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Baseline Schedule Vs Recovery Plan

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Arnold Puy
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Hello All,

Good day. I need your opinion and inputs. Our contractor already behind of schedule and the Client asked them to prepare a Recovery Plan. Now, we had already approved the contractor’s Baseline Programme.

In order to catch up the delayed of the project and to meet the milestone date, Contractor made a recovery plan with subsequent action plan, includes changes of construction method, method statement, augment site organization and additional resources in order to improve the quality of works.

During their submittal in P6 Format they changed the sequence, remaining duration, logic, and etc…

My question is, is it possible for the contractor to omit or delete some of the activities from the baseline programme which they to used to developed for recovery plan?

The approved baseline schedule has a total of 4,198 activities and the recovery plan they submitted was reduced to 4,172 activities. The 26 numbers of activities has been deleted.

Regards,

Arnold

Replies

julius chima
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Dear 'Arnold, Samer, carmen, G, Rafael, Mike Testro, Ashraf, Gary'

Thank you all for your contributions in this forum and site. I have been following your comments regularly and I learnt alot from them.

How can a project with a time delay having most of its activiities 'not started' and 0% actual Complete against its 100% Scheduled complete will be recovered. I mean some activities have started but most of the activities have not started and their planned duration has elapsed. Material supply and Delivery is one of the major problems identified for now.

What happens to the MILESTONE DATES? 

 

JULLY

Henry Davis
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This is a useful read about Scope Baseline http://www.pmchamp.com/components-of-scope-baseline-for-pmp-exam/

 

all the best!

When my client asked me to have a recovery plan . I made two option first from my latest update I make that as a BL revision 2 and re organize the remaining acvity and then used it as a BL2.My second option is to re organized the whole original BL with out update to decrease the percentage untill it will be positive.

Hi Anning

Do not delete unwanted baseline tasks but turn them into milestones so that the original intention and logic is retained.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Anning Sofi
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The activities in the original baseline are not cast in stone. Where the activities are no longer needed or applicable to the project, there is justification to delete the activities.

In similar manner, where new activities are needed to be added to the baseline to include changes, or activities missed out in the original baseline or due to new work methods, or current scope information, there is justification to increase number of activities in the baseline.

This is supported by NEC and FIDIC.

hanson California
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Dear All,

I have similar case but I am working on baseline not approved yet by the owner and they asked to do Recovery schedel to that unapproved baseline. So, can I do that as a contractor? Or I have to ask them they should approve the baseline 1st then we can do the recovery?

Thank you,

hanson California
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Dear All,

I have similar case but I am working on baseline not approved yet by the owner and they asked to do Recovery schedel to that unapproved baseline. So, can I do that as a contractor? Or I have to ask them they should approve the baseline 1st then we can do the recovery?

Thank you,

alvar aalto
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Hi all,

In my opinion in some otherway contract is an obligation alteration or misrepresentation of any technicality is always the client job to check,this is in regards to the issue raise by Arnold regarding the activity taken-off by the contractor,the client have the right to question it for reconciliation purposes of the current schedule against the previous and past schedules.

 

Regards,

Alvar

Rafael Davila
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ashraf

"Contract provisions that include recovery schedule language often will have language similar to the following: “Should the Contractor’s performance fall behind schedule and the current projected completion date be beyond the planned completion date, the Owner may request the Contractor to prepare a recovery schedule…”. But language such as this leaves the responsibility for the late performance with the contractor."

From:

Scheduling best practices – Recovery schedules


Ask for the recovery schedule when appropriate, make sure the contractual milestones after any adjustments for pending delay claims are in agreement with the contractual dates as this have legal implications, question only its compliance with contractual requirements and even comment your reserves on the viability as to warn the Owner, but do not get into issues that might be considered as an intervention by the Owner shifting the responsibility for the late performance to the Owner.

Most probably your Contractor will argue his plan is workable and stick with his argument, so what are you going to do, enter into a never-ending argument, declare him in default, reject his Recovery Schedule when technically is in compliance with the contractual requirements but you have some doubts about whether he will be able to meet his recovery plan. What if it is technically possible? What if he claims you are forcing him to follow not his plan but yours and that he is submitting the revised schedule as per your request under protest?

