COVID-19 has presented a unique challenge for subcontractors, causing them to quickly learn how to navigate scheduling impacts. While many projects have seen scheduling disruptions, others, particularly those involving education, transportation, or health-related facilities, have seen their timeline accelerate, causing project managers to need to be able to maximize efficiency. And these changes don’t just affect the schedule; project managers are now tasked with assessing the best way to balance on-site operations with health measures that guarantee workers’ safety.
These frequent schedule changes, coupled with increased health and safety measures, have led subs to ensure that all resources are being used both effectively and efficiently. At Small Business Growth Partners, we’re here to help guide you through navigating this new normal.
Create a Record
No matter what is happening with your jobs, whether it’s the project being frozen or the timeline being accelerated, the first step to navigating scheduling impacts is to create a record of where the project was prior to COVID-19. This includes thorough documentation of costs, schedules, etc, before COVID-19 affected them.
By creating a record, project managers will easily be able to compare planned progress to reality. This is a crucial comparison for business owners who may be evaluating requests for future recovery.
Prioritize Efficiency and Feasibility
No matter the circumstances, each project faces its own sets of challenges. When evaluating projects in the time of COVID-19, it’s essential to assess each project individually. While some may need to be suspended, others may see their schedule accelerated.
For example, reduced traffic on roadways as well as reduced public transportation has meant many transportation-related projects are seeing their timelines speed up. Be sure to be flexible, and evaluate each plan to determine what is more efficient, feasible, and will best preserve resources.
COVID-19 Activity Codes
Above all else is the health and safety of your workers. By assigning COVID-19 activity codes, you can easily track any baseline variations. Keep a clear record of work to allow project managers the ability to stagger jobs; this will help keep work sites healthy while further reducing any disruptions.
Reevaluate Work Plan and Project Schedule
Currently, it’s hard to plan for the future. We do not know what stage or level of reopening we will be at one, three, or six months. It’s crucial to stay flexible, to plan for all scenarios, and to reevaluate both the work plan and the project schedule regularly. Assume that COVID-19 will continue to impact your schedule. By assuming everything will be back to normal quickly, you may be setting up projects to fail in their later phases. Subcontractors will need to assume that workers, supplies, and equipment will fluctuate throughout this period and have a plan for when they do.
Have a Plan
Be prepared, but be flexible. Plan to incorporate social distancing measures, and be ready to adapt when workers, supplies, or, inevitably, PPE becomes less available. By having a plan in place, you can hit the ground running under any new operating restrictions. Every team member should be educated on how to protect themselves and keep their co-workers safe, properly. Have an open conversation, and answer any questions or concerns they have thoroughly and with care.
Changes to the construction schedule are not a new obstacle; they are just occurring more frequently. By being prepared, communicating, and having a plan in place, subcontractors will be more prepared to navigate schedule impacts caused by COVID-19.
While these times are unprecedented, you don’t have to experience them alone. Small Business Growth Partners is here to support all of your needs to help you stay profitable. From reviewing your marketing and sales strategies to analyzing team communication, we can help your organization embrace the future. To learn more about our services,