Article #750 Accelerating the Project Schedule to Recover Inexcusable Delays by the Contractor

When a contractor has encountered delays in completing the project for reasons that are not acceptable as excusable delays, the question is should the contractor select to accelerate the project to recover this delay or not. Usually, the decision is driven by how much this acceleration costs. The value of liquidated damages be avoided if the delays were eliminated? And of course, how this acceleration will help in improving the relationship with the project owner.

Acceleration will focus on the activities that are on the project’s longest path for which the objective is to bring the current project finish date to the approved finish date. Initially, the project team needs to review activities that have preferred relationships that are causing delays as well as constraint dates that can be removed. This will be followed by analyzing the activities that have the lowest cost to reduce their duration. Those could be for working overtime and weekend hours, adding resources, change methods of shipping among others. For some projects, the acceleration might require reducing the duration of more than a single activity when the project has parallel critical paths.

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Similar to any process that needs to be managed on a construction project, there should be a process to manage the information associated with the process along with the details of reviews made before it was approved. Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, a template will be created using the visual custom form builder to capture the details of each single schedule acceleration or crash action. The form will be used to detail the taken action, by whom it was proposed, the number of days that will be reduced, and the cost of such action. The form will include a table that will capture the project schedule activities that were part of the acceleration or crash action. For each activity, the table will list the pre-crash and post-crash duration, cost, and important notes. Of course, other data fields can be added in case those were a requirement.

Similar to all other project management processes digitalized using the PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS), all supporting documents, links to relevant records, and imported MS Outlook emails will be added. In addition, a workflow with the required review and approval sequence as well as approval authority levels as detailed in the delegation of authority matrix will be assigned to the Schedule Crash template.

To ensure that the data captured in the Schedule Crash template is fully aligned with the project schedule either managed using Primavera P6 or MS Project, the incremental schedule revisions after each approved schedule acceleration or crash will be imported to PMWeb. This will ensure that the activities selected in the template are fully aligned with the project schedule.

By having all those incremental accelerated schedules imported into PMWeb, a report can be generated to compare the variance between any two schedule increments to review and analyze the variances between those two versions The report layout and format can be fully customized to address each project’s reporting requirements.

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The data from the Schedule Crash template will become the basis for generating the Project Schedule Crash Analysis Report. The report will include a register of all project schedule acceleration or crash actions, a summary of those actions by status, and a line visual that will combine the acceleration cost, the cost of liquidated damages, and the sum of those two cost items.

About the Authorfounder

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 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), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK


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