How to Extract More Benefits from Your Construction Project Schedule?

Almost all construction projects in the GCC and Middle East region have standardized on Oracle Primavera P6 as the planning and scheduling tool. P6 provides the functions and features that enables contractors to develop detailed execution schedules that can be loaded with all type of resources as well as cost. It provides powerful resource levelling and analysis to help the contractors to better allocate and manage their resources during the project duration.

Nevertheless, for the project owner and other project executives, this detailed construction schedule is very complicated and difficult to use when it comes to reporting the project’s schedule performance. Those executives are keen on understanding how the project’s milestones are performing and reasons for their favorable or unfavorable performance. They are interested to know about project’s delays and why those delays have occurred. They are also interested to know the impact of delayed decisions and actions on the project’s milestone dates.

Formal Review and Analysis of The Project Schedule

For the project’s detailed construction schedule to become an approved document that can be used by all project’s stakeholder, it needs to be compliant with the project’s requirements. Similar to other technical submittals, a project schedule must comply with the specifications specified by the contract agreement. Section 01 32 16 Construction Progress Schedule is the specification section that sets the requirements for the Baseline, Revised and Updated project schedules. This section will detail the WBS levels, activities attributes, schedule level of detail, resources and cost loading schedules, list of milestones, among many others.

To ensure the quality and compliance of the submitted schedules with the project requirements, the project owner needs to implement a process to formalize the schedule review and analysis and assign the roles and responsibilities for this review. For example, using PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS), a document template will be created to include all items that need to adhered to when conducting the schedule review and analysis. The schedule review and analysis form will also have the different schedule reports like the detailed schedule report, critical activities report, resource loading charts among others attached to it. In addition, the form will include a workflow to identify the roles and responsibilities set for reviewing, analyzing and approving the schedule.

Using Project Schedule Data in Other Project Management Processes

When the project schedule is approved, PMWeb PMIS allows the organization to import the schedule data so it can be used in improving the management of other project processes. For example, the schedule activities and dates are of great value for the project owner and other stakeholders in driving actions for time-sensitive project communications like submittals (shown below) and request for information. In addition, daily reports and timesheets will be used for capturing the actual resource hours spent in performing the different schedule activities on daily basis. Further, the schedule data can be used to create schedule reports in the desired layout and format without the need for having Oracle Primavera P6.

Delay Analysis and Extension of Time Requests

You would rarely find a construction project that will not encounter events and incidents that would result in delaying the originally planned schedule activities. Sometimes, those delays could result in extending the project’s milestone and completion dates. Those time extensions could also result in entitlement for compensation for prolongation costs, lost productivity, additional resources among others. Some of those delays could be concurrent with other delays which could affect the entitlement for time extension and associated financial compensation. PMWeb PMIS custom form builder can be used to capture the data needed to perform this delay analysis.

Making Use of Captured Everyday Data in Construction Projects

Of course, the value that a PMIS like PMWeb will bring to this delay analysis is the accessibility to all project communications and documents that are needed for the delay analysis and which are captured by PMWeb. Those could include daily reports, RFI, meeting minutes, submittals, correspondence among many other default and custom created document templates. One of those interesting forms is the Occurrence Report which is a custom form created in PMWeb to ensure that all incidents and events that occur on the construction site get captured on the spot by the site engineer or field superintendent and then shared automatically with the management team using the predefined workflow. This will ensure that the right notices as set in the contract agreements are issued in a timely and correct manner.

Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Project Schedule Performance

The project’s detailed construction schedule needs to be updated on periodical basis and in accordance with what has been specified in the Construction Progress Schedule specification section. The updated schedule will be subject for the formal review and analysis process before it is approved. The contractor will be required to provide different type of reports including detailed schedule, past period progress, delayed activities, critical activities, near critical activities and others which will become part of the updated schedule submission.

Nevertheless, project executives and senior management will never use those reports to find out on their own on how the project’s milestones are performing and if there are delays and the reason for those delays. They would expect that the experienced project planner to prepare an executive report that will analyze and summarize the current status of each milestone with narrative description of the events that could have an impact on the milestone’s expected completion or had an impact on the actual completion date. The PMWeb Milestone Tracker report will be used by the project planner to report this information at the end of each progress period. All of the updated schedule reports will be attached to this form should the reviewer have interest in viewing those reports.

The Schedule Performance Dashboard

The information generated from the imported project schedule data, milestone tracker, delay analysis form, daily reports, timesheets, submittals, RFIs and other schedule-related documents will be presented in the schedule dashboard. The dashboard would usually include schedule related key performance indicators (KPI), scorecards, progress curves, progress pictures among others.

Dashboard Drilldown

Similar to other dashboards in PMWeb, the schedule dashboard can be part of multiple dashboards and reports for which the project team members can drilldown and rollup project information to the desired monitoring, evaluation and reporting levels. For example, the organization’s chief executive can start at the projects and programs portfolio dashboard. Should he or she decides to have more details on a specific project, then he or she will click on this project entry to drilldown to the project dashboard. Assuming that the executive is interested to know more on the project’s schedule performance, he or she will click on the schedule tile. This will display the schedule dashboard for which the executive will be able to have a completed understanding of the project schedule performance and all matters that could have an impact on the project’s milestone dates. From this dashboard, the executive can drilldown to the project’s schedule, delays log, earned value curve, delayed submittals and other project communications that could impact the schedule among others.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Oracle Primavera P6 and similar to other planning and scheduling tools can provide great information and knowledge on the project schedule, resources requirements, schedule performance among many others. Using a PMIS like PMWeb along with the organization planning and schedule tool will help in extracting more benefits from the project’s schedule. PMWeb will help in formalizing the many schedule related processes that project planners need to perform. Those could include schedule review and analysis, delay analysis, extension of time requests among others. In addition, the imported schedule data can help better managing time-sensitive documents by identifying the tasks that they could delay if approval is not granted in a timely manner. In addition, it allows analyzing the actual productivity rates as reported by the daily reports and linked to the project schedule. Further, it provides project executives with an easier yet effective and reliable format for monitoring and evaluating the project’s schedule performance.