Vico Office Schedule Planner

An Integrated Location-Based Scheduling System with Flowline



Vico Schedule Planner introduces an integrated location-based quantity and cost to schedule connection in Vico Office. Using Vico Schedule Planner, users can integrate model-based quantity takeoff information from Vico Takeoff Manager with resource quantities from Vico Cost Planner and project locations from Vico LBS Manager to create highly optimized schedule.


Is this very different than traditional CPM scheduling methods?  Yes it is.  A 4D BIM Schedule is a derivation of the 3D BIM geometry and an optimization of the resources. From the geometry, we extract quantities and allocate these quantities to locations. Now we can apply sequencing logic, include crew sizes, productivity rates, and geography-specific pricing. By creating a schedule optimized to eliminate stops and starts and reduce project risk, we keep the project flowing smoothly. 


This integration between the 3D model, the construction-caliber quantities, the locations, and cost plan is critical. More and more, owners are requiring cost- and resource-loaded schedules that are updated during the construction phase of a project. Cost-loaded schedules allow project teams to determine planned cost at a point in time and compare that to the actual cost from reported completion. Creating and maintaining these schedules, as well as creating the progress reports is just one benefit of this tight integration in the Vico Office Suite.


With Schedule Planner, team members can design significantly compressed schedules without increasing risk. The incorporation of locations, estimated quantities, and productivity rates early in the planning phase yields clear, accurate, and feasible schedules. Using the Flowline™ view, users can easily manage task buffers, visually identify conflicts, and communicate complete schedules of complex projects – all on a single page.


Vico Schedule Planner lets planners deliver projects faster, while carefully managing risk, through increased productivity, predictability, and transparency. As an integrated part of the Vico Office Suite, Schedule Planner enables the generation of 4D project simulations in 4D Manager. These simulations clearly illustrate the correlations between construction, cost, and schedule.


flowline theory in schedule planner

Caption: Using the Vico Flowline view, users can easily manage task buffers, visually identify conflicts, and communicate complete schedules of complex projects – all on a single page.


And this optimal schedule reminds us that crew location, pace (productivity), and quality all add up to an average of 10% schedule compression. How do we know this? We wrote the book on it! Location-Based Management for Construction illustrates how construction projects all over the world have benefitted from flowline theory and Vico Schedule Planner, our quantities-driven, location-based, resource-loaded scheduling solution.

Cost-Loading the Schedule

At Vico we say that we count 3D-5D-4D. That’s because there is such a tight integration between the 3D model, the estimate, and the schedule that often work on the estimate feeds information to the scheduler.


All works starts in Vico Office by publishing a BIM model. This model is then combined with other models from Subs, architects, or other team members for clash detection and coordination in Constructability Manager. And now the estimating team can get to work cost-loading the schedule.


The Assemblies and Components for labor, material and equipment from Cost Planner contain quantities and unit costs, which results in automatic cost-loading of schedule tasks by associating cost plan items with Tasks.


Resource-Loading the Schedule with Task Manager

Labor cost Components that are mapped to tasks are recognized as required crew resources and can be extracted automatically, allowing for calculation of optimal crew configuration and size and resource loading of the schedule.


The Task Manager view provides the user interface for defining Tasks and for mapping cost Assemblies and Components (labor, material and equipment) to these Tasks using “drag-and-drop.”


Define Locations with LBS Manager

Users define a location structure, consisting of any combination of floors and zones, in their project. Locations are used to perform location-based quantity takeoff with Takeoff Manager, which can then be used as input for location-based cost and schedule planning with Cost Planner and Schedule Planner.


Location breakdown structures are not the most exciting piece of virtual construction, but locations might, in fact, be the most critical:


1. We create multiple location systems so we can optimize the flow of trades through the project.  This flowline technique has been documented to compress the schedule by at least 10% without adding risk to the project.


2. These multiple location systems are persistent -- so that  every time the design changes (and you know it will) you don't have to go back and re-do the LBS.


