Scheduling: An anchor point for today’s home builder

Scheduling: An anchor point for today’s home builder

Are you building homes with paper & pencil, fax machine and a mobile phone to call your subcontractors and let them know when to show up?

If that’s the case, you’re probably wasting not only time but money.  And, not doing your vendors or home buyers any favors.  They’re late, you’re late… everything can feel as if it is in a state of chaos.

Let’s talk about a pivot in homebuilding processes

Today’s home building environment isn’t that of 10 years ago.  Back in the day, many suggest that production (or, operations) was, as Scott Sedum mentions in ProBuilder, an afterthought when compared to finance, sales and land development. Now, Sedum suggests, homebuilders need to be great builders of product.

Clark Ellis uses a baseball analogy in a recent Builderonline article suggesting we’re seeing a switch from “long ball” to the SF Giants style “small ball” playing with a focus on operational details.

Sedum suggests visiting Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s carefully crafted statement, “Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.” to which he suggests adding “and profit.”

Of course, some might argue variation is at the very heart of new home construction.  There are different size lots, different elevations, options, upgrades… the variations seem endless.

How is it possible to manage all of this variability and deliver the desired result — a well-constructed home, on time, within budget? How to manage all these variables in addition to weather, labor shortages, mistakes and rework?

The key, suggested by Sedum and many others, is schedule.  A good schedule means that you’ve adequately addressed critical issues so that your schedule becomes the anchor in your operations. Getting to the endpoint of a “good” schedule suggests that the builder has addressed what Fletcher Groves identifies, in Builderonline, as process mapping and workflow.

We’re going to be talking about many of these “critical issues” in the hopes of addressing how to develop and maximize the effective use of a construction schedule.  Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *