Creating an optimized location-based schedule is only one half of the equation. Managing to that schedule on the jobsite is the other important part and is critical to the success; built into Vico Office’s Schedule Planning software is the ability to perform Production Control. Using Product Control, schedulers and project engineers can bring the as-planned information out into the field for active monitoring and pro-active decision making.
The Production Control module is fully integrated into the Schedule Planning software and requires no additional action to pull out the necessary information for managing the project plan. Each Flowline that is made, each dependency that is created and each associated resource can be output in a number of different ways to make it possible for on-site monitoring of progress. Reports that include intended start/finish date by location can be matched up with actual start/finish date by location, as well as associated resources.
The result of Production Control information being input into the Flowline plan is an ‘actual’ schedule and a ‘forecasted’ schedule. Actual schedules show the true progress of the project in the same view as the as-planned work and allows schedulers to easily find discrepancies. Because Production Control includes precise details about start/finish dates and the resources that achieved the associated percentage complete, a forecasted schedule can be shown to help schedulers understand where things are project to finish is work happens at the current rate. Forecasted schedulers allow the team to proactively make corrective decisions before a schedule conflict occurs, such as working longer hours, adding crews or revising a project sequence.
Production Control charts are an automatic byproduct of Flowline planning and provides an easy to use and intuitive color-coded status of the project. Team members can use the control chart to update the task completion by location on a daily or weekly basis; results input into the control chart automatically feed the Flowline schedule to display the actual and forecasted task status.
The color-coding of the control chart uses an intuitive blue/green/yellow/red stoplight system to display progress from a single view. Green boxes are used to reflect a task that is complete in a given location. Yellow boxes reflect a task that has started but is behind schedule. Blue boxes shown started tasks that are running on time. Red boxes reflect tasks that should have started but have not for some reason. A quick look at a control chart can easily reveal overall project status; lots of yellow/red means “we’re behind schedule” while lots of green/blues means “we’re on schedule!”
Information from Vico Office’s Production Control tools can be leveraged on-site with either a tablet or pencil/paper. Depending on user preference, the control chart is brought to the field right on the device where actuals can be entered, or using simple clipboard method where pencil notes can be transferred into the program once back in the trailer. Nearly all of the outputs from Production Controller can be used in this way, realizing that most beneficiaries from this method of planning may not be software savvy and thus prefer traditional printouts for communication!
Using the detailed inputs of a Flowline schedule in combination with Production Control, provides for a new level of transparency; after the job site is walked and actuals are entered, the system enters into a “Controlling Mode.” In Control Mode, users start to see the impact of the progress on-site reflected inside the Flowline schedule.
Look-ahead schedules include:
The look ahead tools in Production Controller are designed to allow the scheduling and site teams to make proactive decisions before a project is delayed or additional costs are incurred. Built into the system is a journal that can be used for tracking and implementing control actions that are made. Each control action can be viewed in a “what-if” scenario, allowing the user the option to commit or not commit to the action. Whenever a control action is committed to the system, it becomes a permanent part of the project journal and can be viewed at any time in a reflection mode otherwise known as “history mode” to help visualize progress in hindsight.
4D simulations are an immediate byproduct of using Vico Office’s integrated system. Important to note: these are actual simulations, not animations!
A construction simulation is different from an animation in that it reflects the actual project elements, with quantities and resources, being played back against the chosen schedule dependencies. Once schedule logic is created, the simulation is immediately available to review the constructability of the project (dependencies) and duration across a timeline (dates). The benefits of this system are that no ‘gluing’ work needs to be done in order to match the schedule with the model; traditional 4D simulations rely on this glue to provide an animation, which quickly becomes irrelevant when logic changes take place and/or the model changes.
4D simulations can be used in a number of different ways when applying BIM to your project. Foremost, they help win work! Nothing pleases an owner more than being able to see what their project will look like on any given day during the construction process. They are also helpful for the scheduler to see their own logic; creating schedule logic can be immensely complex and the ability to see the relationships immediately manifested into a constructability simulation is extremely powerful. Lastly, simulations are a great tool for showing trade partners what upcoming work will look like. Either through coordination meetings, schedule meetings, or just daily site meetings, a simulation can be slid forward/backward instantly to show the trades what to anticipate when they get into a given location.
Vico Office has been designed as a closed loop system, allowing projects to take full advantage of historical information. With Production Controller schedulers gain the benefit of seeing how work activities were carried out on past projects, including the actual duration, crew size, productivity rate, unforeseen delays and more. Leveraging this historical information provides for more predictable schedules for future projects.
All of the information that goes into the production control module is stored with the project and can be broken down in many ways. Schedulers have the ability to go into the completion report and dissect nearly every aspect of what went well, or not well. That information can then be fed back into their standard database and productivity rates can be adjusted accordingly. In this way, each new schedule created from Vico Office’s Schedule Planner is more intelligent than the past project and should help to mitigate project risks and/or overruns.
With this release we’ve made some enhancements to benefit design/cost/time workflows:
Design workflows: have been improved via the introduction of rebar takeoff support for Tekla models. Users can now publish their detailed concrete models into Vico Office and get full quantity analysis and change management capabilities on rebar models. Additionally, users will be pleased to experience even more 3D performance enhancements to help support the increasingly larger models that come with support of such high volume elements.
Further improvements to support the design workflow include the support of BCF integration for communicating constructability issues outside of the Vico Office application.
Cost workflows: have been improved by adding a few new features, including conditional formatting of data and the ability to bring parent hierarchies from a reference estimate.
Both changes will make working in cost planner for long durations easier, as hierarchy adjustments will automate estimate creation and conditional formatting has the ability to draw user’s attention to specific data within the estimate.
Time planning workflows: have been improved with some nice new features, including the ability to create tasks without cost components and a significant increase in the amount of production control data to web services for an increased ability to do analytics tracking around install performance data.
Model-based schedules are now easier and quicker to create, with the production control information available to anyone who has a web connection.
Vico Office release 6.0 is now available to help you harness the power of models for estimating and scheduling.
The latest release of Vico Office is all about the user. We listened carefully about how to improve the workflow and made several enhancements to simplify and improve the quantity extraction process. Users now have more access to information, as well as control over how that data is managed. We put users first and designed a workflow that makes it faster and easier to get project quantities.
Vico Office is leaner - the installer has been optimized and is nearly half the size as before.
Vico Office release 6.0 includes an overhaul of Takeoff Manager module. Users will find many new features that give them the flexibility to cultivate their project content and quantities in any way that suites their workflow. This includes:
Element import selection
Access to all BIM parameters, including ‘user-defined’ fields
Support for CAD quantities
Templated imports and content grouping
Brand-new: Takeoff Items Builder
Watch the recorded webinar where we will demonstrate how a schedule optimized for crew utilization and continuity of work using Trimble’s Flowline methodology can be further planned in Trimble’s Tekla Structures environment. Using the constructible model, the sequencing of individual elements will be planned and prepared for use as model-based progress tracking tool. Work completion, entered through the model, can be analyzed in the target schedule.
Recorded on April 28, 2015