Remember that construction scheduling software is a tool and it has a purpose: to provide relevant and timely information about the status of a project, in order to drive decision-making in a dynamic format that can be shared and communicated effectively.
When implementing a construction software tool, the objectives of the organization are to enable the following –
- Creation of task-level activities with durations, start dates, finish dates and dependencies.
- Linking of activities via several different logical relationships: finish-to-start, start-to-start, finish-to-finish, and start-to-finish. These are often augmented with forced lags.
- Tracking of the critical path, which is the series of activities that cannot be prolonged without affecting the overall schedule.
- Comparison of baseline schedule with current status, usually via an overlay.
- Calculation of float, resource leveling, and cost distribution.
- Tracking of earned value metrics and integration with project accounting systems.
- Ability to access information in a mobile platform (on smart phones).
- Tailored reports which include views of interest to users (such as Project Managers and Planners).
- A scheduling platform that is flexible, scalable and reliable.
Risks which management must consider and evaluate before committing resources to implementation of scheduling software:
- Possibility that program will not be fully utilized.
- User resistance due to insufficient training. This usually results in inefficiencies and erodes the value which management is looking to derive from its investment in the software.
- User resistance because of reluctance to switch platforms and fear of losing “perceived” expertise.
- Not providing sufficient training.
- Not initiating implementation soon enough; i.e., reducing the learning curve time for project teams to fully understand and gain familiarity with the program.
- Not understanding the bandwidth (and organizational resources) required to use the program effectively.
- Not establishing one team leader (or program champion) who would cast the final vote on the format of the implementation, and the manner and time frame in which it would be rolled out.
- Not realizing that once corporate resources (especially time) are dedicated to a new tool, it is difficult for people to change gears and consider simpler, more effective alternatives.