The best schedule on the hands of an incapable contractor is not going to make him perform. Here at home when the Contractor does not perform, as a last resort before declaring him at default, we call for a meeting with the Surety, this is a decision only top management shall take.

Wait for the response of others into this site, some are very knowledgeable on these issues and know the FDIC in detail, contract terms do matter. Here I can only talk in general terms.

You should know I work for General Contractors; I understand their point of view and can predict some of their reactions.

Best regards,
Rafael
ashraf alawady
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Dear All,
we are working for remeasured contract using general conditions of contract which extracted from FIDIC.
as per cluse 14 of the general condition of contract ,the contractor has to submit to the engineer a detailed program
containing the logic,sequance,relations,duration,productivity,resources,cost cash flow,.........etc.
the engineer has to review and give his consent to this progaram and rais the same to the eployer consent
after approval of this program,it will be a contractual document and the contractor has to make up date progress report (biweekly) in order to monitor the progress and take the necessary corrective actions -if required in order to put the activities on the track.
we are giving the opertunity to the contractor to make thier program as they wish but we have to reckeck to insure that these programs are realistic and coply with the normal logic and sequance and linked with proper relations and had resource loaded and cost loaded for each activity .

the contractor has the right to propose any corrective actions to mitigate his own delays but he has to show and present that these actions are workable and saficient.
Rafael Davila
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Ashraf

If you are working under the traditional Lump Sum Contract you are limited to monitor the job and make sure the Contractor is within specs. I understand your good faith, but if you get in the middle you and the owner might get into trouble.

As Gary said it all goes down to the contract, even the traditional Lump Sum Contract can be modified to fit special needs. For example if you are doing a remodeling job on facilities being used, the contract might even specify a fixed sequence of works.

If you wanted to keep control of the job you should have used the Project Management type of contract. Here the PM is in Charge of the Schedule and no single Prime Contractor is in charge of the schedule, not even his own, they are all subordinated to the PM, it is not “laissez-faire”. This type of contracting is justified in jobs where there is urgency to start and finish the job without having finished the drawings.

Best regards,
Rafael
Should also mention that below comments are based on standard forms of contract.
If you have specific clauses in your contract that makes the detailed baseline plan a contractual obligation, then I withdraw my comments.
Ashraf,

There is a big difference between an unecessary activity on the critical path, and one which is not a core activity of the programme. -Mobilisation / demobilisation, decorative landscaping, etc could well be legitimately on the critical path, but not a core activity of the project.

What is wrong with the engineer having to assess and evaluate changes to the programme? Isn’t that their job? You seem to be suggesting that you would restrict a contractor from using certain methodologies or construction sequences when trying to recover delay purely because you don’t want to have to go to the trouble of approving them? That has "claim" written all over it.

It is up to the contractor to determine the best approach to recover delay. A client can reject proposals if they do not satisfy the specs, and a client can argue the contractor is not doing enough to recover the delay, but a client cannot mandate a construction method half-way through a project without it being a variation.

Regards,

Gary
Hi Ashraf

Are you really sure the contractor is sticking to his programme without deviation?

Especially if there are SS FF lead lag links and constraints.

It would have to be a very detailed programme for you to be completely sure.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Hi Ashraf

In my experience the Contractor would just ignore the programme and do the work in whatever sequence he wants.

That is what happens on most projects anyway.

