The intended purpose of a construction schedule is to assist with proper planning, coordination and managing of a project. Unfortunately, construction schedules are often used to help build claims against project owners.
There can be a risk involved with owners requiring contractors to submit schedules and then proceeding to review and accept them. The risk is that when an owner accepts a schedule and agrees to something, that can later be used as documentation of claims against him/her. Conversely, the owner’s lack of approval of a contract-required schedule may also increase the owner’s risk.
However, the downside of not requiring construction schedules is that the project plan is not communicated, and the owner is left with no way to measure progress, check on coordination or verify the timing of its own responsibilities required to complete the work. The owner and contractor should strive to agree on a schedule that meets the intent of the contract documents and outlines a logical path to the completion of the work.
Most experienced project managers recognize that the risk of not requiring schedules far outweighs the risk of requiring, reviewing and accepting contractor schedules. But, there are a number of games played with respect to construction scheduling that everyone should be aware of. The more common schedule games and a number of suggested defenses against each are offered in a three-part webinar series, Construction Scheduling: Games People Play, presented by Jim Zack, Steve Pitaniello and Emily Federico from Navigant Construction Forum. To learn more about this information-packed program click here.