The old saying that “Time is money” holds true on development projects. All participants want to complete their work as efficiently as possible. Meeting or beating the project schedule is one way for everyone to achieve success and limit costs. Synthesis has an outstanding record of bringing projects in on schedule. We have developed processes and mechanisms to ensure that deadlines are met.
Synthesis develops and maintains a complete master project schedule for each project using Microsoft Project. We work with our client, consultants, architects and contractor to identify realistic timing and schedule constraints. Like cost estimates, the schedule becomes more detailed and accurate as the project moves through the phases. The owner frequently has real and fixed schedule constraints, often associated with funding or financing or cash flow constraints, which dictate when things must be completed. Part of an Owner’s Representative’s job is to make sure that established schedules, though often challenging, are realistic and achievable.
The schedule becomes a part of the design team’s and the builder’s contracts. All project team members know that we will review the schedule at progress meetings and discuss the status of work relative to the established schedule. We require that contractors provide recovery schedules if they fall behind. All participants know that deliverable dates are more than targets. They are serious expectations and firm contract requirements. We have found that frequent reminders are needed to make sure that all participants keep their end of the bargain.
Not all of our effort on schedule control is externally focused. The owner has a major role to play in keeping projects on track. We support the owner in making timely and thoughtful decisions by seeing that the owner has sufficient information and reflection time at each step in the development process. Synthesis can help maintain discipline by making sure all participants are aware of the schedule and cost impacts of the timing and consistency of decisions.