Technical Program Abstracts

(PS) Planning and Scheduling

NOTE: Program Subject to Change

(PS-3333) Two Truths and a Lie Game: Fellows Edition

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE; Ronald M. Winter, PSP FAACE; Valerie G. Venters, CCP FAACE

Abstract:

The AACE Fellows have hundreds of years worth of experience in all the cost engineering/project controls disciplines, and this session is an opportunity for Fellows to give back to the community.  This year the war stories will all follow a theme of Recovery and Mitigation Efforts that Went South. 

The session will include a Moderator, three Storytellers, and a Doubter, all AACE Fellows.  The three Storytellers will each provide three short war stories from their past projects, each of which will include two truths and one lie in their mix of stories, and the Doubter will question each Storyteller and provide challenges and objections in an effort to prove the stories to be lies.  Then the audience will get a chance to ask follow up questions and subsequently vote on whether the story is a Truth or a Lie.

(PS-3349) Schedule Compression: When is it too much?

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Avi Sharma; John A. Armstrong, PSP

Abstract:

The construction sector is a highly competitive sector in which unrealistic deadlines are set for contractors to be met, or to avoid liquidated damages. To meet these tough deadlines, contractors usually compress schedules using various methods used in the industry such as crashing and fast-tracking. A lot of research has shown that a high amount of schedule compression can lead to productivity loss, or worse, rise in accidents on the jobs. Many schedulers are usually asked to arbitrarily compress the schedule to meet a certain deadline. The goal of this paper is to identify quantitively when is the schedule compression too much or unrealistic. This will be conducted by an intensive literature review of previous research papers (such as Noyce and Hanna,1998; Chang, Hanna, Lackney and Sullivan, 2005; Nepal, Park and Son, 2006, etc. just to name a few). It will be followed by industry surveys and examples of the recommended quantitative solution. The conclusion of this paper will be to provide a well-researched paper and quantitative solution which can be used by professionals to push back on impractical schedule compressions.

(PS-3371) A Proposal for a Standardized Set of Definitions of Work Availability

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Michael A. Mac Guinness, PE

Abstract:

Work availability is a frequent topic of discussion when it becomes necessary to resolve challenges resulting from unforeseen events. Nevertheless, there is no agreed definition of it, and without definition, there is no way to consistently quantify it. In practice, concepts of work availability are remarkably fluid. They vary according to the time scale considered, the effect of work sequence, and the assessment of multiple other factors.

In its most expansive definition, work availability can be considered all work for which IFC drawings have been issued minus completed work. At the other extreme, it can be considered limited to work for which all necessary prerequisites including but not limited to labor, material, permits, etc., are complete and ready at site for installation. It is not unusual for Owners and Contractors to have heated disagreements regarding work availability due to unrecognized differences in their concept of it.

A set of definitions is proposed that reflects the stages of preparation of work as its' prerequisites are completed before its scheduled dates and it progresses through the medium and short term planning process.

A simple system dynamics model is used to dynamically quantify and graphically illustrate the quantity of work in each stage and how it changes over time and to show how expectations for work availability influence manpower planning and mobilization.

(PS-3372) Schedule Effectiveness versus Specification Compliance, Which Should Prevail?

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Robert M. Freas; Adam S. Lackey; Gayathri Shetty

Abstract:

When projects are affected by unexpected events such as unforeseen conditions, design errors and/or omissions, or owner/tenant requested changes, the contractor's baseline schedule and execution plan are not typically realized.  Industry recognized authorities recommend that project schedules be regularly updated with two purposes in mind: reflect the current status of the project and maintain the schedule for use as an effective management tool.  These objectives can be at odds with project specifications that prohibit revisions to the schedule unless approved by the owner.  If the schedule is not kept current, does the schedule become obsolete and nothing more than a payment application tool?  This paper will present an in-depth discussion of why the contractor should be permitted to keep the schedule 'current,' the problems that result from the prohibition of changes, unless approved by the owner, and the owner's perspective for not allowing the contractor to revise the schedule during project execution.  Possible risks that the parties can be exposed to in these situations also will be identified and discussed.  Last, this paper will present proposed solutions for the parties to consider that attempt to satisfy the specification requirements and keep the schedule as an effective management tool.

(PS-3386) Rainfall statistical analysis for calendar definition: A case study

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Ricardo Goncalves Alves; Glauber Francisco Alves

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the data analytics process and techniques used to develop the baseline calendars for the construction of a US$1.3 billion iron ore distribution center in Malaysia. The annual rainfall at the project location, a tropical area in the Strait of Malacca, may exceed 2.200mm.

After discussions with discipline experts and local contractors, supported by a soil permeability investigation, the project team has decided to adopt a statistical rainfall analysis to support the calendar definition. The rainfall data from the past 50 years was gathered with Malaysian Weather Authority, from which the ten previous years were used in the statistical modeling.

The applicability in terms of rainfall was assessed for four different types of services: 'Civil Infrastructure/Earthworks', 'Civil Foundation Works', 'Civil Superstructure' and 'Electromechanical Erection'. Maximum rainfall criteria were defined taking into consideration not only the direct rainfall of a given day but also the sum of the two previous days. If the criteria are accepted, the day is considered 'Feasible'. The findings were pulled together in functional calendars and loaded into Primavera P6.

This type of approach has shown results in bringing reliable rainfall data to the calendar development and project baseline definition. This paper provides valuable input for project managers during the phase of baseline development and to improve data literacy in the project environment. A comprehensive conclusion is offered to highlight the benefits of adopting a systemic approach to address this adverse condition. The limitations of the work are presented, as well as a set of recommendation for future enhancements in the methodology.

(PS-3398) Planning and Scheduling Airfield Construction Projects amidst live Airside environment

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Aleemuddin Muzammil Mohammed

Abstract:

In recent years, there has been unprecedented growth in Aviation travel putting extensive burden on Airport Owner's to constantly expand and upgrade their Airfield to cater to ever increasing Aircraft movements and keep Airline customers happy. A huge challenge for Project Professionals is to deliver these expansion/upgrade projects in live airfield environment within tight Schedules/Budget with minimal disruption to Airline Operations. Understanding Airside Operations and their regulatory requirement to comply with safety is critical and poses a challenge to delivering Airfield projects Under Budget and within tight Timelines. This paper introduces the reader to some of the basics of Airside Operations and build a solid foundation while Planning/Scheduling Airfield Projects. This paper intends to educate the Airport Owner on the importance of having an Integrated Schedule and for Contractor's appreciate the challenges/troubles the Owner's Airside Operations faces when delays take place.

(PS-3400) Managing Contractor Schedule Submittals with Higher Efficiency

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Thomas Polen

Abstract:

Owners executing large-scale projects frequently receive large quantities of data from contractors. Traditionally, this project plan collection is an intensely manual process, involving a mix of scheduling tools, Excel, and email. A significant portion of this time-consuming procedure includes the often manual review of contractor schedules for quality and reasonableness prior to incorporating them into the project's integrated master schedule. In fact, some environments are so complex that the goal of a truly integrated master schedule is either unachievable or unavailable until mid-project, making it too late in the forecasting process.

In this paper, we will review owners' successes and failures in handling subcontractor schedule data management and illustrate a vision of a fully functional, collaborative and automated schedule collection and management system. This system, designed to remove the pain of data gathering and organization, enables owners and contractors to focus on the truly important dynamics'¦ do the schedules fit together and can the project be completed on time?

(PS-3401) Crashing the Schedule Without Losing Track of Reality

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Jarod Maloney

Abstract:

Projects often run late, either due to work variances or predictions of future risk events' impact. In both cases, in order to meet commitments the schedule must be 'crashed' in an attempt to accelerate remaining work to recover from delays.

Traditionally, project acceleration is an arduous trial and error process, with the team accepting the first version of a modified plan that meets the target dates. Often, this 'crashing' process causes significant collateral damage to the schedule in terms of unrealistic expectations of concurrent work, significant reductions in float, and overworked team members.

