The construction timeline is perhaps the most critical aspect of any building project. Businesses and institutions are almost always up against tight timelines so that they can begin business operations, open at the start of the school year or open up to customers. There are a few basics to keep in mind when creating and tracking your construction timeline:


Be Selective-

Be extremely selective when choosing your general contractor. While your project management team will drive the pace of the project, the general contractor is the one doing all of the work. Make sure that you solicit bids from various GCs and conduct interviews. Ask questions about their experience with projects like yours, how they ensure schedule control, budget control and quality controls. Ask for references and follow up with the references. Don’t be afraid to ask hard-hitting questions!

Make sure that your selected GC has a full understanding of your project: the scope, the materials, lead times, etc. Most importantly, make sure that the GC understands your expectations for the project process and delivery. Choose a GC that you feel will work well with your team and that truly understands the goals of your project.


Plan and Prioritize-

After choosing a general contract, planning and prioritizing is crucial. Work with your entire project team to understand the details of the project and be sure that all needs are being addressed. Understand the materials involved, lead times, and the timelines of each discipline. Order all long lead time items with adequate time.


Track, Track, Track-

From the second that the schedule is in place, be sure to track project progress. Note key milestones on your project schedule and distribute the schedule out to all project team members. Update the schedule on a weekly basis and distribute the updated version to the project team as well. Maintain a 3-week look ahead throughout the project to note any key milestones that may be at risk.

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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