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Best Planning and Scheduling Advice

22 replies [Last post]
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear PP Members,

I would like to provide a learning lesson thread to Planners and Schedulers by providing the advice of PP members accummulated over the years in this thread.

I will start by saying: "Know the site and the team members especially the ones that are going to build the project on a first name basis."

With kind regards,

Samer
PS thank you for sharing your experiences. This should be interesting to follow.

Replies

Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Colin,

Thank you for your kind rely. It is actually very important to have input from all parties before the tender is submitted.

So the best advice would be for each department to do their job well and meet frequently, say every week, before the tender is closed and submitted, to have the best integrated schedule.

With kind regards,

Samer
Colin Blair
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Hi Samer

yes, I agree that it should be as per conditions of contract.

I was actually thinking about agreement (approval) between our own internal departments on the creation of the programme - before submittal to the customer.

Regards

Colin
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Tom,

Thank you for your kind clarification.

With kind regards,

Samer
Tom Howard
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Yes, sorry, I realise there are several meanings for the word "adjudication" in construction. On this occasion I meant the final settlement meeting that our estimating team holds before submitting a tender. The whole tender will be reviewed inc programme, costs, prelims etc and a commercial decision made as what the final bid will consist of. It is not uncommon for the tender programme to be changed at this stage (usually time is taken out) to make it more competitive.
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Tom,

Thank you for your kind reply. Would you kindly clarify what do you mean by "adjudication stage".

With kind regards,

Samer
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Colin,

Thank you for your kind input.

I have one comment regarding the first point; The parties do not have to agree on the program of works as per FIDIC. So we need to update that point to become: Submit the Program of Work as per Conditions of Contract requirements.

FIDIC clause (8/3) request the Contractor to submit the Program of Works within 28 days from the commencement date. The Engineer will provide a NOTICE to the extent that the program does not meet the contractual requirements, or they will be silent.

With kind regards,

Samer
Tom Howard
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I think the word I was looking for was "Negligible", but I’m sure you get the idea
Tom Howard
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Totally agree with Colins point 5. We regularly get asked to reduce (already tight) programmes at adjudication stage. If and when we then win the project, you can be sure there will be an angry Project Manager berating the impossible programme (and pointing a finger in your direction).

Another one from me is KEEP PRESENTATION SIMPLE. I am shocked at the number of planners who think it is perfectly acceptable to colour almost every bar on their 400 line programme with a different colour / pattern combo. Aside from looking like a LSD-induced nightmare, it is technically / visually pointless as the difference between Dark Cyan, Dark Green, Medium Forest Green and Forest Green is NEGLIBLE, both on screen and once printed.

I suggest using about 5 solid colours max. on programmes for public consumption.
Colin Blair
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Hi Samer

1) Communication is high priority - make sure your programme is agreed with all parties

2) Learn what your software capabilities are and their default settings. Work with them or change them to suit your needs.

3) Let logic & facts dictate your programme - not the management request that it should happen within a certain timeframe.

4) Make sure your programme gets baselined. Create new baselines if necessary, if major changes to scope have occurred.

5) Keep a log of changes

Regards

Colin
Shahul Badhusha
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Thanks mike ,let me get back with the detailed info for further discussion
Jay Samortin
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Hi folks,

Go on.. more advice please.. beginners like me are reading this thread carefully...

Cheers!

-Jay
R. Catalan
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Hi PP’ers,

i just hope this thread will not trigger/restart discussions on different opinions on what to follow in planning/scheduling related to:

- Software used
- TF=0 vs Longest Path
- Retained Logic vs Progress Override
- Resource-leveling
- Use of Constraints
- FS vs SS/FF
- Lead lags
- Others

Since the above planning issues have its own thread in other forums in PP.

Best regards,

R. Catalan
R. Catalan
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Hi PP’ers,

Construction planning does not only relate to planning of work on-site. To start your activity as planned, approved shop drawings must be available, each material must be delivered in time, equipment ready at site, and subcontractors must show up when required.

All the required elements as mentioned above, as a minimum, should be updated at least on a weekly basis.

Thanks Samer for starting this thread.

Best regards,

R. Catalan,
Mike Testro
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Hi Shahul

Yes quite right - but HOW.

That is what Samer wants to hear from you.

Looking forward to your detailed response.

Mike Testro.
Shahul Badhusha
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Hi to all

Creating a schedule with sufficient density of activities with integration of all services/trades present in the project enhances better monitoring, controlling and foreseeing of delays
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Samer,
This might be useful.

Always Plan SMART.
S pecific
M easurable
A ttainable
R eliable and
T ime Bounded

Best Regards,
Rodel
Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
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Dear Mike,

I am thinking that this should be part of PP Body of Knowledge. We can set up the exam questions from it in the near future.

The building block of good practices is the single most important thing that is not available. This is a continously evolving issue.

I will assemble it in one document at the end of this year and post it as PP Planning and Scheduling Recommended Practice Rev 1, 2011. After all, we already have the icon, we should use it.

With kind regards,

Samer
(P.S. Free Best Practical Advice is the minimum we can offer. The document will have the names of every single member who contributed to this thread to celebrate their accomplishments, after their review and approval of course.)
Mike Testro
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Hi Samer

Looks like you are heading for a text book.

Put it all in an index and set it up for accreditaion.

Best regards

Mike T.
Ranish KT
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in addition to comments on

Avoid constraints
Avoid open end activiites

I am adding a few more.

use retained logic scheduling
Avoid negative lags
Change relationship only to correct error in baseline schedule, inform PM/client
Add limits to resource, level. Then try to optimize resource profile manullay, leveled sch may be used as guide.
Load overheads in hammok or level of effort
Consider Risk management triggers in schedule
Include high risk mitigation plan within the plan
Tom Howard
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Limit the use of constraints (preferably to only one, the Start on Site milestone). Everything else should be linked.

Don’t just rely on output rates for durations. Common sense is sometimes required, along with a few phonecalls to specialist sub-contractors if necessary.

Don’t forget hidden durations such as scaffolding erection (and dismantling), curing, commissioning etc

Look for programme constriants in the design, such as panels of high level masonry that have to be completed before lower level roofs can finish. These pitfalls can outfox even an experienced planner...

Make due allowance for weather, remembering that poor weather may not be classed as "inclement" for a particular location.
Mike Testro
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Hi Samer

I expect you knew that this was coming from me.

1. Use only FS Links and NEVER use lead lags
2. Every task must have at least one outgoing link - except the last one.
3. No task should be longer than 10 days.
4. Curing and drying out tasks must be on 24/7 calendars.

And if you can’t build it - you can’t plan it.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Samer Zawaydeh
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
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Dear Mike,

You are correct, I expected no less than that.

I think that this will be the most valuable information to practictionairs in Planning and Scheduling.

With kind regards,

Samer