During this session, we will review commonly utilized methods for crashing schedules, their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss best practices for project acceleration. By utilizing emerging methods that are able to quickly assess a schedule's sensitivity to acceleration, we will discuss how to take into account feasible work schedules and sensible activity durations to ensure an accelerated plan does not lose track of reality.

(PS-3427) Successful A/E Design Scheduling

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE; Aaron Fletcher, PSP; Noah A. Jones, PSP; Leo Carson-Penalosa

Abstract:

Delays often originate within the Architectural and Engineering (A/E) design effort, and schedules developed to plan, organize, and monitor design tend to be high-level and not very useful.  When the schedule does not provide the right methodology and details, its value for monitoring is limited.  Sometimes there is even a failure to recognize the difference between consumed hours and progress and without the right schedule, performance can suffer without being recognized.  A well designed and managed A/E design schedule promotes quick and accurate updates, supports proactive analysis to minimize delays and claims, and aligns with other project controls functions to enable integrated cost-schedule-risk design scheduling.

The authors, working for firms that provide engineering design services, have experience in working with designers to develop the right level of detail for the design portion of a project, to establish a stage-gate approach to design milestones so they can align with cost, schedule, and risk monitoring, and so performance can be accurately measured.  The authors bring a wide range of perspectives, from Process Engineering design scheduling, to Design-Build A/E scheduling, to CM Agency A/E monitoring, to CM at Risk A/E support scheduling.  This paper will offer a proven approach that demonstrates guidelines for schedule design, development, monitoring, analysis, updating, and reporting, as well as set the benchmark to facilitate mitigation when necessary.

(PS-3428) Ramifications of Owner Approval of Schedules

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE; Gino Napuri, EVP

Abstract:

While many owners and scheduling specifications have requirements for owner approval of contractors' baseline and update schedules, too often there is concern about requiring approval, or approvals are simply ignored.  Sometimes specifications require 'approval', sometimes 'review', sometimes they mention 'acceptance', occasionally they simply address a 'record submission'.  Often the concerns are related to the worry that review might 'direct' the contractor to a specific means and methods that could be problematic for the owner later if the project runs into delays related to the means and methods employed.

Studies show that one of the traits of success is the involvement of the management team in schedule review.  This paper explains the different approval options for owners and makes recommendations for the appropriate level of approval, including discussion of the benefits and risks of any approach.  The top reasons for schedule rejection are discussed, as well as recommendations for requirements that tend to improve the chances of success.

Working for a top-50 Program Management firm, the authors have dealt with the issue of schedule approval and drafted scheduling specifications, and bring an extensive depth of experience in scheduling and schedule review, having worked for contractors, consultants, and owners involved in many projects and forensic analyses affected by schedule approval.

(PS-3440) When is a Baseline Not a Baseline? Problems and Solutions of Using the P6 Baseline Function

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Beatrice Nasui; Ronald M. Winter, PSP FAACE

Abstract:

Many people interchangeably use the phrases 'project schedule baseline' and 'P6â„¢ Baseline schedules'. Fundamental differences exist between the project baseline and the baselines that P6 uses and these differences can cause significant confusion. The project schedule baseline is the point of reference and the basis for Earned Value measurements whereas P6 baselines are just snapshots of schedules in time.

The fact that any P6 project snapshot can be easily assigned as a 'baseline' brings with it inherent risks. What if the snapshot attached as a project baseline is inadvertently changed? The variance analysis and earned value measurements would be flawed.

Moreover, the fact that the P6 baselines can be modified and updated so easily is both a blessing and a curse. What baseline schedule are you actually referencing and upon what are the Earned Value measurements based; the original baseline, current baseline, or something in between? We need to ask how we can make the baseline assignment process more transparent.

Oracle doesn't make the scheduler's life easier either. The snapshots are supposed to be 'images' frozen in time. However, this is not totally true, as some changes in the active schedules also affect the attached snapshots. What fields are affected? What does this do to the variance analysis?

The answer to these questions and more is included in this paper.

