Archive for June, 2010

Project Management Plan – “The Woody 2000 Project”

Project Management Plan

“The Woody 2000 Project”

Submitted to:

The Custom Woodworking Company

Industrial Estates, Someplace, BC

Mr. Ron Carpenter, Chairman

Emelia Holdings Ltd.

Submitted By:

Thomas Franchina

June 23, 2010

Thesis Statement: The Woody 2000 Project plan was developed in order to evaluate the existing set of circumstances that occurred during a previous project and propose a corrected approach for the implementation of the proposed project.  We will examine the overall purpose of the plan, the project goals and objectives, the action items recommended for the proposal, an overview of the scope of work,  the project narrative, the Project Network Diagram, project schedules and process flow  charts, projected cost summaries, and final conclusion.

I. Introduction – Executive Summary

a. Basic overview of the Woody 2000 Project

b. Purpose of the report and proposal

c. Qualifications statement of the author

d. Basis for Project Management Manual

  1. Background on the Woody 2000 project

a. Company overview with brief description of key personnel

b. Products and services provided by the company

c. History of proposed expansion

d. Approved financial commitments for the proposed Woody 2000 project

e. Background on contractor acquisition

  1. Original quotation received
  2. Contract negotiated
  3. Final contractor quotation and release

f. History of design phase

  1. The appointment of an owner’s representative
  2. Owner provided procurements
    1. i.     Production train
    2. ii.     Software design and installation
    3. Failures in submittal reviews
    4. Design process failures
    5. Owner to subcontractor interface

g. Background on project close out and launch

  1. Failures in completion schedule
  2. Issues with occupancy permits
  3. Consequences of project completion failure
  4. Cost overruns and the need for additional financing

h. Decline in sales

  1. Market vulnerability
  2. Staff dissension
  3. Hiring of consultant for internal auditing
  4. Need for the proposal and comparison of proper project planning and implementation

III.  The Woody 2000 project objective

a. Review present production and develop analysis

b. Develop five year historical cash flow projection

c. Develop five year projected growth forecast

d. Develop strategic plan and vision path

e. Develop comprehensive needs assessment

f. Develop Project Management Plan

  1. Action Items for the proposal

a. Overview of the preconstruction phase

  1. Sales assessment
  2. Process and recommended PMLC model
  3. Strategic planning and focus groups
  4. Evaluate design and constructability
  5. Project sequencing and mobilization
  6. Pre-construction schedule
  7. Financial Performa and feasibility
  8. Contractor selection methodology
  9. Contract types and selection

10.  Contractor guidelines and recommendations

b. Overview of the construction phase

  1. Site mobilization plan
  2. Submittal and shop drawing process
  3. Overall Project Schedule
  4. Contractor and Vendor selection process
  5. Communications Plan
  6. Risk Management Plan
  7. Quality Assurance Program
  8. Human resources safety protocol
  9. Financial plan and accountability guidelines

V. Project Management Plan and Scope of Work (SOW)

a. Programming guidelines

  1. Design review
  2. Programming objectives
  3. Overall Project Budget
  4. Overall Project Schedule
  5. Site due diligence

b. Design Process

  1. Design services and procurement agreements
  2. Performance compliance
  3. Consultant coordination
  4. Program and design compatibility
  5. Submittals
  6. Insurance
  7. Cost control
  8. Financing

c. Preconstruction process

  1. Procurement of Furnish By Owner Materials
  2. Permitting
  3. Preconstruction conferences
  4. General Contractor and Vendor services

d. Cost Control

  1. Budget planning
  2. Estimating
  3. Conceptual pricing
  4. Cost forecasting
  5. Cost accounting and tracking
  6. Procurement and labor
  7. Cost reporting
  8. Purchasing
  9. Subcontractor qualification

10.  Pricing

11.  Value engineering

e. Technology and Communication

  1. Progress meetings
  2. Contractor’s Procedure Manual
  3. Contract Administration and field coordination
  4. Information management systems
  5. Decision tracking
  6. Requests for information process
  7. Design Package Log
  8. Pending Change Order Log
  9. Team Action List

10.  Bi-Weekly schedules and meetings

11.  Overall Project Schedule

12.  Design Team meetings

13.  Liaison meetings

14.  Submittal Log

15.  Daily Manpower Reports

16.  Contract Change Authorization

17.  Value Engineering Log

18.  Three Month Calendar

19.  Compatibility

20.  Procurement Compliance

21.  Progress Payment process and procedures

22.  Insurance and Bonding process and compliance

f. Post Construction process

  1. Performance compliance
  2. Operating and Maintenance Manuals
  3. As-built drawings and specifications
  4. Certificates of Final Completion

g. Quality Control

  1. Procedures and processes
  2. Enforcement
  3. 3. Phased and Final Punch lists and completion certification and review

