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.

What is the best way to capture progress?

33 replies [Last post]
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
There are many ways to capture progress for scheduled labour activities, but which method do people find works best on a large scale project? (2000+ activities)

Physical % complete?
Duration % complete?
Actual Start / Finish plus remaining duration?

I have worked on demolition projects that dictate this in the contract, but what method is most practical? Does you industry seem to have a prefered method?

Replies

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 14 hours 9 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2742
Groups: None

all of the above ask the superintendents or the periosn in charge of the work then physically go see the work with your own 2 eyes

Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Mimoune,

That is very good and helpful to planner.

Cheers,

mimoune djouallah
User offline. Last seen 1 year 3 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 388
Nestor

’Did you say a job card for each activity??’

yes, at least the started one, my was program was rather small, nearly 600 activities.

regards
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Steve,

Very rare you can find planner with those characteristics you mentioned in your post below including those you stated in your rescent post from other subject.

When the planner reach to that level, he is ready to take over the role of the PM and if he is unfortunate he will be assigned to a floating position by the insecured PM.

And if he is promoted to PM role, the career cycle of a new planner will begin.

Oliver said:

"Taking ’the money invested and return maximum value to both customer and employer’ is the role of everyone on the project, as this is essentially what ’working’ is."

I totally agree with Oliver that it is the role of everyone on the project. Indeed, in my observation, the organization who emphasized teamwork has low staff turnover. Everyone works in accordance with the system. The negative side, decisions are made very slow.

If there is 1 man band in the organization, sooner than later, he/she will leave for a better pay.

I find Oliver realistic by saying:

"I think economising on the cost and schedule aspects of a project based upon the scope requirements in the brief is the realm of the planner."

The 1st care of every planner is to see that the programme is properly done. That is his main ’working’.

Cheers,



Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
Steve,

Taking ’the money invested and return maximum value to both customer and employer’ is the role of everyone on the project, as this is essentially what ’working’ is. Doing a task for somebody as efficiently as you can.

The preliminary cost/benefit analysis falls at the feet of the client, as does the ROI of the investment. Commercially aware contractor PMs have a dual role, to both bring the project in under budget for all parties, but also to look for any changes that may increase the overall contract value. (I have seen this done not only to cover cost variances but also to increase the overall contract value. Could be deemed as slightly immoral, but it happens!)

I think economising on the cost and schedule aspects of a project based upon the scope requirements in the brief is the realm of the planner.

This is why the planner who looks to verify the investment from business case to end is last out of the door! :)
Stephen Devaux
User offline. Last seen 12 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 644
"What is the 1st care of every ..... planner?"

Hi, Nestor.

What IS? Or what SHOULD BE?

The first care of every planner IS to legally meet the terms of the contract for the lowest possible cost to his/her employer. (Unless it’s a Time & materials contract, when it tends to be the HIGHEST possible cost!) This is almost always the first care of the contractor (i.e. the planner’s employer), too.

But there are often other (unstated) contractor value considerations, e.g., the list of value drivers in the article I referenced in the other thread. However, these items are almost never communicated to the planner, at least not in the monetized form that would justify increasing cost, even if the unidentified value driver could result in tens of millions of dollars.

The first care of the planner SHOULD BE to take the money invested and return maximum value to both customer and employer (under a contract that does not set up a win/lose zero sum relationship). This can usually be done through tradeoffs in the monetized scope/cost/schedule relationships.

1. Sometimes this means recommending increasing cost in order to generate more valuable scope.

2. Sometimes it means recommending increased cost to compress schedule.

3. Sometimes it means amending the contract to provide the contractor with incentives to provide the customer with the greater value that he/she wants.

4. Sometimes it means doing things in a way that respects a specific value driver of the contractor (which the contractor should expect to pay for!) but which the customer doesn’t care about.

The planner who does this, and captures in clear terms the monetized value he/she is adding through each such decision, is going to be the last one out the door when the layoffs come!

Fraternally in PM,

Steve D.
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Steve,

This goes down to a simple question of?

What is the 1st care of every ..... planner?

Fraternal regards,
Nestor
Stephen Devaux
User offline. Last seen 12 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 644
R. Catalan wrote:

"Whatever is the process, schedule infos are owned by all stakeholders who are working together serving one purpose which is to bring the project on schedule and within the budget."

I’m sorry, but I disagree with this. To my thinking, this is a basic misconception of the fundamentals of a project, and lies at the root of many project woes. (Not criticizing you, R. Catalan! I agree that what you wrote is regarded as the "one purpose" of the stakeholders.)

A project is, first, last and always, an investment. And there is NO other investment that I know of where expected profit is not the guiding metric.

The purpose of the stakeholders should be to agree up front on what the respective impacts of scope/cost/schedule/risk will be on expected value and cost. And then the rest of the project should be about seeking ways to maximize "project profit" by increasing the difference between those two. Sometimes schedule acceleration may be of such value as to recommend going over "budget", or even cutting optional scope; sometimes additional scope might be so valuable as to justify both late delivery and going over budget. But in order to seek opportunities and make good recommendations, the project team, and especially the planner, need to understand what the tradeoffs are in terms of project profit.

