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How to deal with Contractor w/o proper planning and planners

4 replies [Last post]
Ferdinand Soco
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 4

Hi to all the members!

I need your professional advise.

The contractor started the project 2years ago, until now the progress of project is .5% overall. The sites are scattered all over the country. Their baseline was sub-contracted but not properly updated, and their document control is a mess even the shop drawings.  I will work as their new Planning Engineer, HOW/WHERE WILL I START?

If somebody can give me step by step guide very much appreciated.




Ferdinand Soco
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 4

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate your advise.

This site is very helpful to all the new Planners.


God Bless to All.



Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago. Offline



The project is clearly out of control at present, and it isn't just your responisibility to wrestle it back into control. -A project doesn't get this poorly out of control without the PM and others in the team having to take some responsibility. Even if you do the best job you can, tyou will still struggle to put this right without the correct sort of support from your PM and project team.

Now for some more constructive advice:


Priority 1: Understand the scope of works complete and remaining

-Speak to (or if possible visit) the site mananger of every site and find out precisely what work has been completed, and work work remains of the scope. If they have actual progress dates togive you then fantastic, but if not the important thing is to ensure the scope of both completed and incompleted work is fully understood-you can worry about when it was completed later.

-Speak to your PM / Contracts manager to understand any variations to the original scope which have arisen over the 2 years. If records are as poor as you suggest, this may even require having the PM confirm with the client what the current agreed scope is. -An embarassing thing for a PM to have to do, but better to ask now than be told later.


Priority 2: Get a programme together for the remaining works

-If the original baseline was of high enough quality and the only thing wrong with it is that it hasn't been updated, you can use this as a starting point. If not, you will have to build your own as Mike suggests.

-If records are bad, you will struggle to get an accurate picture of when the actual progress was achieved, but don't worry -you can deal with this later. For now, focus on getting an accurate schedule for the remaining work, so you can forecast completion and track progress properly from now on.

Priority 3: Get a robust reporting system agreed and implemented

-Make sure your schedule will remain accurate by getting a robsut reporting system in place. You need to ensure:

i) Every activity in your programme has a named individiual responsible for delivering it, and also for reporting progress to you

ii) Each of these individuals understands and agrees to their duties with respect to keeping the programme up to date

iii) You are sending out regualr lookahead schedules to these people, so they know what they should be doing

iv) They are sending regular progress reports to you, so you know what they are actually doing. These reports should at a minimum include: Actual start, and either actual finish or remainnig duration, for each activity. Plus any documentary records which demonstrate this progress.

Priority 4: Get as accurate a picture of the past as possible

-Now that you have the remainder of the project in control, you can start to try and get the historical progress mapped out in your programme. This can often be more like the work of a detective than a planner, but you will learn a lot about the company in doing it. Consider getting somebody to help you with this, as there is a lot of tedious work involved.

You need to go through every type of record you can find, and extract any information on progress at the time of that record that it holds. You should gradually start to build up a window of time during which each activity must have been completed. As you get more information, this window should get shorter.

It is highly unlikely you will get the precise date for each activity so use the date in the middle of your window, and record as notes the earliest and latest dates as per the evidence you have found.

Types of records to check would include:

i) emails, letters and faxes to / from the PM & Client

ii) Shop drawings

iii) Material delivery tickets

iv) Subcontractor invoices

v) Any progress reports

vi) Site photos

vii) Staff & Office daybooks

viii) Minutes of meetings

ix) Timesheet systems



Good luck!



Ferdinand Soco
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 4

Hi Mike,

Thank you very much for you advise. I really appreciate that.


Best Regards,


Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 3 hours 52 min ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4403

Hi Ferdinand

Welcome to Planning Planet

You must start from the beginning as if it were a completely new project.

Firstly explain the situation to your line managers - you are going to need some short term help.

Set up your own programmes for each project from day zero and then set current progress.

Do the same with your record controls by starting the spreadsheet databases and try to get the rolling records in place.

If none of this is possible the best advice I can give you is to quit the job now.

Best regards

Mike Testro