  1. Project narrative and summary

a. Project description

b. Comparative analysis of prior process to proposed process

VII.  Project Network Diagram (PND)

a. Proposed methodology

b. Critical Path and Milestones

c. Overall Project Schedule

  1. Projected cost summaries

a. Conceptual Estimate

b. Actual Projected Estimate

c. Budget Recapitulation

d. Recommendations

  1. Summary Evaluation and Conclusion

a. Analysis of proposed to actual project

b. Evaluation of end project

c. Client exit interviews and evaluation

d. Concluding statement

I. Introduction – Executive Summary

a.  Basic overview of the Woody 2000 Project

This Project Management Plan is prepared as a preliminary report and proposal for the Woody 2000 project. This comprehensive report, analysis, and recommendation was developed as a proposed plan for the facility expansion and business management plan. We will develop this proposed plan and expand its components as we work through the various phases of the construction management process. Our management team will work closely with the Woody 2000 executive management team.

b.  Purpose of the report and proposal

The purpose of this plan is to provide an assessment of the Woody 2000 project including an evaluation of the present management processes and methodologies used in the expansion of their production facilities.  This Project Management Plan will detail the proper procedures that should of been used as a basis for the Woody 2000 project and also identify the various problems that occurred during the implementation of said project.

As part of the assessment, we will begin with the evaluation of the preconstruction process and parallel the events that occurred with the standards and practices of a properly executed Project Management Plan. Additionally, our proposed plan will identify the various procedures required during the construction and post construction phases.

c.  Qualifications statement of the author

Thomas Franchina has over 25 years experience in commercial, industrial and residential construction projects both in Europe and USA. He will bring  a broad range of experience in project and systems management and apply experiences from both private and public sector projects to develop the proposed plan for the Woody 2000 project.  His experience includes total site development, structural steel and building structure engineering and completion of the total project within specified timelines.  He will be responsible for developing the proposed processes for project preconstruction planning, construction implementation, project quality assurance and overall project management. He will develop recommendations for the technical and

fiscal areas of the project.

d.  Basis for Project Management Manual

The existing case study had a number of problems and mistakes

associated with the entire process.  The following proposed plan identifies processes and techniques that would eliminate the problems mentioned in the background of the Woody 2000 Project.  This proposed plan is based on assumptions that was derived from the information gathered on the background of the project. This proposed Project Management Plan is necessary and will act as a guide for the completion of a Project Management Manual for the Woody 2000 Project. We will use this Project Manual as a guide for all phases of the construction project.

II. Background of the Woody 2000 Project

a. Company overview with brief description of key personnel

The Woody 2000 project was established by the management of The Custom Woodworking Company(also known as Woody’s) located at an existing facility in Industrial Estates, Someplace, BC and millwork manufacturing facility and was started in 1954.  The executive management team includes Mr. Ron Carpenter, Chairman; Mrs. Emelia Carpenter, President; Ms. Kim Qualey, Executive Vice President; and Mr. John Carpenter, Director. The company is privately held with the major shareholder being Emelia Holdings Ltd. The company presently has approximately 850 employees and has annual revenues of approximately $93,250,000.  The company has a supporting management staff that includes Mr. Miles Faster, Vice President of Production; Mr. Spencer Moneysworth, Vice President of Finance; Ms. Molly Bussell, Vice President of Personnel; Mr. Bruce Sharpe, Vice President of Sales and Estimating; and Mr. Kim Cushman, Controller.

b. Products and services provided by the company

The company manufactures furniture, cabinetry, and custom millwork. During recent years with the increase in commercial construction activity, Woody’s has shifted their focus to subcontracted millwork for new commercial construction. The company has had an excellent reputation in the market place and has enjoyed higher profitability on their latest projects.

c.  History of proposed expansion

In 1989, Mr. Bruce Sharpe persuaded the executive management that there was a need for expansion due to the possibilities of increased sales from an expanding portfolio of construction projects. Mr. Miles Faster introduced the idea of expanding their facilities to a new location to Mr. John Carpenter, who in turn brought the idea to the executive team for discussion with Mr. Kim Cashman and Mr. Spencer Moneysworth.  The group discussed what was offered and Mr. Cashman and Mr. Moneysworth disagreed with moving the facility and recommended an expansion at the present facility. Mr. Ron Carpenter held a meeting with the executive management and key leaders, and through much discussion and debate it was determined that there would be a 25 percent expansion to the existing floor space of the building. The proposed scope of work included construction addition of the building, installation of new air conditioning system, installation of a dust free paint shop with additional compressor capacity, the development and installation of a new production train including new hardware and software, and renovation of the executive offices.

d.  Approved financial commitments for the proposed Woody 2000 project

At a meeting with the executive management and key leaders, Mr. Ron Carpenter agreed to commit $17 million dollars as the maximum price to complete the entire project and he established a target date for completion of the project in 18 months.  It was determined that Mr. Moneysworth would be responsible for the project. During the planning phase, Mr. Moneysworth decided not to involve input from the production staff and invited a well known contractor called Expert Industrial Developers(EID) to quote the project.  There was no written plan or design documents at the time. Mr. Cashman developed a 12 month cash flow based with the first and last month budget being 1 million dollars and the remaining 10 months at 1 million each month, additionally, a 1 million dollar contingency was set aside. The chart was not used as a management tool to review actual to forecast and actually was locked away in his desk.  It was also determined that all actual costs to the project would be recorded in the company’s normal bookkeeping procedures.

e.  Background on contractor acquisition

1. Original quotation received

Mr. Moneysworth requested that EID submit a fixed price proposal and the preliminary estimate was $20 million based on an 18 month schedule.  The owner did not provide a written program, drawings or detailed specifications resulting in an overly padded quotation from EID.

