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Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

Ban These Planninng Abominations.

58 replies [Last post]
Mike Testro
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Hi All True Planners

The only true critical path is developed by a FS link between activities - all other adaptations are wrong.

Lazy - Inexperienced - Ignorant Planners will disagree - Bring it on now - I am waiting. (you too Charleston)

This is the code according to MT.

Every activity should represent 1 trade in 1 location anything longer than 10 days is too long.

Use bottom up planning to form programme levels:

1. Task
2. Task summary
3. Zone / Section
4. Project

Never ever use:

Lead Lag Links + or -
SS and/or FF Links
Mid Chart Links
Start - Stop Constraint flags.
ALAP positioning.
A Task with no outgoing link.

All of the above combine to distort the true critical path.

Why do the software suppliers still allow these abominations in their systems.

True planners everywhere - join me in my crusade to ban these abominations.

Best regards

Mike Testro.

Replies

Chris Oggham
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Mike,

I think I might know what’s bugging Charlie. I believe he may be worried that the expertise/skill required for planning will be diluted by the entry of unqualified people into the planning field. It’s possible that he could see your real time demonstration of practical planning as something which could facilitate this. Personally I can’t see any disadvantage, if you can produce a tool which will enable people, irrespective of whether they are builders or graduates, to do the job better, where’s the problem?

However, I’m sure that Charlie really does care about this quite passionately, but this can lead him to forget certain realities. For example he seems to believe that you have to submit it to Planning Planet, that he will be playing Devil’s Advocate and that if it doesn’t pass his standard then it doesn’t get used. He also seems to believe that your demonstration must pass a review of Planning Planet peers. I don’t know where he gets these ideas from, but I don’t think it’s going to matter how carefully you explain things, once Charlie gets a bee in his bonnet it’s virtually impossible to shift.

I must admit that I am intrigued by the possibilities your demonstration offers, and like Steve, I’m looking forward to seeing it when you’re ready to show us.

Chris Oggham
Stephen Devaux
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Charleston wrote:

"...to know how to prepare PERT/CPM in cross section paper the size of an A1 or A2 and do manual computation of floats, forward pass / backward pass."

What... no DRAG? Or True Cost? Or DRED optimization analysis?

I’d also just like to call all PPers attention to what happens this Thursday. The event of the year, the Barbados Test between West Indies and England, which shows all evidence of being a fascinating contest, will begin. And yes, the grounds at Kensington Oval are guaranteed to be pluperfectly ready for a fair contest! How can I be so sure? Because I happen to know that Barbados has, per capita, the highest percentage of citizens with graduate degrees in project management of any country in the world!
That should be worth something, right?

Fraternally in project management,

Steve Devaux


Mike Testro
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Hi Charleston

I didn’t understand any of what you said.

Except that Powerproject started completely afresh with their software.

You can generate a pert chart if you wish but why bother.

What I am producing is a real time demonstration of practical planning for builders who do not know how to get the best out of the software.

As I keep saying I am not a planner - I am a builder who can do the software.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Charleston-Joseph...
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Mike,

Be sure to give a copy to PP. I will be playing your devils advocate.

and big chance it will not pass my standard or other planning and scheduling standard.

I base this opinion in my observation from your post that you seems not to know how to prepare PERT/CPM in cross section paper the size of an A1 or A2 and do manual computation of floats, forward pass / backward pass.

You may not heard the word dummy activity in PERT/CPM. Why it is introduced in the networks.

Take note that the software that comes out from todays planning and scheduling activities were develop having in mind PERT/CPM fundmentals.

So I think what you may be trying to propose is a new concept in PERT/CPM, planning and scheduling.

It must pass the review of PP peers.

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Stephen Devaux
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Great, Mike. Looking forward to seeing it! (Dare I hope that it will include DRAG analysis and optimization?)
Mike Testro
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Hi Stephen

Thanks for the cricket chat - in fact I am a Rugby fan and I only mentioned cricket to wind you up a bit.

I have worked in most continents and with a lot of Americans - starting with the new US Cairo Embassy back in 1989.

As far as I can see the planning abominations are worldwide - especially endemic in the UK.

I am developing a working - interactive - practice guide to show planners how easy it is to do it right 1st time.

The 1st section should be ready for review in a month or two.

Watch this space.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Stephen Devaux
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Hey, Mike.

Actually, getting totally outplayed is, alas, not a "for once" experience for Windies in the past 14 years. The "for once" is that, after the skipper had as usual set the trend by gifting his wicket in both innings, there were some batsmen in the lower order who showed some backbone, and hung on till the setting sun could save them!