Best regards

Mike Testro
ashraf alawady
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Hi Mike,
if so ,how we can monitor and control the project.
as employer and engineers ,we are not allowed the contrcators to do so.
ashraf alawady
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Dear Gary,

if the program is realistic definitly you will find all activities lay on the critical path are presenting the main activities of the project .

if aunecessary activity found on the critivcal path that maen there is some thing wrong in the loggic , sequance ,relations,,,,,,etc.

we can not deny the contractor right to take any suitable actions to mitigate the delays but the firt possibility and oppertunity should be given to keep the original approved base line program with out majore changes and try to mitigate the delays by increasing the resources and increasing the working hours in order to increse the daily production if possible .
otherwise, the contractor can propose any measure to recover the delays and the engineer has to asses and evaluate these measures for the benefit of the project.
Rafael Davila
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Ashraf,

If I were the Contractor I would claim the Owner and his representative by not allowing me to modify the schedule are preventing me from getting on time me and now it is not me who owe the Owner it is the Owner and his representative who owes me.

If the schedule is cost loaded and you are using it for payment requests, the mess this will create is the Owner’s fault and deserves it; the Contractor is a victim of the requirement. Is this the case? I am trying to understand your denial; there must be something that creates some trouble to you if he changes activities count and description.

Best regards,
Rafael
Ashraf,

I totally disagree with you.

Firstly:
"if the activity come on the critical path means it is one of the main activities which represnt the core acitivity of the programe"
-No, it means it’s an activity that has no float. That’s all it means.

Secondly:
I do not understand what benefit a client gains from denying the contractor the right to change methodologies in order to recover delay. If you don’t let them change ther sequence of activities, then all that is left to them is to throw resources at the programme, which is often an inefficient and limited method of recovering delay.

If they are deleting scope from the programme, that is clearly unacceptable. But if all they are doing is delivering the same scope in a different (and quicker) way, this should be positively encouraged.
ashraf alawady
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Dear all,

originally the quation was ,with recovery plan do we allow the contractor to delete some of the activities from the approved baseline schedule due to their methodology & construction method even though the activities is in the critical path and resource loaded? Is this acceptable.

in my opinion, it is not allowed to delete some of the activities from the approved baseline schedule.

if the activity come on the critical path means it is one of the main activities which represnt the core acitivity of the programe and can not be deleted for any reasons but it can be axpedite or accelerated by incresing the resources and working for long shifts in order to incease the daily productivity.
Hi Mimoune

Very few contracts have any reference to acceleration.

The only one I know of is the NEC suite of contracts.

Sometimes if a contractor is delayed by his own problems it may be cheaper to acclerate than to pay the damages.

Any contracting parties may negotiate and agree to accelerate the works.

This usually ends in disaster because some other delay event will almost certainly delay or disrupt the accelrated works.

In any case it only pays to accelerate the works on the critical path and very few programmes can accurately trace the critical path of the remaining works

You can try and agree an acceleration cost with your sub-contractor but be very careful.

Best regards

Mike Testro
mimoune djouallah
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ok, let’s suppose,it is excusable delay (the contractor fault) so if we ask the subcontractor to accelerate the work, he may ask for acceleration cost. i read all the documents of contract, no mention of this case, to be honest no mention of the word acceleration at all!
the contract is a unit rate one.

so what do you think !!
btw the governing law is law of england !!
i don’t have a clue about the format of the contract (fidic or not, no idea at all)
Rafael Davila
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Gary,

Your teachings about common sense, about playing it safe and making it clear is the most important, we cannot always be carrying the Contract documents and all legal references and books for every decision. Your teachings are what we all can easily remember, the other mess we cannot.

Best regards,
Rafael
mimoune djouallah
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thanks very much Gary and rafael, thanks for sharing. and speaking about mess, it is a real one, after reading the linked document, and some threads on pp, it seems, we have a concurrent delay;(

moral of the story; commenting a schedule is a risky business.


Mimoune:

Ignore my previous post and just read Rafael’s.
He the man.
Rafael Davila
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Mimoune,

Before asking for a recovery schedule you should establish the revised finish date with account for excusable delays, otherwise it might become Constructive Acceleration.

http://www.warnercon.com/articles/Article%2012%20-%20Recovery%20Schedule...

A recovery schedule as defined in CPM jargon is intended to show a plan to be in accordance to the revised finish date at the time of submission. It has legal implications and accepting the schedule as a Recovery Schedule might be a defacto change in the contract duration terms.

