Use Milestones to Push Project Schedules

“Treating schedule milestones the same as completion dates keeps projects on time.”

In today’s episode, I discuss breaking your schedules down using milestones and treating them the same as the end date.

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E548: Realistic Schedule Logic

Create schedules that are used as tools, not as placemats.


  1. An effective schedule must be realistic
    1. There is a lot that goes into a realistic schedule
    2. Too much for a single Coachcast – today we are focusing on the logic
    3. The logic is the sequencing and the coordination portion of the schedule
  2. When creating your schedule be sure to check the logic
    1. The obvious – this is what we typically build the schedule on
      1. The underground pipe before the pavement
    2. We need to go beyond the obvious and take a closer look
    3. The not so obvious
      1. Installing metal studs to bottom of a slab on deck before the concrete is poured
    4. Manpower loading and space restrictions
      1. Scheduling the framers, electricians, plumbers and others all in the same room at the same time
    5. Trade interaction
      1. Scheduling dry-fall ceiling painting the same time as framing below
  3. Create your base schedule then check and adjust
    1. Look at it like an assembly line
      1. Put the tires on the rim before mounting to the car
    2. The difference is the product doesn’t move, the trades do
    3. Work through each step testing the logic

E508: The Importance Of Accurate Scheduling

Poor schedule development and management causes problems on the project.


  1. The project schedule is the roadmap
    1. Tells everyone the who, what, when and where on the project
    2. Organizes the team
    3. We would get lost with outdated maps
  2. Failures occur when schedules are not accurate
    1. Manpower is misallocated and wasted
    2. Materials and equipment are not available at the right time
    3. Creates confusion and disarray on the project
      1. Leads to finger pointing and letter writing
  3. Manage and coordinate properly
    1. Do your part to keep accurate schedules
      1. Primes – it’s your job
      2. Subs – it’s your job to review and update properly and ask for updates
    2. Update and coordinate the schedule regularly
    3. Communicate the schedule to the field

E506: Ask Coach – Dealing With Delays

If you are having scheduling issues deal with them head on.


Q: The Prime Contractor is giving me a hard time about delaying the project. It’s not all my fault. How should I handle this.

A: Protect yourself at all times. Give notice when anything is delaying your progress, no matter how minor it seems.


  1. We try to avoid it, but delays can happen
    1. We plan to avoid them but sometimes things go wrong
    2. Supplier ships the wrong materials or misses a delivery date
    3. Prior sub does something incorrect that causes more work for you
  2. Communication is key, your fault or not – be sure to let everyone know
    1. Let you client know when something will impact the schedule
    2. Don’t be a hero
    3. Indicate possible impacts on all RFIs, Changes, Proposals, etc.
  3. Correct course
    1. If the delay is your fault do what you can to fix it
    2. Keep progress moving forward, work with others to coordinate
    3. Put in the extra effort to correct the schedule