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The better QA system

David Jung21-Aug-2017 14:18:212 min read

Using S-Curves in construction to improve processes


One of the most powerful tools in modern construction project management are S-Curves - but what exactly are S-curves?

S-Curves are mathematic graphs that typically show “how many tasks are planned to be completed (yellow in the chart below)” compared to “how many tasks have actually been completed until today (blue)” for the runtime of a project.


Using S-Curves in construction project management offers multiple advantages which I would like to discuss and summarize shortly:

  1. A planned S-Curve helps to assess the quality of your project progress. If the curve comes up increasing nice and smooth, overall looking at least roughly like an 'S' indicates that your planned schedule seems to work out fine.

    However, If the curve shows jumps or plateaus instead not so much. Jumps indicate an unusually high workload which your team might not be able to tackle. Plateaus indicate no work at all which is also bad if you are paying a team to be on-site anyways.

  2. As you already saw, S-Curves provide a solid insight into the upcoming workload. Therefore, they will also help forecast when e.g. more than the usual labour is needed on site.

  3. Adding the actual S-Curve into the chart will help you to understand how your project team is performing at the moment, how it was performing in the past and when exactly things might have taken a different turn than planned.

  4. This planned vs. actual comparison “over time” will help with identifying potential problems earlier, forecasting how your project team will perform and ultimately identifying bottlenecks which might arise in the future. This helps you understand what is happening at all stages of the project.

Since S-Curves are such a powerful tool, we at Sablono recently added them to our Lean Construction Management platform. And because on our platform they are connected to the extensive process and progress database we feel that they deliver even more value. They will help to deliver your construction project not only on time but also on budget. Here’s why:

  1. If you want to analyze the actual state of your project, the first thing you need is accurate data which you can trust. Sablono offers just that by allowing you to collect data while on-site in a structured way using one of our mobile applications.

  2. One of the main features of our platform is the possibility to easily set up detailed processes including unlimited steps which need to be executed to complete a deliverable. You and your team will report progress based on those process steps. And, from now on you may look at separate S-Curves for each of those steps.

    It has never been easier to understand which part of your process is usually causing delays. Imagine the tremendous possibilities of this! It will be a massive help when it comes to optimizing your construction processes. And, once your process is optimized you will start saving time and therefore keep project costs down.

  3. Since you also can assign team responsibilities to each process step the S-Curve will on top help to identify which (sub-)contractors are performing well and which are not delivering. 

Sablono is way easier to use than you might think and we offer not only a support centre but also fast and friendly customer support using our inApp chat capabilities.