Jun 17 2013

Delivery schedules – challenges for project managers and design teams

survey-question-EN-4-webReal Estate Lifecycle costs have become much more relevant during early planning phases.  Changes during design occur frequently, causing the re-work of design information thus placing increased pressure on time, cost and quality. It is therefore crucial to ensure that revised delivery dates are updated to ensure information is appropriately distributed and deadlines are properly controlled.

Our recent international poll highlights the challenges project managers and design teams face and the solutions they consider implementing.

First we asked how company‘s compared target and actual delivery dates in small, mid-sized and large projects. Most large projects tended to use specific software solutions, but 70% of all participants stated that they also use Excel to compare due dates to actual delivery.

survey-question-EN-1-webThe biggest challenge in managing drawing delivery dates, for 67% of participants, is that as due dates change they usually lead to errors since there is uncertainty about whether all new information has been captured.

55% of participants confirm that it’s hard to keep the delivery schedule up to date at all times. This proves to be particularly difficult when data need to be captured and updated manually. Indeed, it would appear not that rare to complete a consolidated and updated a schedule for this information to be out of date the minute it is completed.

For 48% of participants the vast number of design considerations and documents make it difficult to keep track. Excel does not seem to be very useful for this process since every change to design creates a corresponding demand to update the spread sheet.

survey-question-EN-2-webAnother issue for a third of the participants is not having an overview of the design deliverables for the whole project i.e. not being able to identify the areas of constraint.

Interesting side note: Many companies do not keep delivery schedules across different designs. Which raises the question as to how any project is delivered within the defined time frame?


survey-question-EN-3-webMost participants are well aware of the issues and challenges – this is why 77% would prefer to have an automated drawing delivery schedule.

How? – That remains to be seen…

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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  1. Paul Wilkinson

    Interesting that the survey should highlight the “vast number of design considerations and documents [as] every change to design creates a corresponding demand to update the spread sheet”.

    I recall from my BIW days looking in detail at the interdependencies between design deliverables, and BIW worked with academics from Loughborough University to develop a tool, PlanWeaver, that helped map these dependencies and visualise the optimum course for decision-making.

    Perhaps it’s time to dust off PlanWeaver? Or will 4D BIM move us away from reliance on Excel-based design schedules?

    1. Michael Bull

      Because Planweaver was focused on improving the completeness of design and aligning it to construction process it forced design teams, and subsequently the contractor, to invest more time upfront in the planning phase. It is true that Planweaver was developed to try and help the industry remove waste, even though it wasn’t a success at the time. The good news is that we do now have a market that would have been receptive. However, the time for Planweaver has passed and 4D, as you suggest, that is the natural successor – dynamically connecting components, assemblies & key events with time and schedule information. The real success factor will be to ensure there is a collaborative project management application, such as we have at CONJECT, able to effectively manage the defined information deliverables output from the 4D process.

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