But this series has truly been the most hopeful sign for Windies in many years -- mainly due to the fast bowling of Edwards and Taylor, which we really haven’t had since Curtly and Courtney retired. Now on to Kensington. I just wish wisdom would prevail by bringing the two Trini kids Simmons and Barath in to open, moving Gayle to #4 or 5, and replacing Powell and Benn with someone who can take wickets!
(Sorry, I live in Boston, where I really don’t get much chance to talk cricket.)

As to the CPM comments, we really are in violent agreement, except that I know the changes you want to see (FS relationships only, in a sufficiently decomposed schedule) ain’t never going to happen, much as I’d like to see it. Our different perspectives, I suspect, come from the fact that you work almost exclusively in THE most mature PM environment, i.e., European construction. Alas, most US businesses are far, far behind! I get to see how American projects in software, pharma, DoD, aerospace, auto manufacturing, etc. are doing schedules. Most of them couldn’t, as the saying goes (almost), find a critical path with both hands and a mirror.

I pray that I’ll see at least a small percentage of SS relationships in a schedule, because at least then I know that someone made an attempt, however cursory, to optimize. And maybe this pharma or hospital software project will therefore get done a few weeks earlier and save the life of a friend or family member!

(Note: I am omitting from criticism nuke and refinery plant maintenance, which do a decent scheduling job in the US.)

Adios, and fingers crossed for a fair pitch at Kensington (as long as Alec Stewart isn’t there to score a century in each innings!)
Safak Vural
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Dear Planners, Common problem I face is; When I divide the activities to a level where I can follow by only FS rel. It will be impossible to decide the order of a detailed activities which are formed from a more general activity. For example: -Piping W.(X area)(35 Days)----(SS)Piping W.(Y area)(35 days) divided into -Hydrotest p(x1)--FS--Hydr. p.(x2)--FS--Hyd....... "" --FS--Hydrotest p.(y1)... nobody including superintendant could say the sequence because the hydotest packs we assume could be totally different because of uncomplete desing and certification works. If I divide the work up to one foreman job on a area-and isometric(system-line it can continue). The same problem occurs. The sequence will be decided on site when the engineering and certification works nearly finalized. It doesnot matter how much experience you have you cannot give that precision. When you input actuals you will see that your plan is so much different from the plan and in order to keep the end dates logical. you will need to modify relationships of the dynamic schedule whick is another discussion(there is a topic about it). I can give so many examples in equipment foundation, electrical works and pipeline jobs as this. What I am used to do for the latest schedules I prepared after the ones I sucked. I am using many spreadsheet that data flowing coming from site where there are the details of activities to LVL5 even LVL6 in some discipline. Then you can stack up in order to have the progress and the forecast in a good way before importing to the scheduling programme. Just some opinions from a refresh who willing to improve. regards,
Mike Testro
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Hi Stephen

The Windies team only just snuck in a draw when bad light stopped play - other wise you were well beaten - for once I admit.

What are you going to do now Sir Stamford is going to gaol?

Regarding your statements - this is precisely why I started this thread in the first place.

I know everyone puts together a schedule in the way you set down - but that is no reason to say that it has to be wrong forever - and yes it is wrong.

It is just as quick to do a bottom up FS programme as it is to do an inadequate global task - global location SS FF schedule that wil never work when it is updated or rescheduled for events.

It is because there are so many schedules like yours that I am in business as a delay analyst.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Stephen Devaux
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Trevor Rabey wrote:

"Tasks should be broken down until there is no need or temptation to use SS,FF,SF links"

Trevor, I’m sorry, but while I understand and sympathize with your point, I’m going to disagree to this extent: while in a perfect world, everyone would break their schedules down to that point, it ain’t never gonna happen in this world! It is just SO much easier for someone (a CAM, PM, scheduler, activity leader) to just say, "Oh, that can start three days after this finishes" or even "We should not deliver the materials to the loading dock until the day before we start manufacturing" that SOME people (most?) in a large organization are ALWAYS going to do it that way!

If we insist on doing what we consider the appropriate breakdown (including into start and finish milestones), then most project schedules will be longer (perhaps MUCH longer) than they need to be. While I urge clear completion criteria and an understanding of how PM s/w often(mis)handles complex relationships, I’d rather have an organization that knows the implications of such situations, and how to compute DRAG and optimize them, than have a schedule where casualness/laziness/ignorance adds 10% to my critical path duration.

