W22 Offshore Electrical Substation – Part 2 Network Development


Further to week 21 and Part 1 of electrical substation planning, we will continue in our preparation of Electrical Substation programme development following the GPCC process / work flow commencing from step 3 (Identify / capture all activities). Week 21 blog and Part 1 has satisfied step 3 and the  identification of activities and scope definition using Omniclass table 21 as the basis.This weeks blog and Part 2 will detail methods and approaches to finalisation of Activity Sequencing and ensuring a high-quality network.

Part 3 will focus on the development and assignment of resources as well as the different methods for calculating activity durations

Part 4 will calculate the critical path and float based on target completion dates including validation checks

Part 5 will consider the development of a schedule risk analysis for the works

Part 6 will consider available options to respond to high potential for negative float within the programme

The development of the Logic Networks must consider thethe following and constraints and works sequences;

  1. Works can only commence upon approval of Design drawings
  2. Activity RC structure will be constructed using Precast Elements (Columns, beams, floors, roof) with topping screed for floor and roof areas.
  3. An external Precast manufacture will be appointed. After Appointment, it is expected that the columns and beams will be progressively delivered to site. First delivery is expected within 28 days after appointment however all precast must be complete before the commencement of erection activities for the Roof Structure inclusive of 1st floor columns.
  4. Columns and Structure for roof can only commence after 1st floor slab has been completed to avoid risk of working overhead.
  5. Permitter Scaffold erection can commence when 50% of Ground floor columns and beams are installed
  6. Columns for Transformer bay can only be installed until after 75% of Roof precast has been installed to ensure access for crane is maintained.
  7. Ground floor Block work may commence immediately after erection of 1st floor columns and beams and erection of permitter scaffold
  8. Scaffold cannot be removed until all cement rendering and painting has been completed for all external walls
  9. Assume that internal walls and external wall will commence simultaneously
  10. Internal finishing works can only commence after service rough in has been completed
  11. Internal finishing work sequence shall follow Wall, ceiling then flooring.
  12. External Handrail, access ladders and fixtures to be installed upon removal of scaffold
  13. Target Dates are as follows
    • Building to be “watertight by the 15th April 2018
    • Overall Completion by the 1st June 2018


To develop the sequence and network logic we will consider the following methods

  1. PDM (Activity on Node)
  2. ADM (Activity on Arrow)

This blog will not select the preferred option – this will be undertaken in part 4


To ensure that above constraints are accurately reflected within the network logic, suitable activity relationships must be selected. Table 1 below is a summary of the logic used within the sequence and network development (PDM).

Using the relationships and logic outlined in table 1, the following PDM network has been created – split into 3 sheets.

When considering the same constraints within a ADM network however, we cannot use the same Logical relationships between the activities as ADM method requires that all relationships be based on Finish to Start.

This means that lags and leads indicated in the PDM network to reflect the partial completion of certain activities before another activity can commence cannot be modelled in the same way.

For example, a constraint (No. 6) has been placed on the erection of Transfer columns such that this activity cannot commence until at least 75% of the roof has been installed due to crane position requirements for hoisting roof slab segments. Under a PDM network, we have conveniently used the S-S relationship on the Roof erection activity with a lag of 75% complete to reflect this constraint.

Under the ADM network, this cannot be modelled the same way as all relationships must be F-S in nature. Thus under the ADM, we have split the roof erection activities into > Erect Roof Slabs to GL 5 (75%) > Erect roof slab t GL 8 (50%) > Roof slab topping works. This will now ensure that the column erection cannot commence until 75% of the roof has been installed whilst maintaining the F-S relationships between all activities. The full ADM network is outlined below;


The following checklist (adapted from GAO best practices) will be used in assessing the quality of the proposed sequence and logic network

1. The schedule contains complete network logic between all activities so that it can correctly forecast the start and end dates of activities within the plan.
2. The majority of relationships within the detailed schedule are finish-to- start.
3. Except for the start and finish milestones, every activity within the schedule has at least one predecessor and at least one successor.
4. Any activity that is missing predecessor or successor logic—besides the start and finish milestones—is clearly justified in the schedule documentation.
5. The schedule contains no dangling logic. That is,
 – Each activity (except the start milestone) has an F–S or S–S predecessor that drives its start date.
– Each activity (except the finish milestone and deliverables that leave the project without subsequent effect on the project) has an F–S or F–F successor that it drives.
6. The schedule does not contain start-to-finish logic relationships.
7. Summary activities do not have logic relationships because the logic is specified for activities that are at the lowest level of detail in the schedule.
8. Instead of SNET constraints, conditions of supply by an outside vendor or contractor are represented as actual activities in the schedule.
9. Date constraints are thoroughly justified in the schedule documentation. Unavoidable hard constraints are used judiciously and are fully justified in reference to some controlling event outside the schedule.
10. Lags are used in the schedule only to denote the passage of time between two activities.
11. Instead of lags and leads, every effort is made to break activities into smaller tasks to identify realistic predecessors and successors so that logic interfaces are clearly available for needed dependency assignments.
12. If included in the schedule, lags and leads are used judiciously and are justified by compelling reasons outside the schedule in the schedule documentation.
13. The schedule is assessed for path convergence. That is, activities with many predecessors have been examined to see whether they are needed and whether alternative logic can be used to link some predecessors to other activities.


Using the GAO – best practices as a guideline we will compare / assess both the PDM and ADM logic networks.


After reviewing the above PDM network against the GAO best practices, the use of summary activities is not advised with SS and FF relationships / lags used to reflect column erection and precast activities could be improved or even eliminated through the use of lowest level activities making for a more reliable network and overall duration estimate.

Consider updating the PDM network for Part 4 blog and calculation of critical path and float.


  1. Chapter  7.4 – Create the Logical Realtionship ands & Sequence relationships – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com
  2. O’brien, J.J, Plotnick, F.L, (2006). CPM in Construction Management-6th Edition Chapter 4 , McGraw-Hill
  3. GAO Schedule Assessment Guide, December 2015, Appendix IV

W21 – ABM – Best methods to communicate schedule information to Field Teams

Problem Definition

Whilst developing a schedule is critical for delivering projects on time, making sure people understand the schedule can be equally important.

To many programmes have been lost to the trash can due to complexity or poor presentation particularly when issued to field staff for implementation.

In this weeks blog, we will explore the various methods and tools available for presenting schedule information to field staff so they can clearly understand the work scope and planning aspects.

We will determine which are the best tools using an example construction project – SPJ jetty works (Container Berth Works) Which includes elements of unique sequence critical works as well as large sections of highly repetitious work activities.

Feasible Alternatives

We will consider the following options

  1. Bar/Gantt Charts
  2. Time Scaled Diagram
  3. Velocity Chart / Line of Balance
  4. Time – Location Diagrams

Development of the alternatives

  1. Bar chart/ Gantt Chart

A Bar Chart or Gantt Chart does not show logic links, only the bars. This is often used to compare actual progress against a baseline and is often used for management reporting, in particular to compare planned starts and finishes vs actual start and finishes.

Figure 1 above is taken from the “master or construction programme” broken down to level 4. Typically, the construction team will break this down further and develop a level 5 or 6 working schedule referred to as a 3 or 2 week look ahead. The programme is normally developed using a bar chart format and will attempt to co ordinate the works at a site level. It provides site engineers and supervisors with the flexibility to make the necessary refinements to planning which may not have been possible to foresee by planners when developing the master or baseline programme. An example is provided under Figure 2 below.

  1. Time Scaled Diagram

The diagram below indicates the same network but this time is presented in what is known as a Time Scaled Logic Diagram. Notice that the only change which has been made is to turn on the logic links. Otherwise, the durations, start and finish dates and critical path remain identical.

  1. Velocity Diagram / Line of Balance

The concept of the Line of Balance (LOB) technique (also referred to as Velocity Diagram) is to have a greater understanding and control of production rates (outputs) between various trades such that resource levels can be balanced and wastage (such as „standing time‟ between trades) can be kept to a minimum.

It is also sometimes referred to as a „lean construction‟ technique and is useful when repetitive cycles of activities are required

Figure 4 below allows us to understand that the production rates relative to each other element or activity. It will also allow site teams to know exactly where they need to be by a certain date and get a better feel for which activities are achieving higher than planned production and potential delays if a mis balance in activity productions are left to run without action.

  1. Time – Location Diagrams

The activities of a linear project are plotted on a grid where one axis is the time-scale and the other axis is the distance-scale and diagrams of the project (scans of maps, landscape cross-sections, etc.) are often included across the distance axis of the diagram to help orientate the reader to where physical attributes are located.

Figure 4 above provides similar information to the Velocity diagram however it allows the site teams to understand better the time (start and Finish) blocks which work must be completed as well as general rate of production. It summarises or rolls up multiple tasks

Selection Criteria

Each method shall be assessed based on the following

  1. Ease of Interpretation
  2. Definition of work scope at working level
  3. Definition of Activity and resource relationships
  4. Assessment of production targets / requirements

To help assess which method/s provide may be regarded as the most suitable for field staff to plan and execute works we will use the above criteria within a Non-compensatory decision model.

Comparison of Alternatives

Results are as follows

The time scaled chart fails to provide a clear and easily interpreted discerption of the works due to the presence of the

Time bar charts at either level 4 offer the site team the best opportunity to describe the works and short term working bar charts provide a format where adjustments and more tailored solutions can be made to reflect the field teams own sequence preferences.

Line of balance or velocity diagrams can be useful and easy to understand for understanding “where we need to be” by a certain date. Plotting the actual production and location data obviously gives field teams the ability to assess ongoing rates and predict delays or stoppages if crews are moving too fast or slow.

Selection of the preferred Alternative

Through the application of the Lexicograph analysis, the Gantt chart has been determined to be the best method of communicating schedule information to field teams.

Performance Monitoring 

The use of the bar chart to provide supervisors and engineers with an full understanding of the programme drivers and constraints can be greatly enhanced when accompanied with a Line of balance diagram to show the inter relationships between crews and resources as well as providing a high level indication of what average productions rates are required.