2. Contract negotiated

After negotiating, EID agreed to provide construction services based on a fully reimbursable contract without a guaranteed maximum price(GMP). The contract was based on a cost plus on fixed contracts with the owner paying for soft cost reimbursable expenses.  The contractor was responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the facility and they subcontracted the design to Schemers and Plotters (S&P). The EID proposal was approved by executive management. There will be some issues regarding the contract that will be evaluated later in this project plan.

3. Final contractor quotation and release

After negotiating and signing of the contract, EID was given the authorization to begin the project.  There was no formal notice to proceed given and the duration of the project was not closely monitored or contractually specified.

f.  History of design phase

1. The appointment of an owner’s representative

As the design phase was underway, it was determined that an owner representative would be necessary to expedite owner decisions and approvals.  Mr. Ian Leadbetter, a mechanical and software engineer, was appointed as the owner representative even though he lacked project management training and experience.

2. Owner provided procurements

  1. i. Production train
  2. ii. Software design and installation

Mr. Leadbetter gave considerable contributions to the mechanical and software side of the project, but he lacked the necessary project management techniques and processes.  Early within the equipment and software design phase, EID requested that the owner manage the procurement of the production train. Due to improper change order procedures, Mr. Miles Faster stepped in and changed the production train specifications in order to increase capacity.

3. Failures in submittal reviews

Mr. Leadbetter was occupied with the software development and does not have a standardized process in place for the approval of submittals and other key project management owner processes.

4. Design process failures

There was not a process that was in place to deal with the expansion of the production train. This change caused the software design work that was completed to be discarded resulting in Mr. Ledbetter’s need to focus on redesign of the software and not on his duties of facilitating and communicating information between all parties. Since there were no processes on order for submittal reviews and approvals, there was a significant delay in the delivery of the production train equipment.

5. Owner to subcontractor interface

During the construction phase, there were numerous problems that resulted including inter-coordination of shop drawings to design causing the structure of the building to be designed five feet less than required for the production train, owner representatives conducting business with subcontractors without the contractor being present, and other problems with process and technical management. There was not a communications plan in place for the project and it seemed like everyone was “doing right in their own eyes”.

g.  Background on project close out and launch

1. Failures in completion schedule

2. Issues with occupancy permits

3. Consequences of project completion failure

4. Cost overruns and the need for additional financing

The project was nearing completion two years after launch and there were delays due to a number of shortfalls in the project management system. The management failed to hold EID accountable for project completion and closeout causing delays in schedule.  EID did not provide the building occupation permit nor did they comply with scheduling requirements for utility tie-ins causing several weeks in lost production.  Due to the delays, many customers cancelled their orders and inventories were depleted. There was a definite decrease is sales revenues during this period.  The cash flow was further affected when Mr. Cashman discovered that the project was over budget and only at 85 percent completion. They obtained an additional line of credit, at an excessive premium, in order to cover the additional expenses incurred on the project.

h.  Decline in sales

1. Market vulnerability

2. Staff dissension

3. Hiring of consultant for internal auditing

4. Need for the proposal and comparison of proper project planning and implementation

Due to the present state of the economy, it was discovered that general sales and demand for products produced by the firm dramatically fell. An extensive marketing effect resulted in a marginal increase in sales.  The new equipment is presently under utilized causing controversy between staff members, especially with Mr. John Carpenter.  Due to the events surrounding this project, Mrs. Carpenter retained a project consulting firm, W. Easley Associates to conduct a post project appraisal.

The following Project Management Plan will evaluate the existing conditions based on the background of the project and then will propose a proper project management technique that should of been followed in the construction of their new facility.  Additionally, the proposed plan will address the various mistakes that occurred during the Woody 2000 project.

III. Woody 2000 Project Objective

The primary objective of this proposal is to perform a detailed needs assessment for the requirements necessary to meet an increase in sales revenues generated and to determine what type of expansion or upgrade to the facility would be needed to meet said growth. The ancillary objectives to include the following:

  1. Review present production capacities and develop an analysis to determine the maximum output the existing facility can provide.
  2. Develop a five year historical cash flow that includes sources and uses of funds, client identification and revenues generated based on sectors, and percentage of revenue growth over the past five years with identifying what sector the growth came from.
  3. Develop a five year growth projection considering future clients, stability of the market, overall market trends and historical data and past performance integration.
  4. Develop a strategic plan with key staff for the growth f the company and a clear vision path for expansion of the facility.
  5. Develop a complete needs assessment based on input from each department including administrative, production, finance and human resources.
  6. Develop a Project Management Plan for the proposed expansion.