BTW, one more thing -- it is surprising how often I’ve seen customers complain about there being "insufficient" SS relationships in a schedule! (They seem to think it symptomatic of an inadequately optimized schedule and, alas, they’re often correct!)

(Okay, that’s three posts today. That’s what comes of having a day off after my West Indies clung on bravely for a draw against England yesterday!)
Mike Testro
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Hi Dieter

That is the system I use for any repetetive sequences - high rise - pipeline - tunnelling etc.

I have always called it "bottom up" with FS links - hence the start of this thread.

I have a piece of software called "flow line" which works on the line of balance principle and it is brilliant.

PowerProject "Tilos" also produces similar results in a time / chain format.

Tilos can also be used in a time / floor level basis.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Dieter Wambach
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Mike
I’m sure that there are moe recent papers. It’s for production planning - planning as well! But I agree, for my impresseion not so relevant for most of construction projects.
Did you ever consider it’s value for floor planning, e.g. hotels, skyscrapers?
Regards
Dieter
Mike Testro
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Hi Deiter

Thanks for the link.

I noticed that Raf Dua’s paper is dated 1964 - just about when I started out to work as a tea boy on a building site.

So nothing is new - its just that I had not come across the term "progressive feed" until now.

It is a ladder chart that is applicable to production flow in an assembly plant and is easily replicated with FS links.

It does not have much relevance to construction work.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Dieter Wambach
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Mike, Nestor

It isn’t related to nutrition and horses.

Have look here:
http://www.microplanning.co.uk/downloads/Basic%20Critical%20Path%20Metho...
It’s related to production planning and to Raf Dua as is the site Mark mentioned.

Have a nice week-end

Dieter
Mike Testro
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Hi Nestor

You are right.

I have also tried googling the phrase with zero reults.

I am waiting for someone to tell me.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Nestor Principe
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I got strong feeling it’s not PowerProject.

Cheers..
Mike Testro
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Hi Mark

A useful benchmark in that it sets out what will go wrong when bad planning habits are used.

What software do you use that supports progressive feed?

Best regards

Mike Testro
Mark M
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Folks

Cut & paste this link into your web browser.

http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF/Links_Lags_Ladders.pdf

This is a great paper on the subject.


Regards
Mark
Trevor Rabey
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Mike,
Good training is hard to find. Mediocre training is plentiful.
I run a training course which runs over 4 Saturday mornings, first 4 Saturdays of every month.
The next one starts tomorrow and 32 eager trainees will be clamouring to learn something new that they can use right away.
The course is a 16 hour survival kit and the focus is on CPM and the skills required for practical and efficient use of MSP.
Right from the start we emphasise that there are good practices and bad practices and it is important to know the difference. We explain that there are 99 wrong ways to do it and just about 1 right way, which also turns out to be the easy way. So of course there is the message that good modeling should use FS links only and no negative lag, and that the Tasks should be broken down until there is no need or temptation to use SS,FF,SF links
Most of my clients are in the building and construction industries.
There is always someone who wants to argue that all of the usual abominations are common practice, that planning is impossible without them and the software allows it so why not use it - always a lively discussion.
Those who do best are usually those who have no prior exposure and so have not been taught, or have not taught themselves, the common bad habits and half baked notions about how it works and how to do it.
Mike Testro
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OK Every Planner out there - time to wise up. (you to Charlestone)

Where did you learn your planning methods?

Who told you that global bars with SS FF links was the correct method to use in construction planning?

Did anybody ever tell you that the bottom up FS method was the best method to use?

Answers on one sheet of paper please.

I have the advantage in that I was never trained as a planner - I am not a planner - I taught myself to use the software when I called myself a delay analyst.

I am a better planner because I have never been tainted by the ingrained bad habits that you so grudgingly defend.

So put up or shut up and close this thread now.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Mike Testro
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Hi Charleston

I can’t let you get away with that load of piffle.

Of course Delay Analysis techniques are different to Planning.

Forensic delay analysis is to planning as chemotherapy is to cancer.

The Forensic Analyst is trying to put right something that has gone horribly wrong.

If you use bad habbits like smoking you will get cancer.

If you use bad habbits in planning you will get bad results in the project.

Some planners are lucky and get away with it.

But every EOT that I have been involved in over the last 10 years starts from a plan full of abominations.

I have to put the abominations right before starting any analysis.

Best regards

Mike Testro.
Charleston-Joseph...
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The root cause of the confussion is Mike mentality to conjoined Planning and Scheduling professional with Forensic delay analysis.

The premise is wrong. to make it stronger and to shut out loud and louder

THE PREMISE IS WRONG. Planning and Scheduling methodology is different to forensic analysis mehtodology.

It is bound to be different so there is not point in making it the same.

And if the objective of this thread is to make people ingonorant, then, it is now high time to see the light. "PLANNING AND SCHEDULING IS DIFFERENT FROM FORENSIC ANALYSIS"

Beside, this crusade by Mike will not materialize, since it connote a fight with my muslim brothers. We are not fighting here.

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Sreejith Nair
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Hi Mike!
Happy to know that you guys are developing codes of best practice.
While agreeing Project Management is rather new branch in technology / management , we still dont have a ’unanimous’ international body which provide codes & practices.
While agreeing PMI is the most popular one, I am foreseeing an increase in popularity for IPMA since they have already tied up with ISO in developing ISO21500 - the upcoming international std for project management.
But in this ISO body , BSI has more influence I believe.
(Read my article on this:
http://pmkarma.blogspot.com/2008/11/battle-of-standards.html)
BSI says ISO-21500 will be based on BS-6079-1-2002 !
PMI’s new version of PMBOK (4th edn) has just grown double the size !! They have published ’Standard For Planning & Scheduling’ and ’Standard for WBS’ also.

AACE has also got several "Recommended Practices" for Planning.
AIPM, APM ..etc has got their own standards.

I would really like to see some tie-up between PMI & ISO.
Even though its not very easy , if happens , will be a great boost for Project Management.

WHAT IS MISSING?
================
The missing element is some good research on Planning & Scheduling. We are not seeing theories and inventions coming up with mathematical/technical backup.
How ever it is nice to see that lots of discussions are taking place! (Even though they are not converging to any conclusions!!)
Mike Testro
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Hi Sreejith.

I have just come back from a conference held by the CIOB where we are trying to develope a Code Of Best Practice for Construction Planners - should be published early next year.

The theme of multi level planning took up a lot of the available time.

The consensus was that Pre Construction Plans for design development tendering and the like could be broad single bars with SS FF links and lead lags Provided:

1. The planner was very experienced in the type of project.
2. Sufficient risk buffers were included.

At construction stage the programme should then be converted to a detailed Bottom Up FS programme.

The inevitable differences between the detailed bottom up programme and the broad programme were the subject of even more discussion.

The problem is that if the Contractor and the Client have signed up on the Broad programme and the detailed programme issued for approval is different then claims will start on day 1.

There is no contract that will allow for adjustment of time after agreement.

So I see even more work coming the way of delay analysts.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Nestor Principe
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Dear All,

Using only FS relationship will not necessarily always favour the schedule when unforeseen delay event happenned. There where instances that the delay event goes along with the planned sequence. Worst when the planned sequence was not followed. Mike’s job will be very useful in this situation.

Cheers..
Sreejith Nair
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Hi Mike:
I have already agreed that relation betwen activities can be be made with only ’FS’ links in the entire program by dissecting each activity where ever we feel the FS link does not come easy.
Even may be upto the ’Atomic’ level.
How ever, as per PMI planning follows ’Progressive Elaboration’ and I feel they are talking sense.
The whole intention while planning shall not be ’I wont use FS link in the schedule, rather I will not submit the schedule’ , but making a ’realistic’ schedule which reflects scope.
Use ’FS’, ’SS’, ’FF’ and even ’SF’ where ever you feel necessary. Refine the programme towards maximising elaboration and usage of ’FS’ links.
We are currently having 300+ ongoing projects. Small, medium and large. There are many projects in tender stage also. I dont think it is logic to recruit 100’s of planners to do bottom up planning from tender stage itslef !! (Planners were never cheap to employ, either!)
The basic approach while doing planning in the first 2 process groups (Initiation & Plannong) is providing a guiding document with ’good intentions’ which reflects scope. The intention is neither to serve forensic planners (We dont plan to fail!) nor to make the schedule & tracker too complex which makes it almost impossible to update & maintain !
I dont know about the systems and approaches you guys follow in Europe. But if you agree with me that Middle East is the ’Construction Capital’ of the world , this is what we follow here !
(I know there are more construction claims in UK than anyehere in the world !!)
I am open to critisism and would like to know , If I am wrong.

Cheers!

Sreejith
-------------------
My Blog: PM Karma
-------------------
Charleston-Joseph...
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While I resisted in principle,

other important issue is the way the post was introduced. Say in post #1, Mike said

"True planners everywhere - join me in my crusade to ban these abominations."

