1 Time Management
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND DESIGN
BACHELOR OF QUANTITY SURVEYING (HONOURS)
QSB2414 – Management Science
April Semester 2014
Management Science Report
Submission Date: 17th June 2013
Name Student ID
Yam Yih Hwan 0305861
Low Rong Tzuoo 0304924
Ng Jun Keat 0314368
Dixon Cheong 0310356
Adrian Ng Kar Chun 0314516
Lau Yi Yin 0318969
Lau Chong Yen 0318973
2 Time Management
Table of Content Page
Cover Page 1
Table of Content 2
Introduction 3 - 4
Time, Cost & Quality in Construction 5 - 7
Time Management Process 8 - 11
Time Management Tips 12 - 15
Conclusion 16 - 17
Learning Outcomes 18
References 19 - 20
3 Time Management
What is time management? Time itself can’t be managed and it always move
forward, never move backwards. Every person has the equal amount of time in a day.
Hence, if you are managing time, you are not trying to control time; you are trying to
make your best use of your time. Time management is the act of taking mindful control
over the amount of time spent on specific actions. You apply time management to
increase in efficiency, success and productivity. You practice skills and use tools and
methods to assist you when achieving tasks, projects or are working toward goals and
deadlines. Time management is also all about effective scheduling of your time, aim
setting, selecting and also choosing what to do and what not to do, allocating tasks,
evaluating and reviewing your spent time, forming your workspace, keeping your
concentration and focus at your work and encourage yourself to work towards a goal.
Why is time management important? Because it is one of the most important
skills you need to learn if you want to become successful in anything you want to do in
life. By studying and practicing time management you manage your life in your own
hands. You’re in control and you will choose where you want to go to. Practicing time
management has lots of benefits and one of it is you will gain extra productive hours
because with better time management, you gain additional productive hours. You have
a tendency to be more disciplined when at work instead of talking about gossip with
your co-worker or aimlessly browsing the internet. Secondly, it will increase in your
efficiency and productivity. More work done, means more things learned. Thus you'll
collect much more knowledge than others for the same time invested. You’ll learn faster
how to do your work faster. You will be more attentive and therefore you will pay more
attention to your work. You'll progress more quickly than without using time
management skills. Thirdly, you will have more control over your life. By practicing
time management, you can manage the way how your life goes. You will have a better
perception on what work you can do and what work you can’t do. You are better in
organizing your stuff and prevent deadlines from becoming a problem. Deadline
difficulties are unfamiliar to you; instead you use your time relaxing when others are
stressing about work. Lastly, you can spend more time for enjoyment. If you love life,
4 Time Management
you need to practice time management. Because it will allows you to appreciate life to
the fullest, do what you want to do and practice what you want to practice. 'Do you love
life? Then don't waste time, because time is life!’ Benjamin Franklin.
Why is time management important in the construction industry? One of the
reasons is that the workers are often paid by hour, so time management will help to
control or manage the salary costs. Another reason why time management is important
in the construction industry is that having work being delayed or behind the working
schedule can hinder the entire project, mainly when one group or company must wait
for another company to finish a certain type of work before commencing the next step of
the project. Time management in a construction industry are also vital because, if the
projects that are been taken are not finish within the deadline that is given, then this can
void the contract and cause the construction company to lose a pile of money for breach
of contract. In construction industry, one of the biggest costs besides materials is paying
the labours. Skilled workers are also paid by the hour. So by taking effective time
management in construction projects includes giving workers reasonable aims,
workable timeframes and the resources to do their jobs, and expecting them to broad
their responsibilities in a timely manner. The more efficiently, precisely and effectively
that worker completes their jobs, the lower the overall cost will be. Time management in
construction is essential, as well, because construction projects are usually under
official written and legally binding contracts by which they must stand for. Workers and
supervisors must honor the contracts as written and approved upon. That company that
is responsible for constructing an office building does not have the project done by the
date that is already been set, it may lose part or all of the money it otherwise would
have earned because of a breach of contract. Time management, which consists of the
firm goals, is, therefore, vital for construction projects.
5 Time Management
Time, Cost & Quality in Construction Project
The three primary elements in a construction project are progress against time, cost
against budget and quality against specifications (Austen & Neale, 1995). These
elements are interdependent on each other (Mincks & Johnston, 2011). The three
elements are the factors in attaining the client’s objectives. Their goals are to achieve
are lowest cost, highest quality and shortest time. Figure 2.1 shows the
interdependency of these three elements.