IV. Action Items for Proposal

a. Overview of steps during the Pre-Construction Phase

The following action plan was developed as a preliminary guide to the tasks that we must complete in for the preconstruction  and construction planning of the proposed Woody 2000 project.  We must make a commitment to excellence and we must adopt the philosophy of … “Doing it right the first time”.  That simple philosophy is required for us to uphold a reputation for quality project management services.  We must be dedicated to creating a team philosophy within all groups involved in the project. We emphasize quality from a solely product-oriented quality control program to a customer-oriented total quality process.  We can accomplish this through a Total Quality Project Management Process.    The following is a listing of  action items that we must put in place in order to solve the problems that arose out of the Woody 2000 project:

1. Sales Assessment

We must complete an assessment of committed sales contracts and projected contracts to ensure that production can still be maintained during proposed construction and that we comply with customer demands for scheduling and delivery requirements. There should be a strategic planning session that includes administration, sales, and production to ensure a high standard for customer satisfaction during proposed construction process.  Additionally, press releases should be developed to inform existing clients and future business the status of the project; producing a positive spin on the expansion of the facility. A detailed sales and marketing plan should be prepared and should have contingency planning in case the market falls in a certain sector.

2. Process and Recommended PMLC model

We must develop a complete systems flow to include document, task and schedule accountability, and allow for the integrated coordination between the owner, design and construction teams, and governing agencies. An Woody 2000 project steering committee should be formed that includes the executive management team and key leaders of the project.  They should meet on a weekly basis with clear agendas and direction.

The Adaptive Project Framework(APF) is the recommended PMLC model to follow during the entire course of the project.

This approach has been used on a number of projects and one of the main characteristics of the APF is that the scope is variable, within defined time constraints, and optimizes business value by adjusting scope at each iteration (Wysocki, p. 414 2009). At each iteration, the client may change the course or scope of the project therefore realizing great business value.  The Planning process is very integral and key in the success of the APF process. The APF process parallels the Design Development process in the construction industry. The five process groups (Planning, Scoping, Launching, Monitoring and Control, and Project Close-out) will be used within the APF PMLC model.

3. Strategic planning and focus groups

We must establish systematic strategic planning sessions with various groups within the organization.  We would establish sub focus groups that include finance, production and administration.  We would facilitate these strategic sessions to answer key posts that can affect the overall plan for expansion. All meetings will have very detailed meeting minutes to include new and old business, pending issues and accountability milestones.  A task-tracking log would be maintained in each of the key disciplines.

4. Evaluate Design and Constructability

We would facilitate design and constructability issues to include value engineering, systems analysis, interior and exterior specification selections, program requirements, and overall design development coordination.  We would need to study the existing production output and review new technologies and the affect that upgraded machinery would have on production. It is imperative that we maintain the existing production capability in order to service existing clients. We must identify significant potential design and or constructability issues and establish a consistent means of communication between the various departments affected by any proposed expansion.

5. Project sequencing and mobilization

A complete interfacing of the Woody 2000 project program requirements with the existing operations to determine various solutions for construction mobilization including projected sequencing of facility build out.

6. Pre-construction schedule

We must enlist Woody’s executive team in the overall development of the pre-construction schedule with related tasks and accountability time lines. A mobilization plan must be completed in order to ensure that the existing production lines can be maintained without interruption. An attached proposed project schedule for both all phases of the construction process. (Exhibit A)

7. Financial Performa and feasibility

We must develop various alternatives to the proposed expansion including Financial Performa, implications of proposed construction, system for programming spaces, methodologies for hiring of design and construction teams, design development process, implementation process, cost controls, and quality control procedures. A preliminary cash flow was developed and we will analyze this document later in this proposed plan. (Exhibit B)

8. Contractor selection methodology

We would recommend a competitive bid process for the selection of the General Contractor.  A preconstruction conference will be held in which the construction documents will be handed out and the project parameters will be discussed and established with contractors.

9. Contract type and selection

All contracts should be based on a Guaranteed Maximum Price with certain schedule performance requirements.  There should be a competitive process for contractor and subcontractor procurement. The GMP contract should have a final completion date with a liquidated damages clause for non compliance and this practice should be written in all subcontractor agreements and vendor purchase orders.

10.Contractor guidelines and recommendations

The contractor guidelines will be specified in the Contractors manual which is part of the final Project Management Plan and Manual.

b. Overview of steps during the Construction Phase

1. Site mobilization plan

We would expand in the development of the preliminary site mobilization plan to include a complete analysis of the affects of the proposed construction on existing production requirements.  This includes reviewing parking requirements for Woody’s 850 employees, construction employees parking, material delivery staging areas, foot traffic methodologies for employees and the impact on construction to daily operations, and a complete overview of the general conditions on the project.

2. Submittal and shop drawing process

We would need to develop the proper coordination of submittal and shop drawing approvals and confirmation of compliance to contract documents.  We must develop a methodology for timely submission of contract submittals and shop drawings as not to delay the overall project schedule. It is imperative that the owner, contractor, subcontractor, and vendors, have an accountability schedule for submission and approval.

