How to pick the right construction schedule for your company

Explore seven types of construction schedules, understanding their distinct advantages. From improved task management to enhanced communication, empower professionals to choose suitable scheduling approaches for streamlined operations and timely project completion.

How to pick the right construction schedule for your company

Every construction project has its challenges. That’s why it helps to be familiar with various approaches. This article will examine some construction schedule types that every professional should know. We’ll also suggest how to schedule your construction projects, regardless of your chosen method.

What is a construction schedule?

A construction schedule is created to define every task and event in an upcoming project during the planning phase. The plan also lists all the resources needed for each step and how they’ll be divided up between teams throughout all stages of development, from idea through to completion.

A construction schedule should include:

Why construction scheduling is important

Construction schedules combine all proposed elements, including the scope of work, to maintain design integrity and create a comprehensive and efficient plan. The schedule should be created in such a way so that it maximizes the productivity of each contractor or subcontractor. 

Scheduling construction projects is also important since it helps with:

  • Improving workflows and streamlining projects
  • Enhancing communication between all stakeholders
  • Managing the buying of materials and critical elements on time and in sufficient quantities
  • Achieving the highest level of productivity to complete the project within the targeted timeline and budget
  • Improving the planning of resources, including a project’s workforce
  • Maximizing quality control measures
  • Giving all team members enough time to plan their activities better
  • Prioritizing work schedules according to different conditions, such as weather-sensitive activities

Since a construction schedule covers many different bases, using comprehensive construction software for this planning can streamline the project and eliminate any delay risks. 

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Construction schedule cheat sheet

Schedule TypeProsCons
Line of Balance– Effective for projects with repetitive tasks
– Facilitates resource planning due to task similarities
– Not suitable for non-repetitive tasks
– Difficult to see the project’s critical path
Quantitative Scheduling– Visualizes resource quantities over time
– Ties task order to expenses
– Less effective for highly repetitive projects
– Can be complex for teams unfamiliar with it
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)– Clearly lays out milestones and deadlines
– Encourages collaboration on complex projects
– Not ideal for projects sharing resources
– Can become unwieldy with thousands of tasks
Resource-Oriented Scheduling– Prioritizes resource allocation
– Ideal for projects with limited, high-demand resources
– Challenging with multiple resources and activities
– Can be complex to manage
Gantt Charts– Popular and easy to understand
– Facilitates identification of the critical path
– Can become cluttered with large projects
– Lacks context for the amount of work and resources needed per task
Last Planner System (LPS)– Increases detail and specificity as the deadline approaches
– Promotes strong collaboration and coordination among team members
– Relies heavily on team cohesion
– May highlight issues in team collaboration
Critical Path Method– Identifies the most efficient sequence of tasks
– Highlights essential tasks for project completion
– May not suffice as the sole scheduling method for complex projects
– Can overlook resources for tasks dependent on the critical path

7 key construction schedule types

1. Line of Balance

The line-of-balance scheduling method breaks your project into repetitive chunks (e.g., building a skyscraper, which happens floor by floor). Each graph represents one of those repetitive tasks, with time spread out on the x-axis and the y-axis displaying the work area (e.g., each building floor).

As workers progress on the task, the chart will reflect how long each iteration takes. Given the repetition, you’ll be able to plan resources effectively, as there will be many similarities.

Goodyear developed the line of balance method in the 1940s, later refined by the U.S. Navy.

What is the line of balance method good for?

Discussing your progress alongside a formal objective plan on projects involving lots of repetition can be tricky. The line of balance method addresses this challenge. It also helps in forecasting your team’s future performance. Both of these advantages are very useful for effective resource and workforce management.

Line of balance disadvantages

The line-of-balance technique suits assembly line-type tasks with several similar phases. Other construction schedule types would make more sense for tasks not involving that sort of repetition.

It’s also difficult to get an overview of the project’s critical path since Line of Balance only displays progress on individual activities.

2. Quantitative Scheduling

Quantitative scheduling is sometimes referred to simply as Q scheduling. It utilizes bar charts to help you visualize resource quantities and the locations and times they’ll be needed. This is the only method for scheduling in construction management that ties the order of tasks to your expenses per resource.

