Lead and lag times in residential construction


What are lead and lag times? 

Lead time occurs when tasks are dependent on each other but can happen at the same time while lag time dictates how much time must pass after one task is finished before a second task can begin. Understanding lead and lag times in scheduling is necessary to accurately plan out multiple interdependent tasks.

Why are lead and lag time important in residential construction? 

Lead and lag times allow residential construction builders to accurately plan out their projects and understand the relationship between tasks. Because residential construction has a number of connected steps, changes in any lead or lag times can have a cascading effect on the rest of a schedule and a business’s bottom line. Managing task lead and lag times allows builders to maintain a current and up to date schedule to ensure that deliverables, and the overall project, are on time. 

How do builders + remodelers leverage lag and lead time? 

The challenges of traditional scheduling tools with lead and lag time

Traditional scheduling tools, whether they are online or the classic pen and paper or an online calendar-based schedule, struggle with lead and lag times because rarely do they account for the dependencies and connectedness of tasks. When a task’s date is pushed forward or backward, all other tasks that rely on it must also be moved accordingly. On traditional scheduling tools, this process can be prone to user error, cause scheduling problems down the line, and be a time-intensive task. For pen and paper schedulers enough changes may warrant starting from scratch rather than continuing to update dates.

How integrated construction management tools work with lead and lag time

An integrated construction management tool allows builders and remodelers to tackle all aspects of their business, including scheduling, in one system. Integrated construction management tools utilize Gantt Charts, a type of schedule visualization, and understand the dependencies and connectivity of interrelated tasks. Because of this functionality schedules can be built with lead and lag time included for accurate schedule planning and updating all dependencies automatically. Easily managing lead vs lag time can lead to a more automated workflow and save builders and remodelers time.

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Britany Wentz
Britany Wentz

Britany loves writing solutions to common business pain points. She oversees CoConstruct's social media, and plans CoConstruct's events.