM activities. You can see underneath these activities we have three tasks. These could be simply, they could be activity components, they could be claiming scheme. If you’re down to a detailed level, they could just be more detailed tasks that don’t belong in a CPM. You can see the blue bars in the middle represent a CPM activity. They shrink a little bit and you can see where we’re grayed out. That’s because we bring over the activity calendar, so we can have alignment with the lower level steps to ensure that they’re honoring that CPM scheduling calendar.

All the little squares against a SIP step or a SIP task, think of it as like a sticky note, it represents a day. So, users can come in and they can scaffold out their daily plans, sequence it out. You can see here we have some different colors. So, to us that means that we have different crews or different resources that are working on the same activity throughout the activity duration. We can see here on the right on blue, we’ve got two tasks that are highlighted in yellow and that is indicating a CPM breach. And that’s critical because if you didn’t have line of sight with a CPM, you’d have no idea that this is occurring. So, when this happens, and it will happen all the time, there’s only two options that can take place. The first is this schedule activity. It’s blue, it’s not red. That’s important. Since it’s blue, it’s off the longest path, perhaps it has a lot of float.

The controller of that CPM schedule at the same time during this interface meeting can tell field execution “Hey, just so you’re aware, it looks like you’re planning two days beyond the CPM. However, it’s not a problem. I’ll go ahead, make that extension in the CPM, rerun the schedule and we’re good to go.” That’s option one. However, the second option could be that that activity is red, therefore it has little or no follow. That’s a different conversation. That’s again the controller of the CPM, going to the field staff and saying, “Hey, did you know you’re on the longest path? I know we’re only looking in terms of a week or two out, but for the greater good and the larger health and overview of the total plan, we really can’t afford to extend that duration. So, is there any way we can rework or re-sequence to suck back in, stay within the boundaries of the CPM?”

And I would just add finally, because we are in a digital environment in the cloud, you can see up top, we can add all kinds of information. Local weather forecasts, show you the number of current users in the plan, et cetera. So, we’ll go to our third and final poll and it reads, how often do your projects have side schedules separate from the master CPM? All right, I’ll go ahead and in advance this one, our leading answers often and conversely also rarely. So, maybe a mixed bag on this group. Maybe we’re not inviting on this call as many experts into the upfront planning process. But perhaps once the plan has been achieved, we’re incorporating a bit better. The two groups that I call project controls and field executions. Kudos to the always and for the never, there’s a better way.

Okay, so benefits of collaborative scheduling. There’s a few critical ones I need to point out. So, the first is achieving alignment, and that perhaps is my top one. No more side schedules or scope confusion. Everyone is visualizing the same page. The second I want to call attention to is increasing accountability. This will absolutely result in more realistic schedules. When people are bought in, they have incentive to problem solve and that problem solving we believe can take place in technology. Technology can provide the best grounds for that problem solving. And then I would say finally, once a commitment or an outcome of that review is made, then carrying through a single source of truth, providing and producing a schedule that acts as the ultimate communication tool rather than simply an administrative necessity.

So, I’ll leave you with this. These were four kind of common areas that we wanted to discuss of where you could leverage collaboration, whether it’s between collaborating with technology and advanced systems, or if it’s just leveraging your team expertise to increase both the confidence of your plan and the certainty of your project. I mean, I think these principles should transcend the whole project lifecycle, go beyond just planning and scheduling, but that collaborative nature should be the cornerstone of your construction technology. So, I’ll leave you with five steps that we see as the most practical and successful at implementing a more collaborative planning and scheduling process. So, the first with any change or any improvement, a strategic plan and sponsorship must be in place in order to foster the right culture of constant curiosity.

Number two, you need to select the right technology. Get a connected platform that enables everyone to participate in the planning and scheduling process. Number three, establish clear protocols. This is no different than silo tools or analog processes. Establish how you’re going to use your chosen technology. Number four, let’s practice what we preach, right? Set realistic goals. Small incremental success will breed greater success. And finally, learn and adjust to your experience. And I will add ensure that you are providing that feedback to your software vendor. So, with that, I want to thank you for attending and I’m happy to turn it back over to Scott and see if we have any time for some Q&A. Scott.

Scott Seltz:

Thank you, Nate. This was a really good presentation. Before we start to field some of the questions that have come into you, I want to remind our viewers that we’d love their feedback. So, please take a few moments to complete our webinar survey, which you’ll see on the screen now and it will be served up to you when you exit the presentation. So actually Nate, I had a question that I want to pose to you first. How do you envision integrating this new technology into existing project scheduling processes? What do you anticipate will be the immediate beneficial and challenging for teams?