What is quantitative scheduling good for?

Quantitative scheduling is great for projects involving some repetition and variable quantities of resources.

Quantitative scheduling disadvantages

Quantitative scheduling falls short on projects that involve significant repetition. It’s also a fairly new type of construction schedule. If some collaborators on your project aren’t familiar with it, you may have to spend more time explaining things than is justified by its benefits.

3. Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

As Inc. points out, PERT is not construction-specific but useful in organizations that seek to analyze key events and interdependencies along a project’s ideal path to success. In other words, it lays out the milestones that will indicate progress on a project.

What is PERT good for?

PERT lays your schedule out very neatly and allows for differentiation between fixed deadlines and milestones with which you, as the contractor, have some flexibility. It also keeps fixed deadlines top-of-mind and features a layout simple enough to encourage collaboration across many teams, even in complex projects.

PERT also encourages you to create different timelines for activity completion, including the following:

  • Optimistic time: This is the best-case scenario.
  • Pessimistic time: This is the longest foreseeable time it will take you to complete a task.
  • Most likely time: Assuming no major challenges are present, this is when your activity should be completed.
  • Expected time: Accounting for problems (which are largely inevitable in construction anyway), this estimates how long it will take you to complete the activity in question.

With these, you can communicate your intentions given a few different circumstances.

PERT disadvantages

If you’re running multiple projects that share resources, a PERT chart won’t accurately convey that. PERT can also complicate projects involving thousands of interdependent tasks, increasing expenses and maintenance efforts.

Your previous expertise will also limit your ability to provide accurate timelines for activity completion. Without access to relevant and useful data, your predictions will likely be way off.

4. Resource-Oriented Scheduling

As its name would suggest, resource-oriented scheduling puts your available tools at the forefront of planning project completion. The goal is to identify and address situations where multiple parties need access to resources simultaneously.

What is resource-oriented scheduling good for?

As Chris Hendrickson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University writes, resource-oriented scheduling is ideal when resources are limited yet essential for a project to be completed properly. This is especially true when those resources are in high demand.

Resource-oriented scheduling disadvantages

This is one of the trickiest types of construction schedules in situations where you have many resources to allocate to several activities throughout your project.

5. Gantt Charts

Gantt charts are among the most popular construction schedule types—and for a good reason. They help you visualize your project schedule and make locating the critical path much easier.

Gantt charts typically consist of a calendar with activities and details about them spread out across start and end dates.

What are Gantt charts good for?

Gantt charts are very helpful for finding new ways to look at your project, which will help you identify the best path toward completion. They also simplify the management of projects that involve many overlapping activities. The bar layout makes it very easy to shuffle projects around if overlapping proves to be an issue.

Gantt chart functionality is found in many construction software programs, including Bridgit Bench. It’s also become quite popular in all company management applications, with programs like Asana offering Gantt chart layouts. This makes it easy for even laymen to understand your project’s progress.

Gantt chart disadvantages

A Gantt chart will quickly become confusing if you have a massive project with hundreds of tasks simultaneously. The bar layout also does not provide context for how much work and resources are required to complete a particular task—only how long it’s expected to take.

Gantt charts are also impractical for large projects, given how difficult it can be to print all relevant information on a reasonable amount of paper.

6. Last Planner System (LPS)

The Last Planner System sees the specificity and detail of your schedule increase as the project deadline approaches. With the Last Planner System, workers start with the deadline in mind and then work backward to identify strategies for accomplishing each milestone.

What is the Last Planner System good for?

The Last Planner System works very well in situations where collaboration between team members is strong. Team members must try to adequately coordinate completion at each phase of the project. This coordination will take place during “pull plan sessions.” An experienced leader is required to keep these meetings on track.

Last Planner System disadvantages

The Last Planner System tends to exacerbate faults in your team’s cohesion. You may want to try increasing collaboration in other areas (such as workforce planning) before betting the success of entire projects on the fruits of pull plan sessions.