(PS-3445) Dynamic KPIs for the Construction Industry

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Satinder S. Baweja CCP; Lori D. Vidak

Abstract:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used by construction companies mostly align with the KPIs needed to track individual project performance. This paper examines the value of some well-known and other more obscure KPIs. It will rank the top leading indicators of performance on construction projects and a subset of those that may prove to be leading indicators of performance for the company.

KPIs, by definition, need to be leading indicators to the performance metric they track, should be quantitative (measurable) in nature and lead to actionable intelligence. The challenge is to understand the dynamics of how one KPI may impact other KPIs. For example, KPIs related to safety records might impact schedule and cost KPIs. The goal of this study is to derive a limited list of KPIs that allows a better understanding of project performance and is useful for decisions about corrective action.

(PS-3458) Benefits of Pipeline Contractors using a Linear Planning tool during a bidding phase of a Project

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Bijaan Ebrahim

Abstract:

What are some key benefits of Linear Planning?  What value does a Linear Plan add to the Pipeline Contractor as well as the Owner Project Team during the bidding phase of a project?'

Many Pipeline Contractors excel at using Gantt charts / non-linear tools to plan linear projects as it's what they understand very well and are comfortable to using such tools.  Linear planning is not a new concept but a concept that is often unfamiliar, especially the use of linear planning tools.

A linear planning tool allows the planned activities to be displayed in a time '“ distance (location) view.  It can be very effective in a Pipeline Contractors' ability to understand the project and / or environmental constraints they may face during Construction.

A properly developed template can be extremely valuable for the Pipeline Contractor to provide a holistic view on Project schedule and cost estimate. It promotes collaboration and alignment between the Pipeline Contractor prior to award.

(PS-3461) Paper or Plastic? Microsoft Project versus Oracle Primavera P6

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Charlie Jackson, PSP

Abstract:

Selecting the appropriate scheduling software to be used for a project is one of the key decisions that must be made prior to the start of the project. The choice of scheduling software is often dictated by contract documents or by the contractor's company standards and guidelines. Regardless of the selection process, the scheduler is going to be 'stuck' with this decision for a long time and he/she needs to realize how this decision affects the development and management of the project schedule.

It is important to understand the features, benefits, and limitations of using the selected scheduling software.  In this paper, the authors examine two of the leading scheduling software tools that they regularly use on real construction projects, Microsoft Project Standard and Oracle Primavera P6 Professional. They explain the details on how these software packages may best be utilized for scheduling construction projects and programs.

(PS-3466) The Building Blocks for Creating an Effective Construction Schedule

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Claire Brown

Abstract:

Building construction schedules can be tackled by a variety of approaches. Understanding a basic step by step guideline to building a baseline schedule will greatly reduce frustration and exhaustion, while adding value as an effective planning and communication tool for the entire project team. In this paper, the authors will lay out a road map for preparing a baseline schedule from scratch that will make even the most complex schedule a step by step breeze.

(PS-3473) Reviewing the Vital Factors for Construction Schedules

Author(s)/Presenters(s): John Jackson; Melissa Wallace

Abstract:

With the variety of Schedule Review Techniques available to schedule reviewers and analysts, it is difficult to know and implement the most reliable and effective way to review a construction schedule and arrive at a clear indication of project status and schedule trends. In this paper, we will outline a process of reviewing construction schedules that follows a collection of vital factors that should not be overlooked in a schedule review. Following these guidelines will provide the basis for an effective approach to monitoring progress and issues in construction schedules.

(PS-3483) Practical guideline for creating and using Linear Schedules

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Brandon Atkins

Abstract:

An accurate project schedule has been shown to have many valuable uses to project stakeholders, yet that value is limited if not communicated and presented in an effective manner.  Critical path schedules created in P6 are sometimes ignored or misunderstood simply because they are too long and/or complicated for anyone other than professional schedulers to read. Oftentimes, management is not interested in the precise details but wants to know the overall message of the schedule. While appropriate summaries and formatting of Gantt charts can help in improving comprehension, a linear schedule (created in conjunction with a critical path schedule) is an alternative format that can demonstrate the execution plan of a linear project in an effective way on a single page. This guideline offers the benefits found in utilizing linear schedules, practical advice for creating and using them as planning tools, and formatting to improve schedule presentation.  A brief comparison will also be made on the usage of Microsoft Excel and dedicated software such as TILOS.

