By Serdar Meremetci, M.Eng, PMP, LEED aP BD+C
Principal, Colliers Project Leaders

For any project to succeed, the project team must balance three primary constraints: schedule, budget and scope. A change in one of these factors invariably affects the others.

On SIF projects, schedule is arguably the most important of these constraints. All SIF-funded projects must be substantially complete by April 30, 2018 or risk losing funding. The burden this places on SIF projects only increases with the value and size of the project.

Detailed and stringent schedule management is critical from day one on every SIF project. Nevertheless, how can you ensure that your SIF project will be a success?

In order to meet that tight deadline just less than 12 months from now, this is the process we have followed to keep our projects on track.

  1. Pick the Right Methodology

At the start of your construction project, you must choose an appropriate delivery methodology. Of course, every methodology has its own pros and cons, some of which can have a significant impact on your schedule. Check out this blog post for a more detailed analysis of construction methodologies.

You can give yourself more flexibility to meet your SIF project’s strict timeline by choosing a methodology that allows you to fast track the schedule. The more traditional Design-Bid-Build approach can be risky on projects with tight timelines, and will become more unfeasible the larger the project.

SIF projects appear to be trending towards Construction Management, which allows the construction team to phase the tendering process, in turn moving forward with your schedule in a quickly manner. The rest of this blog assumes that you are using Construction Management on your project.

  1. Sequence Your Schedule

Package sequencing is the most important component of schedule management for Construction Management projects. By carefully planning the number of tender packages and their order, you can define the project’s critical path, not to mention determining where to save time and where there is slack.

You should also start the process to apply for municipal approvals, site plans, and permits immediately, preventing administrative delays. A good understanding of local municipal requirements – or the decision to hire a project manager with this knowledge – will ensure the applications are correct the first time and the proper processes followed.

  1. Keep Moving

The key to schedule management during construction is to never lose momentum. All parties – owner, consultants, contractor and project manager – need to make decisions quickly. To keep up the momentum, your project team has to work together cohesively, collaborating to solve project issues. A focus on team-building and high-quality leadership, with the goal of motivating and bringing the team together, is necessary.

Finally, make sure that your team has the workforce to complete the project.  With so many SIF projects all happening at the same time and with the same deadlines, you have to ensure that the right contractors and trades are available when you need them. Assess your local capacity by performing an analysis of your local market conditions.

Schedule is more important than ever on SIF projects. Have you done the work you need to meet your tight deadlines?

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you get your project done on time.