Because it is too late to recover, a recovery schedule per se is impossible, and then the schedule should be accepted as an updated schedule, not as a Recovery Schedule intended upon acceptance to become the Revised Baseline, making all the annotations as suggested by Gary, avoid legal misinterpretations, make your intentions clear.

As the contractor, still responsible for your subcontractor delays you have the right to take other courses of action, you might request him to resubmit the revised schedule with a shorter duration and sate he is still liable for contract terms, you can also state under either options that you reserve the right to attempt to minimize the non-excusable delay by using your own forces or other subcontractor until the job get on schedule and the cost of these actions will be back charged if need be. The last resort would be to declare him in default. Remember at times a good contractor misses deadlines, the Project Manager is the person to make such decisions, he must know.

What a lingo mess. By the way at times this stuff get so complicated no one pays attention to the legal jargon and make the best use of the tool they can. In over 30 years I have never been involved in a Court Case for Delay Claims. All my projects have been solved through negotiation on the run, none postmortem. On occasions when required to abide by strict CPM specifications I have been involved in unnecessary sour confrontations between the Contractor and the Owner’s rep.

Best regards,
Rafael

mimoune djouallah
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thanks Gary very much for your answer, you spotted exactly my concern ;)but one point i don’t understand

i thought that instruction to accelerate is when you want you subby to achieve a work before the contract milestone, but in my case, subby could not finish the work for sure ( the milestone is after one weeks, and now he is only at 50 %)so with actual trend he simply can’t honor his "promise". now he want to recover after 3 weeks after the finish milestone.

please can you elaborate on the this ’accelerating’ thing.

thanks very much
Hi Mimoune,

If you believe the subby cannot realistically recover all of the delay, and that their recovery plan represents the best achievable completion date then, subject to the contract (as always!), you should be able to accept the recovery plan whilst explicitly stating that acceptance does not constitute an instruction to accelerate, and that you reserve the right to impose penalties for late completion as per the contract.

Thus the recovery plan is used as a revised baseline for measuring ongoing progress vs plan, but does not mean the subby can get away with failing to hit contractual targets.

Cheers,

G
mimoune djouallah
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hi all

thanks very much for this thread, we have a little different situation:

we are the main contractor, our subcontractor submitted to us his baseline, we approve it.now after two months of works, and as it is clear, that subcontractor could not finish the work as planned(i am speaking about the first phase of the project, earth movement), he submitted to us a recovery plan, but with different expected finish dates.

the problem is: as per contract (and thus baseline) he has a mandatory finish dates for the first phase,my question is:

if we accept his recovery plan, does it mean, the recovery plan will be a defacto new revision of the baseline!!

thanks for your input.
Ferdinand Fincale...
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My apologies to everyone. This is off the topic.

Hi Arnold, please send me a test mail to my email address ferdinand.fincalero@zublin-international.com. I lost your email address lately during my pc and inbox clean-up. I just got a very urgent and important stuff to discuss with you.

Thanks and best regards.

Ferdinand
Arnold Puy
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Dear Samer,

Yes you are absolutely correct that “the Engineer approves the Schedule not the Client”. However, I mentioned the word Client because our Contract clearly states that the approval came from the Client.

We cannot approve the recovery plan due to their construction method is not suitable and realistic. This is the reason why we stand and support our statement. The last time they revised their programme with different methodology but they did not pursue it. Whenever they were revising their schedules the contractor keep on proposing diverse construction method however, they were still transforming their methods during the construction stage.

Anyhow, thank you so much for all your contribution and advice I really appreciate it.

Best regards,

Arnold
Dear Arnold,

The Engineer approves the Schedule not the Client. If you are the Engineer, and you team approved the new construction method, then let the Contractor reduce the activities and make the recovery plan come true.

I would recommend to keep things as simple as possible. If the revised construction method is valid, approve it. Both teams (Contractor and Engineer) should come up with the recover plan. This is easier to approve.

With kind regards,

Samer
Arnold Puy
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Hi Gary,

You are right. I also think of that. But I am not the only individual who is reviewing their programme.

