Although seldom brought into the limelight for reasons other than legal action, Ghost Schedules are not an uncommon occurrence in the Construction Industry. A recent study by the Navigant Construction Forum decided to take a deeper look into the creation and use of Ghost Schedules, as well as the reasoning to why they are created to begin with.
What is a Ghost Schedule?
Ghost Schedules have been used behind the scenes on capital construction projects for many years and for various purposes. To put it simply, a Ghost Schedule is a schedule other than the current project schedule. It is typically created and kept by one of the contract parties (such as an owner or contractor) when they believe the current one to be unreliable. A contractor's Ghost Schedule is not a substitute to the baseline schedule. Inversely, an owner's Ghost Schedule is not a tool for comparing against the project schedule in progress meetings.
Why are they created?
Ghost schedules are created for any number of reasons. A contractor may create one to roadmap a planned early completion even when an owner refuses to approve the contractor's early completion schedule. An owner may have one to interpret the project status without input from the contractor, which they will then use in the background for decisions such as granting requested time extensions. These parties could then use their Ghost Schedules to analyze and determine the potential impact of design changes and decision making before bringing them into actual discussion, or push for suppliers and subcontractors to meet early start and finish dates in order to beat the project schedule date.
Who you gonna call?
Ghost Schedules are a product of perceived necessity; they are created when a group believes the current schedule to be inept. Implementing a solution that streamlines the schedule so that all parties are satisfied diminishes the desire to create ghost schedules in the first place. That's where Projectmates comes in. Our construction program management software takes project scheduling to a new level of efficiency and transparency by acting as a single platform of seamless communication between all parties. The software trivializes the time it takes to make schedule revisions, immediately notifies team members of updates on major milestones, and is constantly visible to the entire team 24/7. Our wealth of reports and scheduling features allow owners to easily analyze project status. On top of schedule tracking, Projectmates provides document management, cost controls, and communication tools that further help owners and contractors complete projects on time and even early. With Projectmates, consider this ghost busted!