One of the greatest challenges that face an organization that is involved in submitting or defending an extension of time or delay claims, is establishing the as-built schedule especially when the periodical schedule updates are not present or not accepted by the parties of the contract. Having an as-built schedule that can be accepted during direct claim negotiations, arbitration and courts, the schedule must be fully aligned and linked to the project’s actual progress.
Some of the Project Management Information System (PMIS) solutions like PMWeb provide a robust and comprehensive approach for developing the as-built schedule. To achieve this, the Daily Report module will be used along with the PMWeb document management repository. The first step will be to import the approved baseline schedule into PMWeb to ensure that all activities that need to be updated are available for the update. The second step will be to identify the documents and records that will be used to establish the actual start and finish dates for the project schedule activities. The third step will be to create a day-by-day history of what has happened on the project using the PMWeb Daily Report module. For each daily report, there will be a need to attach all supportive records, documents, and pictures to verify the reported progress. The third step will be to generate a report that will compare the as-planned dates from the originally imported schedule dates and the as-built dates captured in the daily reports.
Establishing the Baseline Schedule
Usually, for each construction project, there will be a detailed integrated project schedule that the contractor has submitted for review and approval to be established as the project baseline schedule. The project schedule is usually created using Oracle Primavera P6 or MS Project. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that before using this schedule as the baseline or as-planned schedule, review and analyze the schedule to ensure that it does not have any serious errors or missed information that makes using it as the as-planned schedule invalid. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a pre-defined checklist to review and analyze the schedule. PMWeb custom form builder can be used to create the desired checklist similar to the sample checklist partially shown below.
After reviewing and analyzing the project schedule and correcting or adjusting any errors that need to be formally documented and approved, the project schedule will be ready to be imported into PMWeb as the Baseline Schedule. The schedule import function in PMWeb allows importing the activity ID, description, WBS level, early start and finish dates, actual start and finish dates, percent complete, duration, and total float values.
Setting the Document Management Repository
Since the main objective is to create the project’s as-built schedule, the PMWeb document management repository will have folders created to match the project’s duration. In other words, a folder will be created for each week, for example, W01, W02, and so on, where all project documents and records that will be needed to create the as-built schedule will be scanned, uploaded, and stored in the folder that it belongs to. Those documents could include daily reports, meeting minutes, submittals, requests for information, site instructions, and permits among many others. PMWeb allows creating an unlimited number of attributes and user-defined fields to capture additional important details for each uploaded document.
Capturing the As-Built Schedule Dates
A daily report will be created for each day of the actual project duration to capture the actual schedule progress data. The layout of the timesheet tab of the PMWeb daily report module will be configured to capture each activity that had started, progresses, finished, or put on hold and percent complete for each activity that had progressed during that particular day. The description and notes text fields will be used to add the needed information relevant to that activity. In addition, PMWeb provides 10 additional user-defined fields that can be configured to capture additional information on each progressed activity. For example, one of the fields will be used to identify the status of the reported activity.
Should there be a need to capture the actual resources, labor, and non-labor, hours spent against each progressed activity on that particular date, then the resource field name, actual hours, hours type as regular, overtime, or weekend and cost account number need to be displayed which are available by default. Otherwise, the daily report is ready to be used to capture the actual schedule progress. The user can select the activity to be updated from the imported schedule list, then against each activity, the description of the completed works, and any additional notes to be added. It should be noted that the daily report could have more than one entry for the same activity if a different type of work was done on that particular activity for that particular date. Of course, this will be more important if there was a need to add resource details spent against the activity.
Additional data like weather conditions and other user-defined fields can be added to the daily report. In addition, all supportive documents and records that were used to capture the activities that progressed during that date need to be attached to the relevant daily report. In addition, emails imported to the PMWeb project email folder will be linked to the daily report module to provide the needed justification for the reported actual progress dates. When all is completed, the daily report for the current day can be copied to capture the data for the next day.
To expedite the process of creating the project as-built schedule, different project team members can be assigned to create the daily reports for the different project WBS levels. For each daily report, the WBS level will be assigned for which the as-built schedule data will be limited only to the activities that are part of that WBS level.
Reporting the As-Built Schedule
The data captured in the daily reports will be used to provide the information for the as-built schedule. The as-built schedule report will list all daily reports for every WBS level showing the activities that have started, progressed, completed, or are on hold. In addition, it will show the reported percent complete for activities in progress although this is not a must. In addition, the report will provide the progress details relevant for each activity on each relevant date listing all issues that could have impacted activity progress. The report allows selecting the daily reports that are specific for each WBS level, activity, or group of activities as well as for a specific period.
Comparing As-Planned and As-Built Schedules
With both the as-planned and as-built schedule dates now available, the project team can create a report to compare those dates for each activity. The comparison report will immediately identify the variances between as-planned and as-built dates. The report reader can drill down to the activity and review the details of the actual reported progress along with the details of reported delays and disruptions that could have disrupted the activity progress.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over the US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.