#13: Are You Attempting to Manage Complex Projects with To-do Lists?

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Are you sure?

Yeah the schedule is there, but is it being used to manage the project?

When it comes to leading successful project outcomes, it really comes down to understanding project controls; creating and managing project costs and time schedules. Valid project controls requires two competencies to be effective. Yet most project managers / superintendents /construction managers / business owners responsible for managing projects miss this fundemental point.

If you want to produce successful project outcomes – you have to have someone on your team with the:

  • Ability to design / develop / maintain a CPM schedule
  • Ability to facilitate (or perform) the CPM schedule

If your thinking – no kidding, tell me something I don’t know … not so fast.

If the guy/gal that is building the cpm schedule does not thoroughly understand the building approach (and building systems involved) than he/she cannot effectively model it. If the schedule does not accurately model a valid approach to building the project – it will not be used to manage day to day activities onsite. Instead , it will be reduced to an expensive schedule of values (SOV).

If the schedule is not being updated weekly, it’s probably not accurate enough to use to manage the project. What good is a schedule that is 5, 10, 15, even 20 days off? What about about the logic? a schedule with poor logic can cause more harm than it does good for the project.

Remember, if the CPM schedule is not being used to manage the day to day work onsite, than you have a complex project being managed by a superintendent with a to-do list. Or as my good friend Bill Walsh, an old school construction manager (God bless his soul) once told me about a renowned Superintendent here in Virginia: He walks out of the construction trailer every morning, grabs a hold of his d#%k and says: What am I going to do today?

While it makes for a funny story, you and I know there is nothing funny about losing money and that is how the story ends when these types of construction management approaches are trusted to build and sustain project trade momentum.

If your complex projects are being managed with to-do lists, or something even less impressive, you have systemic problems that will not allow your staff  to produce a successful project outcome. Specific skill-sets are required to transform the project. Best efforts are not the answer. Leadership is required. Recovery may still be possible. In anycase – losses can be mitigated.

CPM Schedules L.P. can help you with the leadership and insight requirements. We can train your current project management teams and install valid CPM Scheduling processes. We can also review and or create your baselines and perform your schedule updates until your project management teams are up to the task.

If you have current projects that are lagging or even failing; we can help you with those as well. Struggling projects never recover on there own. Recovery becomes harder and more expensive to fix – as more time passes.

Get in touch with Don

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