I’m aware that what increases project profit for the contractor may often be diametrically opposite of what increases it for the client. That is a distortion caused by the contract terms. A profitable project is best guaranteed by expending every effort to reconcile, in the contractual terms, the benefit of all stakeholders.

(For the record, this is one reason that I was delighted to discover, a few months back, that Vladimir Liberzon’s Spider Project has the functionality to track expected project profit.)

Fraternally in PM,

Steve D.
R. Catalan
User offline. Last seen 8 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 314
Groups: None
All,

Whatever is the process, schedule infos are owned by all stakeholders who are working together serving one purpose which is to bring the project on schedule and within the budget.

The bottomline is profesionalism and dedication.

Hardworkers always ends up taking the benefits in self-satisfaction, respect, financial, and career advancement.

Cheers,
R. Catalan



Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 1 year 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Posts: 1664
Hi,

Usually a senior person designs the form to collect the needed information and then a junior person manage the process of getting the information on time and doing the number crunshing.

It depends on the size of the organization. If you are in a small organization, then you (Planner) will be doing all the work. If you are in a larger organization, then they will put a separate entity that is monitoring the works (usually quality control), Planning Department, or Quantity Surveying Department.

With kind regards,

Samer
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Mimoune,

Did you say a job card for each activity??

Cheers,
Alex Wong
User offline. Last seen 7 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 874
Groups: TILOS
Method that is acceptable by the clients and contractor
Method that is effective
****Method that is measurable****
Method that is closest to the reality of the project progress

Hi Mimoune

That is the key for your issue Mimoune

If you are using job card than make sure it is not arguable between U and the client. Prior agreement is key of exactly % of complete in each stage of the installation

i.e. 0/100 rule or 0/50/100 if the pipe is not install then is 0% if the pipe is up in the air but not finish then its 50% and if it is complete then it is 100%

Sometime project manager dont want to be clear cut because they can fuge with the progress figures and planner is the one in the middle.... between the client and project manager.

For us, the more clear cut the info is the better the schedule outcome.
HTH

Alex
mimoune djouallah
User offline. Last seen 1 year 3 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 388
that’s the question!! who prepare the job card, who is supposed to signed it, i hope to hear your experience on that point.

in my last job, as there was no QS, i prepare it, update the progress weekly, and ask ’ kindly’ the superintendents (tanks, equipment erection and piping) to sign it off, and as you know, they find always some strange excuses to say that, i am under evaluating ’their’ progress.

i hope you have better process then that ;)

regards
mimoune
R. Catalan
User offline. Last seen 8 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 314
Groups: None
Mimoune,

Job cards is very helpful to,
- QS (PCs and VOs)
- Planner (tracking work progress)
- Construction team (tracking RFIs/IRs/NCRs)
- Procurement Expediter (material deliveries)
- Forensic Delay Analyst (resolving claims)

but normally we face problems in getting it signed off when we had disagreement on the task completion.

Thanks Mimoune for highlighting it.

Regards,
R. Catalan

Alex Wong
User offline. Last seen 7 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 874
Groups: TILOS
Gary

Hornestly, the post office in P3 is crap... there are products out there work 100 times better.

Dear All

The best way to capture progress is the one that suit:
Method that is acceptable by the clients and contractor
Method that is effective
Method that is measurable
Method that is closest to the reality of the project progress

Because each project enviornments and conditions is different, an IT&T project is different from an Pipeline project and is different from a highrise project and certainly different from a R&D research project.

Find the one that suit.

Regards

Alex

Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 1 year 10 weeks ago. Offline
That’s a shame. I speak from ignorance, but I’d much rather have both.
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
Gary,

I’m not 100% sure, but i think they have left the email function out so they can push the timesheet function better.
mimoune djouallah
User offline. Last seen 1 year 3 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 388
Oliver

in my last project, we used job card, it is an excel worksheet where we record physical quantities , total quantities, actual to date, manhour used, difference between total engineering quantities, and total actuals ( especially piping, where there always more welds than in drawing)

this job card for each activities is updated weekly by QS.

mimoune


’Manhours burnt is for me a measure of efficiency and not progress. ’ that’s the kind of statement who add value to ’our’ forum, thanks really for writing this.
Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 1 year 10 weeks ago. Offline
In P3 there’s the send mail wizard which lets you email a filtered list of activities to the supervisors, who can then enter progress and send it back. the planner then gets an oportunity to review before accepting the updates into the schedule.
I’ve not yet had a chance to play with P5/6, but I’d hope soemthing similar was available? A big step back if not.

I try and use physical % complete where possible, and remaining duration where not (eg design activities). Manhours burnt is for me a measure of efficiency and not progress.
marwan ibrahim
User offline. Last seen 11 years 15 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 31
I prefer R. Catalan’s process. We’ve been doing it.
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 1 year 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1416
photos and videos?
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Oliver,

I have no known short cut for the process. R. Catalan’s suggestion, I believe, is the most practical and simple way of doing it. Indeed I prefer doing it very traditionally in order to get the feel of the site progress.

