Planning ahead and supporting strong communication among your construction teams are some of the best ways to lay a foundation for success with each project. In fact, more than half of all project delays come about because of a failure in one of these areas. Scope creep — which occurs when teams try to do more than the initial project called for — and communication issues can bring your project past deadline, over budget and not at all to the client’s satisfaction.
Visual Planning 8 helps you improve construction scheduling processes so you can avoid those issues. Check out these seven ways the technology can help you plan, schedule and implement a construction project. Then, check out the Scheduling Blog for more information or reach out directly to find out more.
1. Get Real-Time Access to Field Updates
Depending on your role in a company or the size of your organization, it may be impossible to be at every field site at all times. But understanding what’s happening in the field in real time is critical to managing a construction project.
Visual Planning 8 provides a number of options for keeping everyone connected and on the same page. That includes project threads, RSS feeds and integration with communication options such as email. Team members and others may also be able to make updates to their own tasks within the system so you can see, at a glance, what’s being worked on, what’s already complete and where your resources are aligned.
2. Choose the Right Resources for Each Job, Site or Task
Speaking of resources, it’s imperative that the right people (not to mention equipment and tools) show up at construction sites at the right time. Visual Planning 8’s scheduling and project management tools help ensure that’s what happens.
Streamlined, easy-to-use resource allocation in the system lets users quickly sort through resources to find the ones that are available and appropriate for the task.
For example, if you’re planning the first stage of a construction project, you may need a person with excavation equipment experience and certification. And you need them a week from Monday. You could go to a spreadsheet list and start making phone calls or sending emails. Or you could click a few places in your construction scheduling software and see a list of resources that align with your needs. That’s the power of Visual Planning 8.
3. Plan Proactively for Meeting Deadlines
Visual Planning 8’s scheduling and project management features make it easy to see the big picture too. Once you define the project requirements and set up a timeline, you can look at the entire thing on a GANTT chart view. That provides a map of the project tasks by time.
You can even drag and drop resources onto the GANTT chart in the right tasks, working through your entire construction project to ensure you’ve got resources lined up at all the right points.
Once you’re done, Visual Planning 8 can display a critical path. That’s a line that runs through your entire GANTT chart, always choosing the longest possible path when concurrent tasks are involved. The result is a visual look at how long your project will take if you meet all the task milestones you’ve planned.
The critical path changes automatically as you make adjustments to your construction project schedule, making it easy to keep clients and other stakeholders apprised of estimated completion dates.
4. Easily Access Schedules From Mobile Devices
On a construction site, computers may be few or even completely missing. But Visual Planning 8’s gorgeous mobile app companion provides sleek interfaces that keep mobile users connected to communication and schedule information.
Construction workers can view their schedules for the day vertically or get the entire week’s view in landscape, and that lets them plan their own lives while ensuring they’re at the right site when you need them. The mobile app also lets workers access training and other important content, and you have the option for creating dashboards on the homepage that let people see important information at a glance.
5. Support Everyone With a Custom Dashboard
Dashboards aren’t just for the mobile app, though. Visual Planning 8 takes the concept of at-a-glance information to a new level by supporting user-based dashboard customization. Keep the most important items a mere click or tap away to ensure each member of your team is as productive as possible. And craft dashboards for project leaders or stakeholders that keep them informed without requiring them to dig constantly into the minutia.
Visual Planning 8 also supports the following languages: English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. You can customize dashboards and schedules for bilingual or non-English speaking workers to ensure everyone is able to see schedule fields and other information in a language they can understand.
6. Sync Agendas, Meetings and Tasks to Personal Calendars
Visual Planning 8 makes it possible to sync information to personal calendars, including Google Calendars. Team members, business partners and contracted resources can choose to sync jobs and tasks to their own calendars, reducing the need to consult multiple agendas when planning work or personal life. And that helps reduce overlap and miscues that can leave a job site without the right resources to carry forward.
7. Insert New Events on the Schedule Without Double Booking
Visual Planning 8 makes it easy to update schedules by inserting new events or tasks. But you don’t have to worry about double booking because the tasks that are already in place move around what you insert into the calendar. If you insert a short task where a longer one was, for example, the longer task may split to allow the shorter task room. And everything on the calendar moves forward enough to make space for the new appointment. This fast rearrangement of events can help you see how the insertion changed the overall schedule too.
You’ll find numerous other new features in the Visual Planning upgrade. But don’t take our word for it. Contact us today to schedule a demo and see for yourself how the software can improve construction scheduling and construction project management.
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