3. Overall project schedule

We would need to develop a concise overall project completion schedule with defined critical paths and subsequent related tasks.  Meetings should be held between design, construction, owner and train production manufacturer representatives. The critical tasks are defined as:

a.  Completion of the construction documents and specifications

b. The review and ordering of the production train equipment and other associated equipment.

c. Construction of the facility and interface into the existing building.

A preliminary project schedule is attached as Exhibit A and will be expanded during the preconstruction phase.

4. Subcontractor and vendor selection process

All subcontractor quotes should be scoped and reviewed with subsequent recommendations.  We must ensure the proper coordination of owner purchased items with subcontractors and develop a systems flow for material purchases.  The production train manufacturers should be involved in various team meetings to ensure design compatibility and schedule compliance.

5. Communications Plan

All meetings in reference to the construction of the new facility should have concise meeting minutes that are taken using a standardized format with distribution guidelines. A complete communications plan would be implemented as detailed later in this project plan.

6. Risk management plan

A risk management plan is necessary for this project and I have identified a few areas of concern regarding the Woody 2000 project.  The following plan is preliminary in nature and I have given a brief overview of the components of this plan. There are four phases of accessing risk:

a. Risk identification – Our management team will identify potential risks as part of the planning process. As we look at the background on the Woody 2000 project, I would consider identifying the following risks:

  1. i.   Securing permits – We must ensure that there is an expedient process for securing the permits and we must take into account possible changes required by regulatory agencies. Since work theoretically cannot start until the permits are secured, we must ensure that we submit the plans as soon as they are completed.  The duration of thirty days in this county is reasonable, however, this may dependent on zoning reviews and other regulatory processes that may take longer than what was projected
  2. ii.   Weather conditions – Based on our preliminary schedule, we must look at the possibility of weather delays during the excavation foundation, forming and pouring of concrete, and installation of the exterior envelope of the building. These processes would be underway during the Winter season.
  3. iii.   We have allowed a ten percent contingency on the construction schedule.  We must monitor the schedule closely as not to allow schedule creep. The management team must take a careful look and ensure that proper resources are assigned and that material deliveries are according to the projected schedule.
  4. iv.   Risk categories – There are four risk categories as described by Wysocki (2009 pp. 181-182) that we should review regarding the above referenced project which are:

1. Technical risks – This is a review of the quality and performance goals of the project. We must ensure that the lag bolts are installed properly for the production train equipment.  We must coordinate with shop drawings and with the foundation contractor.

2. Project management resources – This category deals with improper planning including poor allocation of resources, cost and schedule risks, and poor use of management disciplines. There is concern regarding the coordination of owner supplied equipment and the interface with the appropriate subcontractors.

3. Organizational risks – The management team must ensure that there is enough human resources allocated for the project and that there is no conflicts for between the project staff and the employees of The Custom Woodworking Company. The management team must avoid policies that do not support the completion of the proposed project schedule.

4. External risks – These are risks that are caused by external parties such as regulatory agencies, labor contracts and supplier restrictions.  We must ensure that there is proper coordination with utility companies and that all equipment and systems are approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies.

b. Risk assessment – According to Wysocki (2009 pp. 183-186), there are two major factors in assessing risk, first, the probability that the risk will occur and, second, the expected loss on the project.  There are static and dynamic risk assessments.  The static risk assessment is completed during the planning phase and usually follows a simple risk matrix while the dynamic risk assessment is more comprehensive and followed throughout the duration of the project.  In reviewing our proposed project plan, our management team would need to evaluate the financial consequences in the delay of the project. Additionally, we must ensure that contract commitments and orders are manufactured and processed without delay.

c. Risk mitigation – This is a plan that takes the identified risk possibilities and then determines the response or action necessary to mitigate the risk.  Wysocki (2009 pp. 187) describes these five risk responses; accept, avoid, contingency planning, mitigate and transfer. The following responses would be appropriate for the following:

  1. i.   Securing permits – We would mitigate this potential delay by prompt follow up with the regulatory agencies.  We might consider a clearing or foundation permit earlier than the full building permit in order for us to be able to begin the project on time or possibly earlier.
  2. ii.   Weather conditions – Depending on the time of year, we must look at the possibility of weather delays, however, we would have to accept this potential risk and prepare by having weather gear and proper protection in case of rain.
  3. iii.   We will monitor the schedule closely and track the contingency slack that was introduced in the preliminary project schedule.

7. Risk monitoring and control – This process is an important management procedure that requires the management team to follow potential risks and review their impacts and outcomes. A risk log will be prepared as described by Wysocki (2009 p. 188), which should include:  ID Number, Risk Description, Risk Owner, Action to be taken, and Outcome.

8. Quality assurance program

We should develop and maintain a quality assurance program to ensure contract and code compliance.  This is to include documented progress inspections and complete digital progress photos. The shop drawings must be matched to the field as built drawings to ensure that there is a proper coordination of all disciplines including the owner supplied equipment.

9. Human resources safety protocol

Oversee and ensure that the subcontractors meet and/or exceed all applicable safety guidelines.  This is to include a standard for overall site condition and maintenance of the site during construction since the manufacturing process must continue uninterrupted.

