Construction Scheduling. Spotting a Potential Resource Issue Early. Or, Why isn’t my Contractor Keeping up?

QuestionWould you like to be able to spot a potential contractor or subcontractor production shortfall early? Perhaps get ahead of the lagging work?

There are many ways to mine this info and establish the trend. I’ll offer a very simple method for P6 here.

If you set the percent complete type to physical, display the physical percent complete and the duration percent complete columns along with the start and finish date columns, you can spot potential production issues quickly when you update.

Personally, I like to run my cost based on my physical percent complete, but different project types require different methods….. But for this method, we will be basing the cost complete on the physical percent complete prorated over the entire duration.

Once you have the actual start date and physical percent complete you should enter the expected finish date to establish the revised scheduled finish date for the activity. Doing this will result in a different duration percent complete than the physical percent complete you entered based on actual work completed. The variance will show if the production rate for this work was accurate as actualized to date or if the actual production rate is better or worse than planned.

If the work is 50% physical complete and the adjustment to the scheduled finish date forces the duration percent complete to be 65%, you may want to investigate to find out if the original assumptions were incorrect or if this resource is adequate to meet the production as planned. If the same resource is having problems for several activities, there could be a trend that needs attention.

Simple. There are more accurate ways to measure this, such as resource man hours or units completed. But this is a quick, easy way to spot an issue just by looking at the schedule as you update or look over the schedule in a meeting…..

What other “easy” ways have you found to monitor the work and spot potential production issues?

I’d love to hear what you think!

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Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP

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