Figure 2.1 Relationship of time, cost and quality
In practice, most projects will achieve the equilibrium of the three elements,
because usually a reasonable standard is required, costs must be affordable and
projects can rarely be allowed to run very long. However, in some circumstances, only
two of the three parameters can be optimized. For instance, when cost is of little
concern, time and quality dominate; when time is of little concern, cost and quality
dominate; when quality is of little concern, time and cost dominate (Woodward, 1997).
If the project is built in a compressed time frame and quality of work is
maintained, then the cost will increase (Mincks & Johnston, 2011), this is an example
for where the cost is of little concern, time and quality dominate. A trade-off is
compromised in this situation. The cost increase in this situation includes overtime work
and surplus labour and equipment (Woodward, 1997). Despite of cost increase, this
does not mean that costs are not carefully controlled.
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When cost and quality are dominants, time is of little concern. For example, the
construction of roof of a building where the work required more time to ensure that it is
up to specified standard (Woodward, 1997). While when longer time is used, larger cost
will be incurred in term of labour cost.
However, the last situation where quality is of little concern and time and cost
dominate does not work well in real life. This is because the consequences of failing
below specified standards will usually incur additional costs (Woodward, 1997).
Timely completion of a construction project is frequently seen as a major criterion
of project success by clients, contractors and consultants alike (Bowen, et. al., 2002).
Effective planning and programming the design and construction is fundamental to the
timely completion of the project. A project manager should fulfill time management skills
in order to complete a project within acceptable period.
To achieve time control, project plan and programme will be established using
hierarchical system of program over a period of time, namely Gantt chart. Progress
throughout the stages of pre-contract and post-contract will be monitored on a regular
basis. By this, delays will be noted as early as possible and ways to overcome can be
implemented as early as possible.
Besides, another tool to aid in time control is Critical Path Method (CPM), where
it is used to identify and interface the activities that are required to complete a project.
Free float, total float, and critical activities can be determined through CPM.
The aim of cost control of a construction project should be ensuring the final cost
of the project does not exceed the budget. To achieve the aim, cost plan should be
established, where based on an approximate cost estimate, indicating the quality,
quantity and unit price for major cost elements (Austen & Neale, 1995). The cost plan
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should cover all stages of the project and will be essential reference against which the
project costs are managed. The cost plan provides the basis for a cash flow plan, based
upon the master schedule, allocating expenditure and income to each period of the
client’s financial year.
Total quality management is a process of bringing quality to the construction
project. Mincks and Johnston (2011) stated that “the quality of a construction project is
the product of innovation, quality improvement, and productivity improvement,
implemented by an involved and responsible workforce”. Quality control should be
exercised during all stages of a project, initiating from briefing stage to commissioning
stage (Austen & Neale, 1995).
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Time Management Process
There are nine types of time management process in construction. There are
Activity Definition, Activity Sequencing, Activity Resource Estimating, Activity Duration
Estimating, Schedule Development, Schedule Control, Activity Weights, Progress
Curves Development, and Progress Monitoring. Activity Definition, Activity Sequencing,
Activity Resource Estimating, Activity Duration Estimating, Activity Weights mostly
happen at the planning stage of a project.
Activity definition is a process to identify the specific schedule activities that need
to be performed to produce the various project deliverable. Implicit in this process is
defining and planning the schedule activities such that the project objectives will be
met. This means that before a construction project begins, everything must be plan step
by step first so that the project will run smoothly. This is to prevent argument during the
construction. Other than that is also to save time so that the project will not be delayed.
To ensure functional requirements are met, the quality of the project met the
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Activity sequencing is the process of identifying and documenting dependencies
among schedule activities and which tasks have to be started or finished before or after
other tasks. You cannot test a system without building it first. So if your schedule testing
before the development phase, your project is almost doomed. The goal of the activity
sequencing process is to determine the dependencies among the schedule activities
and sequence the activities accordingly. Activity sequencing for construction requires
creating and following a work schedule that balances the timing of land disturbance
activities and the installation of measures, in order to reduce confusion on-site and off-
site sedimentation. In a construction site is very important, for example, a floor slab is
already built but the foundation is not. Everything needs to be built step by step and
according to the plan. This process includes activity list, activity attributes, milestone list,
project scope statement and organizational process assets. Activity list contains the
schedule activities and needs to be arranged into the order. Activity attributes provides
additional insight into which activities need to be performed before others. Milestone list
provides you with key milestones that might influence the order of your activities. Project
scope statement helps you ensure nothing is missed, and could often influence your
activity performance. Organizational process assets exist to help in case there is some
relevant information from a similar project.
An activity resource estimating is a process in which the project team carefully
list out all of the resources that will be needed in completing a project. For example are
the total men, materials and machines that are required to perform different project
activities. This is also to determine different type of resource required, in what quantity
and when each resource will be available to perform the activities is worked out in this
process. The resource estimates may be useful for purposes of project monitoring and
cash flow planning. In a construction site, all the men, materials and machines are
calculated before the project begins. The successful utilization of activity resource
estimates will help assure that enough resources are acquired without waste and
excessive material. This will save a lot of time, so that the project will finish on time. It is
important to estimate activity resources because it helps create realistic schedule and
budget, affects procurement and contracts, ensures projects are properly resources,
10 Time Management
helps manage stakeholder expectations. There are a few information’s needed to
estimate activity resources which is the type of resources, physical and human
resources, quantity of resources, required skill sets to complete activity, project team
roles and availability.
Activity duration estimating is the time between the start and finish of a schedule
activity. This is to estimate the required time is done to carry out an activity based on
the scope and resource available. Normally it takes place before a project is kicked off,
during the conception phase, but sometime it is possible for the actual activity duration
estimating period to take place later, close to or even slightly after the project has
officially kicked off, however, even in those cases a draft or preliminary estimation has
typically been made. These durations are used extensively in preparing a schedule. In a
construction project, preparing a schedule is very important so that there would not
have anything miss out during the construction. A schedule is also use to show the
process of building in a construction.
Schedule Development Process is the process of analyzing activity sequences,
durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create a project schedule.
This provides a basis to monitor, control, and track down project activities. Also, it helps
to determine how best to allocate resources in order to achieve the project goals. These
help to figure out where excess resources are available, and able to reallocate onto
other projects. Entering the project scope, activity list, duration estimates, and resources
requirements into the scheduling tool generates a project schedule along with
completion dates for the activities. This also helps to assess how time delays will affect
the project, and prevent it from happening.
Construction scheduling tools is a collection of programme, processes and
information used in Schedule Development Process to manage a construction project.
By implementing project management software, it allows to standardize processes, gain
insight into existing and potential problems, and increase the accuracy of time and cost
estimates. There are some tools and techniques for combining these inputs to develop
the schedule; for examples: Schedule Network Analysis, a graphic representation of
11 Time Management
the project's activities, the time it takes to complete them, and the sequence in which
they must be done. Project management software is typically used to create a Gantt
charts or PERT Charts. Critical Path Analysis, a process of looking at all of the
activities that must be completed, and calculating the best solution or critical path to
take so that the project can be complete in the minimum amount of time. The method
calculates the earliest and latest possible start and finish times for project activities.
Schedule Compression, to help lesser down the duration of a project by decreasing
the time allotted for certain activities. It's done so that it can meet time constraints, and
still keep the original scope of the project.
Outputs of Activity Process along with outputs of Schedule Development Process
allow preparing of progress curves. Schedule Control and Progress Monitoring
processes are normally used to control and monitor actual project progress and as a
result of these two processes outputs for required project correction are developed,
such as the schedule updates, progress monitoring plan updates, progress curves
update, corrective actions and lessons learned. Poor planning, lack of updated project
plans and a failure to apply a critical path analysis technique affect project performance
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Time Management Tips
In order to improve your time management skills, there are some tips to manage
your time better. First of all is to write things down. It is a common mistake made by
many people to use their memory to try to remember details. When they try to keep
every single detail in their mind, it tends to lead to information overloaded. If one’s mind
is overloaded with too much information, they might forget the little details or the details
might get mixed up, then the end result might be incorrect. For example in the
construction industry, if a person tries to remember all the values from the tender in their
head, they might miss out a digit/value, which will lead to a huge loss in their company.
