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Project Weightage Distribution

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Ghazali Abd Aziz
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Hi;

Is there any literature or rules of thumb in distributing / assigning weightages to the project WBS?

As in PMBOX do not mention any specific rules / guidelines, do you know where can I get a reference on this subject matters?

Replies

mimoune djouallah
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daison

’Until now using the "equivalent manhour" to determine the phase weightage. Everybody is doing the same? ’

actually we use cost as the weight factor for each phase ( engineering, construction, procurement )

friendly yours
Elizabeth Smith
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Hi Sreejith,

I was just wondering whether you had posted your "progress Tracker" on your blog yet? I like to collect info that could be useful or a benefit to myself or colleagues :)

I did have a look on your site but couldn’t see it...



Regards,
Liz
bilal tirmizi
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Errata to my previous post:

If we have manhours and machine hours assigned to activities so to have weightage bases on the effort (machine and manhours) for my WBS can we combine the manhous and machine hours( of all the activities under that WBS) and develope % weightage for that WBS.

Later on i intend to use this WBS % to check for my project % completion
bilal tirmizi
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If we have manhours and machine hours assigned to resources so to have weightage bases on the effort (machine and manhours) for my WBS can we combine the manhous and machine hours( of all the activities under that WBS) and develope % weightage for that WBS
James Griffiths
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Charlie,

Thank you for your respect.

To set-the-record-straight, and contrary to what you evidently believe, my PMs are so busy making money, and keeping the client happy, that they have little understanding of how the reporting mathematics work. It is only when the sh*t hits the fan and the client starts whinging, that they examine the programme to discover what went wrong. When that happens, I have to be absolutely certain that my progress reports are a good reflection of what ocurred, and that I can outline the circumstances and results of the project history using the EV. The fact that the PM/Client may not take any notice of the data is an unfortunate act on their part. I can but lead the horse to water.

Our company is one that doesn’t suffer-fools-gladly and will sack anyone who fails to perform. As yet, I haven’t been sacked in eight years - and that includes a project on which I was removed because "...you did nothing wrong... but we had to be seen to be doing something...". On another more recent project, I had my boss say (after four years) "...you were right all along...but don’t gloat about it..". These are the so-called "painful experiences" that they have to go through. Maybe next time......

In the meantime, I just continue to acquire the reputation as the smarmy-git, get paid reasonably well, pay-off my mortgage, drive my new cars, have a near stress-free life, go home every night to my wife and two lovely little girls...and have a totally clear conscience, happy in the knowledge that everyone knows that I know what I’m doing....and if they REALLY want to know, they know who they can trust. Gosh, worra life.....

Cheers.

James.
Charleston-Joseph...
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James,

That is your opinion that I have to respect.

On the other hand, IMHO, your client, PM etc. are not busy so they have time to indulge in your works as detailed as possible.

My projects are multi-billion USD. My clients are very busy and focus on what they are doing. They hire professional and fired unprofessional, the pretender to be professional.

My PM even told me that when the time comes that he will start to doubts what I’m doing, I better start to look for another job. My PM believe what Im doing and support me because he know I’m professional. People who question my ability ends up like a baby in project management.

Cheers,
Charlie
Anoon Iimos
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Sorry for jumping in, even though Charlie is a friend (i just presumed), I have to agree with James.

Just watched a debate (between two presidentiables) a while ago, and I think of it as two Planners laying out their Plans, unfortunately after a while, i realized that it’s something like a talk between an old dog and a young dog. An old dog sticking/standing on his old Plan (which has been tested and proven that did not worked) and a young dog laying his new Plan (brilliantly), but doesn’t really know what would be the outcome.

That is politics anyway, and I believe that "Scheduling" musn’t involved politics. It must be purely Math, with pure results.

i’m not american by the way

James Griffiths
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Charlie,

Perhaps the reason why your work has never been questioned is because the client or the PM actually take no interest in what you’re doing. On the other hand, perhaps they do ask you a question, but maybe you don’t understand the question, or are unable to answer it, so provide a response that uses an awful lot of words that contain nothing of any substance – which is precisely what Directors, PMs and Clients often do (just as politicians). We can all be confident of spouting a pile of bollocks if no-one is going to ask you to numerically substantiate it.

