Due to the regionally distributed nature of tower sites, the telecom industry is subject to a wide and varying degree of workforce availability, which then drives scheduling complexities.

This variability poses particular challenges to project managers scheduling their workforce. Within project management, accurate date estimation and project durations are critically important. Poor estimations can result in drawn-out delivery times, which can in turn negatively impact the revenue of sites within a company’s portfolio.

Buffer time.

When scheduling their workforce, project managers often use something referred to as “buffer time”. Project managers may add "buffer time" to the estimated project timeline in order to mitigate any unforeseen problems that might impact the project's duration. Buffer time can aid risk management by preparing project managers for potential unexpected delays without needing to revise the project plan substantially.

Buffer time should be added for most activities in order to account for emergencies, as it can be critical for an organization’s project timelines. However, project managers need a more systematic and reliable approach when it comes to managing weekends, holidays, and other non-workdays. Scheduling and estimating workloads is an activity that should leverage project management software.

Holiday time.

Holidays can vary by state and country. For example, in the United States, only 38 of the 50 states celebrate President’s Day as a public holiday. In the European Union, Finland has the most public holidays (15), whereas Hungary, the United Kingdom, and The Netherlands have the fewest (8) according to "UK Receives Second Lowest Public Holiday Entitlement in the World". Juggling all the different holidays can be frustrating for any project manager dealing with multiple regions. Accounting for variances in holiday schedules within a project management solution can increase accuracy for project duration and ease the ongoing scheduling administration burden.

Business days and SLAs.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can vary by business days, calendar days, weekends, holidays, and emergency schedules. One team may have a regular 5-day work week, while a weekend crew may only have 2 days on their schedule. Using a 7-day workweek when setting up projects can mislead customers, as forecasting a project using the standard 7-day format, without the right buffers added in, could count weekends and non-work days as work days, artificially shortening the schedule. This can lead to customers believing that there is more time available than what is actually in their agreement, potentially increasing costs for the company.

Workday schedules in Siterra.

Within Accruent’s infrastructure lifecycle management solution, Siterra, tower portfolio administrators are able to define individual workweeks, and associated sets of holiday calendars, that align with a country, region, or other types of project scope. By adopting Workday Schedules, project managers can be more precise in managing both schedules and true level of effort for their projects. Project administrators can now define what constitutes a normal workweek, and capture holidays and other non-workdays into one or more holiday calendars with Workday Schedules. This streamlining feature reduces the degree of manual adjustments that would otherwise be required, achieving greater project scheduling accuracy by providing regionalized treatment of non-workdays.

With Workday Schedules in Siterra, project managers are now better equipped to handle all the scheduling nuances of a truly global operation.