Have You Tried? Work Planning within the Schedule Tool in Autodesk Build

As part of our “Have You Tried It” blog series, we are highlighting one of our recently released features within our Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio that may have flown under your radar. Whether you’ve started using them or not, all the features highlighted in this series have the same things in common - they will improve your user experience and enhance productivity for your team.

This month, we’re highlighting the new work planning capabilities available within the Schedule tool in Autodesk Build.

What is the Schedule tool in Autodesk Build?

If you are unfamiliar with the Schedule tool, here is a quick overview. Autodesk Build’s Schedule tool enables teams to gain real-time visibility into project schedules by centralizing schedules in the cloud, allowing teams to collaborate, connect, and interface with the most up-to-date information.

The Schedule tool allows importing schedules from Primavera® P6 (.xer and .xml), Microsoft® Project (.mpp, .xml) and Asta® Powerproject (.pp). The Schedule tool helps digitize and automate version comparison workflows by allowing users to visually stack up to 5 different versions of the schedule to quickly understand the trends and changes affecting each activity.

While comparing versions, you can dive deeper to get better insight into changes such as activities delayed, pulled forward, or new activities added, along with any name changes.

What are the new work planning capabilities recently introduced in Autodesk Build?

With work planning capabilities in Autodesk Build, we've shifted from rigid processes to more fluent relationships with time and enhanced collaboration. This has made managing the long and short-term schedule a more circular experience. We have also found the ability to take the master schedule and fill in the details for on-site execution in a connected environment very valuable.

-Abbas Malik, Digital Lead & Development at Skanska

The latest work planning capabilities in the Schedule tool empower teams to build and use digital work plans to deliver projects on time and within budget. Project teams can collaboratively build detailed work plans and manage handoffs and roadblocks—all while viewing progress in the context of the long-term schedule.

The planning capabilities are highly flexible, allowing teams to create both independent or connected work plans – in the cloud - so teams can finally say goodbye to creating and managing plans in silos.

To create a connected plan, simply choose the milestones and activities you want from the schedule and add them to a new plan or add them to an existing plan. Project teams can create multiple plans within the tool. You can create as many tasks as you need within your plans and break down the connected tasks into multiple sub-tasks.

You can further detail these tasks to include important information such as start/end dates, duration, % complete, work type and status. Also, tasks can be assigned to a specific person, company, role, WBS, and location.

Proper task handoffs in a construction project are of utmost importance; they help avoid missed timelines and can help reduce project risks and surprises. You can easily add previous and future handoffs to your tasks to ensure everyone knows what needs to be done, when, and in what order.

As you update your work plans as the project progresses, if a connected task’s dates are updated and end up falling outside the parent task’s boundary, a trigger is surfaced to help you quickly spot and address any schedule discrepancies. Significantly increasing the likelihood of you addressing the issue early on before it becomes a problem.   

Project schedules are complex and comprise of many milestones, activities, and tasks that need to be managed to drive a project to completion. You can now easily search and filter through all that data to quickly locate the specific information you seek, both in your master schedule and work plans.

You can use filtering capabilities to create one-week, two-week, or three-week look-ahead to better plan the sequence of work coming up or filter it based on any custom ranger you desire. You can also consume your plans easily in both swim lane and list view, based on your preferences, and set up robust permissions to ensure the right people have access to the information they need.

How can project teams leverage work plans on mobile while on-site?  

"I love the swim lanes when viewing my plans, giving the tool the look and feel of sticky notes on a whiteboard, in a job trailer, only electronically, where anyone can join from anywhere."

-Brian Athey, Director of Construction Innovation at Miron Construction

Work plans are utilized heavily in the field where the work takes place, they provide the crew visibility into upcoming job sequences tied to a specific plan. With the latest work planning capabilities in the Schedule tool, our mobile users can now access both their project schedules and plans in the Autodesk Construction Cloud mobile app.

Project members with the right permissions can filter and search tasks to find what they need quickly in both iOS and Android. Currently, our Android users can also update the status and % completion of a task. 

How does the ability to create and manage work plans in Autodesk Build benefit me?  

Project teams do not have a single source of truth when it comes to project schedules and construction planning, which leads to a lack of collaboration and connectivity to the master schedule. Weekly plans are created in silos.

Plus, many users struggle with manual planning processes dealing with sticky notes, multiple spreadsheets, or playing phone and email tag to keep various teams coordinated to get the job done.  

Now, project teams can avoid delays and mitigate risks early on by managing their short-term and long-term schedules in the same connected environment to complete projects successfully. They can identify schedule impacts faster so they can do something about it sooner rather than later.

Samira Tily

Product Marketing Manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions