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New Planner in New Industry

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User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Oct 2012
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This is my first post but I'm hoping for a good response as I've heard good things.

I am a junior planner who has been given a role as a planner in a new position (Aerospace to now Subsea) and have been told that I will have my own project(s) to manage and progress.

This is relatively new to me as I worked under more experienced and senior planners (10+ years experience) who oversaw my work and who I reported into.

This is also a new industry for me. Can anyone recommend their process or the steps/timeline they follow when weekly progressing a schedule and on a monthly basis as well.

In addition, things to remember and avoid would be fantastic as I really want to do well on this one.

Do people use checklists (or even mental checklists) that they go through in their minds when they see a schedule or are progressing one..I imagine this is borne from your experience though.

Thanks everyone,



Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 2 years 26 weeks ago. Offline

S M,

It sounds like the schedule will already have been created, and your role will be to monitor it?

If so, some general hints & tips (I haven't worked on subsea, so can't give specific advice on the industry)

1) First thing you need to do is go through the schedule in detail -make sure you understand whatwork each of the tasks describes, who is responsible for doing the work, how you will capture progress, what the logic is saying, etc. This will take some time, so focus initially on the first couple of month's work, and the critical path

2) Talk to your key customers (PM, Planning manager, Project discipline heads, etc) about what they want from you -Are there standard reports to be completed? Are you tracking earned value? Actual cost? Are you involved with managing schedule risks? what meetings will you be going to / chairing? Will you be dealing directly with the client? etc

3) When doing a regular progress update, some things to remember:

-Make sure you understand everything that should have happened in the update period, and the relative criticality of these activties

-Make sure you challenge late delivery / poor progress, so that you understand the true reasons for any delay. Also make sure those responsible understand the specific implications of any delay

-Make sure you identify any out of sequence work that has occured, correct the logic in your programme, and understand why it occured

-If for some reason you are unable to get progress info on any activities, assume there was no progress.

-Once you have completed your update, make sure the revised schedue for the next update period(s) is issued ASAP to the project team. -It is more important to get the info out quickly to the team doing the job, than it is to get a report out quickly to senior management / client.

4) Periodically, you should review progress vs plan across the update periods for trends -You may find for example that piping is consistently only achieving 50% of planned. Then you need to discuss with your piping guy & PM what to do about it -increase resources, remove some blockers, increase forecast durations to match actual productivity, etc

5) You should also periodically review the reasons for delay for trends. -If the same reason keeps popping up, you need to be lobbying your PM to do something about it.





Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 14 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4409

Hi S M

You will find subsea programming simpler to operate than aerospace.

Pipe lines and cables are a linear operation with only a few tasks to manage:

Dredging - Guide Piles - Pipe / Cable laying - Remove piles - Backfill.

All done from a towed factory barge or pushed by jacks from an anchored barge.

Off shore foundations are just like simple construction but under water. - nothing magic abut it once you understand the process.

You have to be careful of weather patterns and mosoons but otherise it is easy.

The best advice I can give you is before you plan anything get out on the rig for a week or two and ask all the questions and take note of the answers.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 5077

Progress on most jobs, except those paid by hourly services, is measured on some volume of work.

  • Duration is not a measure of volume of work.
  • Duration is not a measure of productivity per se, it needs some volume of work for its determination.

If you are using software incapable of modeling progress based on volume of work consider looking for something better.

Mere Physical % complete is not a good substitute to the more transparent metrics for volume of work and productivity measured as a production rate of some volume of work per unit of time.

Because I am in the Construction Business I use Spider Project, software capable of modeling progress based on volume of work that makes sense to our industry. This is different functionality than the modeling of non renewable resources like materials that make use of some measure of volume, the functionalities are not the same. Both are different and both are basic needs in our industry.  

We talk concrete  progress in cubic yards, we talk earthwork progress in cubic meters. Funny different measure systems CY versus CM, but the units are always clear. A language a mason understand, something as simple as the installation of 400 concrete blocks per day.

We even model lag not only based on time but also can model lag based on some volume of work that keeps the distance between activities. This that can warn you of out-of-sequence for volume of work as the job progress, something you cannot follow and manage using duration only, you need to keep the distance by managing your crews productivity.

We measure productivity such as concrete pouring in CY per man-hour, not productive hour per hour of work based on an invisible reference, it is nuts.

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 14 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4409

Hi S M

Welcome to planning planet.

Please do not enter your topic more than once in different locations.

Best regards

Mike Testro