  1. 10. Financial plan and accountability guidelines

A complete coordination of all invoicing, pay requests and owner generated purchase orders.  We would assist the finance department with updating the projected cash flow with actual costs on a monthly basis.  A stand alone accounting system and procedure would be established with its own chart of accounts, actual to projection disbursements and management of the contingency fund.

A process for review and confirmation of Change Order proposals and develop systems for accountability and documentation on both the financial and technical aspects of the project.

V. Project Management Plan and Scope of Work

a. Programming guidelines

1. Design review

We would review Architectural and Engineering Design Services Agreements and ensure that these agreements have definitive date constraints and design to budget parameters. They design consultants would be obligated to meet the overall project schedule specified as Exhibit A.

2. Review Programming Objectives

a. Confirm the Woody team overall desires, intentions, goals and objectives for their expansion and develop a complete needs assessment.  The needs assessment would be compiled during the strategic planning sessions and individual department focus group meetings.

b. Confirm the long range facility strategies and the necessary sales and marketing strategies needed to keep the new production train generative for its proper production to payback ratio.

Review Programming Documents

a. Confirm the assessment and audit of Owner’s existing facilities and determine specific needs to projected revenues.  Additionally, we must review existing operations to ensure that production is not affected by the construction process.

b. Confirm user interviews of existing spaces to determine quality of space, support and logistics by focus group sessions with appropriate department representatives.

c. Confirm the Owner’s facility needs are fully documented by the use of a program manual and needs assessment log.

d. Coordinate with the executive team the overall requested program to decipher between needs and wants and obtain necessary approvals.

3. Review/Maintain Overall Project Budget (OPB)

a. Confirm the Owner’s needs and constraints regarding overall project budget and develop concise budgeting throughout design development phase.

b. Confirm coordination of the budget with the program to insure sufficient funds are set aside and that the sequencing of work is in line with projected cash flow.

c. Determine cash flow requirements and projections for the duration of the master schedule and coordinate with the finance office.

d. Prepare periodic reports to document the planned cash flow versus actual cash flow and report to the Woody 2000 executive steering committee.

4. Review/Maintain Overall Project Schedule (OPS)

a. Validate the preliminary schedule and expand the final project schedule and identify major milestones and the critical path for project.

b. Validate major team member’s needs, responsibilities and detailed scheduling of team member’s work including owner supplied equipment, subcontractors, and the entire project workforce.

c. Establish timing of major approvals whether within the team or by the government or local community.

5. Review Site Due Diligence

d. Zoning & Surveys – Coordinate and confirm approvals for proper permitting.

a. Transportation – Confirm the necessity of a traffic management plan to ensure the 850 existing employees have ample parking and are not affected by the construction.

b. Legal restrictions – Confirm approvals for equipment and new paint shop area.

c. Easements & Covenants – Confirm that there are no easements where the proposed addition would be constructed.

d. Environmental reports & Soils investigation – Confirm that all soils reports are sufficient for the new building footers and structure.

e. Existence and capacity of utilities and infrastructure – Coordinate with the appropriate utility companies to confirm that all expanded utilities are scheduled properly and without delay.

f. Determine government agencies and community agencies that need to been involved in the project.

g. Determine applicable government and community agency requirements, approvals and permit.

b. Design Process

1. Confirm Procurement Agreements – Design Services

a. Confirm list of consultants, contractors and vendors whose services may be required in the purchasing of design services.

b. If necessary, develop or confirm the development by others of scope definitions for procurement packages including bid packaging strategies.

c. Monitor the development of agreements to be awarded to successful bidders, all required contracts must be based on hard numbers or guaranteed maximum pricing.

2. Performance Compliance

a. Coordinate the specification of materials with the Owner’s needs there should be careful consideration given to the production train equipment.

b. With the design consultants, develop procedures for material testing and test reporting.

3. Consultant Coordination

a. Monitor the coordination of consultants and vendors in such areas as the production train equipment and other specialized equipment necessary for the expansion space.

4. Program and Design Compatibility

a. Confirm with the design consultants that the developing designs are compatible with the program, master schedule, master budget and quality expectations.

b. Confirm with the design consultants that the design as developed is compatible with the Owner’s needs.

5. Submittals

a. Monitor design submittals and approvals.

b. Coordinate obtaining Owner approval for the remaining steps of the design process.

6. Insurance

a. Confirm that design consultants have and maintain insurance in accordance with the Owner’s needs.

7. Cost Control

a. Manage procurement of conceptual estimates of construction costs.

b. Assist with value engineering ideas.

8. Financing

a. Assist Owner with developing a process for managing use of the contingency fund.

b. Continuous updates to projected source of fund sales contracts.

c. Make adjustments as necessary to project Performa and cash flow.

c. Preconstruction process

1. Procurement of Furnish By Owner (FBO) Materials

a. Develop a list of contractors and vendors whose services may be required in the purchasing of materials and that respective team member has procurement responsibility for each item.

b. Develop or confirm the development by others of scope definitions for procurement packages including bid packaging strategies.

c. Monitor the development of agreements to be awarded.