We allowed them to reduce the number of activities as long as it is not the major items, resource loaded and is not in the critical path.

Regards,

Arnold
Arnold:

Yes they will have to compare recovery plan to baseline to prove they can recover by month X.
But they won’t have to compare each activity in the recovery plan to each activity in the baseline.

Surely if the predicted (recovery) overall % complete = baseline % complete at month X, and sectional completion dates match, then that is all that is required to demonstrate recovery?

NB: Obviously also required is a justification of any activity deletions due to method change.

As i think someone has already said, a good recovery plan will contain innovative solutions to recover the delay. If you tell the contractor he must perform exactly the same activities as baselined in exactly the same sequence, then there is no opportunity for innovation, and all that is left is increasing resources.
Arnold Puy
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Dear Samer,

Thanks for your advice. But my main concern is, the contractor insisted that they can recover by the month of x. How they can prove and defend that they can recover by the month of x without comparing the recovery plan into their approved baseline.

Now if the contractor will reduce the number of activities in the recovery plan just to follow the new construction method, I think the scope and quantities will be affected due to the absence of some activities in the baseline.

As what you have mentioned, they can reduce the time using more resources. In this case, I think there is no need for them to delete or reduce the number of activities. They cannot prove and establish the date of recovery if there is no comparison between two schedules (Baseline and Recovery).

Regards,

Arnold
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Carmen,

With your explanation, I think the sole purpose or meaning of a "Recovery Plan" is to cover "physical progress" (which covers all). So before thinking of any Re-baselining, you must prepare first your "recovery plan", this will turn-out later as your new "baseline" (once approved). This new "plan" does not necessarily mean identical to your original baseline schedule.? (in terms of logics, activities, durations, etc.?), for as long as you had maintained the contractual scope and quantities.?

If the concept is correct, Samer is right when he said "keep the recovery schedule separate from the baseline".

I hope this will not put Arnold on a more confusing situation.

regards
Dear Arnold,

Keep the Revocery Schedule separate from the Baseline.

Let the Contractor submit his new methodology and you can review it. Reducing the number of activities is the main idea behind the Recovery Schedule. After all, you want to reduce the time by being innovative and using smarter methods.

With kind regards,

Samer
Carmen Arape
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Hi Anoon,

Let me explain better my comment:

I have done a re-baseline of engineering schedule after implementing a recovery plan.

The recovery plan was implemented to cover physical progress. The actual engineering progress (based on physical progress of deliverables) was behind the planned progress for more than 4%. It was difficult to recover the 4% plus the monthly incremental progress in coming months.

Being in construction, the deliverable has sense for you at IFC.

Being in Engineering, I can not wait months until reaching IFC status.

During engineering execution, the progress variance (planned versus actual) of more than 4% might be an indicator of needing a recovery plan. Show me the recovery plan to asses the need of re-baseline.

Regards,
carmen
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Carmen,

I assume that you had assigned "points" to your engineering deliverables, but for me, a design or say a drawing can only become functional (in construction) if it has a status "issued for construction" or IFC, which means it has complete "points". I believe Arnold cannot use a drawing that has a status of "approved with comments" for his concreting works.?

So when to think of preparing a "recovery plan"? Is it the time when your engineering is delayed (which you had mentioned), or it is only during construction execution?

Regards
Carmen Arape
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Anoon,

You forgot to mention :

A recovery Plan to cover physical progress.

When the progress gap between planned and actual progress is more than 4 points in Engineering, let’s start thinking in a recovery plan.

Progress gap in construction ??? no idea. May be someone can provide a number regarding this gap a the need for a recovery plan.

Regards,
carmen
Arnold Puy
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Hi Anoon,

Thanks for your input. It is a recovery plan to cover the lost of time, they are already delayed especially in concrete pouring. This is the major items where they must recover.

Regards,

Arnold
Anoon Iimos
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Arnold,

I guess it depends on the meaning or purpose of your "recovery plan".

Is it a recovery plan to cover the lost time only?

Is it a recovery plan to cover the cost only?