As the client is paying my salary, he is perfectly entitled to question everything I do, especially if they are somewhat new to the world of EV and/or truthful project planning and progress reporting. It is the only way that they can learn. Unfortunately, when you are exposed to the truth, it really hurts, and the natural reaction is to question absolutely everything and immerse yourself into a mode of self-denial. Howsoever you insert your head into the sand, it doesn’t stop the truth from being the truth (mathematically, at least). It takes the client many painful experiences for it to finally dawn upon him that, actually, there is some validity in this EV malarkey – and maybe he’d better start taking notice of it. Ultimately, therefore, it is up to me to ensure that I can answer his questions with facts and figures that are based on substantive data, and not politicised bullshit.

Maybe you misinterpreted my earlier posting: I said I CAN to go down into the weeds, if necessary. I won’t do it unless I have to because, as you said, most PMs won’t stay awake past the first minute. I always say, though: “If you don’t want to hear the answer, then don’t ask the question”. I will happily teach those whom are willing to learn – but do not mock just because you fear the truth or fail to understand the road to enlightenment.

Charlie – which path do you tread?

James.
Charleston-Joseph...
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We are hired because we are professional

And professional have years of experience doing there job as source of income, for their family to survive.

If client’s question the professional methodology, then, it is better for the client to terminate whatever contract the client have with professional.

Cheers,
Charlie
Charleston-Joseph...
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James,

Your first paragraph is full of rubbish.

Project dire, OM or Client start barking about % complete when they dont have confidence on your ability to present your work. When the % progress you capture did not much with reality.

AND SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR METHODOLOGY.

And why will your director, pm or client hire you in the first place if you cannot give them confidence on what you are doing to the point that you have to let them go to the process as detail as what you describe.

Maybe your approach is wrong, for the simple reason that professional work will not be question by client, director or pm since for the very simple reason that this higher level management do not have time to go into details.

The way we approach our work is to show confidence on what we are doing since we were doing it for the last 20++ years of experience.

Now how come the top executive management will question what you are doing? This will only happen if you dont know what you are doing for the last 20++ years of your work. That is why you have to present to top executive management your mathematical computation in details,

common, this is not real to me, it never happen to me.

Cheers,
Charlie
James Griffiths
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Charlie,

When I compile a progress report, it is my job to ensure that all the results are arithmetically correct...right down to the very last hour on the very last activity. This is so that when the Director, PM or the Client starts barking about the % complete, progress, EV values, weightage or whatever he cares to spout-on about, I can confidently take him through the project in the finest detail, shows him the maths and then tell him that, in my world, 1/10 = 10%. What I cannot do is tell him whether the engineers were always actually booking on the correct activity, whether the hours they booked were correct, or whether their remaining hours have been correctly estimated. Getting the engineers to do this bit is a process of education that takes many years of showing them the error of their ways, supported by the evidence of many progress reports that are based on facts and figures - and not subjective speculation and dogma. If they care not to listen, that is their choice.

Charlie, I know that people use "weightage", and I know that people use drugs, alcohol and violence - but it doesn’t mean that it’s right or the best way of doing something. They probably use them because they have been around for so long that they are entrenched in their thinking. However, life evolves and better ways are found. I would like to think that I can offer them that "better way".

Cheers.

James.

Charleston-Joseph...
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James,

Have you ever, ever done a progress report that you are confident of????

With your post, I dont think so.

You will end up a "DEVIL ADVOCATE" in your project team with envery bolts and nuts being questions as to accuraccy.

I dont think so if ever you are ever confident in planning.

Believe me, out there are some of the best practice in progress reporting using weight distribution.

Cheers,

Charlie
James Griffiths
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Thank you Daniel.

I will now crawl back under my rock, drool over my project evaluations and, in my best Scottish dialect: seer yoo Jimmy - hur cannae meek any money...CRUNCH!

James.
Daniel Limson
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James,

Well said Mate, I could not agree more.

