How To Improve Productivity and Schedule Accuracy in Construction

Improving productivity and schedule accuracy in construction can save time and money on a project. How does the old saying go? Time is money? In an industry where we are judged by the hour, picking up time here and there can make a job more profitable.

So how do you do it?


Productivity and Schedule Accuracy starts with having a construction schedule.

Your schedule and your budget should be your bible on a construction project. No it’s not a document to “kind of follow”. This is your timeline, your story, and it’s important you stick with it. At the same time creating a schedule at the start of a project and ignoring it is just as bad as not having one. You need to be constantly back checking against your schedule.


How can I check progress against the master schedule?

There’s a myth in the construction industry that once you issue a schedule everyone will read it. Wrong. Noone reads it and those that do likely are doing so because they are bored. You need to force people to read your schedule and the best way of doing that is by monitoring closely.

This is the big construction productivity and scheduling secret – monitoring, informing and adjusting.

This can be done using a few methods:

Highlight Drawings – seriously – good old fashioned highlighters or better yet using a PDF software that allows you to do takeoffs such as bluebeam or oncscreen. Monitor progress and track it daily. If your drywaller is moving too slowly – show him why. If you think that one painter isn’t quite cutting it you can have the discussion with your painting company about why.

Track Quantities – so after you’ve highlighted the drawings next step is to log them all. Create a spreadsheet with some of the following columns / date:

  • Original Duration
  • Original Quantity
  • Daily Quantity (Track each day seperately)
  • Expected Completion (Create and equation that divides the Original Quantity by the average daily quantity)
  • Total manhours (men per day)

The above will help you to better understand how many days.

Historical Data – after you’ve done this long enough you’re going to come up with a quite comprehensive log which includes a daily list of how many men are accomplishing what. The next time you’re on a project where 3 drywallers are doing the same amount of work as 1 was on your last project you’ll be able to discuss it with the foreman and show him real historical data.

Tracking schedule progress and maintaining logs is not difficult to do but can improve your scheduling prowess, accuracy and can help you to improve productivity with the various crews on your next construction project.

Will you be implementing the above on your jobsite?

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