(PS-3486) Writing the CPM Specification to Support the Writer

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Dr. Fredric L. Plotnick, Esq. PE

Abstract:

The CPM specification is often "cut and paste," usually not understood by the specifier, and almost always does not provide the specifier what is most desired - additional assurance that the project can (and hopefully will) be completed on time. This paper discusses technical, grammatical and legal issues relating to a specification to support this goal.

The specification may be considered a shop drawing of the plan of execution of actor or contractor and associated analysis:

  • It should instruct how to prepare the pure logic network and accompanying calculation
  • It should not direct the actor to perform but rather elicit how the actor intends to do perform scope elsewhere specified.

Separate sections of the specification best address how the submittal may be used to facilitate payment, be discussed in meetings, or aid in evaluation of the impact of changes or other unforeseen circumstances.

Considerations of technical correctness, legal enforceability and how this section fits within the entire specification and contract will also be discussed.

(PS-3489) Managing Changes in a Construction Schedule

Author(s)/Presenters(s): John Jackson; William N. Sparks

Abstract:

Construction scheduling specifications are extremely inconsistent when addressing allowable changes to a construction schedule during the updating process.  Application of those same specifications by the variety of schedule reviewers adds another layer of inconsistency in the management of schedule changes.  In this report, the authors will address some of the various change restrictions and parameters across a variety of scheduling specifications and will outline a set of guidelines and best practices that will accommodate the dynamic scheduling process while minimizing the risks of schedule manipulation and abandonment.

(PS-3493) Improve Planning and Decision-Making Using Advanced Schedule and Reporting Management

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Amy C. Nelson; Siddharth Patel; Satinder S. Baweja, CCP

Abstract:

Construction firms usually focus on building the project. Recording events, tracking constraints, and monitoring progress often take a back seat. Therefore, opportunities to use available data, even when unstructured, is lost. Firms lose their ability to gather and study information, thus reducing their effectiveness in project planning, decision-making, and predictive analysis.

The value of schedule management must be improved before project planning and decision-making can be enhanced. Many firms keep multiple schedules that are out-of-sync, and so the potential of detailed planning and a well-constructed master schedule is missed. Improving the collection and integration of meaningful data while updating a single master schedule allow firms to anticipate and provide insight into costly project issues and assist with planning current and future projects. Data can then be correlated in easy-to-analyze reports to improve project execution.

By using data from real-life projects, this paper demonstrates how these reports and analysis have been proven to assist in multiple ways, including change-order requests; weekly reporting on progress; identifying key project issues; analyzing internal issues vs. external issues; identifying progress impact trends, and developing predictive analytics to identify future trends.

(PS-3496) Interpreting Logic Paths in Multi-Calendar Project Schedules

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Thomas M. Boyle, PE PSP; Patrick M. Kelly, PE PSP

Abstract:

Oracle's Primavera P6 Professional Project Management scheduling software remains the dominant package in construction scheduling, and features introduced by this software often become lingua franca between schedulers and schedule analysts. Such has been the case with the 'float path' calculation that Oracle includes in its P6 software. Oracle's documentation states that the Multiple Float Path module of P6 calculates a 'most critical path' and 'sub-critical' paths, ranked in order of 'criticality' by the float path value.  An earlier study demonstrated the limitations of such analyses in single-calendar project schedules.

This article extends the prior study to address 'float path' assignments in project schedules with multiple activity calendars and other complications.  In particular, it demonstrates conditions leading to the incorrect assignment of Longest-Path activities to high-numbered (i.e. far-from-'critical') float paths.  Finally, the article illustrates cases where the relevant software documentation fails to support the observed analysis results and may therefore be inaccurate.