Cheers,
Daniel
James Griffiths
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Daniel,

The interesting thing about of this, is that using ANY form of progress measurement may always give you some level of misleading information about the true status of the project. This is why it is imperative to have all stakeholders understand HOW the measurement system works, what influences the result and how it can be cheated (They say that if you want to make your home burglar-proof, then ask a burglar). The term "% Complete", if used in isolation, can mean anything or nothing. Project reporting is a story that contains facts and figures. Failure to include all the relevant information, or a reliance on a single value will inevitably lead you to the wrong conclusions. However, no one individual statement may be inaccurate.

Earned Value was invented in order to do-away with all these "% complete", "milestone achievement" and "we will recover" type statements and subjective information. There are only TWO definitive values.....and these are WHEN you are going to finish and HOW MUCH it is going to cost you. However, even these are only estimates and they are entirely reliant on the integrity of the project personnel and the methodologies by which the various values have been calculated. In fact, I have one particular project whose SPI/CPI values, as derived, are not that unusual (0.62 and 0.95 respectively). The basic assessment is that the project is on-budget but behind schedule, with an EAC of some 15% lower than the BCWS. However, the story behind the derivation of such values is absolutely incredible, and reads like a murder-mystery novel with 237 twists-and-turns. It is the detail behind the figures that offers the greatest lessons....and no-one, but no-one who doesn’t have the inside knowldege, will ever guess how the figures were derived. Even now, I have to think very hard as to whether these figures are reasonably accurate.......and I consider myself to have a pretty good knowledge of how EV systems function.

Anyway, rant is now over with. Just keep-on battling with bureaucracy, ignorance and dogma.

James.
Daniel Limson
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I think manhours is better than cost, however, reporting an overall (EPC) progress % complete is meaningless as at it maybe misleading in terms of the timely completion of the project.

Cheers,
Daniel
Daison Garvasis P...
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James,

Thank you. With everything covertable to Currency, if it is inevitable to some Directors to talk about "weightage" and overall %, your response has the answer I was looking for.

Though it is tough to convince some people, while setting up new projects, this can be kept in mind. If some people still want to use the term, the report will still be using Earned Value Reporting.

Thanks
Daison
James Griffiths
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CJO and Trevor are absolutely right. "Weightage" is utter nonsense and meaningless. Any arguments about it are purely ethereal and serve no purpose other than providing a platform for PMs and Directors to offer opinions that have no basis in reality.

Weightage is just a result of the project measurement units that are used. Whatever measurement units you have estimated for a particular project phase, as a proportion of the total measurement units, is what your % weightage is....no argument, no debate. Currency, Duration, Manhours, are all perfectly valid units of measurement, so long as the same unit can be applied across each phase. However, each measurement unit may give a completely different answer to the question of % weightage. Have you noticed though.......true Earned Value is always converted to currency!!!

Cheers

James.
Daison Garvasis P...
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Daniel,

Thank you for the briefing.

There is no issues with tracking each phase individually. At any point of time I can give progress of Individual phases. Say,

Engineering is 75% (based on earned manhours against estimated manhours)
Procurement is 50% (based on TIME)
Construction is 10% (based on earned manhours against budget mabnhours)

Now when I submit the executive summary, on this EPC Project what will I give as OVERALL Project Progress? I have Engineering based on Manhours, Procurement on Time and Construction on Manhours. What will be my denomenator for overall?
Earlier replies suggested to "convert" all phases to equivalent manhours which is what we have been using as well. Do you have any other systems? What I was trying to get was, is there any known or adopted norms for giving weighages to these phases? If that is the case I can progress each phase using the best suited measure and then convert the individual phase progress to Overall by simply multiplying with the weightage of this phase.

Until now using the "equivalent manhour" to determine the phase weightage. Everybody is doing the same?
Daniel Limson
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I think, we need to examine and look at each phase (EPC) independently, bearing in mind that the ultimate objective is to complete the project on time.

Engineering/Design Phase – deliverables are estimated in man-hours and therefore this is straight forward. The estimated man-hours for each deliverable will be your weight value regardless of how many man-hours it takes to complete this particular deliverable. The deliverables may consist of drawings, calculation sheets, data sheets or a document. The progress will be measured physically and this can be agreed with the consultant/designer in advance or usually we just adapt the consultant’s progress measuring system (stages). So in this particular phase of the project, you will have a list of deliverables with corresponding weight value (estimated man-hours) and percent (%) complete for each deliverable to calculate your progress. However, this maybe misleading and you need to evaluate this in relation to timing. Each discipline of the Engineering/Design phase needs to be concluded on time in relation to your procurement and construction programme. In other words the timely conclusion of the design phase (design freeze) is very important so you can procure it and build it on time.

