How to undertake the planning for a project ?
A schedule is the first communication medium for project managers. It allows you to view actions, timelines and milestones on a single page. Expectations for schedules are readability, clarity and dates updated in real-time. The schedule must allow you to both understand the project and to identify dependency relationships between jobs. Project participants want both a bird’s eye view (macro-planning) as well as detailed views of the sites. CESAR allows you to have consolidated project scheduling through the construction sites and a detailed schedule of activities and deliverables. The process for setting up a schedule is the following:
1/ Set WHAT (project sheet and deliverables)
CESAR allows you to set the objective in terms of a solution to build. This solution breaks down into projects and deliverables. This is a structured breakdown of your system into subsystems (Product Breakdown Structure )
- Level I (solution): home
- Level II (site) : 2 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 bathroom, 1 living room, …
- Level III (deliverables): 1 bed, 1 toilet, …
2/ Set HOW (actions)
Actions are generally attached to a deliverable. One can first have a construction job, then a control action and a validation action. This is a structured decomposition of work (Work Breakdown Structure) or Organizational Tasks (OT) . For example, to place a bed in the house, you would have to:
- Do the sourcing (action 1 )
- Purchase the bed (action 2)
- Have the bed delivered (action 3)
- Test the bed (action 4)
Each action has, at minimum, a due date and a person in charge. The schedule allows you to visualize the sequence of actions, their duration as well as start and end dates. The CESAR tool allows you to display the differences between the end dates (forecasted end date) and the actual end date. CESAR will allow you to view the schedule for the actions of an actor, a construction site or the project as a whole.
A milestone is a meeting point. It is often formalized by a meeting (steering committee) or a delivery point.
4/ Update schedule with your team
The setting up of the initial schedule is an exercise that requires rigor and structuring. A “good schedule” is easily recognizable:
- Structuring of the projects
- Distinguishes between actions and deliverables
- Realistic deadlines …
After the kick-off, the project manager has a “static” photo of their project but the main difficulty for them resides in the updating of the schedule. Moving from a photo to a video of their project requires having a tool for updating everything in real-time.
CESAR has been designed with the logic of collective intelligence for schedules: every individual in charge of an action will update their dates so that the project schedule is automatically updated – the project manager analyzes the schedule with fresh information.
This can adapt the schedule to the situation:
- Reducing the scope of certain actions in order to meet deadlines
- Adjusting the amount of work of different contributors
CESAR triggers alerts on potential excesses and conflicts (dependencies between tasks, resource contention, …).
CESAR’s “connected planning” lets you trace the alerts at the earliest indication of slipping deadlines. The CESAR project manager places themselves in the role of analyst rather than “meter reader“. They can thus imagine the best collective organization for achieving the project objective.
CESAR updates all dates updated by each contributor to a project in real-time. The inter- actions between projects are likewise consolidated. Each manager at the company has their schedule updated in real-time and it is consistent over all projects.