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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Project Controls

What is Planning and Scheduling?

We know Time is Money. Time is one of the constraint of Project Management Triangle (also called Triple Constraint or the Iron Triangle). Timely completion is one of the criterion that defines success of a project. Planning and Scheduling is one of the key the knowledge area in Project Management of the Engineering, Construction and Project  Management (ECPM). Applying Planning and Scheduling tools and techniques, if not guarantee, but for sure increases the probability of on-time project delivery. Being a mission critical role in ECPM projects, Planning and Scheduling professionals are paid higher than their same experience peers.

In ECPM industry, Planning and Scheduling is sub-function in Project Controls. Project Controls encompasses, planning and controls of both time and cost. Planning and Scheduling function, however, in a typical ECPM project consists of project planning in term of construction methods & time, preparation of project baseline schedule & its approval, applying baseline updates, project performance measurement, and performing delay analysis, if needed. A proficient Planning and Scheduling professional should possess skills and knowledge in Project Management basics, Critical Path Methods (CPM), Earned Value Management (EVM) and related knowledge areas. 

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Schedule is a tool that helps project team achieve project timely delivery objectives. For construction projects, it is common practice that a contractor is brought onboard. In this arrangement the Contract between the owner/employer and contractor becomes the pivotal tool that sets out obligation of either party, which includes the obligation of timely delivery of information, work front, and completed works. While Schedule remains the tool that help projects to achieve timely delivery objective, however, in the employer-contractor-contract setting, the role of the Schedule as a tool broadens from merely time control to the areas like delay analysis, cost and time claim, internal and external communication.

In this scenario failure by a party to achieve milestone or to complete an activity, as required in Schedule, may have a contractual implication, which may result into claims and disputes. Therefore, it is mandatory that the Schedule must incorporate and confirms to the obligations set in the contract. Reading and understanding contract requirements are, therefore, the first step towards schedule preparation. Contractor's Planner/Scheduler requires a certain degree of skill and knowledge to read the contract, and skim relevant information and obligations to incorporate in the Schedule. Same is valid for the owner (or his representative) scheduler at the time of review/approval of the Schedule.

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‘Project Delay’ is a term known to all the professionals in Engineering, Construction and Project Management (ECPM) industry, which is rightly so, as statistics and experience shows that up to 80% construction project fail to finish within the duration or completion dates specified in their construction contracts. 

Delayed project means additional cost to project stakeholders. For owner and end user the additional cost may be due to late realization of project benefit, for project sponsor due to financial charge, and for contractor due to cost of the additional resources for the extended time, there may be several other costs and theirs combinations to the individual stakeholders – however, the fact that remains at core is – ‘Project Delay’ cost dearly. Adding to this, the fact that makes delay issues complicated is while the delay may be caused by a party, other stakeholders suffers as well.  

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