Mangement For Design

Winter Release

Scheduling Tips for Architecture & Engineering Businesses

Accurate scheduling is a delicate balance, which when it goes wrong, can have a negative impact on the perception of your business. Have you struggled with projects falling behind schedule and over budget? Do you have systems in place to accurately predict scheduling needs? Are you applying scheduling logic to your processes? We’ve summarised the main points you need to know to ensure that your projects complete on time and within budget.

Scheduling fundamentals:

1. Start from the finish: this is the most obvious point for project-based workflows. For architecture and engineering businesses, projects will usually have a prescribed finish date rather than a prescribed start date. All scheduling must be done backwards from the finish date to ensure that deadlines will be met.

2. Chart out the project elements in detail: break the project down into its component parts so that no element is forgotten. Don’t worry about getting into detail here, every stage of the project should be documented for both schedule and budget forecasting, however don’t let the detail get in the way of the big picture — ensure that detail is broken down in a logical and consistent pattern and that the overall project goals are always in sight.

3.  Track actual timeframes: keeping track of how long each project stage actually takes in comparison with your scheduling estimates will make it easier to accurately predict the required lead time for future projects. This means recording all time-related data for each project and being able to access data quickly for immediate analysis both on a project-by-project basis and also in comparison with all projects in your system so that your business has intelligent and reliable data to call on when needed.

4. Assess analytics regularly: it’s one thing to track all of this data, but if you don’t do anything with it, it’s just numbers in a machine. Make a commitment to reviewing project scheduling data across all business projects and measure against business objectives. Utilise business systems to take the headache out of the number crunching. Scheduling systems should be linked to other systems within your business. Integration of systems makes them more likely to be used and also increases the usefulness of the data collected.

If you business needs help with scheduling projects and people, send us an email at for advice

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