Therefore, it is important to write things down, using a to-do list, to take control of their
project and tasks and keep yourself organized. With this tip, they don’t have to waste
time to crack their head for information when they start their project because all the
details are already written down. It also helps to finish their project in a shorter period.
The second tip to improve your time management skill is prioritizing your to-do
list. Without prioritizing your to-do list, in an order which is more important, they might
end up wasting time on less important stuff. Therefore they might be unable to finish
their project on time. On the other hand, by prioritizing your to-do list, it helps focus and
spend more time on the things that really matter. This can be done by rating your tasks
into categories using ABCD prioritization system. For example, after making your to-do
list that you have made, categorize them by which of the list is more time consuming or
by which is more difficult. Therefore, as the project progresses, it gets easier and faster
to finish since the tougher tasks have already been completed. Hence, prioritizing your
list is one of the ways that will help improve time management skills.
Besides that, a tip that will help develop better time management skill is by
planning your week. Spending some time at the beginning of each week to plan your
schedule plays a big role to improve one’s time management skills. If your week is not
planned beforehand, tasks on the to-do lists might not be able to complete on time.
Without planning your week in advance, you might also end up wasting time doing
unnecessary activities while you could have been finishing up the tasks on the to-do list.
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Thus, by taking extra time to plan your week can help increase productivity and balance
your important long-term projects with your urgent tasks. For example, during the week,
instead of using more time thinking about what to do next, you already know what you
are supposed to do because you have already planned out your schedule at the
beginning of the week. In addition, it takes only fifteen to thirty minutes each week to do
The next time management tip is carry a small notebook. If you do not carry a
notebook around, you might miss out or forget some great ideas that you had thought of
during the day because you did not manage to write the ideas down in the notebook.
Besides that, you might forget to do something that you were told to do because you did
not manage to write it down. For instance, you thought of a great idea to help on the
project you are working on during your lunch break, but unfortunately, you forgotten
what the idea was because it was not written down. Hence, having a notebook is
essential because you never know when you are going to have a great idea or brilliant
insight. Irony, “sometimes, little things make a big difference” (Varsimashvili), said Nino
Some people say they don’t have enough time to do what they want to do. This is
so because always say ‘YES’ when they are already overloaded with work. Thus
leading us to our next tip which is learning to say ‘NO’. If you don’t learn to say ‘NO’,
you might end up using your precious time doing low priority tasks rather than higher
priority tasks. For example, if your colleagues asks you to go clubbing with them and
you say ‘YES’, a lot of time which you could be finishing your project is wasted/gone in a
blink of an eye. Therefore, by learning to say ‘NO’ to low priority requests, you will free
up time to spend on things that are more important.
Another time management tip is to think before acting. It is better to allow time to
ponder before a decision is being made. By thinking before act, it will help a person to
avoid conflicts, potential problems and unnecessary works (Silber, 1998). There should
be a plan on making time to think and get organized. It is a sound investment and it
should be one part of your daily routine. There are some people who prefer to plan first
thing in the morning while other prefers the end of the day. It is better to keep the plan
14 Time Management
simple and flexible. Even though a person’s priorities will change from time to time, it
does not matter as long as the person is heading for the right direction. A person can
plan each day’s work by using small note book or a planning diary or even electric note
book. The planner should be keep handy at all times (Moss, 2007).
Next, good time management skill can also be owned by continuously improve
yourself. A person should make time to learn new things and the results will eventually
develop a person’s natural talents and abilities (Richard & Bohlke, 2011). Personal
development enables a person to form the habit to learn more. With continuously self-
improvement, there comes the discipline to manage and use your time more effectively
to accomplish more goals. To do so, self-motivation is always the priority as none can
continuously improve without the aid of self-motivation (Joshua-Amadi, 2013).
Examples of ways to improve self are by reading books, attending a training program or
Besides, another tip is by thinking about what you are giving up to do regular
activities. There are many people complain that time is moving fast or they are always
pressed for time. The reason they are hurry is that they want to do everything and we
have only 24 hours a day (Sahoo, 2007). It is a good idea to regularly evaluate how a
person spends his time. In some cases, the best thing you can do is to stop doing an
activity that is no longer serving you so you can spend the time doing something more
valuable. Consider what you are giving up in order to maintain your current activities
(Mokhetho, Moupanaga & Lerotholi, 2013). It is better to have a very good balance in all
your activities. A person has to give up something to get something especially time. This
is a skill. The better you become at this skill, the more enjoyable the life will become
Besides, there is another tip which is by identifying bad habits. Bad habits are
easy to learn but very difficult to break. It is a need to develop skills like self-awareness.
