The construction management reporting capabilities in Vico Office are remarkably powerful for GCs, Owners, and Subs alike. This training section investigates four types of production control reports: resource histogram, completion report, control action log, and look-ahead report. Best practices are given for each of these reports to help manage start dates and production rates for the subs, as well as site activity and corrective action summaries for the Owner.
In Level One for Production Control, we learned how the Superintendent records percent put in place during the daily or weekly site walks and how this information is calculated into the forecast. Then in Level Two we saw the best practices for collecting this data and how to also capture quantities and crew sizes. In Level Three, we looked specifically at recording the procurement actuals. Now in Level Four for Production Control we will take a look at reporting capabilities and how best to leverage the report details for subs and Owners.
We've developed these video tutorials to walk you through the major pieces of functionality in easy bite-sized chunks. Refer back to these videos as often as you like. We'll continue to update the materials as new releases of Vico Office are issued.
After watching these video tutorials on the major features of Production Controller, please navigate to the FAQs to learn even more. We also have a complete recorded webinar on the back-and-forth between the baseline schedule and the actuals that will help you see the "big picture." And when you're ready, please feel free to advance to the next level. You can also request to receive the entire video collection by completing the form on the Vico Office Training Videos page.
Vico Office Production Controller Level 4
Step One: Using the Resource Histogram Reports
We saw in the Level 7 Schedule Planner tutorials that we can use the Resource Histogram to smooth the distribution of labor, materials, and equipment in order to make a safer jobsite.
Now in Production Controller, we can examine those same Resource Histograms but with the filter of seeing both the planned and forecasted numbers. (Recall all the work we did in Level 2 and Level 3 to enter our actuals so that we can see how these rates impact our forecast.)
This video illustrates how to format the Resource Histogram to get the report you need. We show how to set up a filter for the unit of measurement for the resources, the quantities, costs, or tasks, as well as the cost types and suppliers. We then further refine the report by including the target, current, and forecast schedule information.
Best practice: we still need to monitor the Resource Histogram for safety on-site. After all, we are making Control Actions in response to schedule disruptions and need to see the impact of those actions. Use the Control Action Log and the Resource Histogram side-by-side to see cause-and-effect of managing to the schedule.
Step Two: Using the Completion Report
The Completion Report is another key weekly report for the Superintendent to share with the Owner. When used in conjunction with the Costs per Location Report, we can have granularity into the quantities installed versus quantities to be installed, as well as the total degree of completion versus the goal.
Superintendents can also gain insight about where to apply guidance to a crew. So often, Supers can expertly manage the start dates (especially when using the Look-Ahead Report, see below), but fail to speak to the crew when they notice a production rate is ahead or behind schedule. This Completion Report is the perfect vehicle to spark that conversation and keep the crews focused on the tasks at hand.
Best practice: Many GCs take advantage of Vico's pull scheduling workshops with their subs. Here we lay out the project and organize the tasks. WIth the commitment from the GC to provide clean and clear workspaces without stops and starts, the Sub commits to a productivity rate for the task. With the quantities by location and the productivity rates, we can calculate the durations and start building the schedule. It is important to use the Completion Report to remind Subs of their commitments. But secondly, it is important to re-use this actualized data when starting work on new bids, when negotiating new work with this Sub, or even when negotiating with new potential partners. Data mining these project actuals is key to the virtuous improvement cycle in Vico Office.
Step Three: Using the Control Action Log
The Control Action Log is akin to our Constructability Report because it organizes the who, what, when, where, how...not of geometry clashes, but of schedule "clashes" or disturbances. The Control Action Log is another important weekly report because it forces a dialogue and problem-solving between the Supers and the crews. And the Owner appreciates the proactive response...not the reactive fire drill.
Best practice: During a Vico pull scheduling workshop with the Subs and the GC, we like to enumerate the types of Control Actions that are usually taken on-site. This way, all parties understand why these actions are being taken, that taking the actions mean getting the project back on schedule, and that everyone benefits from continuous flow. (Peer pressure is a positive motivator for all teams.)
Another workshop we offer is the Production Control Game. This interactive workshop is great for all parties who want to learn schedule optimization techniques and their consequences in a simulation. No scheduling experience is necessary, so even the Owner can participate in the session. By illustrating the cacophony of a jobsite and which levers we can press to better organize the project, each participant can learn the importance of organization, respect for the big picture, and stay focused on the original project goals: a building brought in on-time and on-budget.
Another best practice is to deliver this summary report weekly or monthly to the Owner. Several Owners request this already in order to stay informed of problems and solutions on the jobsite.
Step Four: Using the Look-Ahead Report
After all the actuals have been entered, and after all Control Actions have been applied, it's time to see what's on tap for a particular section or system of the building. The Look-Ahead Report is a snapshot for the Superintendents to concentrate their efforts on start and finish dates and which tasks need to be completed.
Best practice: Superintendents can print out extra copies for the crews and review these work plan synopses on Monday morning in the trailer, or whichever day of the week makes sense based on when actuals and Control Actions are entered. This is the time to review resource mobilization plans and make sure everyone is "singing from the same hymnal."
To learn more the similarities and differences between activity-based planning and location-based planning, please download the new whitepaper, "Comparisons between Traditional Critical Path Scheduling and Location-Based Scheduling." To learn more about incorporating Lean Construction's Last Planner System with Vico's scheduling solutions, please download the whitepaper, "The Combination of Last Planner System and Location-Based Management System."
Now that you've seen the Vico method for entering procurement actuals, let's advance to Level Five Production Controller Training. We will learn how to create Detail Tasks in the Current Schedule to adjust to the new data we are receiving from subs, engineers, and the design team.
You can also request to receive the entire video collection by completing the form on the Vico Office Training Videos page. And remember, you can always jump over to the Vico Office Client tutorial videos, the Scheduler Planner videos, or the Cost Planner videos at any time.
And for more information and links to additional resources, please navigate to the bottom of our Vico scheduling solutions page. This page contains links to insightful blog articles, additional concept and theory videos, webinars, and whitepapers.