Preconstruction Phase Schedule Management

Preconstruction phase schedule management is one of the key roles of the preconstruction manager. Creating a realistic and detailed schedule for all design, approval, estimating and purchasing activities to ensure that construction activities begin on schedule is the primary objective of our preconstruction schedule. Our Preconstruction schedule will reflect what is expected of the design team, Clancy & Theys, and the owner so that packaging and scoping of the work can be accomplished through documents that address required information at each stage of the design process. The preconstruction schedule will incorporate bidding subcontractor suggestions and comments (specific changes will of course fit within the owner’s directed time line). It will also incorporate permitting requirements, job site phasing, and authority approvals. Such changes and cooperation with the bidding subcontractors is crucial when implementing a workable schedule.

Our master CPM schedule is utilized in preconstruction and incorporated into the bid documents at time of bid so that the bidders are fully aware of their schedule requirements. Subcontractors are contractually obligated to meet the durations of our CPM schedule—they “bid” the schedule as well as the price. We deliver weekly scope schedules to each subcontractor to provide schedule awareness and foresight. Our initial project schedule always illustrates project systems commissioning and closeout. We do so in order to allow not only the contractors to fully understand the closeout procedures, but also to enable the Owner to schedule their staff training and delivery of owner-furnished materials.

Bids and Procurement

Clancy & Theys will develop a detailed construction schedule prior to bidding the job, and in advance of advertising for pre-qualification of prospective subcontractors. We want contractors, and their suppliers, to understand—as soon as they begin considering the project—that they will be bidding on the basis of our schedule. They will need to consider the pace of the job, its staffing and equipment requirements, and the logistical demands of meeting the schedule. The schedule will be included in a bid manual, which we will develop and issue to all prospective bidders.

Bidders will be required to acknowledge on their bid form that they have reviewed and understand the schedule. Bidders will be briefed on the schedule at a pre-bid meeting and will be informed of the requirement to consider and acknowledge the schedule. Meeting minutes will be issued as a clarification after the pre-bid meeting to reiterate the schedule discussion. We will discuss the schedule again with the apparent low bidders during bid scope review meetings and reconfirm that their understanding of the schedule.

Construction Schedule

Clancy & Theys uses Primavera to provide schedules in Gantt chart format. The project schedule is the organizational scheme that links all of the project’s activities. Starting with the pre-construction schedule, then as the construction activities are planned and defined, it will include:

  • Planning, design, estimating and key decision and reporting milestones (for all parties).
  • Pre-qualification, bid release, pre-bid meetings, bidding and bid/scope review, subcontracting/procurement milestones.
  • Plan review, approval, regulatory requirements, permitting.
  • Submittals, mobilization, construction activities, material deliveries, and break-out schedules for major building components, sequences or sub-activities as needed.
  • Owner-furnished materials and “by-owner” systems, data/com wiring and systems.
  • Inspections, commissioning/testing, owner training, punch-list.

We involve all of our subcontractors in the fine tuning the schedule after award of their contracts and hold them to their commitment of their portion of the schedule. We stress the importance of buy-in to schedule by all parties as a tool to foster teamwork and schedule discipline. We identify any problematic lead times for materials—and suggest alternatives—during the preconstruction phase.

Pull Planning

Clancy & Theys utilizes a methodology for scheduling to make it easy for each trade to easily identify the daily, weekly, and monthly needs to keep a project on schedule. These activities are color coded by trade so that each sub-contractor can quickly identify what they need to complete each day to stay on schedule.

Tools we use to stay on schedule include:

  • Intelligent prioritizing of shop drawings/submittals, plus careful monitoring and vigorous follow up on the status and final approval of submittals.
  • Aggressive monitoring of milestone dates on a weekly basis. Weekly site meetings and development of look-ahead schedules.
  • Comprehensive updating of the schedule on a monthly basis.
    • Incorporation into the schedule of:Manufacturing and delivery lead times.
    • Shop drawing production.
    • The checking, approval and coordination of MEP/FP drawings prior to release for fabrication.
  • Proactive, solution-oriented resolutions of any delays.
  • Identifying a critical path for key owner decisions/dates to keep the project moving.
  • Inspection of the quality of each subcontractor’s work at the outset of their installation—and establishing benchmarks for quality—to avoid later corrections during the punch list.
  • Shifting sequences, adding manpower, working overtime or adding shifts to maintain the schedule.