It is essential to identify ones’ bad habits or during practicing a bad habit. To break and
change the habits, one can start self-motivation by using structures as a reminder on
the benefits of changing the habit and what is at stake if one failed to change the bad
habits. There are ways to identify bad habits. Partners, colleagues and family also helps
15 Time Management
in changing bad habit. They can point out the blind spots, or act as an accountability
partner for the bad habits. In the end of the day, a person can reward himself when he
starts to associate with new behaviour rather than practicing bad habits (O’Donovan,
Lastly, creating blocks of time is also another tip for time management. First of all,
each day is divided into blocks of time. By doing so, it does not only make it easier to
plan or organize the day in advance, it also makes better use of time. Instead of
switching from one task to another as things pop into mind, focusing on one task at a
block of time is always much more efficient. If a person has regular task to do every
week, time should be blocked for the same time each week (Evans, 2008). Time that
has been blocked out can also include own recreation, play or personal activities.
Always stick to own schedule which is the main priority. Tell those people who ask for
your personal time that you are busy and need not to explain (Dodd & Sundheim, 2008).
1. Write things down
2. Prioritize your List
3. Plan your week
4. Carry a notebook
5. Learn to say NO
6. Think before acting
7. Continuously improve yourself
8. Think about what you are giving up to do regular activities
9. Identify bad habits
10.Block out time
16 Time Management
Based on the result of the study carried out for our Time Management report, we
have realized that Time Management has an important role in the construction industry.
Time management shows that, how the construction workers’ attitude, behavior and
how much of effort they put in their respective construction project. Employees should
know and learn to manage their time efficiently as they have never thought of managing
time in an effective manner.
It is said that time and tide waits for no one, so our attempts would be to make
the best use of time and prevent others from wasting our time too. Time Management
winds up all the construction workers’ observations on time management during their
project. It also summarizes the causes that make us subconsciously waste our time
during a work process and at the same time suggests solutions to save time as much as
possible. It also offers tips to make the best use of time.
If the construction project provide a good schedule for workers to do what they
need to do each day and when they should finish their work, it will let the construction
project to be carried out smoothly, finish on the targeted dates, save cost and other
benefits. Besides that, as with all the precious resources, time is a scarce resource. The
wisdom lies in making the most of it.
Furthermore, for the nine processes that we have discussed in our report, they
were described in the Project Management Institute guides and they can be overlapped
during project stages or run at the same time. During practice, especially for small and
medium sized construction project, Time Management activity is decreased to a few
major processes. Also, some employees in their publications have narrowed a number
of processes required for an effective Time Management. It means that an effective
Time Management as an entire Project Management is all about planning, scheduling,
monitoring, control, and reporting as well as about making decisions on required
changes and their performance during construction project.
17 Time Management
Moreover, for other Time Management activities such as resource allocating,
setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and analysis of time spent are also vital. Every
construction project must be able to provide a good planning to achieve their goals. For
example, if the construction company has lack of updated project plans and a failure to
apply a critical path analysis technique, it will affect project performance and results.
The most common way to design a project plan for construction project is by using a
Gantt chart which is developed from a precedence network diagram indicating a critical
path of the project. Bottom-up estimating, analogous estimating and expert judgment
are most popular techniques for activity resource and duration estimating. The accuracy
of this estimation is vital for project plan, effective Time Management and when the
result of the project is out. The differentiation of priority for project tasks within a project
can be very important and very effective for Time Management. The priority is also
helpful, if the project manager is required to make some time related trade-offs between
Therefore, Time Management is a vital part in construction industry; it will easily
affect the cost, time to use, workers' attitude and other activities in a construction project.
Construction Company should provide a good Time Management planning or schedule
before the construction work start. Hence, the construction work will be finish on time.
18 Time Management
Through this assignment, we learn:
To be much more disciplined
To plan for things which is more value to us & improve the quality of life
Good personal time management skills
To have good follow up
To reduce wasted time
To improve productivity & performance
Balance and fulfillment
To keep track of everything
19 Time Management
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