Further assessment and understanding of Time location diagrams need to be carried out. Software programmes such as TILOS can bridge the gaps identifited above with resource planning, works sequence and activity definition however it remains to be seen if the clarity and presentation will allow for distribution to field staff for implementation.


  1. Sullivan, G. W., Wicks, M. E., & Koelling, C. P.(2014). Engineering economy 16th Edition. Chapter 3 – DEcision making Considering Multiattributes., pp604-606.
  2. Chapter  7.1 – Introduction to Managing Planning & Scheduling – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com
  3. TILOS, Schedule with confidence retrieved 20 December 2017 from  from https://www.tilos.org/sites/default/files/2017-04/022482-3430_TILOS_Bro_033016.pdf

W20.1 – Offshore Electrical Substation Planning – Part 1 WBS development

Problem Definition

Within the SPJ project, the offshore / Jetty scope requires construction of an electrical Substation comprising of a 2 storey building using precast concrete frame, masonry external and internal walls, various flooring and ceiling finishes, external handrail and escape ladders as well as usual building services (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc).

The current programme and budgets only consider this work package at a higher level (Level 2) and we now need to develop a detailed programme and verify budget adequacy as it is now expected that the work package will become time critical and possibly over budget.

To commence this “re-planning” exercise, we will first develop a suitable WBS. Substation Equipment will be ignored.

Feasible Alternatives

  1. Non Standard WBS
  2. Omniclass table 21
  3. Omniclass table 22

Development of the Alternatives

  1. Non Standard WBS

The  WBS is based on an Activity Breakdown Structure where the project phases are identified at 1st Level including Project Management / Engineering, procurement, Construction and Commissioning. Tasks and work packages are then defined under each Phase. For clarity, the WBS has been reduced to level 3 only.

2. Omniclass Tables 

In developing options 2 and 3, it should be noted that the Omni class tables are not program work breakdown structures however at all levels, the element in the structures are candidates for WBS element descriptors, including work packages.

Table 21 – Elements

An Element fulfils a characteristic predominant function, either by itself, or in combination with other elements; Table 21 is organized by elements’ implied functions. Major elements may be composed of several sub-elements. For example, a shell enclosure might be composed of superstructure, exterior closure, and roofing.

Using table 21, the works would be described as follows

Note that breakdown does not consider the phases of a project such as design, project management, procurement, etc and only considers the work scope based on function. If we used table 21 as a reference for describing the physical works and introduced phases at level 2, the complete WBS look something like this;

Table 22 – Products

Using table 22 on the other hand (Work Results), the breakdown of phycial works would be as follows;


Again, table 22 does not consider the various phases of works but  represents a completed entity that exists after all required raw materials, human or machine effort, and processes have been provided to achieve a completed condition.

As such table 22 cannot be used in isolation and must be incorporated into the overall project structure as follows;

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess the preferred WBS structure;

  • Covers all aspects of the works to a suitable level of detail
  • System or Product Orientated and supports a breakdown of work activities into a logical sequence or work flow
  • Includes major procurement, project management and design phases
  • Supports current project Code of Accounts structure which is split into 3 categories; 1. Building Structures 2. Building Archi works 3. Building MEP

Analysis of the Alternatives

Each WBS will be compared using a Non compensatory Lexicography model. Results are as follows

Selection of the preferred Alternative

From the table 3 above, Omniclass Table 21 is considered the most suitable WBS when combined with

This is due to its superior accuracy compared the non standard WBS as well as its superior work flow compared to table 22 (work results)

By decomposing the work scope using table 21, a methodical sequence can be created within the WBS which should allow for more accurate activity relationship and dependencies.

Performance Monitoring

The above WBS will be further detailed to level 4 and 5 to increase accuracy and definition of work scope – using Omniclass table 21. This may include further physical breakdown of the Building by area or level.

Next blog will use the developed WBS within a PDM analysis for estimation of work duration.


  1. Sullivan, G. W., Wicks, M. E., & Koelling, C. P.(2014). Engineering economy 16th Edition. Chapter 14 , pp.603
  2. GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide, March 2009, Appendix IX
  3. Omniclass Edition 1.0, May 2, 2006, Table 21 & Table 22

W16 – ABM- Follow up on Learning Curve for Trestle Barrier Wall Construction at SPJ – 12B


Further to Week 5 & 7 blogs  on the construction of trench RC barrier for SPJ – 12B project and the effects of Learning curve on production we would now like to review production results observed over the past 12 weeks and assess the actual learning curve parameters and make an assessment of the total predicted man hours to complete the entire 1330 Lm of barrier wall – based on actual productivity figures


Two types of learning curves will be assessed for the purpose of assessing the actual learning curve parameters

  • Unit Learning and;
  • Cumulative average


Selecting the correct learing curve will be critical in estimating the total man hours to complete the works. The total hours (or cost) determined using the Unit Linear method will be the sum of the unit costs however the Cumulative Average linear, the total hours (or costs) will be the unit values times the total number of units up to that point.

Productivities for planned as well as actual cumulative figures are outlined in table 1 below

Contractor has performance from 12th August to the 3rd November is further broken down as per table 2 below.