2. Permitting

a. Confirm proper documents are procured for permit submission.

b. Track progress of permit status.

3. Pre-construction Conferences

a. Arrange for pre-construction conferences with team members and selected bidders, if necessary.

b. Fully convey the needs and goals of the team to be followed during the construction process.

4. Engage General Contracting and Vendor Services

a. Pre-qualify firms

  1. i.   Establish criteria for invited bidder prequalification.
  2. ii.   Interview prospective bidders to determine who will be pre-qualified for the procurement process.

b. Prepare RFP and solicit competitive proposals

  1. i.   Confirm that required documentation is developed prior to the procurement process.
  2. ii.   Organize and execute the bidding of procurement packages.
  3. iii.   Collate the bids as they are received, verification of scope and compliance is necessary.
  4. iv.   Prepare recommendations to Woody’s steering committee and prepare a comparative analysis of all bidders on the project.
  5. v.   Monitor the development of agreements to be awarded and ensure that clear time constraints are listed with liquidated damages clause.  Al contracts must be guaranteed maximum price contracts.

d. Cost Control

The most important element to any Cost Control System is the people who operate them.  There must be an experienced team of experts whose knowledge of quantities and historical pricing, as well as project management and field supervision, provide the expertise on all elements relating to cost control, including budgeting, estimating, value engineering and the qualification of subcontractors.  The Woody 2000 project steering committee would receive formal reports weekly from Mr. Moneysworth and Mr. Cashman.

The following cost control methods will be implemented throughout the pre-construction and construction phases of the project:

  1. Budget Planning:

In the budgeting phase of the project, our team will compare current projected costs of the project with the initial budget and keep a watchful eye that the project is not escalating beyond its financial capability.  We will ensure that the work involved meets the projected goals established by the Woody 2000 project program planning sessions.

  1. Estimating:

We will manage a team to produce definitive estimates through schematic design, design development and construction documents stages of the project.  We will work in conjunction with the various prime subcontractors in developing estimates that can be tracked in a similar format to simplify the reconciliation at each estimate phase.

  1. Conceptual Pricing:

We have developed an in-house cost coding system to expand into more detailed pricing as the design progresses.  A computer-aided quantity survey system allows us to quickly and accurately produce the basic quantities for the project, which is invaluable toward providing timely responses to changes in the design as they occur.

  1. Cost Forecasting:

Prior to the start of the construction phase, our system allows us to electronically transfer our estimate into a cost forecasting format used by project management staff to track costs throughout the project to completion.  This estimating process builds from each stage to a Guaranteed Maximum Price estimate, which again is checked against previous work.  Careful documentation of assumptions are incorporated into the estimate to allow for later comparisons.

  1. Cost Accounting/Tracking:

Once the contract price is determined, the estimated labor, material and subcontractor costs are allocated among standard cost accounts at a level of detail appropriate for tracking individual tasks against the project budget. Estimated quantities and unit costs are utilized to establish a base line for tracking progress and productivity.

  1. Procurement and Labor:

The procurement cycle begins as purchase orders, subcontracts and change orders are committed, then immediately documented and simultaneously recorded in the cost system.  Actual labor costs, together with work-in-progress, are entered weekly through the payroll system, which is automated and tied to the project’s accounting system.

  1. Cost Reporting:

Cost reports are comprehensive and responsive to the specific needs of the project.  Labor reports, printed at the job site weekly, are used by project management to review progress and costs.  Vendor commitments and expenditures are monitored in several reports, which can be sorted by vendor or cost account with varying levels of detail.  Actual job cost detail can be reported on a limited date range, a group of cost accounts, or for the entire project to date.  This information is summarized in the forecast report and will be reported to the Woody 2000 project steering committee.

  1. Purchasing:

A system must be followed that solicits competitive bids from subcontractors and suppliers based upon a set of defined bidding procedures.  In conjunction with the owner, we will identify qualified and capable subcontractors and suppliers taking into consideration their previous experience, workload, ability to perform, and financial capability.  We will conduct pre-bid meetings for the purpose of assisting subcontractors in understanding the bid documents, design intent and project requirements

  1. Subcontractor Qualification:

The subcontractor qualification process remains an important part of cost and project control.  However, subcontractors cannot be arbitrarily eliminated from the project unless warranted by serious business indicators.  We must view the subcontractor qualification process as an important step in evaluating the apparent low bidders for capability to satisfactorily perform the scope of work.  Additionally, the evaluation can reveal early signs of weakness, which can be supported to ensure a quality performance.

  1. Pricing:

It is necessary to obtain prices from a minimum of three pre-qualified bidders for each category of work on the project.  The accuracy and dependability of subcontractor pricing is directly related to the content of information furnished to the bidders.  Contract documents are often issued before completion and cannot describe all of the expectations and nuances of the project or schedule.