3. With LBS Manager, you don't have to go back to the CAD system when you create new or modify existing locations.


4. Having quantities by location is the key to 4D schedules and 5D estimates.  Quantities by location are the final variable we need in the formula to create cost- and resource-loaded schedule and cash flow reports.

Dependency Network View

The Dependency Network view illustrates the schedule logic in a network schema and allows for adding any required dependencies between Tasks. Dependencies can also be created and viewed in the Gantt chart and Flowline views.


To define schedule logic, restraints between Tasks have to be defined. Schedule Planner's Network view provides a powerful way to quickly define the main logic between Tasks. The Tasks defined for the project are represented as boxes, which can be moved around by left-clicking at the top edge of the box and dragging to the desired location to organize the set of Tasks. Task relations - restraints - can be defined by clicking inside a Task box and dropping it on top of another Task box. After dropping one Task box on another, a red arrow appears to indicate that a Finish to Start restraint has been defined.


There are 5 types of dependencies available in Schedule Planner: Finish-Finish (FF), Start-Finish (SF), Finish-Start (FS, default), Start-Start (SS) and Start-Start AND Finish-Finish (SS+FF).
Delay is scheduled delay (for example, work cannot start earlier than 2 days after completion of a predecessor Task), defined in calendar days.
Buffer delay is the delay is defined in work days.
Location delay is the number of Locations that must be finished (in sequence) before the successor Task can start.
Level of precision is the level of the LBS where the dependency is defined. For location delay it specifies which Location Grouping is used to calculate the location lag.


Optimize the Schedule with Flowline View

Scheduling with the Flowline View in Schedule Planner lets users optimize flow of contracted work by planning in a time-location diagram. Users can optimize the schedule with crew allocations and task splitting.


Built-in risk analysis functionality provides powerful input for determining required buffers between tasks. Although it sounds counterintuitive, adding buffers is another way to optimize the schedule.


4D Simulation


4D Simulations are an automatic output of a project planned in Vico Office: 3D elements are linked implicitly through use of model-based takeoffs in formulas to calculate quantities and cost for required labor, equipment and materials.


A 4D BIM movie in Vico Office is a derivation of the model geometry, the quantities per location, tasks per location, and the crew productivity rates. Use the Vico Office 4D Manager schedule to communicate your understanding of the project to the Owner; communicate the project to the Subs before asking for their bids; communicate daily/weekly/monthly to the Subs in the trailer; and review progress and solve issues together.

Vico Office Schedule Planner lets you:

  • • Define the resources and tasks associated with each piece of material 
  • • Cost out that task/labor with Vico Office Cost Planner
  • • Optimize the best sized crew for that task and the desired productivity rate
  • • Organize those crews by locations 


Vico Office Schedule Planner Brochure (view quality)
Vico Office Schedule Planner Brochure (print quality)


  • Resources for your team:

Webpage: What Is 4D BIM? 

Webpage: What Is Flowline Theory

Wepage: What Is Location-Based Management System?

Webinar: Introduction to Location-Based Management System and Last Planner

Webinar: The 5D Virtual Construction Workflow

Blog: Why Change Your Construction Planning Process?

Whitepaper: A Comparison of Tradition CPM to Location-Based Scheduling

Whitepaper: The Combination of Last Planner System and Location-Based Management System

GlossaryA New Vocabulary for Lean Scheduling


And don't forget to review the Schedule Planner FAQs!  We also offer a step-by-step guide to our 5D virtual construction workflow with video tutorials. These videos are just 2-5 minutes in length, but illustrate how to use a particular piece of functionality. You can access the video library index and view just what you need, or download the complete set of training videos. We have training videos for Estimators, Schedulers, Supers, and anyone who does CM Reporting.


Here is a longer demonstration of several features within Schedule Planner...



Caption: How can a construction project planner factor in circumstances on the jobsite which may or may not impact the ability to deliver the project on time? That’s why we’ve built in a Monte Carlo risk analysis as the final check for your schedule in Vico Office Schedule Planner. Use as many variables and constraints as possible to uncover risk in the schedule and then apply fixes and see their impact.  Construction science just got a lot cooler.