work area

Once the construction methods for each of the major features of work have been defined, then these methods are applied within specific project work areas. The physical dimensions of the project provide the first organization of your project plan. Buildings with vertical spaces, i.e. floors, or horizontal spaces, i.e. wings, allow you to identify the areas where crews can move through the project to complete their sections of the project.

One of the key considerations when defining work area is to make the work area consistent with the amount of space needed for crews to complete their work. The use of a schedule, in this case, is to allow subcontractors to understand when and where they need to be in order not to interfere with the work of other crews. If work area is set too large, then multiple crews will arrive to work in that area at the same time, causing confusion and lost productivity. If work areas are set too small then the schedule is unnecessarily complex and has activities that provide now additional communicative power.

You can visualize work areas by thinking about how crews follow each other through a project. This is often called the “crew chase.” After we look at the mechanics of precedence diagramming, then we will return to this topic.