Scheduling of Work


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I cannot possibly emphasize enough the importance of scheduling the work in the correct order. If you are in a time crunch to get the work done, correct schedules can reduce your work time by half. One thing is absolutely critical - finalizing the design to the last possible detail before starting any work. There are certain things that can be modified once the work begins, and in principle anything can be changed. However, the work will get done fastest if all the decision are made, and all the materials and labor are lined up in good time. The crux is in getting as many things as possible, done in parallel.

I like to think of a 'Pipeline of Work' - this pipeline has to be kept full at all times - present and future. So you think ahead and say what needs to be happen in the next day, the next week, and the next month. Plan accordingly. Make material choices 2-3 weeks in advance of when the work needs to be done so it can be delivered in good time, accounting for inevitable delays. Schedule labor to come in at a specific time, and give them due notice so they can adjust their other projects. Think ahead so that the pipeline does not dry up!

Here is a rough diagram of what a decent execution schedule may look like; of course, the devil is in the details. But this will help to make the right choices at the right time rather than wasting time making choices that are required later on at the cost of immediate decisions which then have to be taken in haste. I am sure that there are multiple good schedules but this one is based on my experience and worked reasonably well with us.
I have not shown when the designs should be ready but there is no reason to delay any designs so they should be completed as soon as possible, and certainly well before any execution related to the design so that there is enough time to review the design and makes changes as required.

Material choices can be overwhelming as the market is flooded with options that vary hugely in price. Here is another simple schedule to prioritize material selection as work comes along. Again, no need to delay material selection - do it as soon as possible and freeze the choices. While this list look easy to manage, there are lots of other small things that will crop up in these big lists as well as on the side. If you are working with a good designer, your choices should be restricted to these items. On your own, there are a gazillion more things to do such as screws, locks, name plates, etc. but for most of them you can just go with the flow as the things are required.