As a continuation of my previous posts, I will continue to discuss some of the important progress update items we review and analyze.
I will now discuss the process of verifying the network logic is complete.
When the contractor adds the actual Start and Finish Date and expected Finish Date data to the schedule update, the new scheduled completion date if most often not what any of us want. Usually, there has been slippage in work progress in an area that must be addressed.
The contractor will investigate and add resources or increase hours for that work or re-sequence the work in the most cost-effective manner possible to recover any lost time. The contractor is usually required to convey that plan to you with the schedule update narrative. However, this is seldom the complete picture…..
Quite simply, when there are logic changes made, it is easy to create missing logic such as an activity with one successor with only a Start-to-Start, SS relationship. This leaves this logic open as the finish of the activity does not drive the start or finish of any other work.
Reverse logic can also be inadvertently created. This is when an activity has only a predecessor with a Finish-to-Finish, FF relationship and a successor with an SS relationship. With this condition, any increase in duration of this activity will actually pull the successor back in time. Not realistic…
Those are a couple of the basic items we look at.
It is simple enough to “recover” time on the update by shortening a duration here or there and perhaps changing some Finish-to-Start, FS logic to Start-to-Start, SS logic. If the contractor can actually commit to the production necessary to achieve the shorter duration, great. If the work can actually be completed with the new logic, that’s good too.
The means and methods of how the contract plans to execute the project is really only of concern to us if it is blatantly clear it is not achievable. This is only my humble opinion. We won’t delve into construction contract law in my posts. I’m not qualified.
However, the schedule specifications and schedule best practices have been developed to provide a means of maintaining a valid schedule. We can argue means and methods of the execution, but the requirements for the schedule provide us with the tools to manage the schedule update process correctly and keep a valid schedule in place each period for managing the work and potential delays and changes.
That said, we run filters and programs that provide us with the list of items changed between schedules. This lets us know what changed, but not necessarily why. This is why the schedule update narrative is important. It is the contractor’s tool to convey this information to the owner.
If we find several relationship changes to activities which were on the previous period schedule update Critical Path for Near Critical Path(s), we need to know why these logic revisions where made. Was it to better sequence the work based on input from the subcontractor’s performing the work? Is it an attempt to shift the Critical Path? Is it masking a lack of performance for work on the Critical Path? Same holds true for the Near Critical Path(s).
Often times, the contractor is able to better plan the work immediately in front of them. This involves minor revisions to the logic and/or durations. Any changes to these items and other items such as calendars and resources should be included in the schedule update narrative and explained.
It’s easy to spot the poor performance trend when you have an Owner’s scheduler review each update period. This provides an early flag for the owner and the contractor, so the necessary actions can be taken to recover sooner rather than later……
I’m sure many of you have comments or additional insight into this subject. Please share!
I’d love to hear what you think!
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Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP