What the best construction scheduling software brings to the table

A line of hammers in a construction job site

Table of Contents:

Why use construction scheduling software?

Top 5 must-have's in the best construction scheduling software in 2023

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each category to really bring this home

Key features to look for in the scheduling softwares

Best construction scheduling softwares comparison table

Download the full best construction scheduling comparison table

Construction scheduling software is an invaluable tool for any construction business. A construction project schedule provides a way to plan and organize projects, track progress, manage resources and budgets, and forecast outcomes. The schedule itself is often referred to as the backbone of any construction project.

Simple construction schedule software may provide a calendar view, while more advanced projects are familiar with Gantt Charts. Construction project managers should be able to quickly assess the status of their projects and identify potential problems before they occur. The best construction scheduling software also allows them to easily adjust timelines when needed and keep track of costs, allow their superintendent to create schedule lookaheads directly within the same system, and even allow trade partners to access the system to plan out their own work.

Further, the software helps to streamline communication between project stakeholders, giving them a better understanding of the entire project’s timeline. Ultimately, the best scheduling software for construction can help construction businesses save time and money, improve accuracy, and increase efficiency.

When selecting a construction scheduling program, it is essential to consider certain features. These include reporting and analytics, resource management, cost tracking, workflow automation, communication tools, and customer support. All of these elements should be taken into consideration when making a choice. The most effective construction scheduling tool should also be flexible in order to meet the specific needs of a particular business.

Ultimately, the best scheduling software for construction should be easy to use and integrate seamlessly with other systems. It must be intuitive for users so that they can quickly set up projects and make updates without a steep learning curve.

A recent survey polling US construction industry workers on how project scheduling software could be improved yielded these results:

US construction industry workers

  1. It has to be easy to use. 
  2. It should work with other software being used for project management, like Procore.
  3. Scheduling and field planning should be connected in one software solution as they are directly dependent on each other
  4. Trusted trade partners should be given access to login and plan their work. 
  5. Top notch training and support must be made available to project teams as they transition to using the solution


1. Intuitive user interface

The best construction schedule software naturally comes with the most intuitive and user-friendly interface. This type of interface allows users to quickly and easily navigate the system and access the features they need. Natural user-behaviors like dragging and dropping between activities during project planning or sequencing activities with one click are taking traditional scheduling tools to a new level. Additionally, an intuitive user-interface ensures that everyone on a project can use the software without having to go through long training processes. Intuitive user-interfaces also help to streamline the project management process, keeping everything organized and on track. Ultimately, an intuitive user-interface is essential in the best software for construction scheduling as it helps each project create its schedule faster and easier, while also making it easier to maintain and manage the schedule during the life of the project.

2. Workflow automation and integrations

Workflow automation features are essential when evaluating the finest scheduling software for construction. These features allow businesses to streamline multiple processes, such as project setup, communication between stakeholders, document management, and more. Workflow automation in scheduling allows users to create a schedule lookahead directly from the project master schedule itself, rather than recreating it in a separate, disconnected system.  With your project schedule connected to an ongoing lookahead, real-time progress updates from the field are immediately sent to the schedule itself to provide timely updates and keep everyone on the same page. Ultimately, the right workflow automation features can save businesses both time and money, while at the same time improving accuracy and efficiency.

Integrations with other systems, like your project management software, are essential for the best construction project scheduling software. Integrations allow businesses to easily connect their construction project management software to their existing tools and platforms, such as accounting and payment systems. This helps streamline the process of managing projects and ensures that everything is running smoothly. Additionally, integrations can help users save time by automatically updating information from other systems. This eliminates the need to manually enter data and ensures that project progress is accurately tracked. Ultimately, integrations with other systems are essential for a great construction project scheduling software as the top businesses have the best connectivity between the systems they use and the data collected and processed within each.

Outbuild embedded into Procore
To learn more on how to plug in Outbuild to Procore, click here

3. Trades are given limited login access to plan their own work

The best general contractors and construction managers find their success by having top notch relationships and communication with their trade partners.  A construction scheduling platform allows your selected trade partners to login to an online software that allows them to plan their own work and communicate any challenges or potential constraints preventing construction progress. By having streamlined communication the most important information gets to the right people when they need it, which helps avoid rework and project delays.

4. Customer support 

You know you don't have good scheduling software if you lack outstanding customer support. A reliable customer support team can provide users with the help and guidance they need to maximize the efficiency of their project management processes. The right customer support team should be available online virtually 24/7, offering quick response times and helpful advice. Additionally, customers should have access to a user-friendly knowledge base with up-to-date information on the software and best practices. Ultimately, customer support is an essential part of any scheduling program for construction as it helps businesses get the most out of their project management processes. A good customer support team can ensure that businesses have peace of mind in knowing that their projects are running smoothly and efficiently.

5. Reporting and analytics

Reporting and analytics features are essential for all of the construction softwares available. These features allow businesses to track progress, assess the status of their projects, forecast outcomes, and manage resources more efficiently. With reporting and analytics, users can quickly identify potential problems before they occur and make any necessary adjustments to timelines or budgets. Additionally, the reporting and analytics features provide users with a comprehensive overview of their projects, allowing them to make informed decisions across their whole portfolio of projects.

Outbuild's Analytics Module
Outbuild's Analytics Module

Resource management 

These features allow businesses to assign personnel more accurately and efficiently, as well as keep track of resources needed for projects. With resource management, users can quickly identify which employees or groups best fit the project requirements, schedule them accordingly, and adjust assignments if necessary. This helps ensure that projects stay on track and that personnel are best utilized. Resource management is also useful for tracking resources such as tools and materials needed for a project, ensuring that nothing is missed and that everything arrives on time. Ultimately, the right resource management features can save businesses both time and money.

