LBMS Best Practice: Data Collection Part 2


With the release of the Production Controller Video Training Series, we wanted to be sure to follow up with Vico Best Practices we have learned from implementing our scheduling and production control solutions in the field.  As a continuation to last week’s blog, LBMS Best Practice: Data Collection and Entry in Production Controller, here is Part 2:


How do you know if your production control data is inaccurate? Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Locations show fast progress initially and then stagnate to a very slow production rate
  • Percentage completed DECREASES between updates
  • Subs see red color in control chart and say that the location has already started weeks ago
  • Team members dispute the forecast


Unfortunately these issues happen often and result in incorrect forecasts and reports. Small errors are not that critical because they typically cancel each other out over the course of several locations.  It is impractical to try to be 100% accurate all the time. However, any systemic problems should be solved when they are found.


In our experience it is very rare that someone would be intentionally reporting false information. The root cause is typically inadequate communication or misunderstanding the scope. It is easy to go wrong if everyone is not on the same page:

  • Which inspections need to be passed before location is “done done” – and how much to allow for them?
  • Which elements belong to which locations?  (is the wall a corridor wall or a lab wall?)
  • Using different location boundaries
  • Measuring man-hours or effort instead of physical percentage completed
  • In tasks with complex scope finishing “easy” items first and allocating the same weight to easy and difficult items


It is very hard to evaluate percentage completed or remaining work by a person who does not fully understand the scope.  So any effort by the GC to evaluate the completion of specialty trades such as MEP is typically very difficult.


To mitigate these problems it is best to distribute responsibility to subcontractors. They can self-report progress which the GC can spot check. Implementing a process where completed items are color-coded in a 3D model is also very helpful!  Reporting formats should be standardized and all participating subcontractors should be trained. Implementing a Location Breakdown Structure which is consistent and agreed to by all parties is critical.


At Vico we have used the following form with some success:


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The form shows the Location Breakdown Structure at the bottom and the subcontractors enter manpower by task and location to the form weekly. If the completion rate does not increase from the previous week the task is considered suspended.


The next post will discuss the importance of entering suspensions.


To learn more about about Production Control, please refer to these resources:

Training: Production Controller Video Training Series

Webinar: Planning AND Controlling the Construction Schedule

Blog: Superintendents Just Get Vico Office

Blog: What Role Do YOU Play in the BIM Strategy?

Blog: Production Control with Lean Principles

Product: Vico Office Production Controller and FAQs

Tags: lbms, control chart, location-based production control, location-based scheduling, location breakdown structure, location-based management system, tracking actual construction performance