I find the word "crusade" to medieval. To envoke a word that come from a period known as "The Dark Age", period where people in western europe were ignorant is just not logical for me.

We are now in the new generation, so, there is no point in appealing for some dark scenario, but be realistic, practical and embrace the "in" of this generation.

It is also not a good word to use since crusade was the darkest episode in man’s live and it pit the Christians against the Muslim. I have a lot of brothers in the Muslim world. They are my neighbors, my managers, my colleagues and I work with them, I play with them and I live in harmony with them.

I find the objective of my so pointless in a new world that PP is trying to build.

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Mike Testro
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Hi Barry

The point being that if the Contractor had planned the work correctly they would not have had a claim and Barry would have been out of work.

So all you FF SS planners keep up the good work - we need you.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Barry Fullarton
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Good Day Guys

I am late in reading this thread, but I have just done a Claim on the following basis

We had a contractor who submitted a Tender Program, this clearly showed how he intended doing the project inline with the contract provisions, and this was accepted and he was then awarded the contract.

However this is where the problem started. The Client then awarded the Contractor additional work, but this was on the critical path. The Contactor then submitted his Programme for approval with this additional work and showed the same completion date. This is where both the Client and the Contractor erred.
Something had to give and the contractor obviously experience added pressure and fell below in progress and then a claim arose out of the mess.

The Contractor and the Client agreed that the Programme that was approved was flawed in logic open ends and all sorts of errors.

However the Contractor proposed to fix the logic added milestones and additional Logic to motivate for his EOT.

My approach was to take his Tender program add the additional activities as per his Approved program and insert them, this showed that he could not have completed in time as envisaged. He had erred in neglecting the provision for interface in proving of services with his client

Here I needed the Tender Program to show where the error had occurred and felt that this was simple to show against a complex detail of hindsight and changes to the construction program

KISS (keep it simple stupid) as the saying goes

regards
Mike Testro
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Hi Ken

My halo is getting so tight its giving me a headache.

Thanks and best regards

Mike Testro
Ken Sadler
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I’ve enjoyed the whole of this thread - well done Mike for holding your own against some powerful arguements! Whats obvious is the competing rationale between "proper" planners and us claims people.

I understand the need for programmes during tender stage to be quick and simple, and graphic rather than descriptive. Theres certainly an advantage in "less is more". But from a forensic point of view, cause and effect is everything - SS and (to a lesser extent in my mind) FF just muddy the clear and often beautiful waters of cause and effect. Minutia of detail opens up all the evidence that simply wasnt there in the first place.

Isaac Newton has his equal and opposite forces.....
The Chinese have their Yin and Yang.......
Buddhists have their rebirth.......
and Mike Testro has FS links !!!

Good show!
Trevor Rabey
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Sreejith,
2500 Tasks, so what is the problem with this?
That’s how many there are, that’s how many you model.
What you don’t model, you can’t control or track.
It takes maybe only 1 hour.
Don’t you keep records of when they joined?
Mike Testro
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Hi Sreejith

What you are describing is resource procurement before critical work starts.

This is the only time when I use ALAP positioning.

I have described the process I use in other threads but here it is again.

1. Filter out the work where the labour is required and add to a hammock.
2. In a subchart set down your recruitment programme in reasonable blocks based on the resource levels required at different stages.
3. Use FS links between the recruitment > training > safety induction etc
4. Use a Cross Chart link from the end of each section to the start of the trade hammock and set the subchart tasks to ALAP postion.

Set up progress on the recruiting tasks and if it is getting behind they will start to drive the activities in the hammock and in turn the construction programme.

At least that how it works in PowerProject - good luck in P3.

Best regards

Mike Testro.
Sreejith Nair
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In CPM theory the only relation between activities is FS.
How ever if anyone want to build a schedule ’Only’ by using ’FS’ relations , he may have to go to ’Atomic’ level activity definition !!!
Look at the following example:
1)Recruit labour (2500 men, 30 days duration , they may join in lots or even as individuals during this period)

2)Induction & Safety training

Now as the normal practice I will relate 1 & 2 with a SS relation with a lag.

If ’FS’ relation is to be used , I may have to split the activity -1 into 2500 sub-activity (for each men), link it with training for each men and then find out when each of them are joining !!!

I would better be the ’lazy’ planner, by adopting the first method (SS relation) !!
Mike Testro
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Hi Nestor

Thank you for your belief in my planning abilities although I do not consider myself a planner - I am a builder who can work the software.

