by on March 27, 2016
1 (17).jpgThe main step in successfully managing a construction project is managing change events, as changes will inevitably occur. Managing the schedule to account for changes is different than monitoring progress and reflecting that progress in an updated schedule.
Whereas an “updated” schedule reflects progress of the ongoing work and the data date changes as appropriate, a “revised” schedule includes modifications to future baseline schedule work components or activities. These modifications could include work activities broken down into more refined tasks to more precisely describe the sequence of events. An example of such a refinement could be breaking the foundation work into several activities such as surveying for footing locations, drilling the footings, assembling reinforcement steel cages, casting concrete for the footings, and setting foundation anchor bolts. A change to a specific activity such as this describes future work in more detail and is considered a revision to the schedule.
Once the construction has begun, it may be necessary to re-sequence certain activities to more accurately reflect project construction. In doing this, the activities that were originally scheduled to commence before and after the re-sequenced activity must be re-sequenced and re-scheduled as well.
Other changes to planned activities could include modifying durations. After a project begins, it may be determined that a certain activity planned to take two weeks to complete should actually take three. For this change not to affect the final project completion date, the schedule has to be adjusted to absorb the additional week duration. Or, if no other activity timeline can be compressed, the change must remain and additional manpower or manhours must be scheduled to compensate.
Other changes that occur on a construction project involve uncommon and common events. Uncommon events can include unusual weather, labor disturbances, and/or outside events that neither the owner nor contractor can control. Of these uncommon events, unusual weather is the most often occurring with the greatest impact on the schedule. Contractors include expected weather delays into their initial scheduling, but unusual weather, such as a hurricane, can affect overall project progress. Common change events include design changes, owner-added change orders, incomplete designs that have since become complete, or different conditions that occur on a project that were not anticipated.
Any changes that affect the future project schedule must be documented. Furthermore, these changes must be evaluated to determine the most appropriate revision to the planned schedule. All parties involved in the project must “buy into” the change or, if not, the revised construction activity must be modified to accommodate the involved parties.
If a contractor or its subcontractors delay their own work based on their own actions or inactions, the schedule should reflect the extended duration, and the cause of that extension should be documented. The contractor must assess the cause of the delay and pursue a solution. If there is insufficient labor, materials, or equipment to properly execute the work, the contractor must determine if additional resources can be utilized. If a contractor’s subcontractor is delayed, the contractor must assist in resolving the reasons for the delay. Furthermore, if the subcontractor is under contract with the contractor, the contractor is ultimately responsible, and it is its duty to rectify the delay and provide the necessary resources to put the project back on track.
Any revisions or routine updates to the construction schedule must be republished, distributed, and communicated to all parties involved in the construction process. It should be noted that the planned completion date should not be affected by publishing a revised schedule. If the planned completion date has been changed, the contractor must evaluate the project sequencing and determine how to avoid a different completion date than originally planned, unless a schedule extension is granted.
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