A Planner has several balls to juggle while pulling together a schedule: what is the soonest I can complete the project? How does that end date effect the budget? How does that end date effect the number of workers on the site and its overall safety? And how much risk can the project tolerate? This training level explores running a Monte Carlo risk analysis to determine the weak points of the schedule and then de-risk those points. The goal is always a feasible schedule that meets the Owner's expectation for completion within budget.
In Level 1 training, we learned how to set up both our locations and our location systems. In Level 2, we used Task Manager to connect our cost assemblies and components to the labor. WIth Level 3 training, we established our project calendar and created custom views for our scheduling data. Then in Level 4 we focused on some of the tactics we can employ to optimize our schedule: layered logic, crew size, lag, and paced vs ASAP tasks. And in Level 5 we learned six different ways to optimize your construction schedule: production rates, crew size, location order, combining tasks, splitting tasks, and adding buffer. We also explored the reporting capabilities and a hidden gem to double-check your schedule strategy. During Level 6 training we used 4D Manager to create playback movies of our schedule and produced different schedule playbacks for different audiences.
After watching these video tutorials on schedule optimization tactics, please navigate to the Schedule Planner FAQs to learn even more. We also have a complete recorded Schedule Planner webinar for you to review, as well as a recorded webinar on LBMS and how it complements Last Planner. 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 Schedule Planner Level 7
Step One: Using Resource Histograms to De-Risk a Construction Schedule
The Resource Histogram graphically shows the location and count of crews on the jobsite, making it relatively easy to pinpoint unnecessary crew de- and re-mobilizations. And since we also know how many personnel are allowed on the jobsite on a given day, we can see where our schedule is too dense and make adjustments.
But this is just one type of resource - labor. We can also use the resource histogram to examine quantity resources, costs, and tasks. This video gives examples for setting up those reports, as well as editing the report displays.
Step Two: Creating Payment Events to Smooth a Cash Flow Curve
The cash flow report in Vico Office Schedule Planner is a graphical representation of the money being spent on a project versus the payments received for completed work. This is the executive dashboard about which everyone cares: the red line indicates money going out the door, the green line is money coming in (based on the calendar or milestones), and the blue line represents the net cash position.
This video illustrates how to set expense events for each task - whether by task completion or location completion. Being able to accurately forecast the gross and net cashflows across your project portfolio is a strategic business capability when it comes to bonding, hiring, and capital equipment plans.
Step Three: Assigning Risk Levels to Our Construction Schedule Tasks
In Vico Office Schedule Planner, we can evaluate project risk according to five aspects of potential task delays: starting risk, duration risk, resource mobilization risk, resource come back delay, and production factor risks. Working with the Superintendent and Subs, we can assign a value of high, medium, or low risk to each of our tasks.
As we'll see in the next video, this preliminary set-up helps the project team weight the probabilities of weather delays, work stoppages, material shortages, etc. with a Monte Carlo risk analysis.
Step Four: Running a Monte Carlo Risk Analysis for Our Construction Schedule to Determine Its Feasibility
Now that we've established our risk settings for each task, we can run a Monte Carlo risk simulation. This simulation is a probability calculation which examines over 1,000 different scenarios. The result is a color-coded flowline view of our schedule. The red, yellow, and green nodes on the task lines display the degree of pessimism for that task being completed on time. Because we now see where the risk lies, we can apply advanced optimization techniques like buffer, pace, asap, and other tactics to change pessimism to optimism.
Now looking at the temporal distribution, we can see the probablity of the project successfully hitting its target end date. Construction science just got a lot cooler.
Step Five: Applying Advanced Optimization Techniques to Our Construction Schedule to Mitigate RIsk
The result of our Monte Carlo risk simulation is a flowline view of our tasks now color-coded to indicate the percent of pessimism. Our first step is to identify the tasks at the highest levels of risk and attempt to insulate them. We can do this by applying the different advanced optimization techniques we learned in the previous training videos.
In your quiver of arrows, you have buffer, change the crew size, apply ASAP or pace, combine tasks quantities, or split tasks. Try one approach and then run the Monte Carlo again to see which tactic de-risks the task the most with the slightest overall impact to the adjacent tasks. Remember that sometimes the fix is counter-intuitive, so don't rule out slowing one task for the good of the project.
Now that you've seen that setting up a schedule using a BIM model first requires establishing locations and location systems to effectively organize the crews based on quantities by location; then mapping cost assemblies and components to their respective tasks, then creating the project calendar and organizing your custom views of the schedule data; then applying optimization tactics related to logic, crew size, lag, pacing, and ASAP tasks; then applying different tactics to further optimize the schedule; then creating customized movie playbacks for subs, project team members, and the Owner; and then using Monte Carlo risk analaysis to hone in on our schedule feasibility, let's advance to Level Eight Schedule Planner Training. We will learn how to add procurement tasks to our schedule and finally approve our work as the baseline schedule to which we will start managing the project. 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.