You have to be able to plan work correctly - true planning - before you can even think about being a delay analyst.

I still do tender programmes and the like because I enjoy doing them on a fixed price - but my income over the last 10 years has been primarily from delay analysis.

It is because I am a delay analyst that I get to review many contract programmes - two or three a month is usual.

Whereas a contract planner will only be involved in that many projects over a year - if that - some are on the same project for 2 or 3 years.

As I have said before - in every analysis I have had to re draw the contract programme - except two when I did the contract programme to start with.

Best Regards

Mike Testro
Nestor Principe
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Hello Mike..

I believe you are/were a honest to goodness planner. Although am starting to doubt if you’re really a delay/claim analyst. Of course you said you are, but my impression is you will be better as a planner. Just my opinion.

Cheers..
Anoon Iimos
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Mike,

I guess SS and FF links are just products of imagination and not mathematical calculations. This happens during the conceptual stage, where details are still in your mind and about to be drafted in the drawing board (but yet not sure whether to use that proposed detail). I believe you are good in modeling, but accurate modeling only comes after the details has been done, and never during the design stage.

I agree with you that "if you can’t build it, you can’t plan it" and let me add that if you can imagine it, you may plan it as well. Or one company said, "if you can imagine it, they can manage it".

cheers!
Mike Testro
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Hi Raviraj

The point is that I since I have no experience in fields such as IT - Nuclear - Offshore I would not contemplate planning such structures.

Building - Civils - Roads - Railways - Hydro Electric Dams even - then I would go for it and do it properly.

I often see threads from "planners" who are hopelessly out of their depth asking for examples of programmes for work that they have never been involved in before.

And PP members send them examples of their work which they will then present as original - having no idea what is really required.

If you can’t build it don’t try to plan it.

I am quite happy to put one of my less complex programmes up for examination - if some IT buff out there can show me how to set it up.

Best regards

Mike Testro
A D
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I fully agree with Charlie, Anoon and Nestor. Without SS & FF relationships it is next to impoosible to complete a program during Clause 14 program submission days.

Most critical is when u r not sure about the networking and phasing of project in detail, especially in pipeline networking details in refinaery/industry projects.

If Mike wants to be prove what he says is all correct, then let him submit a program and then we can discuss the program. Beating in bush is of no use and just a waste of time for all of us. Let mike submit a program and then we can see how good he is in making programs (rather than reviewing)

OR lets hav this topic on POLL

Cheers,

Rav
Mike Testro
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Hi Sreejith

I am assuming that XYZ programme showed fabrication in one bar and all ABC materials being delivered before commencement.

When the 1st batch of materials was delivered I would place that in the programme as an as built duration.

I would then split the bar to represent the fabrication in progress and link it to the fabrication on hold in a line below.

I would repeat this process for every delivery until it is all delivered.

In this way you are replicating what actually happened - using FS links throughout.

You now have an ideal platform to deminstrate both delay and loss of productivity.

I hope that helps.

Best reagrds

Mike Testro
Sreejith Nair
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Mike,
I have a query. I will appreciate if you can clarify this.

Business Case:
Client ABC has awarded a piping fabrication contract to contractor XYZ.All material will be freely supplied by ABC.
XYZ has made a plan showing delivery of free issue materials (FIM) and fabrication activity in FS relationship.

How ever when the project started, ABC delivered materials partially , which was sufficient for few isometrics to start fabrication. Delivery started on planned date (Day-01) and was not finished on the planned finish date (day-10).There were balance materials to deliver (30%) & some issues with test cert for few delivered items.

XYZ started fabrication with available materials.ABC kept on giving material in installment.On Day-50 , ABC delivered all the materials.Fabrication took another 25 days to complete.
Now the Project got delayed by 30 days.Fabrication was happening parallel while the materials were delivered by the client.
Now the contractor want to submit a claim for the delay caused by the client.
How are we gonna calculate the delay caused by client?

Mike Testro
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Hi Charleston

Two points on your thread:

A.) if you work in the contractor side during the implementation of projects, purely too much use fo FS relationship will expose the contractor to unnecessary rejection of claim for whatever, extension of time, and cost associated with the extension of time.

No - A detailed FS critical path programme is a sound platform to show cause and effect on delay events - particularly during work in progress.

If a contractor has caused a delay there is nowhere to hide and if the employer has delayed things then it is blindingly obvious.

B.) it will elminate the "black art" in forensic planning that Mike expose and propagated.
the forensic analysis is boring since it is very clear that the contractor delayed the project.