Cost tracking

Cost tracking features are essential for any construction scheduling platform. These features enable businesses to monitor their expenses and make sure that their projects stay on budget. Cost tracking allows users to quickly identify areas of potential savings and make adjustments accordingly. With cost tracking, businesses can also keep track of vendor invoices and payments, ensuring that all bills are paid on time. Additionally, cost tracking features allow businesses to compare bids from multiple vendors and make sure that they are getting the best price for their products or services. Ultimately, cost tracking can help businesses reduce costs and improve profitability and is a great feature to consider when searching for the best construction schedule software.

Custom settings 

Customization options available add considerable value for businesses looking to tailor the software to their specific needs. With customization options, businesses can create a unique workflow and set up custom fields, views, and reports that make it easier to track project progress. Additionally, users can customize their notifications so they stay informed on key updates without being overwhelmed by too many emails. Customization options also enable users to personalize the user interface, making it easier for them to find the information they need quickly and easily. Ultimately, customization options in construction scheduling software offer businesses the flexibility and control needed to maximize productivity and efficiency. With these options, businesses can ensure that their software is meeting their exact needs and requirements.

Security

Security is an essential feature of any construction management scheduling software. It ensures that sensitive project data is kept safe and secure from unauthorized access. A good security system should include measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and user activity tracking to ensure that only authorized users are accessing the system. Additionally, a good security system should provide users with an audit trail that shows who is accessing and editing data. Ultimately, security is essential for businesses as it protects their sensitive project data and ensures that unauthorized users cannot access or modify it. With a good security system in place, businesses can rest assured that their data is safe and secure.

Now that you know what you're looking for, here's the list of: 

General Features

Features Outbuild MS Project Phoenix Powerproject Primavera P6 SureTrack Procore Autodesk build Excel Touchplan RefinemySite
Unlimited Users Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
User Based License Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web Based (Live Data) Yes Project Web P6 Cloud Yes Yes Yes Yes
Onboarding and Training Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Procore Single Sign-On Yes Yes
Ease of Use Easy Average Average Hard Hard Hard Easy Average Easy Average Average

General Features are key because they define the software's user experience, functionality, and ability to integrate with existing project management systems. An intuitive interface ensures user adoption, while workflow automation and integrations simplify processes, saving time and resources. Trade partner access enhances collaboration, leading to better project coordination. Moreover, responsive customer support ensures ongoing assistance, and reporting and analytics empower data-driven decision-making. By embracing these General Features, construction scheduling software becomes a powerful tool for enhancing project planning, execution, and overall success.

Scheduling Features

Features Outbuild MS Project Phoenix Powerproject Primavera P6 SureTrack Procore Autodesk build Excel Touchplan RefinemySite
Gantt Scheduling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Critical Path Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Baselines Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calendars Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Templates Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fragnets Yes Yes Yes Yes
Schedule export to PDF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Procore Schedule Connection Yes
Complex Schedule analysis and report generation Yes Yes Yes

Scheduling Features are crucial for constructing realistic and manageable project schedules, identifying critical paths, and maintaining project timelines. These features enable efficient resource allocation, track project progress against the original plan, and facilitate communication among project stakeholders. With the aid of scheduling features, construction project managers can optimize project timelines, mitigate risks, and achieve successful project outcomes.

Field Planning

Features Outbuild MS Project Phoenix Powerproject Primavera P6 SureTrack Procore Autodesk build Excel Touchplan RefinemySite
Lookahead Planning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pull Planning Yes Yes Yes
4 Weeks Lookahead Exportable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Users Collaboration at Lookahead Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Roadblock/Constraint Management Yes Yes Yes
Procore RFIs Integration Yes
Schedule and Lookahead Planning connected Yes
Delay from the Lookahead warns the Schedule Yes
Weekly Workplan Yes Yes Yes

Field Planning Features are critical in the selection of the best construction scheduling software because they empower field teams and trade partners to collaborate effectively, optimize daily workflows, and adapt to real-time changes. A construction project scheduling software equipped with these features enhances project coordination, reduces delays, and ultimately leads to successful project delivery on time and within budget.

Analytics Features

Features Outbuild MS Project Phoenix Powerproject Primavera P6 SureTrack Procore Autodesk build Excel Touchplan RefinemySite
Track Reasons for Delays Yes Yes Yes
Lean Construction Analytics Yes Yes Yes
Project Dashboard Yes Yes Yes
Ipad App Yes Yes Yes

Analytics Features provided by construction scheduling software empower construction businesses to harness the power of data for better decision-making, continuous improvement, and project performance evaluation. The ability to access real-time analytics and track delay reasons is crucial for staying on top of project progress and ensuring successful project delivery. When choosing the best scheduling software, robust analytics capabilities are a key factor to consider for driving efficiency and excellence in construction projects.

scheduling and planning solutions comparison table
Full comparison table PDF


In conclusion, the best construction scheduling software must have an intuitive user-interface for easy navigation, customization options for unique workflows, integrations with other systems to streamline processes, a secure system that allows approved trades to login, but protects sensitive data from unauthorized access and outstanding customer support. These features and more are included in Outbuild and are essential for businesses of all sizes in order to maximize productivity and efficiency while ensuring their projects are completed successfully. With a cloud based solution like Outbuild in place, contractors can be certain that they have the best scheduling software for construction in place.

Learn more about:

Outbuild - MS Project - Phoenix - Powerproject - Primavera P6 - Procore - Autodesk Build - TouchPlan - Refinemysite

Lee Evans
Lee Evans
Growth at Outbuild
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