Procurement Phase – it involves cycle times for tendering, evaluation, recommendation and approval to award and lead times for procuring, manufacturing and delivery of materials. So if you look at it closely, everything is base on time. So the ideal weighting for procurement is ‘time’. Again, you need a plan and you need to make intelligent assumptions regarding, cycle times and lead times and you can use this for tracking progress. Again, this need to be evaluated in relation to your start date on site to meet the overall objective and that is completing the project on time.

Construction Phase – In construction the ideal common unit of measure is man-hours rather than cost that is if you are measuring overall progress. Why? Because of the fact that certain items cost a lot but take a few man-hours to install or build. Progress must be measured physically, however, the trick is you need to measure eggs against eggs, and this is where earned value comes from meaning, if you are building a 20 storey building with an estimated 100,000 cubic meters of concrete and your estimate for each floor is 5000 cubic meters (assuming the concrete is equally distributed across the height) if you completed 2 storey then you earned 10,000 cubic meters regardless of the actual concrete delivered or poured. The same goes for each type of trade/ construction phases.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any query.

Daniel
Anoon Iimos
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Daison,

For Construction, it is easy once you got the data (i.e. Drawings, B.O.Q., Specs.), but for Engineering and Procurement, I believe the issue is still hanging.

I’ve been once to a project that’s been running for over 25 years, and I believe until now, the same arguments were being laid (with topnotch consultants for that matter).
Daison Garvasis P...
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Ronald,

Thanks a lot mate.

It sounds better to track each phase indipendantly. To give a high level summary or project status in one figure (say XX% as on date) coverting to equivalent manhours helps.

Backtracking to see if proper estimates are done for each phase - meaning if the weightings looks suspect one can always verify the estimates.

That solves it.

Thanks a lot.
Daison
Ronaldo Quilao
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Daison,

For me, my suggestion...you will have two option:

1. Quantity x unit cost = cost of each item (refer to BOQ)

The said unit cost was derived in consideration of Material Cost, Labor & Equipment..meaning all the resources to complete the said item were already considered.

2. Manhour, this is the total manhour required or estimated to complete a certain task, item or activity.

Pointers to Consider:

1. Verify the terms and condition of contract.
2. If the contract says that the Engineering (Design Development), Procurement and Construction are separate or one contract only...meaning if it is Design Build Contract or Separate Contract for Design Development, Separate Contract for Procurement (Long Lead Items) and another contract for Construction.
3. You will then choose which is best suited and or easy for you to calculate their respective wt percentage. You can use option 1 or 2.

4. For Engineering or Design Development it is best suited to use the estimated manhours, since manhour is the commonly use to derive or calculate the cost (Design Staff Rate x Unit Rate or professional fee or charge, whatever terms you would call it)

5. For Procurement, normally use the quantity and cost (cost of material, transport, export fee, custom duties, etc)

6. For Construction, always the quantity x unit cost...then you would extract from the unit cost the manhour and equipment hours you have considered in deriving it if you prefered to use he manhours...

7. You can transform all of the above in one unit say (equivalent )manhour or cost which ever you may prefered

8. The key factor here is that you have to calculate the total required manhour or equivalent cost for each item, then using the overall cost (summary of the 3 items), you will calculate each wt. percentage..

Keep on Planning...hope this will help..ronald
Daison Garvasis P...
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Anoon/Ronald,

Thanks to you guys.

May be it’s boring but going back my question - Is there any general thump rule on what shall be the "weightage" split between Engineering, Procurement and Construction? Or is it purely on the estimated quantity/cost/manhours?

To put the question in a different way - If after keeping the parameter of estimated manhours for calulating the weightage what if the allotted weightage to any of these three does not seem adequate? Say if Engineering looks to be weighted too low or too high, what is the general/common split one can take just to be sure?

