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scheduling questions

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Benchmarking Questions

1.What percentage of the project’s budget is spent on scheduling?
2.What percentage of the project’s budget is spent on finance/EV?
3.Is there an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) in place?
4.Is the scheduling team within the Project Management Organization (PMO)?
5.How large of a team is needed?
6.Is scheduling a stand alone function?
7.What tools are used?
8.What processes are used?

We are trying to benchmark the scheduling. Need Requirements and practices across a few industries to support a discussion with our management team. Any feedback on the following will be welcome.

Zhen
zhen.cai@pw.utc.com

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Luca Basile
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Also on reimbursable contract I image You make a big, come out with a price.
Now if You cost at the end is less than the bid one you share the difference with the client, otherwise no.
What was the planner effort though during the bidding phase?
From how many planner is composed Your team? Which is the extension of Your job? Which is the level of your schedule? Which kind of report you have to produce?
All these must be the base of Your consideration for the planner requirement.
You may have 2/3 planners in function of the extension and taking in consideration that a multi million dollar project may be multidisciplinary.
In any case the effort compared with the construction one (direct man-hours) is small,
As small in monetary value if compared with the procurement.
Zhen Cai
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The project we are working on is reimbursable, however we cannot just spend over the budget on every aspect of the project. To the director of the program, the scheduling team is one of those aspects that shouldn’t get a good portion of the overall project. So that is why I am focusing on percentages. Sure, I want to focus on “reviewing [my] staffing plan or manpower requirement,” but that can’t be done until my bosses are on the same page as I am. We do have a standard way of scheduling, but we cannot say that it is the best or if it’s even good. thus we are looking to benchmark. We don’t know if we can continue our ways of scheduling if our request doesn’t come through. That’s why I need examples of other companies’ budgets. If the upper management team knows that other companies are successful using a specific way of scheduling with a specific budget for scheduling and EV, etc… then we can provide a better argument. If we go up to management without examples, it isn’t useful. I know everyone is trying to help but no one is really answering the questions or avoiding it. And about the monitoring system, can you elaborate on that? Perhaps refer to question 5. To successfully build a multimillion dollar project (e.g. plane engine), how large of a scheduling team should the project manager have in order to create the necessary plans? Any examples of this from companies you guys have worked with?

zhen
zhen.cai@pw.utc.com
Luca Basile
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As per Davide,
the Project control manager/coordinator can be not assigned 100% at your project, but follow over several projects in function of their complexity.
For an EPC project also You could have 2 planner one for EP and one on site for C. As sometimes EPC contract, in particular case in the oil they have working team in different countries. I mean I can sub contract the engineering in Korea, going on with the procurement in Italy and built in Nigeria. Nothing more easy.

Absolutly agree that the planning is not a stand alone department, but should be all integrated in the project control dep. where schedule and costs should live and be progressed consistently.

I am still on the position that Proj. Control coord, and planners are middle management and their effort is paid back on time related items.
I am agree that after all their contribution in th eoverall project price is not high, also because the company has already a lot of standard procedure to follow. Also if in the first month you have to develop the wbs, cbs, all the accounting system, etc that required a lot of effort. But nothing is done from scratch.
Rahmat Hidayat
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In my understanding budgeted cost for scheduling or finance is included in the inderect cost / overhead portion and their value is very small, not more than 0.5 % of overall project cost. I think estimators and Proj Mgr will not focus on such small things.

Then, reviewing their staffing plan or manpower requirement is more meaningful than estimating their budget portion. Developing an integrated project control system to all line in your project team will be very significant to minimize scheduling personnel.
Davide Catuzzato
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Dear Zhen,

is very difficult to replay to your question, basically becouse it depend from the type of Project/Contract es. Remboursable fee or lump-sum.
In lump-sum cases the management try to limitate the planning cost producing the minimun project requirement.
Opposite case is the remb. cost where the management will try to charge as much as possible fee producing very detailed schedule.
The project that I’m following the Project Control part including Scheduling - Cost control - Risk analysis(EPC Contract) is more or less the 1% of the TIC.

Another important point is the monitoring system. Schedule without adeguate monitoring system doen’t give appreciable result.
It depend how much your mng. thrust in our discipline.

To follow a complex project you should staff your team, in my opinion, as follow:
1- Project Control Coord. - Management Level
1 or 2 Scheduling Eng. - depend from the level of detail and from monitoring system.

Scheduling is absolutly an integrated and alive process.
Considering scheduling stand alone it will be only a cost.
Zhen Cai
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Thank you guys for responding. This is the other post I put up along with this one in case

Hello all,

I think most of us here will agree that a solid and defined schedule is the key to any efficient project. Creating this schedule, in some cases, can be costly. It is hard to convince upper management that a good percentage of the project’s budget should be put into scheduling when you are in an aerospace/defense environment. Does anyone have any data within your company or data of other companies that show the effectiveness of having a weak or strong schedule? (i.e. .01% of budget put into scheduling & no EVMS = project delivered 6 months late) Books and websites aren’t useful here. If any has any real-life examples, it’d be greatly appreciative. All comments are welcome (doesn’t have to be aerospace/defense).

So To Rahmat:

Question 1 is not asking for BCWP. It is asking if a company were to build this big project, how much money from the project’s budget would be spent on just making a schedule alone.
Same for question 2, it is not asking for ACWP. It is asking “How much money of the project’s is used on financing/EV?”
All my questions are asking for examples in other industries so we can convince our upper management that scheduling is very important in creating a successful project without losing money, time or quality.

Hope this helps!!

Zhen
Zhen.cai@pw.utc.com

Luca Basile
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I found your qeustion on planning planet, I will try to give You the best answer with the few info You supply us.

I will start with the #4, planners are middle management so You can consider their effort as time related costs.
With this You should find also the answer to the first question, as how long is your project? 20 months, so the planner cost is 20 months! If I am over-running the project? Good, if is due to Client responsability, having clearly defined the planning effort as time related You can claim the planning major effort!
Again the finance, if for You means, contract manager, quantity surveyor is again a time related item, that follow the same discussion as above.

The question #5 is pretty starnge! I will explain, let consider You are an oil company. You have two pipeline projetcs.
One 30km another one 800km. The number of people mobilized as well as the organization chart structure will for sure be different.

About #6, no is not a stand alone process, as in a construction enviroment You need the construction manager to decide
the phases, then You need integretion with cost engineer, quantity surveyor, procurement department, You are all
working at the same project for the same comapny!!! The best way to realize the final comun goal is "talikng each other"
so you will avoid the same things will be done multiple time.
The software tools available are multiple and there is a big discussion on which is the best (P3, P3e, MsProject, Artemis, CCS, etc ...) we could make a list composed by some milion of name. The most used as far as I saw are P3/Pe3 and CCS.

I really have probelm to understand the question #3 and #8.
About #8 I can tell You the company should have standard procedure to incorporate all we discuss here (talking between the department) is enough as reply to teh #8?

I am waiting some clarification at the #3.
Rahmat Hidayat
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Hi

Question #1 and #2 are not clear for me. Do you mean BCWP (EV) for Q#1 and ACWP (AC) for Q#2 ? Pls explain !