Cheers,
Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 1 year 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Posts: 1664
Dear Oliver,

For a structural steel project, you can use a handheld scanner for material receipt at site, and subsequent installation. Since each part is delivered to site with a bar code.

Best,

Samer
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
Thanks for tips Nestor, but i know how to measure progress by using s-curves for hours, waste, material etc :)

As i already said, i am interested in the PROCESS of HOW planners are collecting updates. Like Shimmon and Catalan have replied.

i.e.
Do people prefer face to face progress meetings and updating the plan from meeting notes?

Is it better to create progress sheets in excel and to get them updated by team leaders?

Is using shared workbooks that directly import into P5/P6 a reliable method? What data is captured?

Does anyone effictively use mobile devices to capture on-site progress?

Has anyone managed to successfully integrate a 3rd-party application with Primavera, that removes the need for ’double keying’?
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Olover,

You may get some idea from this.

We have demolished a typical multi story concrete building by saw cut method. We measure progress by the area. There where 2 progress curves (in excel), 1 for the removal of the building services and 1 for the structure. Both are measured by the floor area. The baseline curves were extracted from P3.

Cheers,
Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 1 year 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Posts: 1664
Dear Oliver,

I can give you several examples on multi-million projects.

1) Main Headquarters (1 Billion)

The project was divided into several buildings with infrastructure and E/M services. Each was monitored separately and the overall project was monitored depending on the percentage (using weighted average money value) of each.

2) Skyscraper (500 Million)

The project was divided between 25 contractors. Each was monitored separately. Milestone list was managed to achieved required results.

3) Refinery Project
Project was divided into components and each component was divided into several subcomponent. The progress made on each subcomponent was monitored and reported on monthly basis. In able to determine the % progress in each period.


The main principle is to divide the large scale project into components and monitor the progress on each component (time needed to complete the works). You might need to change the parameters that you are monitoring depending on the material being used.

Best Regards,

Samer
R. Catalan
User offline. Last seen 8 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 314
Groups: None
Hi Oliver,

What we do is export two-week lookahead programs to Excel showing columns for start date, finish date, % complete and other infos you wish to have.

Then issue it periodically to supervision staffs for updating. We do site walkthroughs to have an occular inspection.

We import it back to the program, then run.

Thanks,
R. Catalan
James Shimmon
User offline. Last seen 9 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 93
Oliver
It also depends on whether you can get hold of quality QS’, which are few and far between and also very expensive to a nuclear site!!

We have set up a lower level Excel spreadsheet that has the plan activities on and for each activity a separate tab that provides the deliverables that need to be complete for the activity. This has proved particularly helpful for ’paperwork exercises’ where % complete can be subjective.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the capability to import directly from Excel (damn Citrix access rights) so we have to manually handball the final figures in.

Columns include Activity BL Start & Finish date, BL Cost, Actual Start & Finish dates, along the top is a grid with physical % complete in 10% increments and the project leads go in and put a ’y’ in the corresponding grid.

This will also give them a provisional BCWP for each activity pre-period end.

Cheers

Shimmo
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
James,

I have worked on demolition projects in the nuclear sector before and all estimates i used to receive where manhour based as opposed to waste quantities. But i guess it depends on the estimators you have!

What i’m trying to get at though is do people produce excel progress sheets that they can imprort directly into Primavera to make performance recording easier? How these updates are performed? What columns do people use? etc.

There are many ways to import performance as opposed to typing it in and i’m interested to see which is most common/practical?
James Shimmon
User offline. Last seen 9 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 93
Oliver
I believe the reliable way to measure progress is against known quantities, especially for demolition projects, e.g tonnes of asbestos removed, metres of pipework removed, litres of oil drained etc.
Providing the basis of quantities / deliverable metrics are robust from the outset, physical % complete is easily underpinned and open to scrutiny.
I don’t believe that measuring % complete according to the manhours expended is a justifiable method of measuring progress as it doesn’t guarantee that progress is ’as planned’
Cheers

Shimmo
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
My question isn’t about whether to capture hours or costs, i want to know what people find the most practical way to measure performance on large scale projects?

(ie. when not using Teamplay)
Nestor Principe
User offline. Last seen 9 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 151
Hi Oliver,

I will start praparing a sensible recovery programme and will review the budget.

Cheers,
Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 1 year 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Posts: 1664
Dear Oliver,

If you contract is measured by the number of hours, then you need to continue monitoring the number of hours spent by the labour.

Programs of Works measure time. The time required to complete the activity using the resources (manpower, material and equipment).

Make sure that the resources loaded in your program of works are correct. And keep updating them time wise and you will get accurate results. There are factors that you might want to consider in determining the rates of completing the activities; like experience and productivity.

Best Regards,

Samer