Thanks,
Daison

Ronaldo Quilao
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Weightage - i think its an abbreviation/short cut term for "Weight Percentage" it is an equivalent weight percentage of each item or task or activity with respect to the overall (either quantity, cost or manhour)...some used the symbol "Wt.%"..regardless of what symbol we use as long as we planner know the purpose and usage as well as the importance of it in tracking, controlling and monitoring of each item in particular and the project in general.

We must be proud of, that we developed a new word for this matter and all planner accepted it...lets vote now to include this word in our dictionary....keep on planning.

Ronald
Anoon Iimos
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Trevor,

There’s nothing real in a Plan until it is done, so what’s wrong with weightage (or whatever)? I believe a Plan is just an estimate, the more data you got, the more it become realistic. EPC is really difficult, because for Engineering, how can you estimate Design works? (it’s like designing a Plan).

Weightage, or parameters, when agreed, can be measured against with, so the issue will evolve once you are getting late, but who made the estimates anyway? (for sure not me!).
Daison Garvasis P...
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Guys, we all use EVM methods and its great. Everybody have their own judgement on if the term "weightage" is part of English and so on. May be its not part of English in some places but I see it in contract documents, presentations, contract amendments and project reports. May be they are not very smart to use the word but since it is there and some old(?) fashioned Project Directors talk and ask questions about it, may be we should forgive them all and try and give an answer to the question earlier asked.
Thanks
Daison
Trevor Rabey
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There is nothing to think about.
"weightage" is not even an English word.
You can’t define it, measure it or use it for anything sensible or productive or meaningful, or say why it is necessary for PM.
It is a pompous, nonsense word which seems to have originated in India and found its way into Singaporean and Malaysian English, and is probably going to become part of Chinglish as well as spread south-west of the sub-continent.
Measure something real instead.
Charleston-Joseph...
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My only comments is we never upgrade our skills to use earned value management.

As a consequence, we end up disputing the weight factor distribution regarding who is right, who is wrong, what is the standard, etc.

You maybe right or you maybe crazy ...

Think about it "WHY WASTE TIME" with this issue

when out there lots of project management professional are using earned value management.

ON the other hand, if your project team is lazy, USE COST for project weightage distribution.

Regards,
Charlie
Daison Garvasis P...
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Reading all the posts in this thread one question remains

Who/what will decide the weightings between phases of an EPC project with the phases being Engineering, Procurement and Construction?

Before answering the question, please think about scenarios such as Lumpsum, Managment contract etc. (I am talking from the EPC side, not client)

What will be the common denominator for these phases? As most prefers Manhours? In that case would it give you the correct weighting? Wouldn’t Enginnering and Procurement be weighted less?

Or is it going to be on "Judgement" across phases and then based on manhours for disciplines within phases? And if it is Judgement, is there any thump rule for this judgement?

Thanks for the answers guys.

Daison
Trevor Rabey
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Regardless of what the original estimate or budget of Duration, Work or Cost, the drawing is finished when it is finished.

It would be unusual if it was finished for the actual Duration, Work or Cost equal exactly to the original estimate or budget (but really serious variances demaind attention).

Duration elapsing, hours getting logged on timeheets or dollars being spent are not progress.

The only valid measure of progress is whether the estimate of Remaining Duration, Work or Cost (hopefully all three) is decreasing from time to time (from one status date to another).
Anoon Iimos
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details of the NCR was mailed to you
dinesh chaudhary
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when a drg is issued for construction (IFC we say) it is supposed to be good for construction although some construction managers may start the some job prior to it. say in case of a foundation drg, the construction manager may start the excavaion with the preliminary drgs only and not wait for the Good for construction drgs to start excavation.
regards
dinesh
Anoon Iimos
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milestones and man-hours does not and will never determine the functionality of a Drawing! my question is when and how can you determine the funtionality of a Drawing / Document? Gentlemen?
dinesh chaudhary
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dear james.
it seems we r both saying the same thing.
bye
James Griffiths
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Dinesh,

If you were having a house built, would you consider it to be 20% complete if your builder had laid just one brick? No, of course you wouldn’t....so why would you consider a drawing to be 20% complete just because the draughter had drawn the first line on a piece of paper? The Start/Issue/Update are perfectly good milestones to help understand approximately WHERE in the PROCESS you are, but have only limited use in determining the VALUE (cost) of it.