(PS-3500) It's Just a Game: Construction Knowledge through Game-Based Learning

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Dr. Todd L. Sirotiak, CCP; Dr. Heather Eilers

Abstract:

Conveying scheduling concepts and management techniques can be very challenging with an audience of varied experience, learning styles, age demographics, education, and interests. Although learning new skillsets is the ultimate goal, companies often struggle with how best to perform that function.  In addition, people also often quickly forget new materials if not immediately utilized or easily recalled to memory.  Therefore, a secondary goal of reducing the time for parties to comprehend complex information help budgets. Improving team morale and recollection through association would also create significant value. Education research shows that interactive learning is more effective and impactful than passive learning.  Since complex rules and skills can often be obtained through gaming, we will investigate if utilizing visual schedules, games and simulations can simplify concepts and convey significant information more efficiently. This paper will provide case study examples utilized in industry and academia that could be applied to other situations. This paper also challenges teachers and facilitators to be creative and more interactive in their delivery of information.

(PS-3527) Assessing Planned Duration Accuracy and Quantifying the Effect Inaccurate Durations Have on Schedules

Author(s)/Presenters(s): John A. Armstrong, PSP; Rick Stassi

Abstract:

The paper examines the accuracy of duration forecasts by comparing the variances between estimated, original durations in baseline schedules and actual durations recorded within as-built schedules.  The underlying data from this comparison was used to identify trends between estimated original durations and both activity and overall project time performance. 

The findings captured within this paper resulted in three conclusions.  First conclusion: schedules that have a higher proportion of construction activities with original durations of 1 to 5 working days are more likely to have actual as-built durations that match the baseline estimate.  Schedules where at least 90% of construction activities had estimated durations of 5 or less days were nearly three times more likely to complete individual tasks within the planned duration than schedules where 25% or less of construction activities had durations of 1 to 5 days.   Second conclusion: activities with estimated original durations 5 or less days tend to have smaller duration variances than activities with longer original durations.  Construction activities with durations between 6 to 10 days had average variances that were 3.6 times larger than activities with durations of less than 5 days.  Third conclusion: schedules that have a higher proportion of activities with shorter original durations did not directly correlate to schedules with lower average variances for all activities within the schedule.

The findings captured within the paper have practical applications for schedule practitioners, project controls specialists, and the construction industry as whole. These findings can be used to provide realistic risk and uncertainty factors commonly used in Monte Carlo simulations. The paper's observations can also be used by construction owners, such as state transportation departments, to calculate the likelihood of tasks completing as planned.

(PS-3534) 10 Things Contractors must do for Successful Scheduling

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Mark Hammad, PSP

Abstract:

Given the growth and awareness that have been made in project controls in the past 2 decades, there is a plethora of information available with respect to good scheduling practice.  However, many contractors and their schedulers suffer from information overload.  There is so much information available and no guide to decipher what's important and what needs to be prioritized.  This list takes key points and puts them into a simple, easy to understand, and easy to implement guide.

The list helps reinforce best practices while avoiding common pitfalls and mistakes.  Input and guidance for the list was not limited to a 'contractors' view of the world '“ this includes input on from the perspective of owners, sub-contractors, engineers, and architects. 

This list includes important items related to the contract and scheduling provisions, all the way to low hanging fruit, such as the importance of a good technical schedule.  The reader will be able to identify with familiar items and concepts (for example: float, early completion, resourcing), but each one is put in the context of what the key considerations are for understanding and implementing each of these.

(PS-3535) Linear Scheduling Evaluation and Best Practices Development for Transportation Projects

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Amy Kim; Shuoqi Wang; Lysandra Medal; Hessam Sadatsafavi; Mark Gabel, PE

Abstract:

Transportation infrastructure delivery is a complex enterprise that involves coordination with multiple stakeholders. The ever-increasing need to fully understand and communicate project information to diverse audiences, and communities continue to be a challenge. Within a state transportation agency, design teams, working with multiple and varied partners, and internal specialists need to be able to grasp the nature of a project quickly. Teams must under the context and the work activities that will occur, including where and when. The traditional project scheduling methods provide an overwhelming amount of data for large projects which can be cumbersome and confusing to interpret. Project meetings with various stakeholders, thereby become ineffective and unproductive when stakeholders do not have a shared understanding of the project progress and schedule. The most common questions asked of projects are cost, duration, and appropriate justification. From this perspective, linear scheduling has the potential to be an extremely useful tool in answering these questions and can enhance the Department of Transportation's (DOT) current processes related to project cost risk assessment and value engineering. Effective communication and understanding regarding project schedules and cost between parties are vital to ensuring a quality project, safe environment, and for further improving operational efficiencies. This study can validate the need, justify the request for linear schedules, and quantify the potential economic impacts of enhanced communication and understanding through the use of linear scheduling applications on Washington's DOT projects.