Note that the Unit Linear figures are based on the weekly average.

To determine which curve can be used to estimate the total man hours at completion we must first evaluate which is most reliable. To achieve this we will perform a regression analysis on both sets of data and determine the R^2 or coefficient of determination.


The option which provides a R^2 value  closer to 1.0 will be regarded as representative or best fit of the data. An R^2 of 0.9 or better is considered a good fit however a result of less than 0.9 may mean the resultant equation doe not adequately represent the data that are being analysed.


Both the Unit linear and Cumulative average are plotted on the graph below including the corresponding R^2 values and equations for each set of data and best fit curves

The Blue line indicates the cumulative average whilst the red dashed line indicates the Unit Linear and whilst the  R^2 for the cumulative average is closer to 1.0 than the unit linear, both options are below 0.9 indicating that the line of best fit or equation may not accurately represent the data.

6. Selection of the Preferred alternative

Whilst neither curve satisfies the requirement of an R^2 value <0.9, the cumulative average may provide the best chance of estimating total man hours at completion

Based on the figure 1 above, the learning rate of the cumulative average-time model is the anit-log of 10^-0.246*log(2) = 84.32%

The cumulative average is determined by =464*67^(log(0.8432)/log(2) = 165 mnhrs /unit with a total number of direct labour hours estimated as 11,047 (165*67 units)

6. Performance Monitoring

The range of the figures obtained from the field data would indicate that there is too much variance in the data to allow for the development of an equation that allows accurate forecasting.

The labour figures and productivities above are based on weekly averages and these will include non productive periods and man hours associated with delays from weather, concrete supply, etc.

It may be advisable to eliminate some of the data points which include excessive delay periods or exclude non productive man hours from the total figures.

Also consideration needs to be given to any changes in actual crew members  and the impact that this may have on the crews overall productivity.

Further assessments will be over the next 2-3 weeks with a closer assessment of man hours spent during disruption or delay periods.


  1. Sullivan, G. W., Wicks, M. E., & Koelling, C. P.(2014). Engineering economy 16th Edition. Chapter 3 – Learning and Improvement., pp.110-112.
  2. Humphreys, G.C 2011 Project Management Using Earned Value Humphreys associates, Management Consultants. Second Edition, pp 435-440
  3. Dennis F. Togo, Curivlinear Analysis of Learning for Cost Estimation.  Retrieved from http://http://www.swdsi.org

W15-ABM-Developing the BCWS Recovery Curve using IEAC-Part 2

  1. Problem Definition

Following my Week 14 assessment of IEAC, 4 methods were used to calculate the EAC.

After reviewing each method, IEAC 3 was determined to be the most suitable however  this still implied that the Estimated Cost at completion would be some 183% above original Budget. This is unrealistic and would appear to be an over estimate of remaining cost.

Another method is now required to determine the IEAC and this weeks blog will assess further alternatives.

2. Feasible Alternatives

Last week we considered IEAC1-4 which can be described as;

  • IEAC1 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / CPI)
  • IEAC2 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / SPI)
  • IEAC3 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / CPI * SPI)
  • IEAC4 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / ((0.2 * SPI) + (0.8 * CPI))

This week we will assess the IEAC using pproductivity  and unit cost referred to as IEAC 5.

3. Development of the Alternatives

IEAC 5 method considers the Actual productivity or unit cost of work completed to date as the basis for predicting the cost of balance works.

As noted in my week 13 blog, BCWS,BCWP and ACWP figures during Week 0 were calculated in line with the nominated split and weightages provided in notes. This has created some inconsistencies in the reporting figures where by earned values are limited by an pre determined arbitrary weighting which is misaligned with BCWS and ACWP figures – wrongly indicating that productivity is low.

As such, inclusion of week 0 figures in any productivity assessment would not provide an accurate indication of how many hours (or cost) have  been spent to date on actual tasks to establish a correct unit cost.

As such we will exclude week 0 costs and earned value and make an assessment of Productivity based on week 1 to 13 only.

Table 1 below summarises budget and estimate productivity based on the total work units required to completed the course;

CPI is based upon comparison of Budget and Actual unit cost of for works completed from weeks 1 to 13 and indicates that 3 out 5 are operating under budget.

Unit costs associated with weekly blogs and reports are however significantly over budget when considered on a unit cost basis.

Table 2 further outlines the IEAC for method 5.

4. Selection Criteria

The same selection criteria is to be applied as per week 13 blog.

  1. Realistic
  2. Reduce chance of further increases / changes

5. Comparison of the Alternatives

Table 3 outlines comparisons between all 5 methods

IEAC 5 provides the lowest IEAC ($27,717) compared to the previously preferred methods IEAC 1 & 4 ($33,233) which was also determined using CPI figures without any allowance for week 0.

6. Selection of Alternatives

IEAC 5 is considered more appropriate as a method for assessing my own IEAC. It ignores the week 0 anomalies and uses the actual unit cost of works completed so far to estimate . Unit costs do however still include learning curve inefficiencies during early phases and as such, productivity is expected to improve and assist with final cost

7. Performance Monitoring

Current Dashboard to include weekly assessment of IEAC based on unit productivity and cost – excluding week 0 figures.


