Did you know there is more than one way to produce a Time Location Chart?
Lots of people assume that Time Location Charts are very complicated to create, or that you require extensive training and specialized skills. This does NOT have to be the case. If you’re already using other tools to create them, then you might discover how your existing skills can be enhanced.
Watch the video below to find out the best (and worst) ways to produce Time Location Charts. Or, scroll down of you prefer to read.
1. Manual Methods
Manual or what I call bespoke methods include using CAD drawing software, graphical software tools or even excel spreadsheets.
The problem with these is they tend to be prone to translation errors because you are interpreting data from one system to another and manually making changes.
They’re also what I call ‘non-scalable’. You’re essentially rebuilding these manual charts from scratch every single time on every single project. They can look great, but the issue is it takes a LOT of time and effort to generate these as a once off.
It’s also very difficult to change anything once they’re built.
If someone asks to change a colour from green to blue, or zoom in on a particular time period, it’ll take you a lot of time to do that with these bespoke manual methods. You could be spending that time actually improving the schedule.
I should also mention – they rarely get updated as the schedule changes and progresses on the project!
2. Specialised Linear Planning Tools
The other extreme is to use specialised sophisticated linear planning tools such as Tilos. These are built for location or linear types of projects, so you can create a schedule from scratch in native Time-Location format, including all the scheduling calculations and algorithms.
The biggest problem with this method is you’re likely to end up duplicating your schedule. If you’re working in Primavera P6 and then working in a second tool to create a native Time Location schedule, which is the most correct version?
And obviously if you’re only working in the linear element in the linear tool, but you’re incorporating design or procurement or approvals in your P6 tool, when you go to pull them all back together again there’s going to be all kinds of integration issues. This only gets worse on the bigger projects where there may be multiple schedules, or many planners working together on the schedule.
On top of this, Tilos is also very expensive, and it’s very complex. You’ll need to sit through several days of training on how to just use these tools to get used to that linear planning and the particulars of the software tools themselves.
3. Hybrid Method (Recommended)
From my years of experience and frustration with these methods, I knew it didn’t have to be this complicated. What I wanted was a 3rd option which is a hybrid method and the best of both worlds.
I wanted to simply have the output of my current scheduling tool generate Time Location Charts automatically. So any changes to my source schedule instantly update the Time Location Charts.
I partnered with a software developer named Rusty, who’s helped build some major products you may have used before like Pertmaster and Safran Risk. We created a tool called Turbo Chart. Here’s a quick demo of how Turbo Chart works.
ANY tool that can produce spreadsheet type of information or tabula data can work with Turbo Chart in the same way.
Get the Full Video Course On Time Location Charts
If you want to learn to use the best methods to create Time Location Charts, I’ve created a 30-minute video course that covers everything you need to know about Time Location Charts, including:
- What are Time Location Charts
- Why they are the best way to communicate a project schedule
- Who can benefit from Time Location Charts
- How to read Time Location Charts
- How to optimise a schedule using a Time Location Chart
- The best (and worst) ways to generate Time Location Charts
- A 90-second demo of how to create a Time Location Chart with Turbo-Chart
- Tips on getting your team on board with using Time Location Charts
If you find it helpful, feel free to share it and send it along to anyone that can benefit. And, contact me with any questions about Time Location Charts and Turbo-Chart!