Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category

Tucker Elliott becomes certified as a CM-BIM!

Friday, August 7th, 2015

MTE thumbnail 2015 cropped for blog Congratulations Tucker Elliott on becoming certified in BIM management!
VN Services is now able to provide BIM (Building Information Modeling) services and BIM management services to its clients, with a virtual construction of a facility PRIOR to its actual physical construction.
Our BIM services improve safety and owner visualization while reducing uncertainty through early detection of costly conflicts by simulating and analyzing potential impacts.
Offering both Pre-Construction and Construction services, our BIM process generates and manages the digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of your new or existing facility.
Questions? Curious?
Contact Tucker at (440) 729-0514, ext. 25 or elliott@vn-services.com.

BIM Sample #1

BIM Sample #1

BIM Sample #2

BIM Sample #2

Tracking Labor Hours is Essential to a Construction Project’s Success

Monday, November 24th, 2014

It may be preaching to the choir, but the topic of tracking labor hours per scheduled task completions is worth repeating.

How does a construction project end up with a positive project outcome? It’s not brain surgery! Make sure that the labor hours estimated for tasks are actually being expended (and not exceeded) and that the tasks are completing by their early finish dates (Performance Based Scheduling).  You will see a project that is on time, on budget, making a profit, getting an occupancy permit, and having many other successful project outcomes.  Get in, get done, and get out!

Notice that this does NOT mean that you should start tasks prior to their early start dates. There may be instances when starting tasks early makes sense; however, if the logical relationships between activities are correct, starting tasks early will probably cause negative impacts to someone else on the job because you’ve changed the plan that everybody else anticipated following. Changing the planned approach to the project could increase costs and cause delays. Work the plan that everyone on the construction team is in agreement with, and work it to the early dates.

Likewise, with labor hours. There are times when throwing more bodies into a task or working selective overtime makes sense. That said, the estimated labor hours for each activity task exist for a reason; so you shouldn’t try to accelerate tasks without consciously considering the possible impact to the labor hours that will be spent. The estimated labor hours represent the budget for each task, and every time you go over budget you risk losing money (this includes the Owner getting exposed to change orders or claims for additional costs).

Labor hours are the primary controllable cost on a project, and knowing (on a weekly basis) where and when labor hours are being expended isn’t just good project management – it’s good business!  Your project managers and superintendents should have their finger on the pulse of “labor hours budgeted vs. labor hours expended” activity by activity.  They should be acutely aware of this on a daily basis so they can track, catch, and adjust for deviations on a weekly basis.

If you don’t know the status of your labor hours, and if you are not prepared to work the schedule to the early dates, then you are not in control of your destiny on the project. Not controlling your project means that you won’t know if you made or lost money until it’s too late.

We tell our clients that they should be making money on purpose.   Working the plan, while controlling labor hours is a good way to do just that.  Our project management and project oversight services are the perfect, affordable tool to help your team stay on track!

s600A Labor chart2

Does something on your construction project stink?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Bob Vail and Tucker Elliott attended the Cleveland Engineering Society’s Leadership Breakfast, and listened to a presentation by Mr. Julius Ciaccia. Mr. Ciaccia is Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD). Mr. Ciaccia discussed how far the Cleveland area has come in cleaning up the local rivers and Lake Erie, the sheer size of the sewer system, as well as the challenges of working with a multitude of community governments. The current main tasks being undertaken are reduction of combined sewer overflows and improvements to storm water management.

Tucker Elliott makes the observation that sewer system management is a lot like project management – if it breaks down, something starts to smell bad really fast! So if you’re on a project and something doesn’t smell right about how it’s being managed, give us a call!

THE PROACTIVE USE OF PUNCHLISTS: SURPRISES ARE FOR BIRTHDAYS

Monday, May 19th, 2014

By: M. Tucker Elliott

19 May 2014 Part 1 of 3

There are all kinds of surprises in life, some of which people like and some of which people don’t like.  Pleasant surprises have the effect of giving us a dose of adrenaline followed by a positive experience (a nice piece of birthday cake comes to mind).  In the world of construction, even pleasant surprises represent events that were unplanned and unaccounted for in budgets or schedules and are, therefore something we want to avoid.

Unpleasant surprises, of course, can have some pretty negative outcomes.  On construction projects, these outcomes can impact a range of project elements including the safety of workers, project budget, and schedule.  A punchlist is one of the tools available to control the risk of surprises on construction projects.  As a project or portion thereof is nearing completion, a punchlist isolates parts of the work thought to be complete and identifies items requiring action in order to bring them into compliance with the contract.

Congratulations Tucker Elliott on 16 years at VN Services!

Monday, April 14th, 2014