7. Critical Path Method

The critical path method is perhaps the most popular of all methods for scheduling in construction management. It involves identifying the resources and time required to complete a milestone and how the set goal is relevant to the overall project.

What is the critical path method good for?

The critical path method is valuable when you’re looking to identify the most appropriate sequence in which a project’s tasks must be completed. As its name suggests, it also helps identify the most critical “branch” of your project’s path, allowing you to easily see which tasks are essential for project completion and what are merely supportive of those tasks.

Critical path method disadvantages

The critical path method may not be the only construction schedule you rely on. This is particularly true on projects involving hundreds of interdependent tasks. While you may identify a critical path in such a scenario, you may fail to adequately account for resources required by tasks dependent on those within the path.

In other words, the critical path method is not a one-size-fits-all solution for scheduling construction projects.

What type of construction schedule is right for you?

As any construction professional knows, choosing the right type of schedule is essential for successful project completion. Each schedule type has strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for a given project depends on various factors.

For example, the Critical Path Method is well-suited for large projects with many interdependent tasks. At the same time, the Program Evaluation and Review Technique is more appropriate for projects with uncertain task durations.

Line of Balance is often used in construction projects, as it helps to ensure that tasks are completed on time. Meanwhile, the Critical Chain Method has been gaining popularity in recent years, as it helps mitigate disruptions and the effects of delays.

Regardless, carefully considering which schedule is right for the project is important.

How to schedule a construction project

You may now wonder how to implement these various construction schedules in your company. The easiest way to achieve this is to utilize software that allows you to choose your scheduling method.

Consider beginning with a list of subcontractors and square away any regulatory details (building codes, etc.) relevant to your project. All methods for scheduling in construction management will also require you to identify key milestones for your project’s completion. They don’t have to be in order at this stage—list them.

Then, apply this information to your construction scheduling software, which will help lay out your best path forward. Most construction software will help you with this step. Learn more about how Bridgit integrates with Procore to improve user synchronization and integration for both apps.

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Using a scheduling app such as Bridgit Bench will also provide transparency and communication across all stakeholders during construction projects because it allows for keeping track of updates. 

Common mistakes to avoid in scheduling construction projects

Construction scheduling is crucial to any project, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within budget. However, some common mistakes can cause delays and other issues you should avoid in construction scheduling, including the following.

Incorrect project budgeting and timeline estimations

Construction projects can derail quickly when budgets and timeline estimates are not accurately forecasted. Without these vital components, allocating resources properly and planning for potential issues can be difficult. 

Miscalculations in budgets and timelines can throw off the entire project schedule and potentially impact contracts with clients or stakeholders. It’s important to ensure that any budgets and timelines provided in a construction project are thoroughly researched and deemed realistic by all parties involved before work begins. 

By effectively managing budgeting and timeline expectations, construction teams can work towards successful project completion without unnecessary delays or difficulties. Furthermore, proactive management can minimize potential financial losses and maintain positive client working relationships.  

Missing steps in your project

The success of any construction project relies on accurate planning and attention to detail. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for crucial steps to be missed in a rush to meet deadlines or cut costs. This can result in major problems down the line, including structural issues, safety hazards, and costly delays. 

To prevent these mishaps, it’s important to regularly review plans and double-check that all necessary steps have been completed before moving on to the project’s next stage.

Establishing clear lines of communication among team members can help to ensure that no one overlooks critical tasks. Catching and fixing mistakes early on will save time and resources in the long run.

Poor management of resources

Construction projects require significant materials and resources, but poor management can quickly lead to waste. Without proper oversight, materials may be ordered in excess, or they may not be utilized very efficiently during the building process.

To combat this issue, having clear guidelines and processes in place for resource management is important. Regular evaluations and assessments can ensure that materials are used efficiently and minimize potential waste. 

Construction software such as Bridgit helps you manage a project’s workforce to optimize efficiency while reducing risk. Implementing better resource management practices makes construction projects more sustainable and cost-effective.

