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construction scheduling software (construction project management software)

Contributor(s): Sharon Brown and Kara Brosnan

Construction scheduling software, also known as construction project management software, is a collection of programs, processes and information used to manage a construction project. By implementing project management software, users are able to standardize processes, gain insight into existing and potential problems, eliminate communication bottlenecks and increase the accuracy of time and cost estimates.

Construction scheduling software allows a contractor or project manager to:
• Build timelines
• Track critical paths and dependencies
• Manage resources and supplies
• Initiate workflows
• Provide audit trails
• Track change requests.

Management and automation of the above processes, which were generally previously charted by hand, allows contractors to reduce both resource and time requirements, meet deadlines and archive project records for reference on future projects.

According to the Construction Financial Management Association's 2008 Information Technology Survey, the vast majority of contractors now use scheduling software. As with construction estimating software, the larger a construction company, the more likely it is to use scheduling software. For firms considering construction scheduling software, it is important to consider whether the software integrates and interoperates with existing software applications and databases used by a firm and its subcontractors. Upgrading existing software and hardware may also be necessary to support new scheduling software, along with implementation training and budgeting for outside consultants.

Construction scheduling software comes in all sizes, from single-project scheduling tools to global systems that monitor hundreds of projects. Although there are hundreds of construction project management programs to choose from, a few market leaders have emerged. The list of leading solutions includes Sage Timberline Office, Sage Master Builder, Primavera SureTrak, Primavera Project Planner (P3) and Prolog from Meridian Systems.

Learn More About IT:
> ConstructionSoftwareReview.com offers information about numerous construction scheduling software vendors.
> ConstructionSoftwareReview.com also offers a buying guide for construction project management and construction schedule software.
> ConstructionSoftwareReview.com also provides numerous end user project management software reviews.

This was last updated in March 2011

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