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Scheduling Best Practices: How to Keep Scheduling as a Management Tool

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Scheduling Best Practices:
How to Keep Scheduling as a Management Tool
Presented by:
Emily Federico & Kelly Heuer
Navigant Consulting

The intended purpose of scheduling on a construction project is to help in ensure that all activities necessary to complete the work in accordance with the requirements of the contract documents are properly planned, staffed, coordinated and executed in an orderly and expeditious manner.

Schedules not only assist in compelling the proper coordination of the work, but they also contribute to the owner’s decision making with respect to the evaluation of the contractor’s payment applications and proposed changes to the contract.

There is, however, a perceived risk involved with owners requiring contractors to submit schedules and reviewing and accepting them. The risk, of course, is that the owner accepts a schedule and agrees to something that is later used as the basis of a claim. However, the downside risk of not requiring construction schedules is that the project plan is not communicated and the owner is left with no way to effectively measure progress, check on coordination or verify the timing of its own responsibilities required to complete the work.

Without a clearly articulated scheduling specification in the contract documents, proper project scheduling may be dispensed with as a way of saving costs. Thus, most experienced owners recognize that the risk of not requiring comprehensive project schedules far outweighs the risk of requiring, reviewing and accepting contractor project schedules. Owners should spend the time necessary during the design phase to draft a scheduling specification that is commensurate with the amount of detail, involvement and control the owner wants to see exercised on the project. Owners should also be mindful that the requirements do not become so burdensome that the schedule takes on a life of its own, becomes unmanageable and is disconnected from the contractor’s actual management of the project.

Standard contracts often provide very little direction to the contractor with respect to project scheduling requirements. Elements such as specific timing, level of detail, content and formatting, among others, are often not addressed clearly, if at all. As such, adequate project schedules will very likely not be developed and the multiple benefits of creating them will not be achieved.

This program's goal is to demonstrate the importance of a detailed project schedule specification in a construction contract and identify the key components that can be used by both parties for better project control, decision-making and, if necessary, resolution of claims.

Learning Objectives:

  • What schedule requirements are typically delineated in standard contracts
  • Why an owner would want to include a detailed scheduling specification in a construction contract
  • What key elements should be considered for incorporation in a detailed scheduling specification
  • What common challenges and realities need to be considered in developing a detailed scheduling specification and
  • What role the owner should expect to play in the development and execution of project schedules
Who Will Benefit?
  • Owners and owner representatives managing capital improvement projects
  • Construction management/contractor executives, project managers and project control personnel
  • Design professionals providing services to owners during pre-construction and construction

This presentation features key insights from our knowledgeable construction experts:

Emily Federico, PSP

Emily Federico is an Associate Director in the Fairfield, CT and New York offices of Navigant Consulting, Inc. Ms. Federico’s experience includes the preparation and analysis of various schedule delay, acceleration, loss of productivity and cost overruns claims. Tasks performed included Critical Path Method (CPM) schedule development and detailed analyses, damage analyses, and issues analysis based on contemporaneous project documents. Ms. Federico has also provided litigation support for depositions of Navigant experts as well as cross examination of opposition, mediation presentations including her own, and preparing Navigant’s expert for trial testimony in Federal Court. Ms. Federico’s experience while at Navigant Consulting includes the following construction project types: airports, retail shopping malls, bridges and highways, schools and universities, condominiums, spent fuel power plants, and wastewater treatment plants. Ms. Federico is a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP) through AACE International.

Kelly M. Heuer

Kelly is a Managing Director in Navigant's Global Construction Practice. She has provided professional consulting services to owners, contractors, architects, sureties and their counsel on a wide variety of construction and manufacturing projects for the past 25 years. Kelly has assisted clients with dispute resolution and risk management on projects in the transportation, building, infrastructure, and process industries in private and public sectors. She has provided expert testimony in Federal and State Court as well as arbitration, and has presented in mediation on behalf of clients numerous times.

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