Making Schedules with MS Excel

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    On smaller projects and in smaller firms, in cases that you don’t have a construction scheduling software available, it is also possible to make your construction schedules using excel. All you need to do is to list the activities and then make a calendar yourself by each square representing one unit duration such as days or weeks. Then if that activity continues for 5 days for example, fill 5 squares in different color. And continue for following activities the same way.

    Of course there is nothing automated here and you can not assign relations between activities, which means you must calculate your critical path manually which can be very time consuming, even for a small job. You need to know all the dates beforehand and then fill your squares accordingly. Also you need to account for weekend work when filling squares so be careful. For instance for a 12 days activity don’t just fill 12 squares. You need to skip two squares for each weekend. This is only good for short small projects or some temporary work or a section of your project that you want to show really quickly to people. But remember that if a schedule slippage occurs, this schedule will be void so it is important to update it.

    I also came across some websites that claim to have made scheduling program using excel which also can assign relations and make updates automatically like a scheduling program, but I didn’t try it myself. Again, bottom line, using excel for your project scheduling is not recommended and it is only good for a short term or very small set of activities and if and only if you don’t have a scheduling program handy. It is still better than nothing, but it is really the last resort.

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