Construction Scheduling Methods

As hard as we try to stay organized, construction scheduling will always pose a challenge–one of the biggest on any project. The right scheduling method or the wrong one can make all the difference between meeting deadlines and budgets. On the one hand, a wrong choice could equate to mistakes, rework, risk and more.  

Using Bar Charts

Bar Charts are the most simple and easiest way to generate construction schedules. It is widely used due to its simplicity and multiple adaptations too. A bar chart is formed with a list of activities, specifying the start date, duration of the activity and completion date of each activity, and then plotted on a project timescale. The detailed level of the bar chart depends on your project complexity and the intended use of the schedule. Bar charts are used to detect the number of resources needed for one particular project. Resource aggregation is done by adding resources vertically in the schedule. The purpose of this aggregation is to estimate the work production and establishing estimates for man-hour and equipment needed.


The Critical Path Method is a process that is more complex and detailed than the Bar charts. The Critical Path Method establishes and assigns start and end dates based on certain logic like FS, FF, SS, SF that are key indicators of how activities must be sequenced. These constraints determine the first date that an activity can start; late start, specifying the last possible date that this activity must be started to avoid delays in the overall construction process; early finish, the earlier date that the proposed activity will be completed; and the late finish, that is the last date the activity must be completed without affecting the start of the next one, and subsequently affecting the entire construction scheduling resources.

  1. Listing of Activities
  2. Producing a network showing the logical relationship between activities
  3. Assessing the duration of each activity, producing a schedule and determining the start and finish times of each activity and the available float
  4. Assessing the required resources

This construction scheduling process is a planning technique for repetitive work.  It is very powerful and easy to use the process when the conditions are ideal for this type of work.

Q Scheduling

Q Scheduling is quantitative scheduling, in the context that quantities to be executed at different locations of the construction project form the elements of the schedule. Also, is in the context that trades pass through the different segments of the project in a queue sequence. No interference between the two activities is allowed at the same location. It is derived basically from the Line of balance technique with some modifications to allow for the nonrepetitive models that are characteristic of the majority of construction projects. Q Scheduling is a new technique, though getting rapid popularity among contracting firms. It is the only scheduling technique that reveals a relation between the sequence of doing a job and the cost to be incurred. 

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