Absolutely correct but not just the contractor’s delays - employers delays are exposed as well.

As I have said before - if planners did their job proerly I would be out of work as a delay analyst - I would find plenty of work training so called planners on how to do it properly.

Best Regards

Mike Testro
Mike Testro
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Hi Nestor

As I said before if you know how to build a hotel you know how to plan it.

I would not rely on Sub-Contractors indicative programmes I would start from the bottom and work up - every time.

Best regards

Mike Testro.
Mike Testro
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Hi J H

I am in the fortunate position that I can turn down commissions that are not fit for purpose.

If I was an employee and obliged to obey orders I would do what planners do all the time - bang down a few global bars - make wild guesses on durations - stick in some meaningless SS - FS links - make sure it meets the end date with guessed Lead Lags - and print it.

That is not planning - that is tantamount to professional negligence.

(see the current thread on PI)

Best regards

Mike Testro

I would not
J H
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Mike,

What happens when your company or your Client only wants to send $500 on a programme? Would you still send 16 hours on a detailed programme? Like I said before, a detailed programme with FS links is ideal but, in practice it may not be the best solution. There are other factors that could govern the outcome and I believe Nicos Pozatos is right in saying that a talented planner knows what level of detail is required for a given situation.
Charleston-Joseph...
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Projects are delayed and will continue to be delayed ....

because....

Irrespective of how good a planning and scheduling you are or how good a planner/scheduler you are, there will always a big chance, 99 ++% that your project fail...

Why, why, why??????

We already got lots of thread on why project fail, How to fail a projects...


So please search the threads in PP

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Charleston-Joseph...
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It is still not realistic to ban these planning adominations for the following reason:

A.) if you work in the contractor side during the implementation of projects, purely too much use fo FS relationship will expose the contractor to unnecessary rejection of claim for whatever, extension of time, and cost associated with the extension of time.
B.) it will elminate the "black art" in forensic planning that Mike expose and propagated.
the forensic analysis is boring since it is very clear that the contractor delayed the project.

Believe me, I worked in the contractor side for many many long years, and I believe that most delayed are attributed to the contractor.

In my lifetime, I encountered only one successful project run by Multiplex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Menara Budaya Project way back in 1994 to 1996. We did, and I say we did because of the nature of the Project team. After that, I have not seen exemplenary contractor running projects successfully, on time, within budget and within quality. Even the leadership of projects are doubtful.

Of course the other exceptions are project run by me as project manager. Ehem ehem. Please search for my cv in the internet if your want your project to be succesful with me at the helm.

So in concludion, there is no need to ban these planning abominations. Project that will be successful are run by exceptional personality, exceptional leadership, exceptional person like me. It is not universal or by person with PMP certification, or an engineer with CIOB membership.

The more the plans are chaotic, the more will be the pay of forensic planners. So Mike, why whin.

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Nestor Principe
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Good Day Mike..

Say the main contractor of a fast track hotel tower project is required to develop a master programme incorporating programmes of say 10 trade contractors (fitout and E&M still in tender stage). The main contractor is required to submit the programme within 28 days from the notice to proceed which was yesterday. The main contractor has only got indicative level 2 programmes from trade contractors indicating 3 weeks to complete one level and will start from level 1 up progressively every 5 days.

In the above situation, I will not take the risk to submit a very detail programme. I will find SS/FF relationship useful.

Cheers..
Mike Testro
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Hi Anoon

At the heart of this is my statement that if you can’t build it you can’t plan it.

I have put together detailed bottom up tender programmes for hotels based on an agents brochure - because I know how such a hotel should be built and I know what detailed elements are required.

True that it is an estimate but I am making lots of littles estimates not two or three big global ones.

If I am out plus or minus 10% on each litlle guess they will average out in the end.

If you know how to build an engieering project you will know the detailed activities and how they will fit together - even if you only have outline or conceptual details to start with.

It will be much easier to adjust the detailed programme as and when better information is provided.

Regharding procurement I use a very simple method that is flexible and responds to programme changes.

If I had a requirement for specialist valves that were dotted all over the project in location and time this is what I do in PowerProject.

1. Set up a hammock task Named Special Valves.
2. Run a filter in the programme to show all the special valves.
3. Click the Add to Hammock button and the valves are reflected in the hammock
4. Go back to the hammock and close it up and then summarise it.
5. In anaother chart called procurement set up a cascade of all the procurement stages from Design Complete to 1st Site Requirement.
6. Set these to ALAP - this is the only time I use this type of constraint.
7. Put a cross chart link from the procurement 1st Site requirement to the start of Hammock Summary bar and reschedule.
8. Your procurement now lines up with the specialist valves en bloc.