  1. W09_SJP_Forecasts retrieved 5 November 2107 from https://js-pag-cert-2017.com/w09_sjp_forecasts
  2. Chapter  9.5 – Performance Monitoring Progress – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com
  3. National Defence Industrial Association. (2014). A Guide to managing programs using predictive measures.

W14-ABM-Developing the BCWS recovery curve using IEAC

Problem Definition

Further to my Week 13 blog and the development of new baseline schedule, the development of a revised BCWS (early and late curve is required).

The new BCWS curve must assess the extent of balance works and the forecast cost required to complete. To support this process we will now look at the current Estimate at Completion figures and use these estimates to help establish recovery BCWS curves.

Calculating the IEAC can be performed using a number of different methods  and this blog will look at each method and its suitability in supporting the development of recovery BCWS figures/curves.

Feasible Alternatives

EAC data will be assessed at both the Programme and Project levels using the following methods;

  • IEAC1 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / CPI)
  • IEAC2 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / SPI)
  • IEAC3 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / CPI * SPI)
  • IEAC4 = ACWP + ((BAC – BCWP) / ((0.2 * SPI) + (0.8 * CPI))

Development of the Alternatives

Table 01 below is taken from the NDIA/GPC and outlines the assumptions and considerations when using each of the 4 forecasting tools.

Table 01

Each of the techniques will be assessed using project data from Week 13 as per table below. i.e An EAC will be assessed for each individual project / deliverable.

Table 01 – Project Performance Data (week 13)

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess the preferred method of establishing the EAC and using to establish a revised BCWS curve for the recovery schedule

  • EAC takes account of Scope which was previously “underestimated” for  and is corrected for balance activities
  • EAC is realistic but also reduces the risk of reporting further increases i.e. pessimistic.
  • Forecast costs accurately reflect the remaining scope

Comparison of the Alternatives

EAC results for each method and level are provided under table 2.0

Table 02 – IEAC Results

The original BAC for all 6 projects was estimated at $20,700 however IEAC calculated using the 4 methods above predict a cost overrun in the range of +20,060 to $62,936 above BAC.

Analysis of these results is as follows

  1. Project 6 – Bid Project:Project 6 is yet to commence and appears to be influenced by a imbalance in ACWP & BCWP figures taken from Week 0 milestone split. CPI and SPI figures for this project are not considered to be reflective of the actual remaining works and it may be more suitable to ignore this section from the EAC calculation and continue to rely on the original BAC.
  2. This imbalance from week 0 split is also observed in projects 2 and 5 where hours recorded within week 0 account for the bulk of current ACWP despite relatively low BCWP recorded. This skews the CPI and SPI figures
  3. IEAC3 – A result of $83,636 is not considered realistic and appears to be influenced by the late starts made on cheat sheet and Bid project (See above).
  4. It can be seen that there is a major difference between the EAC figures calculated at the programme level and those which have been calculated using performance data from each individual project.

Selection of Alternative

From the above, IEAC3 will not be considered as it is not considered realistic and appears to be overly pessimistic.

IEAC 2 is not considered appropriate given the impact of skew to SPI figures due to heavy reliance on SPI and limitations within later part of project.

Whilst IEAC 1 and 4 have produced values which are almost identical in value, IEAC 4 is considered the most appropriate given its partial consideration of SPI ensuring that figures are not overly optimistic.

However adjustment of the Total EAC to account for Project 6 (BID) will be made to take account of unrealistic EAC figures generated when using the reported CPI and SPI figures. This adjustment would be relevant to all options regardless. EAC for project 6 will be based on 100% of BAC.

Finally, to ensure that the accuracy of the EAC is maintained in all areas of the programme, the IEAC will be based on the cumulative EAC value for all 6 projects and not based on the programme level CPI and SPI figures. ($35,186)

With respect to the development of revised BCWS curve, the EAC values to be used are as follows;

Table 03 – IEAC FINAL

Performance Monitoring

Whilst adjustment of BCWS figures is not considered a regular event, the  monitoring of IEAC figures is a continual process and must be undertaken regularly. IEAC4 is recommended for use within weekly reporting against the new BCWS recovery curve.


  1. W09_SJP_Forecasts retrieved 5 November 2107 from https://js-pag-cert-2017.com/w09_sjp_forecasts
  2. Chapter  9.5 – Performance Monitoring Progress – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com
  3. National Defense Industrial Association. (2014). A Guide to managing programs using predictive measures.



W13_ABM-Preparing Recovery Schedule for Emerald Group

Problem Definition

Emerald Group AACE 2017 is now facing serious issues with cost overruns and schedule delays when compared to original baseline.

Based on week 12 report, the group has recorded the following key progress indicators;

The programme is now critically delayed with only 39.8% complete despite 58.9% of total schedule time lapsed. SPI and BEI and figures further support this at status. This data translates to a 5 week delay on the completion of all deliverables unless action is taken to recover.

