Schedule design as applied in engineering, procurement and construction RP- 61R-10
Once the project’s execution strategy is finalized, schedule design starts. The purpose of schedule design is to consolidate and organize the inputs to develop a project schedule which is in alignment to the project execution strategy. A well developed schedule design will accurately represent the project’s proposed means and methods for accomplishing the work. It also provides the basis for a technically sufficient CPM network which will allow for monitoring and control of the project. Inputs
- Scope of work statement (SOW)
- Contracting strategy
- Plans and specifications
- Scheduling specifications
- Master schedules
- Area designation plan
- Lay down area plan
- LEED requirements
- Formal phasing / sequencing plan
- Sequences planned by major trades
- Resource availability
- Estimate and quantity surveys
- Bills of materials
- Production / productivity data
- Purchasing information
- Cash flow projections
- Materials / equipment delivery
- Commissioning requirements etc
2) Definition and purpose of the schedule – One of the key purposes of the schedule is to provide appropriate level of reporting to the key stakeholders of the project, at the required detail and frequency.
Additional purposes include;
- Control and monitoring of time related costs (cost/budget or change management)
- Control and monitoring of resources (contractors, subcontractors, etc.)
- Generation and monitoring of forecasts
- Stakeholder coordination
- Documentation for claims avoidance or defense
3) Identification of team members – for schedule development and their responsibility assignment for scheduling related activities like;
- Schedule design
- Schedule development
- Schedule statusing
- Schedule analysis
- Schedule reporting
- Change management
- Close out
4) Software selection – Catering to the purpose of the project
5) Work product – An understanding of the work products of the project
6) Reports to be generated by the scheduling system
7) Description of schedules – Knowledge of the the various schedules that will be required during the project is another important aspect of schedule design. If multiple stakeholders will be providing schedules to be integrated into a master schedule, then all coordinating issues need to be addressed during the schedule design process. This may involve a revision control (check-in/check-out) process to support schedule updates.
8) Schedule outline – The schedule outline to should integrate; Key schedule activities to monitor, Project milestones and definitions, Long lead procurement items, Site or other constraints • Work breakdown structure (WBS), Work package, Contracting/subcontracting issues
9) Level of detail – Bottom up approach Vs Top down approach Vs Hybrid approach for schedule development
10) Activity code definition – For tracking and monitoring work activity codes must identify work phase, structure, area, floor or station, location and responsibility. For project management work, activity codes must identify discipline, work shifts, costs, resource, specification and change management.
11) Adverse weather planning – Planning for adverse weather like including more buffers for those tasks scheduled during periods with high probability for adverse weather.
12) Resource loading – Resource loading patterns analysis is relevant during schedule design. Cost information can be incorporated in the project schedule to support cash-flow analysis, reporting, resource loading, and claims analysis. Labor and equipment resources should also be planned and monitored.
13) Supporting Earned Value Management – Requirements for effective progress measurement and earned value management need to be considered during the schedule design. For example, activity duration sizing is dependent on the frequency of EVM analysis. While deciding the norms for earned value measurement, resource loading patterns also must be taken into account.
14) Schedule basis – the schedule basis (baseline narrative) provides a high-level summary of the schedule and a description of the schedule contents, and includes a statement of the schedule purpose and a comprehensive description of the schedule content. An appropriate checklist, maintained during the design process, facilitates the development of the baseline schedule and schedule updates.
15) Risk management – Schedule design, development and maintenance has tight integration with the risk management efforts of the project. Schedule design points to the risky areas of the project and the risk response, contingency actions should be included in the schedule as well.
16) Lessons learned – Incorporation of the lessons learned enhances the quality of the schedule.
17) Historical data – Referring to the historical data from other projects and schedules enhances the schedule.