If you are going to use manhours to calculate progress, then you should calculate the progress via the formula Actual/Total. It makes no difference whether the document has been issued for Initial Review or Final Update.

By using the "milestones", people can begin to play games - and it’s these games that cause project data to become erroneous and produce false results. Mainly, this is because people apply a subjective value to a milestone, without understanding what proportion of the project the milestone constitutes.

James.

dinesh chaudhary
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dear james.
u ought to read the whole text . here i have mentioned that it is ultimately the manhours . the start/issue etc are mile-stones for arriving at the %age manhours

regards
James Griffiths
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Whoever calculated the percentage weightings for "drawings" ought to be shot. You become completely blinded by this "start/issue/update etc..". Use manhours instead, and use the most basic arithmetic to calculate % complete.eg. Actual/(Actual+Remaining). It’s so simple even my momma can do it!!!!

James.
dinesh chaudhary
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it is again manhours based with each type of drawing. Each drg has a manhour associated with each. further each drg has a mile stone associated with it like: Start of drg issued for planning 20%, issued for review:80%, issued for construction: 100%. these are all covered in a document which we call as DCI (Document control index) . suppose you start teh drg that has got 50 manhours associated with it. the progress shall be 20% X 50. that is it.
Anoon Iimos
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how about functionality? i.e. engineering documents / drawings, at what stage can you say that what you got on hand is workable? and you can build something out of it
dinesh chaudhary
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We have a method of Productivity norms.
planned (P) : quantum of job X manhour norms
actual (A): Quantum liquidated X manhour norms
%progress is: A/P
Anoon Iimos
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what’s wrong with man-hours? you’re right, people will sleep all day and can be counted.

but that’s the way it is, you can count how much you win, or how much you lose too.

actual work done does not necessarily mean within budget, so you need to count how much man-hours you had wasted too.
Sreejith Nair
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Let me repeat the thing which I replied in another thread ..
Never ever measure Progress (% progress or work ) by Manhours spent/Total estimated manhours

or Days spent / Total number of days estimated.

People can spent time with out doing useful work also!

Measure progress by actual quantity of work done:
Example : Tonnes erected / Total Tonnage -> gives ’Physical progress’ for the activity.

Multiply physical progress with activity weighting to get the weighted progress. (Weighting = estimated manhour for the activity / Total manhours for the project or work pack)

Cheers!

Sreejith
Daniel Limson
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Hi Carmen,

I think what is important is that you have a baseline program which is aprroved by both parties (Contractor, PM/CM), this will be the basis for monitoring your actual performance against your plan, any delays caused by any parties or any unforseen situations is another matter. You can use your approved baseline programme for any justification of claims and EOT.

When a planner estimates a duration of an activity, it is of course, based on production rates on that particular country or region, this will depend largely on the skills of the labours of that particular place and based on experience it varies from country to country. Also it is a common practice to have some contingency for down time as labour do not always perform at peak continously.


Cheers,
Daniel


Carmen Arape
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your explanation. It is clear to me the use of duration as weight for Construction works.

But, duration in Construction is a variable very sensitive to external unpredictable delays. How to include a duration contingency for unpredictables such as: strikes, rainy season, force majeure in political risky countries. What about when the craft labor slows down tasks in order to keep jobs more time than planned (if you have based your durations on productivities, your activity duration is not valid in such cases).

When a task is difficult to measure, we define Lump sum work where the measure of progress goes from 0% to 100% (you did it or did not assessment). Normally these type of tasks are no greater than 10% of the whole activities.

Daniel, please take my comments as result of my construction experience where I went with a lot of method based on theory BUT the reality made me change some concepts because they do not apply.

Cheers,

Daniel Limson
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Hi Carmen,

Engineering & Design works are mostly based and monitored in manhours. We estimate the works in manhours, we bill the client based on manhours expended and unit rates of our engineering & design staff. so everything should be based on manhours.

We use duration as weight value mostly in construction works where quantities are very difficult to measure, for example MEP works and Fit-out works. We call this time based. You monitor the project based on time.