Is it a recovery plan to cover both?

Or is it a recovery plan due to changes in design?

The thing is subjective.
Arnold Puy
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Dear Samer,

Thank your for your effort and I fully agree with you. The contractor changed the logic of the schedule due to their methodology and construction method.

Our team members have already review the sequence and logic and it is not acceptable for them to delete the 26 activities without prior approval from the Client. According to our team the 26 Activities are part of the approved baseline and it is in the critical path.

In addition to that, wehave a separate project control system to monitor wherein the number of resource cost loaded activities in the approved baseline is equivalent to the number of activities in the project control system. And it was already approved by the Client. We are updating weekly the PCS in order to monitor the cost.

My question is, with recovery plan do we allow the contractor to delete some of the activities from the approved baseline schedule due to their methodology & construction method even though the activities is in the critical path and resource loaded? Is this acceptable?

Regards,

Arnold
Arnold Puy
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Hi Gary,

It is okey. Anyway, thank you so much for your contribution and opinion, I really appreciate it. At least, I got an idea from you and we had already discuss the issue during our monthly meeting. I just want to share and seek advice from the expert if my judgment is reasonable.

Thanks.

Arnold
Dear Arnold,

The standard method to calculate the cost of recovery would be to start with the last critical activity and try to reduce the time using more resources. Then you run the program and check for the new critical path. Or you select the major critical activities and keep reducing the time with increasing the resources and running the program.

Once you have done this for several activities, you will notice that the duration of completion is reduced and the cost increased. Hence, recovery can be determined.

This is a numbers game. The issue here is to maintain the logic. The 26 activities that you mentioned can be reduced only if the Engineer approved the new sequence of work. It must be safe and produce the quality of work required.

A 5000 activity schedule can be control. It is not too big. You will need to understand the logic inside and out. Have your team members review it as well. I would suggest a proactive meeting with the Construction Team at site for few hours. During which you must outline the new recovery plan and take note of their remarks. I am sure that you can come up with new ideas as well.

If the concrete quantity is your major issue, then you must create more teams for formwork and reinforcement, and give the casting an incentive plan. The construction team can take care of this.

With kind regards,

Samer
Sorry -I misunderstood.

If they are using concrete qty to measure progress and have deleted concrete-using activities without replacing them (so total concrete qty is now lower than baseline), then you are right -The full project scope is not included & programme should not be approved.

Cheers,

G
Arnold Puy
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Hi Gary,

Yes, you are right. They are going to increase the manpower at site. But the schedule is loaded as well with the concrete quantity which is the major items.

How they can justify to recover by the month of x using the concrete quantity as their reference for delayed activities if they had deleted some of the major items.

They had already changed the method as per original baseline.

My main objectives here, the contractor must prove and justify that they can recover by the month of x. In order to know the recovery date they must compare the baseline against the recovery plan.

Regards,

Arnold
As to resource issue, you said they were increasing site resources, so presumably the ’lost’ resources from deleted activities will be ’found’ as additional resources on other activities.

Bear in mind for recovery plans, you would expect the majority of the changes to made on critical or near-critical activities.

As I said before, I think removing (or perhaps for recording purposes better to just zero out duration & resources & remove links) activities can be justified when changing construction methods.

Adding / removing activities will mean the progress weighting may need to be re-visited for remaining work. So long as the same method is used as for original baseline, this shouldn’t be an issue.

I would suggest going back to the contractor asking for justification for any changes you have identified which cause you concern.

Cheers,

G
Arnold Puy
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Hi Gary,

Actually, majority of the missing activities are in the critical path. This is the reason why I am asking if it is possible.

As far as I know, recovery plan can tell us when they are going to recover (the date) compare to the approved baseline.

If they are going to delete some of the activities with resource loaded, the resources will also be deleted.
Any thoughts.

Regards,

Arnold
I would have thought so. It seems quite reasonable that a change in construction method could make some activities redundant.

Are you able to easily identify which activities are missing? If only 26, it would seem appropriate to assess each individually.

Cheers,

G