Keep Your Project on Track with a Clear Monthly Schedule

Monthly Schedule Blog Post

Schedules do two things: they create accountability and they ensure your project adheres to the pre-established parameters – namely, timeline and budget.

There’s one little problem with this. A schedule is only as good as the person who creates it and the people who execute it. So invest the time to create a clear, concise schedule that everyone can follow.

A solid construction schedule should include assigned tasks, construction deliverables and progress updates. It should be available for viewing by owners, vendors and lenders, to ensure the project is hitting the right strides at the right time.

What to Include

A good schedule is as exhaustive as possible. While you may not be able to pinpoint every minute task, you should work to include all reasonable, foreseeable action items.

Depending on where you are in your project, this may include:

  • Preliminary tasks like
    • Design
    • Bids
    • Permits
    • Inspections
    • Site Prep Work
  • Foundation and installation work like
    • Framing
    • Roofing
    • HVAC, plumbing, and electrical
    • Drywall or insulation
    • Exterior and interior finishes
    • Flooring
    • Fixtures and appliances
  •  Finishing details like
    • Painting
    • Landscape
    • Last-minute modifications or change orders

How to Include It

Tools like Microsoft Project, Trello, or even spreadsheets are often the most effective ways to keep everything – and everyone – organized.

Your schedule should include:

  • Task Name
  • Start Date
  • Duration
  • Finish Date

It should also include a dedicated place for comments, questions or feedback. Since this is a schedule – and not a to-do list – you want to include a calendar row that features that month’s daily schedule. This allows project managers to keep track of who worked on which projects, and on which days.

How to Use the Schedule

Though time cards and clock-ins can show you who was scheduled to be on-site, it cannot tell you what they were responsible for that day…or whether they accomplished that task. A monthly schedule spreadsheet, on the other hand, can chart a task’s progress so you always know who is holding the ball and who they’re passing it to.

A detailed schedule also makes it easy to identify the point-person day to day. For example, you may ask Mike about the roofing because he’s on-site at the time of your visit. But Mike isn’t working on the roof; he’s working on an exterior finish. He’s not sure who you should talk to about roofing…and neither are the other guys, because no one can tell you who is ultimately responsible for overseeing the roofing.

One quick look at the schedule, however, would reveal that Jason is in charge of roofing today. In fact, it looks like he’s been working on it for the past four days, so he can answer any questions you may have.

How Automation can Help

Humans are definitely capable of creating – and sticking to – a schedule. Unfortunately, this accomplishment tends to come at the cost of added manpower, time and energy as someone has to constantly review the schedule, work performed and progress.

Automation can take your schedule a giant step further. The benefits of a schedule don’t end when a task is complete. On the contrary, a detailed schedule can help ensure that everyone follows through on their obligations. If you’re using Rabbet, this task is made even simpler as team members can easily upload their documents right into the system, which can quickly generate the draw request once all the documents are complete.

Schedules often start out with the best of intentions before life and reality has their way with them. Project team members know this, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow when their reputations and account balances are linked to these small pieces of paper that carry so much weight. Here’s the thing, though. When you start out with the best of intentions – and detail those intentions – you can modify slightly if things don’t go your way.

A schedule is like a roadmap that shows you exactly what modifications you need to make. Automation can show you how to make those modifications so they have the least impact on your budget, timeline, and, ultimately, team.

Want to learn more about what an automated schedule can do for you? Rabbet is happy to show you how.

Schedule a demo today.