Add a scheduler to the mix
At NorSouth Constructs, we’ve had ample opportunity to see how other companies do business – and how we can do it better. Most companies task a Project Manager to work in coordination with the Superintendent to set and then drive a project’s schedule. It’s the PM who has ultimate accountability over keeping the project on time and within budget.
But there’s an inherent moral hazard in letting the PM set and control the schedule. When they do, they’ve got ample opportunity to obfuscate critical tasks. Not that they would, but they could. And that’s a risk you don’t want. And it’s a risk that we don’t want either, so we snuff it out by engaging a third-party scheduler. The great thing about this consultant is that they hold the PM and superintendent to a reasonable schedule … and who doesn’t like keeping a job on schedule? Anyone? Bueller … Bueller? That’s what I thought. It’s an extra layer, but that layer adds accountability for everyone.
And it adds a fresh perspective, too. The third party can look ahead and see how the job will be affected based on the current state of the project. They’re on site every other week, so they’re current and make sure everyone else is as well. Let’s say your framer is delayed. The scheduler – seeing the bigger project picture – knows the drywall is coming up next week after framing is completed. It’s the scheduler’s role to assess the impact and prompt the framer to get more staff on the job so the framers finish the framing faster. Say that five times fast.
So, yep, the scheduler is a cost, but in the end it saves costs – for us and our customers. I don’t know another company that works with a third-party scheduler, but we’ve been doing it for years. How’d we start it?
Other than it’s the best way to do business (and that’s our main driver at NSC), I can only speculate. “You must be finished by X date” is a requisite in our industry. The consequences for NOT finishing by X date are catastrophic … to everyone involved. A scheduler keeps us on target. Having a scheduler in the mix is one way we keep things moving and take the guesswork out of answering the owner’s question, “How’s the job going?” We answer that question by delivering a nice report that tells and shows owners and subs how the project is going. It’s an honest, practical look at what’s happening and what’s coming up.