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I need your advice on schedule update

10 replies [Last post]
John Drokovic
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I would like to ask the experienced planners and schedulers on what would be the best approach or procedure to follow when updating the schedule on a bi-weekly basis. Some of the questions that would like to be answered are:

 

1) How do you collect the information? Do you organize meetings or request markups or verbal information?

2) When do you collect the information?

3) What if you realize that there are major deviations or slippages?

4) What reports do you elaborate?

5) How do you communicate the update?

 

Thanks in advance. 

Replies

Frederic Fasquelle
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Posts: 51

I fully agree with Jain, This is by far the best practice.

I'm used to explain to my colleagues that the best way to get information is to be closed to the cofee machine. A lot of informations are shared there. I am not telling you to waste your full day in drinking coffee but clearly to have discussion with your team.

It is quite easy nowdays to hide behind screen and mails, this is far enriching to visit your team, to perform site survey (construction phase). Do not hesitate to ask reason of delay (technical, contractual, lack of ressources) this will help you to write your report. Some solution should be proposed either based on your own experience either based on your discussion with your team.

regards

Deepak Jain
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John,

Don't send the PDF/ excel for schedule update purposes. Just go and have a discussion with responsible lead for which he or she is accountable for. You need to get status on following three variables at an activity level for an accurate schedule update

1) Remaining Duration

2) Physical Percent (%) complete

3) Remaining MHrs / $$ (in case your schedule is resource / cost loaded)

And remember "the more you ask, the more you listen, the better your plan will be ".

Saying above, I presume you have access to project team and not managing something remotely.

Cheers,

Rafael Davila
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Raymond,

I believe you are right, you can even trick the auto update to give you the worksheet for a DD a bit latter (a month or a week or...) than what you plan and then use it to update only actual data before you real updating DD.

The problem with this method is when there is out of sequence work not included or when there are activity interruptions, Excel makes it easier to include these than on a propietary format like Primavera Mail for P3 or SureTrak.

Yes there are many ways to skin a cat and this is why software developers provide you with options, at the end it is up to you.

Regards,

Rafael

mimoune djouallah
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Posts: 388

Great contributions.

John if you want a sample reports that we do produce in a weekly basis have a look at those files.

http://www.box.com/s/ryfxdtnnyhz7qpufgp5l

 

hope this help

Raymund de Laza
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Rafael,

That's a great steps in updating too.... although there are a lot of ways to do so and it's up to the planner/scheduler which way it is convenient for him/her and will pleased the satisfaction of the concerned parties that requires the generated reports.

Rafael Davila
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I always use a 2 month look-ahead to get a listing of activities for our monthly updates and send the listing in Excel to the site so the person at the site responsible to gather the data can distribute it in a format all can read and write.

The 2 month look-ahead will include activities supposed to be active this month and the next.

  • If the job is progressing slow or close to as scheduled then all activities supposed to be active this month will need updating will will be included on the list.
  • If the progress is faster than as scheduled then some activities supposed to be active next month will need updating. This will include activities that have started out of sequence that might be missed if not listed, all will be included on the list with very rare exceptions the updater shall add to the list himself.

I encourage the updater(s) to declare activities that were stopped or intermittent during the updating period as to have better as-built data. It is not uncommon for some activities with a lot of float to be worked in chunks or at times stopped because of other reasons that must be documented. Some very long bars for activities of short duration with intermittent progress not only look weird but do not gives you the true picture.

Then I update my activities one by one instead of using the as-planned filter option because there will be risk of missing some discrepancies, like activities supposed to have started/finished but did not. The software provides me with a table of all activities I am updating before posting so I make a double check on my data entry, only then I post my update. My software provides me with another listing of all posted records so if in the future I need to make a detailed correction to this record I can do, this is a very rare need but can happen.

We never use % complete but remaining duration that shall be based on the activity driving volume of work unless its remaining duration is purely of a duration type. We consider blind use of % complete bad scheduling practice.

Raymund de Laza
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Thank you Johannes.

Johannes Vandenberg
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Hi Raymund

Thank you for your reply

I am not using the auto update progess facilty and activity steps. Have used auto update in the past but found that not to be accurate enough. Never used activity steps. Mayby i should try. I use manally updating because i "see" each activity passing individual on the screen. This gives me about 1 minute to let sink in the information. Have to manually insert the start en finish date or, and when not completed the the percentage completion and the remaining duration. I have average 1000 activities in my schedules and that acconts for about 2 or 3 hours updating per week.

I can see that you that may report on the items 1-5 you have listed and these are usefull fot the project.

I submitt the weekly progress report every tuesday to the responsible manager. He has a weekly progress meeting every wednesday and he uses this report to guide him trough te "timemanagement" part of the weekly progress meeting.

Here are actions and decisions made to suit the project.

I do not understand you comment on not rescheduling the original schedule.

As all the activities are update, then i shall set the new data date and re-schedule.Only then i start with the analysing of the results.  

If you have baselined the original schdule you can see clearly see the schedule variance per activity.

Trusting this clarifies

 

Johannes

Raymund de Laza
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Johannes,

Please comment on how I am personally doing my update.

I have the same procedure as your lists but only that I am updating my schedule through Auto Update Progress  and updating the Activity Steps according to progress at site provided by site personnel.

In this procedure I can have a report on:

1. Activities that are supposed to starts but not yet started.
2. Activities that started and supposed to be completed but not yet completed.
3. Activities that are not scheduled to start but it was started.
4. Activities that are started and not scheduled to finished but already completed.
5. Activities that are supposed to start within the period until the next periodic reporting.

Activities that are delayed will be discussed in a meeting and will set an agreed time frame to catch-up without rescheduling the original schedule.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Regards,

 

Johannes Vandenberg
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1) How do you collect the information? Do you organize meetings or request markups or verbal information?

  • Allocate a responsible person to each activity
  • Fiter the schedule for all activities for that person
  • Send the schedule in PDF format and ask them to report on start and finish date for each activity. If the activity is not 100% completed in the reporting period ask them to report on percentage completion or remaining duration
  • Make sure that he retuns the updated PDF.

 

2) When do you collect the information?

  • Request to return not later then noon at the monday after the closing period
  • Suggest to use weekly updates

3) What if you realize that there are major deviations or slippages?

  • When you have collected all the progress reports start updating and finally reschedule at the cut-off date

4) What reports do you elaborate?

  • Make a narrative report showing general status of the project.
  • Report on schedele variance
  • Report on percentage completion
  • Report on earned value
  • Report CPI and or productivity
  • Make and update histograms
  • Make and update "S" curves
  • Report  on Critical items
  • Report on items of concern for senior management for action or resolution
  • Make PDF of the rescheduled network
  • Make filter  to select all critical activities 
  • Make 4 weeks look ahead
  • Make new set PDF's for updating the next period

5) How do you communicate the update?

Just make sure every memberof the projectteam  gets your report. This can be by E- mail or post. Or use special Website.

There are many other practices such as using exell sheets, transfering data to a ERP data etc. 

Trusting this helps

 

Regards 

Johannes