(PS-3537) Evaluating P6's Longest Path

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Ronald M. Winter, PSP FAACE

Abstract:

There are several methods for determining the critical or longest path using Oracle/Primavera's P6 scheduling software. Not all methods are equal.  Which way is the best?  What types of errors may be encountered?  There are numerous issues and error-prone conditions that a P6 scheduler must be aware of in order to perform their job properly.

This paper presents a qualitative discussion of the different methods and factors affecting each.  Each method of determining the longest path is benchmarked against a large selection of schedules for reasonableness and consistency and the results are presented.

(PS-3545) The benefits of QSRA to Delivery Works Within Possessions - Study Case

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Joao Paulo Matos Dias, PSP

Abstract:

The purpose of the paper is to address questions that the CPM alone cannot do, helping the Project and Delivery team to act ahead, identifying early warnings of potential problems and risk mitigation actions, based on a practical implementation of a Crossrail Station (LOCROS Project) in the United Kingdom. This will highlight the benefits of the Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis procedures in delivering works within possessions and constrained environments.

With the increase level of complexity in some of the largest and busiest projects in the world, the impact and risk of delays are not only at the project and delivery level, but also at reputational and organizational level - this might affect the general public decision on taking train, bus or car.

Owners such as Network Rail in the United Kingdom, start requiring clear timeframes for Readiness Review Meetings where an Hour by Hour programme is prepared '“ extraction from baseline or monthly programme '“ and all the objectives, assumptions, exclusions, uncertainties, risks, decision points and contingencies are clearly identified, compiled in check-lists and included in the Risk Analysis.

Before running the Risk Analysis in a risk software, the hour by hour programme will be consolidated to ensure its suitability for risk modelling, the 'go / no-go' decision and integration decision points will be identified and the '3-point estimates' will be clearly identified as schedule durations.

Besides resulting in less chances of works overrun, this procedure encourages team working, robust risk loaded programme, client assurance, demonstrates professionalism and highlights the need of having a solid baseline or monthly programme and the importance of accountability for preparing the integrated plan and risk analysis.

This is a clear process that supports the forecast and mitigating the risk of possessions and works overruns upfront, avoid uncontrolled cancellation or late re-schedule of planned works, reduce non-clarity on resource demand and resolve constraints on time, avoiding impacts at the operational and organisational level.

Moreover, despite being used by Network Rail, it can be extended to other type of owners and projects such as Highways Maintenance, Office and Hotels refurbishment, Utilities Intervention in busy areas.

(PS-3554) Introducing a new critical path concept - the one with the highest cost

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Mostafa AbdelRazik, EVP PSP

Abstract:

This paper intends to begin a discussion about a topic that, the author believes, is overlooked by project controls professionals. Critical path has been described in numerous occasions and literature. The critical path is usually evaluated in respect to time. Critical path is used to analyze a project's schedule performance and to evaluate the likelihood of meeting one or more schedule constraints of a project.

In addition to identifying and monitoring the critical path, some analysis can be done to identify a project's path(s) that carries most of the resources in a schedule. For instance, some schedules can be built to have one that carries over 50% of the project's cost. This path does not necessarily have to be 'critical' in terms of time management, but it can have an impact on a project's financial performance if not monitored properly. Therefore, it can be vital to identify and monitor these paths separately from the conventional 'critical path.'

The author hopes to provide an initial terminology of a path that has the highest cost. Moreover, the author hopes to answer to the question if this topic is considered time or cost management, or a hybrid of both.