You can easily do this in P3 by using the global feature.
Define a resource and assign it to all activities, then define budgeted quantity = duration, you can now produce a plan progress curve based on time. Monitor the same activities in terms of physical percent complete.

You can use this type of progress measurement and monitoring for time driven projects where you have no limitations of manpower and you have target date to meet. For resource driven projects this is not applicable, you have to use manhours.

Cheers,
Daniel
Carmen Arape
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Hi Charlie,

I do agree with you regarding percent weightage distribution should be flexible as to what project you are in.

I do not understand the use of durations as effective . Where do you use durations?? Engineering, Procurement or Construction activities.

Let’s think in Engineering. How can I trust an activity with significant weight based on duration when the effort associated (manhours ) is not significant. Example: Equipment list, or line list. We are working with these documents long period of time due to the update of the documents. In term of manhours, the document would not contribute with significant weight. BUT in terms of duration, they will have high contribution. What would you use??? Durations or manhours.

Cheers,

Charleston-Joseph...
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Hello Carmen,

I do understand what you are trying to say. I worked in the contractor side for most of my oil and gas/pertroleum experience. We did used manhours as common matrix for progress monitoring. The fundamemtals was that there were lots of client provided materials to the points that we, as contractor, practically provided only manpower. So it is only natural to use manhours as common matrix for progress monitorin.

But my experience in construction and projects is so diverse. I’m involved in building works, civil/infrastructure works/ marine construction, utilities constructions, bridge construction, light rail transit construction, project development (feasibility study, concept design, preliminary/schematic design, design development, tender process, construction phase) etc., etc.,.

So what I’m using as common matrix is duration if it is effective otherwise I can prepare other type of matrix let say monitoring progress of concrete work as critical then I compute cubic meters of concrete, formworks = sq meters of formworks, steel reinforcement kg, masonry sq m.m, etc., etc.

So percent weightage distribution should be flexible as to what project you are in, the added value you want to tell the project team.

Sreejith Nair
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Yep, u said it Carmen!
"The hidden idea at the moment of progressing the work would be to get paid for the real work executed, no less , no more (????)" - Thatz what we do all the day ;)

But our clients used to review our weightings , before finalising the tracker.

An application with linked progress tracker , scurve & productivity curve : weekly updated & discussed has great positive effect on the success of project ..


Sreejith Nair
http://pmkarma.blogspot.com/
Carmen Arape
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Sreejith,

You mentioned something that I forgot. It depends on the side you are playing in a project.

Client side: he has the budget and he wants and needs to expend the budget in the best and transparent way. This mean, pay invoices according to real work executed. Weighting activities for Procurement, Engineering or Construction based on COST ONLY, can lead to erroneous figures in terms of progress executed.

Contractors (includes EPC contractor or only construction contractors): they are the one putting resources in project execution and taking risk, especially in Oil&gas project nowadays. For this group, the accuracy at the moment of weighting activities in order to progress the work is very important. The hidden idea at the moment of progressing the work would be to get paid for the real work executed, no less , no more (????).

Cheers,
Sreejith Nair
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Hi Guys,
This topic is something very much interesting to me.
Hence i would like to go little detail about this.

In my last employment, I was working on client side. My company was putting new plants based on the market demands & R&D output.

SO , in all our trackers we used to use cost as the weightage factor.
We pay consultants (Technip..etc) for engineering, procurement done by us, construction by contractor , commissioning and start up by us.

But things were different when I joined contractor. Here we put weighting to construction activities based on manhour.
We use ’Top down’ weighting system.
List manjor WBS elements first:
1)ENGINEERING
2)PROCUREMENT
3)QULAITY
4)PLANNING
5)HSE
6)CONSTRUCTION
6.1)ONSHORE FABRICATION
6.1.1)STRUCTURAL
6.1.2)PIPING
6.1.3)E&I
6.2)OFFSHORE INSTALLATION
6.2.1)STRUCTURAL
6.2.2)PIPING
6.2.3)E&I
7)COMMISSIONING (client)
8)DOCUMENTATION

Now assignment of top level % is purely based on expert judgement.
Our involvement is mainly in fabrication & installation.
(70% of material issued by client, engineering by consultant)

So lets give 90% for off-shore fabrication and installation
Distrubute the balance 10% for other headings (Planning, our minor engg involment. quality, planning & hse)
This distribution is again based on ’quantum of work ’ or ’importance’.

