Many unanticipated problems appear during the execution of your tasking. All of these problems will likely have at least some impact on the schedule. Finding yourself 1-2 percent or several days behind schedule is not a catastrophe. But you will need a plan to get back on track and regain the schedule. There are nearly limitless possibilities for solving the problems and regaining the schedule.
Often there are faster methods of construction than the ones you originally planned or are currently using. If you are behind, a quick scan of the CAS sheets' upcoming activities might reveal an opportunity to shave some man-days by changing methods. Better equipment frequently results in less time being expended. For an underground pipe job, renting a trencher would save many man-days over using the backhoe. Better methods and equipment are tied to the availability of project funds. Consult others in identifying man-day saving alternatives, and remember to "work smarter, not harder."
Obviously, by skipping quarters every morning you could get another 20 minutes of work out of your crew. But it is not likely your chain of command will find that to be an acceptable method of increasing the workday. Another way of getting more hours out of the same number of people is to increase your actual availability. Remember, for planning purposes you used a site specific factor that was somewhere between 0.75 and 0.85. You can calculate the actual availability factor for the project using the following formula:
To determine an actual availability factor you need to know the size of the crew assigned, the man-days they expended over a certain period, and the number of workdays in that period. If the actual availability is low (below 0.75), you may want to consider permanent changes to the daily crew routine (haircuts, paychecks, liberty, gedunk runs, and such) to increase availability. Even if your availability is average you can increase it for a short time to get back on schedule. Work with your chain of command to coordinate dental appointments, disbursing problems, page twos and other things that take crew members away from the jobsite. Increasing availability by 10 percent has the same effect as adding another member to your crew.
Projects are usually laid out initially on a logic diagram using nearly all finish-to-start logic relationships. This has the effect of stretching project duration and reducing required crew size. It also leaves plenty of opportunity to compress the schedule by working several activities at the same time. You may be able to squeeze a few days out of your schedule by splitting your crew and having some of them work on the next activity. To make any real gains on your schedule you will probably need additional people. If you present your chain of command with a plan designed to get back on track, you could get those additional crew members temporarily.
After the 45-day review, project schedules are firm. The battalion is committed to meeting the scheduled project completion dates. As soon as the crew leader feels the completion date is no longer within reach, the chain of command must be informed. If the company staff cannot get the project on schedule, the Ops officer should be informed. The customers are counting on getting the facilities delivered on the scheduled date, and delays may have a big impact on their plans. Delays may also impact on the schedules of the follow-on battalion.
In maintaining project schedules, crew leaders must make effective use of personnel assigned to them. An established policy for mid-watch sleep-ins and a means for getting them to the job at the correct time must be coordinated. Many of the paper work problems can be handled by the company staff/chain of command. Use them to help your crew members get their problems solved and minimize time lost. People are either involved in productive work or they are not. It is the crew leader's responsibility to keep the crew productively employed. To maximize productive output, the crew leader must remove obstacles to productive work. Look at some potential time-wasters and consider how you could best increase the productive output of the crew.Continue Reading