If the sequence changes then the hammock changes and your procurement changes.

The reason that you have to summarise the hammock is that you cannot link directly to the start of a hammock.

Your hammocks also show the work content of each trade package - useful for sub-contract tendering.

If you have never used hammocks in this way before be very careful - if you delete a hammock activity then it deletes the activity from the main programme.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Mike,

I think there is a big difference between a Delay Analyst and a Planner. While the Delay Analyst might say, "the Planner(s) doesn’t know what they’re doing" - I believe they (delay analyst) can only say that after the Plan or Program has been done (or after a while when substantial details are already on hand), but never during the conceptualization of a Plan or a Program.

If a Plan is an estimate, and FF and SS (links) are some of the tools to make an estimate, why not use it? Though it may not be accurate, but you got the guide to make an estimate (and who said that an estimate is always accurate?).

Bottom-up Scheduling is only possible if you got substantial details. How can you do it in Engineering and Procurement?

cheers!
Mike Testro
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Hi J H

I do a lot of tender programmes and I always all use bottom up planning following my stated principles.

The 2500 activity programme I mentioned earlier took 16 hours to complete.

I have a library of cascades that I cut and paste into the programme.

Never waste anything - if you have put together a bottom up cascade for constructing a battered backfill for a retained basement - save it in the library. You will need it again some time.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Mike Testro
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Hi All

Well thank you all for getting the debate of to a flying start.

No one has yet told me any valid situation in construction where a FF link is necessary you use it because there is a facility in the software.

In my opinion use of SS links are just lazy.

I have seen programmes where there is a milestone that leads off to three sub stages that can start simultaneously.

The planner has linked the milestone to the first stage then used SS links down to the other stages.

This is a distortion of logic and the links go awol when progress is added.

I make a good living in delay analysis because planners do not know what they are doing and as far as I am concerned long may it continue.

If you all followed my precepts I would be starving - as a German client once told me "Ve can live vith dat"

Regarding PowerProject there was a debate last year on a thread P3 v PP Pros and Cons

I use both sets of software but adopt PP wherever possible.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Nestor Principe
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JH,

You will appreciate power project doing tender programme.

Cheers..
Nestor Principe
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In some cases, the contract requires that the duration of the activities must not be more than 14 days, otherwise expalanation must be provided. The use of SS/FF relationship in this situation will be very minimal.

An experience planner would not devulge the planning of the works to the lowest level. The contract would require maximum duration to force the contractor to detail the programme. It is always big challenge to the planner to have the programme approve showing only the details he want to show to the client. The client will always ask for some more.

An experience planner will know when he should and should not use the SS/FS relationship. It depend on a lot of considerations. I will not simplify the programme if the critical path cannot be clearly defined in the programme, adding 10 or few hundreds activities will always worth it.

Mike - it appears to me you are promoting power-project. I have used it once and it’s a good software as the other softwares. To ban the use of SS/FF relationship is not realistic, I agree with Charlie.

Cheers..


Nicos Pozatos
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Hello Planners,

I also have a preference to FS relationships becuase is giving in a more clear manner and easy to communicate the sequnce of works, someting that is very important during construction.

SS or FF relationships are also usefull and might suit better the manner that things actually hapen on site.

It all depents on the level of detail you are using in your programme. The more detailed is the programme the more appropriate is the FS relastionships.

And this level of detail is the most critical decision for a planner. He has to choose , depending on the project, the Project Management team skills and requirements the appropriate level of detail.

For me choosing the proper level of detail is the talent of the good planner.

Regards,


Nicos Pozatos.
Charleston-Joseph...
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It is not possible if you prepare 20,000++ activities as baseline program for approval by client representatives.
Charleston-Joseph...
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Hi Mike,

It is not realistic. Your experience in the preparation of baseline program on the contractor side was history.

It is not possible

By pursuing your opinion with regards to the thread (Ban these Planning Abominations), I can conclude you have not been bludgeon by the dark side (consultant approving baseline program), hence, you want it easy in forensic planning.

It is not possible.

Why pursue this idea?

Would it be better to analyze complicated program in this way forensic planner can claim more money?

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling

J H
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Mike,

I would agree with you if you were doing a proper delay analysis but, I believe software applications were developed to do more than just that. For instance, for use in tendering purposes where simplification presents better to a Client who may not have any idea or interest in construction detail. Hence, SS/FF relationships may be better suited.