(PS-3555) A Practical Application of Identifying and Correcting P6 Corrupt Data

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Ronald M. Winter, PSP FAACE; Marina G. Sominsky, PSP

Abstract:

You know that the integrity of the data in your P6 database is important but what does that mean in real life to a typical scheduler?  Some issues relate to problems are in the system and others are in the schedule.  The ones in the schedule move with the schedule when you copy or make backups.

Parts 1 and 2 of the papers on corruption of P6 schedule databases relied heavily on the theory behind the process.  This paper focuses on the practical manifestations of what a corrupt P6 schedule looks like and proper procedures how to repair it that any scheduler can perform.  Issues such as scheduling errors are illustrated and why they matter to the average scheduler are explained.

The likelihood of your schedules having these corruptions is tested using an all-new, larger database.  Updated benchmarks on P6 schedule database corruptions are presented in an easy to understand format.   The issues pertaining to the overall system (which typically require IT intervention) are separated from those affecting individual schedules (that individual schedulers can fix).

(PS-3558) Fast-track Schedules: The Risk and the Reward

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Dr. Stephen P. Warhoe, PE CCP CFCC FAACE Hon. Life

Abstract:

In today’s construction world, getting projects completed better, faster, cheaper continues as it has for decades.  Owners want projects completed as quickly and cheaply as possible in order to meet investment and other goals, yet without compromise on quality.  As cost engineers and project managers, we know that an aggressive project schedule comes with huge risks to cost and quality, and sometimes, worker safety.  With the advent of CPM scheduling, a methodology came to fruition that allowed for an organized and systematic approach to successfully procure and construct projects before the final design was complete.  This process therefore took project phases that were previously sequential and turned them concurrent.  This process is commonly known as ‘Fast-Tracking’.  A fast-tracked project, if executed successfully, can shave significant amounts of time off a project duration, and as a result, can reap significant cost savings as well.  However, along with the big rewards, there are also big risks that the owner and other stakeholders must be aware of.  This paper intends to explain the fast-track process, its applications, dispels a few myths, and explains the more prevalent risks.

(PS-3565) The Great Debate Part Three: Contractor vs Owner – The Prospective Time Impact Analysis Dilemma

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Jeffrey Milo, PSP; John P. Orr, PSP FAACE

Abstract:

The CPM schedule is frequently perceived, not as a tool to manage a project, but as a sword to attack and a shield to defend during disputes between Owners and Contractors.  This perception comes to light during the submission and evaluation of prospective (forward-looking) time impact analyses (TIAs) for extension of the contract performance period as the result of delay.  While the timely processing of time extensions is essential to good project management, the submission of a prospective time impact analysis (TIA) highlights many differences between contractors and owners in their perception of delay, concurrency, and equitable adjustment.

This session will pick up where the AACE 2019 Great Debate: The Contract Schedule – Owners vs. Contractors left off: with a contractor’s scheduling manager and an owner’s representative discussing and comparing their interests, goals, actions, and approach to preparing and evaluating TIAs.  This debate will include such topics as timely time extensions, estimated impacts (fragnets), TIA methodology, actual progress, concurrency and pacing.  Although presented in the format of a debate, the goal of this session is not to determine a winner, but to observe differences and reach agreement (or at least an understanding) surrounding shared goals and viable solutions that benefit both parties.  The continuing theme of these debates is that a properly utilized CPM schedule is a tool – not a contest – that should serve the interests of both owner and contractor.

(PS-3570) Preparing a Schedule Basis

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Kristy Kastner, PSP; Ola Al-Kinani

Abstract: Schedule basis is an essential component in schedule development and throughout the project’s life cycle, including schedule control.  The schedule basis is sometimes referred to as the “Basis of Schedule.”  AACE’s Recommended Practice (RP) 38R-06 identifies 17 information sources and this RP’s appendix includes a suggested outline.  Schedule accuracy improves when more elements are used.  However, the project’s size and complexity should be considered when preparing a schedule basis.

This paper provides examples and side-by-side comparisons.  A comparison approach will allow the audience to select an effective format for each information source within the schedule basis.  The layout is key to effectively communicate to stakeholders, management and the project team.

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