Nate St. John:

Great question, Scott. Thank you. We’ve placed this new technology at strategic locations along the path of the scheduling process. So for example, we know it’s a challenge to effectively gather project progress updates, right? But we still need to do it. So, we built a better solution that’s a natural fit. I think one of the immediate benefits will be the accuracy of these commitments. So, no longer is a loan scheduler just updating the plan. We’re making it easy for everyone to participate in the process. And I think in terms of the challenges, change is always a challenge, but we’re seeing that companies are realizing it might not be as daunting as they thought when implementing things that are a natural fit.

Scott Seltz:

So, a viewer’s asking in his experience, he’s seen a lot of noise in a schedule when it comes to getting input from your field leads, how have you seen projects handling the task of focusing people on where you want their feedback?

Nate St. John:

Yeah, that’s a great question. So, how we kind of filter that out is we allow the owner or the person responsible for the master plan to pick and choose where they want their experts to provide feedback on. And so if Scott, if you’re only an expert in drainage, I’m not going to ask you to comment on superstructure. So, I’m going to say, “Scott, I’m going to sign you to drainage.” I’m going to kick off that review cycle. I’m going to flip a switch that says don’t show them anything else, just show them drainage. Of course, if we have confident in you kind of “Staying within your lane,” we can always say, “Well show them everything but them just comment on drainage.” So, I think that’s a critical first part in filtering out the noise and targeting really dedicated attention to the areas that need it.

Scott Seltz:

Great, thank you. Another viewer is asking how as an owner, if not included in the IPPM build, do you influence or provide input?

Nate St. John:

Well, I think this whole session is about including them, right? There’s no way to capture any of their information if we’re not including them. I mean, a system like this is intended to be distributed to owners, giving owners a space where they can contribute their values and their opinions just like anyone on a contractor team or a sub vendor team. The idea here is that we’re not keeping the secrets or all of our wealth of knowledge in different areas or to ourselves, but we’re designing a software that’s tailored to each one of these personas so that they can comfortably, confidently provide their information. And once it’s in the system, we can do all kinds of things to pull it together to vet these areas of discrepancies, to analyze and ultimately commit to the most certain or highly confident schedule that the team can land on with the consensus.

Scott Seltz:

Great. Another viewer is asking, can you discuss how to get the team’s buy-in to the schedule logic, sequencing, WBS, et cetera?

Nate St. John:

Sure. Well, WBS is an interesting one, but we’ll go to the sequence and the logic. Within that markup review, we’re not only asking for the remaining duration and dates and stuff, but we have a whole section where you can say, “I don’t think that this work is really going to be finished to start. I think we’re going to run all of these at the same time, start to start, and that’s how it’s actually going to be built.” Well you can provide that commentary in that context. So then again, in all funnels to this pool where during the schedule review process, you can make that change and commit it back to the master plan.

Scott Seltz:

We’ve got time for one more question. A viewer’s asking, where is the value in the input process for activity duration slash logic? When owners require a baseline schedule to be approved prior to ramping up project staff, giving them time to get familiar with their scope, example design build projects where the schedule is based on conceptual designs.

Nate St. John:

Well, this isn’t just kind of a finish to start process. This review cycle is continuous. And so, in progressive design builds or rolling waves, you’re still going to have the scaffolding of the plan and of the concepts and of the major milestones set in place, right? You’re going to have that framework and as you advance through, for instance, a progressive design build, the more info you know, the more detailed you’re going to get when the time comes. Tools like this are completely set up and suited to sustain that, just not in the upfront planning process. And speaking from experience, I mean, large amount of our clients run this, what we talked with the markup and review cycle through the entire length of the process. So, not only are you building out more detailed plans, you’re continuing and elongating the collaboration involved with the process, but you’re also addressing these risk areas to ultimately close out and land on the best path forward.

Scott Seltz:

So Nate, before we close out, do you have any final thoughts you want to share with our viewers?

Nate St. John:

Yeah, no, thanks Scott. I mean, at InEight we want to transform the planning and scheduling process. We want to move from traditional scheduling that’s siloed, want to harness the expertise of your team, so we can confidently achieve project certainty and better outcomes. And I would just say for anyone out there that wants to learn more, feel free to reach out to myself or go visit inEightschedule.com and download our ebook for further reading.

Scott Seltz:

Great. So, please join me once again in thanking Nate St. John as well as our sponsor InEight. If you have any additional questions or comments or if we did not get to your question, we will make sure that those are shared to Nate and he’ll respond directly to you. If you didn’t have a chance earlier, please, you’ll be redirected shortly to our post-event survey, and we look forward to hearing how to make our programs work better for you. Please visit enr.com/webinars for the archive of this presentation to share with your colleagues, as well as information on upcoming events. We hope you found today’s presentation a good investment of your time. Thanks again for joining us and have a great day.

 

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