Construction Scheduling. CPM Schedules for Government Construction Projects.

You’ve been successful in winning a government construction contract. Maybe it’s a project administered by a Federal agency like the United States Army Corps of Engineers or the Veteran’s Administration. Maybe it is a state agency. At any rate, if you haven’t started developing the project’s Baseline Schedule, now is the time to start.

The place to start is the CPM schedule requirements from the RFP docs. Although they may be found in different sections, almost every agency has CPM schedule requirements in their contracts. They all vary, but they are usually much more stringent than the commercial CPM schedule requirements most contractors are comfortable with.

Are you prepared to develop your baseline schedule while meeting these more stringent requirements?

There are usually limitations on the duration for work activities. There can be requirements for activity coding which you may not be familiar with. You need to understand how to develop project-level calendars, resources and activity code.

A CPM Schedule Consultant with experience developing and managing these types of schedules is a valuable resource for you. Even if you plan to keep your schedule work in-house, having an experienced CPM schedule consultant available for advice and mentoring is a good bet.

There is nothing magical or overly difficult about meeting the CPM schedule requirements, but it can be costly in terms of time and aggravation if you have to keep correcting the baseline schedule when you’re unable to get owner approval. You will have your hands full getting the site safety plan or accident prevention plan accepted. There is also the Quality Control Plan. These administrative submittals and other early submittals and subcontractor buy-out will keep your PM team tied up for the beginning of the project. A little help with your schedule development will relieve the pressure of getting all the required preconstruction work completed so you can start mobilization and doing the real project work.

And most importantly, you must have your baseline schedule accepted to be able to develop your first progress update and submit your invoice.

The key is paying attention to all the detailed requirements. These agencies usually enforce conformance with these specifications. The development of calendars, the special activity code structure, the method of assigning resources and cost, and the use of constraints are all spelled out in great detail.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are many CPM schedule consultants with plenty of experience working with these CPM schedule requirements. Find someone you’re comfortable with and let them take some of the burden from you….

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I’d love to hear what you think!

Please visit https://conschmanservices.com to learn more about Construction and Schedule Management Services, LLC

Please visit my LinkedIn account to learn more about me.

Please visit my “The Blue Book” ProView.

Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP

Construction Scheduling. Managing the Project with the Schedule.

You’ve put the time and effort into developing a CPM schedule for the project. You have the Baseline Schedule approved. What do you do with it now?

Do you use it to create your monthly invoicing? Do you use it to document delays? Did you really only develop it to satisfy the contract requirements?

Do you use it to help you manage the project?

The project schedule is a great tool for managing the project. Oh, it’s also good for invoicing, delay documentation, and satisfying a specification requirement…. But, if a PM will use the schedule to help manage the project workflow, life will be a little bit easier…

If you manage the schedule updates properly, your schedule will show you which work is critical, which is near critical, and which work can slide a little. This is itself frees you from worrying too much about what should be your focus. Get the critical work done now or sooner, don’t lose track of the near-critical work, and try not to let the other work slip.

If I have anything negative to say about using the project schedule, it is the tendency to let non-critical work slip. This will result in stacking and trade congestion which is extremely difficult to recover from. Always push all work all the time. But, critical and near critical work comes first.

Keeping the schedule current and properly updated will really help in resource projection and your subcontractors will be much happier when they see that you actually follow a schedule. For example, if you have progressed better than planned on the structure, you can see from the updated schedule that the subsequent work will be ready sooner allowing you to provide a date for follow-on subcontractors to mobilize and get work started, well ahead of time so they can better manage their workforce and delivery.

When delays do occur, having a good schedule helps in mitigating and measuring the impact. You can see potential resource shortage issues early and take action.

There are so many reasons a good CPM schedule will help the PM.  As a CPM Schedule Consultant, it’s hard to see why many contractors have so much resistance to putting in the effort and time to develop a good schedule in the first place.

I’m sure many of you have comments or additional insight into this subject. Please share!

I’d love to hear what you think!

Please visit https://conschmanservices.com to learn more about Construction and Schedule Management Services, LLC

Please visit my LinkedIn account to learn more about me.

Please visit my “The Blue Book” ProView. Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP