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Basics on Project Setup

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M Colon
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Definining a setup for a comprehensive project management can be a task of its own. Here is a basic handout I created for my schedulers in order for them to avoid redundancy and have consistency on their projects. Feel free to email me with your comments at mcolon@miami-airport.com

Define the work
By Myrelie Colon

Before commencing any work, the owner must identify the project at the stage of the “Statement of Need”. This process must include the definition of the scope of work and synchronization to adjacent projects if any. It is wise to prepare a summary of work that includes the specific requirements for the project such as:

1. Title for work
2. Contract number (Unique Number; not to be repeated)
3. Subproject ID (for scheduling Purpose; it is important not to repeat the ID and the contract number in the system to alleviate confusion in case of claims)
4. Summary of work covered by the contract
5. Contract Method (i.e. Lump sum, etc)
6. Work by others (Not in contract, Future or similar notations)
7. Work Sequence
8. Wage Rates (as stipulated in local codes; Varies by Region/State)
9. Guidelines for Application of Payment/Change Orders and Work Orders
10. Coordination (includes project meeting schedule, coordination of submittals and guidelines, coordination of space including utilities layout and contract closeout procedures)

It is important for the owner and the contractor to have an established “Chain of Command” which will help the process go smoothly, that is, the owner can appoint a “Project Manager” that will be in charge of the daily monitoring of the project and keep the “Contract Officer”(The owner of the properties under construction; The chief authority in administering the contract) aware of the progress of the project in case that any decision needs to be taken. Other layers of management could be added to the “Chain of Command” depending on the complexity of the project.

Specifications should be put in place and shall comprise of all items/ requirements included in the project. The Engineer of Record shall be responsible to monitor the contractor so that he/she fully complies during all stages of construction.

After the scope of the project is clearly delineated and all pre-existing conditions for the site are known, then a preliminary budget must be established. When a bid is accepted, the contractor will be required to submit an Overall Project Schedule and a Schedule of Values that will guarantee the contract time and budget as forecasted by the owner.

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Clive Holloway
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One of the key basics is to develop a strategic programme with defined milestones that gives the PM targets to go for. The PM needs to have something useful to help him to complete the project on time. All planners must be aware of this and so aim to be useful to the PM.

A 2000 activity network with 3000 logic links is not useful and will mean that your programmes will not be used. The PM needs to know what in broad terms are the key elements to the works.
Mohd Mahd
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refering to the basic steps,
i think PBS should be between steps 4 & 5, to be able to define 6, 7.
ther is a difference, between WBS used in project management and that one used by P3. WBS is not a must, while PBS is a must. in fact, it’s an effective recommendation.

regards, Mohd
Ernesto Puyana
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I agree. Imposing a WBS on a small project is not always beneficial.

However, the thecnique of breaking down project scope into smaller elements for organization, control, estimating purposes is allways a good idea, even on the smallest project.

Thats what I meant when I ask for WBS development. What if we call it PBS (project breakdown structure), and ask again: what about PBS development?
Daryl Walcroft
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I agree with that, only use a WBS when the project warrants it. A half hearted attempt at introducing a WBS on a small project will result in increased cost and very little benefit. Use Primavera P3’s coding structure to categorize elements for filtering, layouts etc.

That said, a good WBS is invaluable for analysis of individual work elements and the discipline of WBS coding helps the definition of project scope.
M Colon
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In my brief of setting up project, I did not include WBS as a requirement although it can be used. Reasoning behind this is that sometimes when small contractors try to set up WBS, it becomes a costly and cumbersome process. If a WBS dictionary is readily available it doesnt hurt to add it, otherwise stick to contract requirements which most of the time do not require a WBS.
Mark Smith
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WBS is critical.

There are a lot of planners using CBS instead of WBS without understanding the impact. A well prepared WBS makes life easier for everyone.
Ernesto Puyana
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How about WBS development?
Ernesto Puyana
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Is this procedure intended to cover the prebid stage of estimating and scheduling, or the postbid stage, once the contract has been awarded. It seems to me there some aspects of both stages have been mixed together.

How about WBS development?