Now the 90% can be distributed between onshore & off-shore based on the target / estimated manhours.

Say we have 1 Mn manhours for on shore fab & 1.5 Mn mhrs for offshore.

Then weighting for 6.1)ONSHORE FABRICATION is:
90 % X 1/(1+1.5)

Then weighting for 6.2)OFFSHORE INSTALLATION is:
90 % X 1.5/(1+1.5)

For all sub activities under the heading 6 , we may apply the weighting based on mhrs.

What is best indicator for weighting : manhours or duration ?
Its again manhours for me.
(Duration can be reduced using crashing , but the manhour required to perform an activity is more over the same)

I am planning to share my ’Progress tracker’ application with screen shots , in the form of a step by step tutorial in my PM blog ’PM Karma (http://pmkarma.blogspot.com/) ’ soon.

Anyway , its great exchanging our ideas. PP rocks !

Cheers

Sreejith Nair
http://pmkarma.blogspot.com/
Carmen Arape
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Hi Charlie,

Better to read your post here and not in the “Working in the UAE as a Senior Planner / Manager “.

Could you explain a bit your statement “Each activities will be assigned percent weight equal to activity duration/sum of activities durations”.

Weighted values for activities depends of the project phase. For instance:

Engineering phase: weighted values based on man-hours per deliverable. Roll up by activity and by discipline.

Procurement phase: weighted values based on one or two parameters. Mandatory parameter is cost, optional parameter would be delivery duration.

Construction phase: weighted value based on man-hours. Sometimes you can see weights based on cost. I do not recommend cost due to the cost structure for construction activity.
Normal cost structure has 3 components: labor, consumable materials and equipment. Some activities with high cost is due to consumable materials or equipment but no labor . Based on this, cost being used as weight is not a reliable parameter of activities.

Weight based on duration for Engineering activities is giving us wrong information. Some activities in Engineering have long duration with manhours budget very small. What is best indicator for weighting : manhours or duration ??? for me manhours.

Cheers,
Charleston-Joseph...
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Hello Abd Aziz,

The fundamental in weight distribution it to arrive at common matrix, cost, manhours, etc. A simple case is the duration of each activities as common matrix.

Each activities will be assign percent weight equal to activity duration/sum of all activities duration.

In P3 it is very easy to do this by assigning a resource WP for each activity, use export-import to load the value WP for each activity or use global change.

As you identify the activties within the WBS at whatever level, all you have to do is to summarize the WBS, you will get the assign weight distribution of that WBS at whatever level.
Ronaldo Quilao
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Hi Abd Aziz,

Wt Distribution is always depending on what report are you going to generate.

Example:
1. If you are working on the spreadsheet and dealing a work items with estimated qty and unit cost, then therefore you can easily calculated the wt for each item as against the overall cost.
2. If you are dealing a work items with estimated manhour then you can also calculate the wt using manhour.
3. In P3, I used to load these information (Resource Loading) both qty and unit cost and sometime the manhour...but having hardtime to present the wt percentage in the graphical presentation (bar chart - column format)...so I always end up preparing it in spreadsheet format...

Hope this input will help...

Ronald
Zanudin Ahmad
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PMI’s Construction Extension (to the PMBOK Guide Third Edition) Second Edition 2007 item 6.7.2 Activity Weights Definition : Tools and Techniques under Expert Judgement states that "Specialists can determine which activity attribute should be used for determining activity weights for each level of the WBS. In the first levels of the WBS, the attribute is USUALLY the deliverable COST."
Alex Wong
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Hi

PMBOK not necessary tell you how to build a spaceship, however, it teaches you how to manage the project in order to finish the spaceship on time and on budget.

The weight distribution for each project is different. and in accordance with the contract terms and condition. you have option to use man hr, quantity of materials m3, cost, unit output ... the list just go on .

Al
Adekunle Arisilejoye
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In my experience on design engineering project, we use a ration of the WBS hours to the total manhours of the project.

Cheers,

Kunle