Ahmed Garamoon

PMAer Ahmed Garamoon, PE, Manager, is a project management and project controls professional with extensive construction experience. He has specific on-site expertise in managing mega projects, such as construction materials processing plants, power plants, rail, roads, ports, and real estate developments on projects worldwide. Mr. Garamoon has an excellent understanding of schedule control, cost control, and cost estimating. He has served as site supervisor and he has managed quality control on multiple projects. Mr. Garamoon is skilled in MS Products, Primavera P6, AutoCAD, SAP Design, and CRM software.  

What is a lookahead schedule?  

A lookahead schedule is a dynamic tool applied across various project levels, from one to four. The granularity of detail varies with the schedule complexity. Contractors employ lookahead schedules to synchronize imminent tasks. The term “near term” encompasses periods ranging from two weeks to several months, adapting to project scope and intricacy.

10 Days lookahead schedule sample
10-day sample lookahead schedule

Commonly, lookahead schedules streamline construction projects, harmonizing activities spanning the preceding week, current week, and subsequent one to three weeks.

12-month sample lookahead schedule

Example in Action: Streamlining Procurement

To illustrate, consider a case where PMA was tasked with optimizing a client’s procurement operations. With two to seven months of procurement activities, the lookahead window was extended to twelve months to accommodate these elongated processes.

What’s Included in a Lookahead Schedule?  

Lookahead schedules encapsulate granular aspects too specific for the project’s main construction schedule. They provide intricate insights into:

  • Daily labor requirements, categorized by trade.
  • Equipment and material needs for each day.
  • Detailed specifications of major milestones.. 

Notable elements on a lookahead schedule, not typically present on a project schedule, encompass: 

  • Distinct work items, organized crew-wise.
  • Timings of material deliveries.
  • Subcontractor particulars, often replacing generic terms with precise positioning.  
Mitigating Challenges with Lookahead Schedules  

Often, optimism clouds stakeholders’ perspectives, leading to unrealistic projections. By delving deeper into activities, optimism bias is counteracted. Material constraints, dependencies, and potential hurdles are highlighted, ensuring a pragmatic outlook. This empowers project stakeholders, such as CMs, contractors, and trades, to troubleshoot, adapt, and prevent schedule overruns.

These efforts cultivate precise activity duration estimates. Detailed analysis of concealed activity constraints bolsters the overall dependability of lookahead schedules. Moreover, these schedules attribute responsibilities, instilling accountability, and bolstering project alignment.

Crafting and Sharing Lookahead Schedules

Basic lookahead schedules can be constructed using Excel, suitable for simpler projects lacking intricate logic. Advanced contractors extract lookahead data from scheduling software like Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, and NetPoint for more intricate undertakings. Complex scenarios, where activities are broken down and resources allocated, find a suitable ally in NetPoint.

NetPoint Lookahead scheduleSometimes when the lookahead preparation entails breaking down general activities into smaller ones, while allocating the associated resources, NetPoint is a perfect tool to simulate more than one scenario based on the availability of resources and work restrictions. Usually, these lookaheads are prepared in a live session with the client where we can move activities around based on discussions and see the outcome on the spot.

How are lookahead schedules used in lean construction?  

Lean construction practitioners advocate previewing work one to six weeks ahead. This approach facilitates dialogue with trades, unveiling potential impediments before scheduled activities commence. Proactive problem-solving during the early stages curbs setbacks.  

Impact of BIM and 360 Video on Lookahead Schedules  

While 360 cameras have diminished the gap between work completion and information accessibility, seamless real-time tracking and integration with scheduling software and BIM models are yet to be fully realized. Advancements continue to refine the integration of technology with lookahead scheduling.

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