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Chapter 8

Project Monitoring and Control


Its important to have a schedule, but its more important to use it

Planning for the unplanned

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Project Control

Project control can be


reduced to two basic
components:

Monitoring and control

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Construction Time

Construction progress is generally measured in


terms of days

Working days and calendar days

Working days schedules are easier to prepare


than those based on calendar days

Some activities are better measured in calendar


daysworking days may not be meaningful

There are shortcomings to each, some of which


are common to both

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Start Date

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Construction Time

It is important to be able to convert a working-day


schedule to a calendar-day schedule

And vice-versa

One issue not often clearly resolved concerns


the definition of float

Are the total float and free float measured in terms


of working days or calendar days?

It is essential that it be defined in terms that match the


time convention in the definition of activity durations

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Effective Scheduling

To be an effective project control tool, the schedule


have the following attributes:

It must be an accurate reflection of the way the job


is actually constructed
It must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate
changes and to also predict their impact
It must allow for corrections as necessary to keep the
schedule current or up to date

Control consists essentially of monitoring progress


and updating the schedule as needed

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Effective Scheduling

Communications should constantly be two-way in


nature:

Information about the schedule communicated to field


personnel must in a form clearly understood
Field personnel should recognize that the information
they generate is important

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Monitoring Project Status

The first step to using a schedule is to monitor


progress in relation to the schedule

Scheduled items must be organized in a rational


manneras in work breakdown structures (WBS)

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Monitoring Project Status


Many firms elect to develop their own unique
numbering system for their projects

A carefully crafted numbering system that


describes the work activities on a project can
be useful for isolating desired work items
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Monitoring Project Status

Monitoring consists of receiving or


maintaining accurate reports of events
that have taken place on the project
and specific work items accomplished
Essentially a means by which feedback is
obtained on the progress on the project

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Monitoring Project Status

Monitoring can be accomplished through direct


observationfield visits to the site

Appropriate as the sole monitoring mechanism where


there is a short span of control or a shallow hierarchy

As firms get larger and projects get more complex, it


becomes necessary to formalize the method of
capturing information

One common method uses photography

Sequential pictures taken at regular intervals

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Project Monitoring

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Monitoring Project Status

Check-off lists may prove to


be effective field
personnel indicate the
status of various work
items
Started
Finished
In-progress

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Monitoring Project Status

Feedback about job progress may also be obtained


directly on bar charts sent out to the field

Limited value on large projects

On very complex projects with thousands of


activities, it is best to print out a network

Broken down by subgroupssuch as designated


areas on the project or specified crafts

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Monitoring Project Status

It is common to include procurement activities


on project schedulesespecially where major
purchases are involved

Long-lead items warrant particular attention

A general contractor is well advised to include the


right to be involved in monitoring subcontractor
purchases

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Monitoring Project Status

Safety is a topic that must underlie every


activity included in a scheduleclearly
not a subject to be included only
as an afterthought
Every activity should be considered in terms
of related or specific safety needs

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Safety Considerations

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Difficulties in Assessing
Progress

Field project status reports should be provided with


the same level of detail as used in developing the
original schedule

It might be simplerand more accurateto break


certain activities into two or three basic activities

The primary issue is to attempt to define activities


that have durations with approximately the same
order of magnitude as the monitoring period

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Updating the Schedule

The schedule is an effective management tool only


as long as it bears a reasonable resemblance to
the actual project

When discrepancies are noted, adjustments must


be made to the network known as updating

Feedback is importantand should come from


competent field personnel

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Updating the Schedule

Overall, updating is required whenever


the schedule no longer reflects the actual
operations taking place on the project
Updating is not needed if all duration/cost
estimates are accurate and sequencing of the
activities is exactly as originally scheduled

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Controlling the Project

The driving force for keeping a project on


schedule is money

If an activity started on or before its late start date


(and/or finished by its late finish date), the project
itself will not be delayed

Activities started after their late start (or finished


after late finish) will cause a delay in the project

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Controlling the Project

Contractors must determine whether it is to their


benefit to recover from delays

Who is responsible for the delay?


Is it economically advantageous to recover lost days?

The issue of delay responsibility is related to


whether the contractor is awarded, or is liable for,
costs and additional time to complete the project

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Controlling the Project

The categories of responsibilities are as follows:

Owner (or agent) responsible: Contractor granted


time extension & additional costswhere warranted
Contractor/subcontractor responsible: Contractor
will not be granted time or costsmay have to pay
damages/penalties
Neither party responsible: Contractor will receive
additional time to complete the projectbut no costs
will be granted and no damages/penalties assessed
Both parties responsible: Contractor will receive
additional time to complete the projectbut no costs
will be granted and no damages/penalties assessed

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Recovery Schedules

A recovery schedule is one developed


subsequent to an update on the schedule,
with the purpose of recovering lost time
in a project schedule while minimizing
the cost of the project

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Recovery Schedules

What is the difference between a recovery


schedule and an updated schedule?

The updated schedule reflects the reality of the current


status of the project
No changes are made to logic or durations pertaining
to the activities that are yet to be completed
The recovery schedule reflects changes in the
uncompleted portion of the schedule

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Recovery Schedules

When is a recovery schedule needed?

When the scheduled completion date is extended


beyond the planned project completion date
When certain activities with positive float quickly lose
a large portion of the float

Might become critical or generate multiple critical paths

The owner of the project might also direct an


acceleration to deliver the project at an earlier date

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Recovery Schedules

Who initiates the recovery schedule?

The contractor who controls the schedule makes a


determination about the need for a recovery schedule
The owner may also request a recovery schedule to
have the contractor demonstrate how a completion
date will be met

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Recovery Schedules

The source of the motivation for the


preparation of a recovery schedule
can have serious legal implications

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Recovery Schedules

Contract documents may require a time impact


analysis when an update schedule indicates
completion date or interim milestone slippage

The contractor, under common law principles, has a


duty to mitigate delays to the schedule even if other
parties are responsible for causing the delays

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As-Built Schedules

What is the purpose of as-built schedules?

The most widely recognized use is in the area of


claims, especially delay claims
Use of an as-built schedule of the entire duration of a
project may show variations from the original schedule
were significant
As-builts might be prepared to develop a clear
historical record of a project

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As-Built Schedules

Sample Network
for an As-Built
Schedule

Sample Bar Chart


for an As-Built
Schedule

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As-Built Schedules

As-built schedules are not prepared on


most projects, and circumstances
warranting their use vary considerably
A schedulers particular needs and creativity
will determine the nature of as-builts to be
developed on specific projects

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