Key deliverables which are now considered as critical are summarised in below table;

In addition to the poor SPI and CPI figures, BEI metrics which compare planned and actually completed tasks indicate serious delay to the commencement of cheat sheet and problem solving projects. This delayed commencement is likely to be the result of delayed completion to 2500 word papers as well as time sunk in rectifying weekly reporting.

Based on the above, and the groups assessment of a 5 week programme delay, this represents a difference greater than 10% of the overall duration and CFH has now requested that the works be rescheduled indicate how the balance works are to be completed by the contract date.

In developing a recovery programme, the group can utilise 2 different methods. this blog will look at each method and decide which is most suitable for the recovery schedule.

Feasible Alternatives

There are 2 methods to create a new baseline or recovery schedule when using EVM. These include;

Option 1:Leave ACWP and BCWP to date unchanged. Change BCWS(early) and BCWS(Late) date curves showing the impact of changes against revised dates.

Option 2:Set BCWS (early) and BCWS(late) dates to ACWP date. Reschedule remaining works to original dates or revised dates

Development of the Alternatives

When considering Option 1, the method would generally rely on a specific event or change order to be agreed with CFH. This event(s) would provide the basis for amending the original baseline and may reflect omission or additional scope, acceleration efforts, etc.

Option 2, primarily focuses upon the remaining works from the date of rebaselining and the way in which it will be executed.

At this stage, there has been no agreement to revise completion dates. As such all deliverables must be completed by week 24 (**Jan 2018) implying that BCWS (early & late) curves to target 100% completion by the original dates.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria must be satisfied;

  • Planned progress is realigned with actual progress to date to eliminate current reporting delay
  • Allows for accurate tracking and monitoring of remaining works and costs to compete all deliverables by week 26

Comparison of the alternatives

Option 1 is only really suited to situations where there has been a series of changes in scope or definable events that have caused the BCWS to change i.e. variations

The delay and cost overrun observed within Emerald Team programme is a result of delayed execution of the activities by the group members,  including inefficient use of time and resources such that activities have not been completed within the planned durations and budgets. Initial estimates for time and cost may have also been insufficient leading to overspend and schedule delays.

They are not the result of scope changes.

Option 2 however requires lowering /realignment of the BCWS to meet the actual ACWP allowing for the return of the group’s reporting status to a neutral position.

The future BCWS curves would then be rescheduled by the team members to support stipulated completion dates

Selection of Alternatives

Option 2 appears to satisfy all criteria and will allow for the immediate elimination of perceived delay within the works as well as focusing upon the rescheduling of works to achieve original completion dates. Option 1 is not considered suitable in this instance.

Performance Monitoring

Group Members when preparing their recovery schedules should complete the following tasks

  1. Revise BCWS figures from week 13 onwards such that BCWS (early and late) are equal to ACWP
  2. Retain original completion dates as per CFH and re estimate time and cost budgets (BCWS) from week 13 onwards.
  3. Include both a early and late curve
  4. Assess and consider remaining work scope compared to remaining time and evaluate potential for scope reductions to support achievement of project objectives
  5. Review duration estimates previously used and update where observed to be incorrect
  6. Assess ability to increase working hours and potential to reduce vacation time previously planned.


1. Chapter  9.5 – Performance Monitoring Progress – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com

2. Humphreys, G.C 2011 Project Management Using Earned Value Humphreys associates, Management Consultants. Second Edition, pp 599-610

3. GAO (December 2015). GAO Schedule Assessment Guide, Best Practices for Project Schedules pages 135-145.
Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d093sp.pdf



W12-ABM-Hire or Purchase new vehicle (Malaysia or Singapore)

Problem Definition

Wife requires new vehicle to travel to and from work.

She is required to travel between Singapore and Malaysia daily. There is a large difference in price between Singapore vehicles and Malaysian vehicles  however Malaysian cars are imposed a high entry tax by Singapore government meaning higher daily running costs

Leasing or rental of a vehicle offers certain convenience however monthly cost is also high. At the moment, she lease’s (rent) a Singapore registered vehicle to avoid paying high daily entry (VEP) taxes.

A comparison of cost is now required between leasing and buying a vehicle to determine if purchasing a vehicle is more economical from both a short and long term perspective.

Purchase options 4 alternatives with each containing its own advantages and disadvantages i.e high purchase prices for Singapore registered cars but low finance and high resale value compared to Malaysian vehicles which have low purchase prices but higher finance rates and running costs as well as lower resale values.

This blog will determine whether purchasing a vehicle is better financially than leasing based on a 5 year period. If will also consider which purchase option is best.

Feasible Alternatives

The following alternatives will be considered

  1. Leasing of Singapore registered Vehicle
  2. Leasing of Malaysian registered Vehicle
  3. Purchasing New Malaysian registered vehicle
  4. Purchasing Used Malaysian  registered Vehicle
  5. Purchasing New Singapore registered Vehicle
  6. Purchasing Used Singapore registered Vehicle

Development of the Alternatives

Figures and valuations will be based on the same (or equivalent) vehicle type and all values will be assessed using Ringgit as the currency.