Making no backup plans

A backup plan is like an insurance policy. By having a backup plan, you’re protected against the potential loss of time and money if something goes wrong—and when it comes to construction projects, many things can go wrong. 

For example, the weather can take a turn for the worse, materials can be delayed, or workers can get sick. You could face serious delays and unexpected costs if you don’t have a backup plan.

That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan before starting a construction project. By developing a contingency plan, you can protect yourself against the risk of failure and ensure your project stays on track.


We hope this guide has helped inform you how to schedule construction projects. You have many methods to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages that are highly suggestive of which projects they’re best suited towards. Happy scheduling!


What is a construction project schedule?

A construction schedule is a tool used by contractors to track the progress of a project. The schedule includes a list of all the activities that need to be completed and the timeframe for each activity.

The schedule needs to be realistic so that professionals working on the project can accurately track progress. The schedule should also be flexible and updated as needs evolve.

Scheduling is a critical part of any construction project and is essential for ensuring everything is completed on time and within budget.

How do you create a construction schedule?

Creating a construction schedule involves a strategic approach to planning and organizing tasks to ensure timely completion. Here’s a simplified step-by-step list to get you started:

  1. Define the scope
  2. List tasks
  3. Sequence activities
  4. Assign resources
  5. Estimate durations
  6. Develop a timeline
  7. Integrate milestones
  8. Review and adjust

What are some of the common types of schedules used?

There are different scheduling methods in the construction industry. This industry is broad and complex, with many different scheduling methods. The Critical Path Method (CPM) and the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) are two of the most commonly used methods. 

CPM is a mathematical approach that uses activity networks to identify the shortest possible completion time for a project. PERT, on the other hand, is a statistical method that estimates the completion time of a project based on past experience. 

While both methods have advantages, CPM is generally considered more accurate, making it the preferred choice for large and complex projects. Other scheduling methods include line of balance, bar charting, and Gantt charts. Ultimately, the best scheduling method for a given project will depend on its size, complexity, and specific requirements.

What construction schedule types are the most popular?

The critical path method (CPM) is perhaps one of the most popular types of scheduling. This technique involves identifying resources and time required to complete milestones and how said goal relates to overall project goals. 

What are the four parts of a construction schedule?

  1. Necessary tasks that need to be completed
  2. Dependencies between various tasks
  3. Project deadlines and task durations
  4. Budget planning

How can a construction schedule be managed?

It’s important to create a detailed construction schedule that includes all the tasks that need to be completed and the estimated time for each task. 

You’ll need to closely monitor the work’s progress and ensure each task is timely. If there are any delays, it’s important to adapt the schedule so the project stays on track. It’s also crucial to communicate regularly with everyone involved in the project so that everyone knows the schedule and what needs to be done. 

Who is responsible for creating a construction schedule?

Schedules can be created by project managers, contractors, or subcontractors. They help ensure that all the workers on a job are aware of the critical tasks that need to be completed and when they need to be done.

How do you know if a construction schedule is good?

A well-constructed schedule is the backbone of any construction project. It helps ensure that work is completed on time and within budget and that all workers know their responsibilities. 

A construction schedule must be clear, concise, and easy to understand to be effective. It should identify all key milestones and deadlines, listing the resources required for each task. The schedule should be updated regularly to reflect any project scope or timeline changes.

What are construction labor schedules?

The construction labor schedule is the estimated time to complete a construction project. The schedule includes the duration of each task, the crew size, and the number of crew members required for each task.

It’s used by contractors to estimate the amount of time and labor required to complete a construction project. Project managers also use it to plan and monitor progress.

Can construction schedules be created in Excel?

You can, but there are better ways to create a construction schedule. Construction scheduling is critical to on-time, on-budget project delivery. Your decisions today will impact the project schedule for months or even years.
While it’s possible to create a construction schedule in Microsoft Excel manually, this process is time-consuming and prone to error. That’s why several dedicated construction scheduling software tools are available to streamline the process and help ensure accuracy.

Workforce planning software like Bridgit Bench provides multiple ways to help plan and track project teams, assign the right people, and forecast workforce demands in the coming months and years.

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Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

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