A time frame of 5 years will be used to assess the alternatives with partial financing. Minimum Deposit requirements, loan terms and interest rates all vary between Singapore and Malaysia.

Refer to the Following table which outlines the vehicle values, finance terms, etc

An MARR of 6% will be used in the assessment of each option as this represents an equivalent interest rate for alternative investments or loan rates where funds could be otherwise be used to reduce ongoing interest charges.

Leasing options do not carrying any operating costs associated with insurance, road tax,etc and obviously carry no resale or residual value at the end of hire

Purchase options for new and used Malaysian registered vehicles are based on a higher minimum deposit percentage as well as a finance on balance. Term of loan for Foreigners is limited to 1 year meaning that the rate of repayment is very high. Resale / residual values are based on current MV for v ehicles on similar age

Purchase options for Singapore vehicle

Selection Criteria 

Final Selection of the preferred alternative will be based on the following

  1. Lowest overall cost considering all factors such as annual operating costs, financing as expected resale or salvage values expected at the end of the study period. This will be expressed as a present worth with costs considered as negative cash outflows. Thus the PW value which is highest or least negative will be regarded as most preferred.
  2. Equivalent Uniform Annual Cost (EUAC). We will also consider the EUAC which reflects

Comparison of Alternatives 

The Present Worth of each option is as follows

From the table, Option 5 has the highest present worth. This is surprising given the value of the car is almost 4 times the price of the same vehicle in Malaysia

As can be seen in the above table, whilst depreciation rates are higher, the MV after 5 years is significantly higher than Malaysian vehicles and do not suffer the same level of annual cost when considering government imposed taxes on foreign vehicles

The EUAC of each option is as follows

Again, option 5 provides the minimum (lowest) uniform annual cost over nominated economic life span. Again, this appears to be influenced be the following factors

  1. Lower interest rates and longer loan terms
  2. High resale values available at the end of the period
  3. Capital recovery is actually lower for Singapore cars due to lower deposit requirements i.e. RM89k v RM145k for new vehicle capital investment in year 1. This means that less upfront capital is required in the first 1 year. values not considered excessively more despite the value of the vehicle being multiples more than local equivalent.

Selection of Alternative 

From the above, Option 5 (Purchase New Singapore vehicle) has satisfied both selection criteria with highest Present Worth and Lowest EUAC confirming that purchasing a new car from Singapore will result in the least overall cost overall as well as an annual basis.

This result has been surprising and was not expected!!!

Current practice of renting a vehicle needs to stopped as soon as possible.

Performance Monitoring 

Before finalising the selection, the following factors must be further researched;

  1. Resale value of Singapore vehicles
  2. Available Singapore interest rates
  3. Currency fluctuations
  4. Maintenance costs

Using Option 5 as the preferred option, the Economic life of the vehicle should be established. In the above example, 5 years may actually be past the maximum time for retention of the asset.


  1. Sullivan, G. W., Wicks, M. E., & Koelling, C. P.(2014). Engineering economy 16th Edition. Chapter 4 – The Time Value of Money, pp.427-466. Prentice Hall.
  2. W10_UDS_Replacement Analysis: Keep Old Car or Buy New Car retrieved from http://emeraldaace2017.com/2017/10/11/w10_uds_replacem…r-or-buy-new-car
  3. Singapore Car resale values retrieved from http://www.sgcarmart.com/main/index.php
  4. Malaysian Car Resale Values retrieved from https://www.carlist.my/
  5. Singapore Vehicle Entry Tax regulations retrieved from https://www.lta.gov.sg/…singapore/vehicle-entry-permit-vep-fees-toll-charge-and-reci…

W11_ABM_Methods for Calculation of BCWS

Problem Definition

In creating the weekly report for Team Emerald, the group noticed that other groups had calculated their BCWS figures differently using the planned completion percentages x BAC figures instead of creating a cost loaded schedule and S-Curve.

This blog will consider what are the differences between each approach and can 1 method be considered more correct than the other.

Feasible Alternatives

Method 1: Calculate BCWS using S-Curve or cost loaded programme bas

Method 2: Using the BAC figures calculated at end of method 1 above, calculate the weekly BCWS base on planned progress multiplied by BAC.

Development of the Alternatives

The BCWS is also known as the “Planned value” (PV) as well as the Performance Management Baseline (PMB)

Ultimately, the BCWS defined as the BCWS is the sum of the budget items for all work packages, planning packages, and overhead which was scheduled for the period. It can be compared to the Cost budget or what is planned to be spent.

Under Method 1, this is calculated by developing a cost or resource loaded programme from which an S-Curve is produced. refer to Figure Below which represents the early and late curves for Team Emerald’s entire programme. Each Team member (Resource) has made a weekly estimate of their hours required to complete the required deliverables.

In developing their schedules and progamme, the following factors have been considered;

  • Total Weekly contribution
  • Sequence in which hours are allocated to projects
  • Anticipated Variances in weekly hours/costs due to availability, etc
  • Non Working Times due to holidays, etc

Hours are then converted to costs on a week by week basis and summed over the full period of the progamme to determine the BAC (Budget at Completion).

Under Method 2, the BCWS is determined using the formula of Total Budget cost or BAC x Planned Schedule %

The Planned schedule progress is determined by reference to the project deliverables and each deliverable carries its own weight with respect to the overall programme as well as method of calculating progress.

Selection Criteria

  • ACWP figures can be compared against BCWS accurately on a week by week basis
  • BCWS reflects any fluctuations in resource usage or allocation

Comparison of the Alternatives

Refer to Figure 2 below for a comparison of each BCWS calculated using Method 1 and Metho 2.

Note that there is a large differencebetween the 2 methods at week 1. Under Method 2, the BCWS value is approximately $12k less than method.

This variance is due to a misalignment between the first project milestone and the planned costs for Week 0.

The project includes a milestone after week 0 which has been valued by the programme Owner as equivalent to 8% of the total project – 115 from 1500.

However after completing an estimate of the hours and cost, the total cost for Week 0 is equivalent to 18% of the BAC!!

Method 2 therefore reports a BCWS based upon the programme’s weightage allocation and this percentages has no relationship to the estimated hours or costs spent during the Week 0 period and as such are misleading.

Similarly, the use of Incremental Milestone Techniques to determine planned percentage for deliverables i.e. Paper Topic instead of units in place for deliverables such as blog postings, problem solving, etc also contributes to difference in BCWS figures between the 2 methods.

Similarly, non work periods predicted around week 22 to 23 are not reflected under method 2.

Selection of the Alternative

As can be seen the determination of BCWS figures using the planned progress % and BAC figure does allow for an accurate comparison with ACPW figures due to the fact that Planned progress % and planned Expenditure are not always aligned due to factors such as

  • Resource usage may vary from time to time
  • Resource Usage is not aligned with Deliverable weightage
  • Method of calculating Progress percentage

Calculation of BCWS using a Cost loaded Schedule is the most accurate method when comparing on a week by week basis

Performance Monitoring

The Use of Method 2 could be considered if resource usage was aligned with planned progress percentage. This would likely require the milestones weightage closely reflects planned cost or effort


1. Chapter  9.1 – Introduction to Managing Progress – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com

2. Humphreys, G.C 2011 Project Management Using Earned Value Humphreys associates, Management Consultants. Second Edition, pp 512-515

3.Earned Value Management – Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS) (2017) retrieved from http://acqnotes.com/acqnote/tasks/budgeted-cost-of-work-scheduled



W8.1 – Sulphur Product Handling Jetty – Applying a standardised WBS (Part 2)

Problem Definition

Under my week 7 blog, we considered the use of a 3D WBS and the most suitable Omniclass table using the standard dimensions of ZONE (ZBS), ACTIVITY (ABS) and PRODUCT (PBS).

This is only 1 combination and can be expanded to include other aspects of a projects performance to enhance visibility. This expansion will take the form of additional breakdown structures as well as different combinations with each providing a unique and different perspective on the project.

And whilst there could be a large number of combinations available, the selection of the preferred combination(s) will largely depend on stakeholder requirements.

In this blog we will stay with the SPJ – package 12B project and use the EPCC Contractor as the Stakeholder and consider some typical requirements which an EPCC contractor may have when analysing their works and progress of the package 12B project.

We will establish which Combination of Breakdown structure should be considered to provide the EPCC with a clear view of those aspects which it considered important.

Once a determination of most relevant combination is made, we will select the most appropriate Omniclass table to support the Break down structure and filtering options.

Feasible Alternatives

We will consider the following breakdown structures in a 3 dimensional combination;

If we limit to only 3 dimensions, or fields, then the maximum number of permutation is as follows;

Development of the Alternatives

Each Breakdown Structure provides the EPCC with a unique set of information. This may be summarised as follows;

Selection Criteria

We will consider the following aspects as the basis for determining which are the relevant WBS combinations and dimensions;

Comparison of Alternatives

By considering the needs of each monitoring requirement and then relating these needs to the relevant breakdown structure, we can reduce the number of combinations to only 10.

Selection of the Alternatives

As determined under the week 7 blog posting, the relevant omniclass tables which would support the package 12B project scope were;

  • PRODUCT / SYSTEM- Table 23
  • PHASE – Table 31(2006)
  • AREA – Table 14
  • WORK ACTIVITIES – Table 22

The same tables could be used to establish the project ABS (Table 22&31), PRBS(table 23) and ZBS (Table 14) as noted above. The Omniclass table 35 & 33 would support the RSBS and definition of plant and labour.

Performance Monitoring

The development of Breakdown structures for elements such as CTBS/ CLBS and CHBS would require project specific formats and structures. Combining these formats with the Omniclass system would require further assessment and considerations


1. OmniClass. (2014). About OmniClass. Retrieved from OmniClass: http://www.omniclass.org/

2. Moine J-Y. 2013.3D Work Breakdown Structure Method, PM Word Journal Vol. II, Issue IV–April 2013

3.Combinatoric: Generator of Combinations. Retrieved from https://planetcalc.com/3757/

4. Chapter 3.4 creating the WBS – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet).  Retrieved from http://www.planningplanet.com