  1. Value Engineering:

The key to value engineering is continual review of the design documents through attendance at periodic team meetings and detailed estimates at milestone stages of design.  Successful value engineering requires an understanding of the finished project long before it is fully detailed by the Architect. The greatest advantage of the Project Management process is that the construction side of the team becomes involved early on in the process and continually monitors cost issues.  We will be able to immediately look at materials and structural systems to develop cost estimates as team completes the documents. We must take full advantage of our proven systems to manage project cost. Budgets are updated and estimates revised as often as the project reaches design benchmarks and/or the scope or requirements of the project change.

e. Technology and Communication

The project team addresses certain crucial items at these work sessions, including: Responsibility Matrix, Team Coordination, Master Schedule, and Communications and Reporting. Specific levels of reporting are given to different levels of individuals within the project design and construction team. Individual team members are identified as receiving specific types of reports such as: project team meeting minutes; monthly executive reports, schedule; etc.  Project goals are to be established and documented so each team member understands our common objectives. I recommend either formal or informal partnering to assist in the development of the team. A Woody’s 2000 Project Procedures Manual(PMP) will be completed including all approved processes and procedures for the project.  The PMP will be a guide for the project and will be used by all team members on the project.

  1. 1. Progress meetings:

These meetings are crucially important and conducted at least weekly, with trade contractors and key subcontractors, to discuss current progress and accomplished milestone objectives, forecast the week’s progress and goals, address problems encountered and actions required to correct any deficient work.  This entails two primary goals:

  1. To provide a series of tools for accurate monitoring of the progress of the project.
  2. To provide thorough, accurate records of the project to protect the owner from potential disputes or legal problems. Therefore, the following is tracked and recorded on each project:
  1. i.     Trade Contractor Daily Reports – This will be prepared by our field staff.
  2. ii.     Construction Photos – A complete photo journal of project will be taken.
  3. iii.     Daily Logs – Human resource and material delivers will be monitored on a daily basis.
  4. iv.     Testing/Inspection Services – This will be completed as per ASTM specification and standards.
  5. v.     Shop Drawings/Submittals – The project team will ensure timely approvals and the necessary routing to applicable parties.
  6. vi.     Document Management –  A complete document control system will be in place to include color coded files, indexing, and electronic back up.
  7. vii.     Progress Meetings – These meetings will be held weekly and have concise meeting minutes taken as per Roberts Rule of Order.
  8. Schedule Enforcement – The schedule will be monitored and updated as necessary.  The contingency or slack will be monitored closely.
  9. ix.     Progress Reporting – A monthly progress report will be developed for the Woody 2000 steering committee.
  10. x.     Safety Inspections –We will be conducting periodic safety inspections.  The field staff will review safety guidelines for proper rigging and also will receive instruction on Material Data Safety Sheets.
    1. 2. Contractor’s Procedures Manual:

Developed during the design phase of the project, our team will work with each contractor to establish an operating procedure and utilizing proven procedures and systems that have been developed into a simple, non legal language with flow diagrams. This procedures manual will be part of the PMP.

  1. 3. Contract Administration and Field Coordination:

Our approach centers on thorough documentation, adept field coordination and strong management.  The project manager will oversee the coordination of efforts between each contract, including issues such as accessibility to the site, maintenance of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, eliminating disruption to on-going existing activities, tie-ins of utilities and roadways, compatibility of construction methods, construction phasing and utilization of construction forces.

  1. 4. Information Management Systems (Communications Plan):

The Information Management System implements, tracks and records all the various elements of Project management, planning, organization, meetings and reviews, site logistics, shop drawings, field orders, and document control. The following are subsets of document control:

  1. Cost management – budgeting, value engineering, estimating, project accounting.
  2. Schedule management – scheduling, closeout
  3. Risk management – safety program, insurance, bonding
  4. Quality management – design quality, procurement quality, construction quality
  1. 5. Decision Tracking: The decision tracking system is designed to keep the project moving.  Whenever a critical issue is identified by the project team, the sys-tem tracks the issue, its impact, its source, and the party responsible for the action on the issue.  As individuals take action on the issue, the system tracks each action taken and identifies the next responsible party in the process of reaching a decision on the issue.  As each issue is resolved, the decision tracking system closes the issuer, but preserves the history of the decision process.  Using the reporting features of the decision tracking system, the Project Manager can know at any time what issues are open, who has the responsibility for dealing with the issues at the present time, and when that action needs to be taken; (Accountability in Action).  The tracking system provides the foundation that allows an owner to avoid the problems brought on by indecision, procrastination, or lack of awareness. All projects set up and maintain the reports and logs described above in addition to the following summarized list of controls and reporting methods.  These items are always maintained by the job site staff and can be located at the job site trailer.
  2. 6. RFI’s – Requests for Information: These forms are used regularly to stimulate communication between all project team members, including the owner and architect.  These requests receive immediate attention and are invaluable in aiding the team members to anticipate conflicts before they become problems.
  3. 7. Design Package Log: Tracks drawings, specifications and key dates as needed.
  4. 8. Pending C.O. Log: This log tracks owner and designer wish list items and cost.  They allow for timely decisions while maintaining the project budget.
  5. 9. Team Action List: Tracks actions needed to accomplish schedule goals and facilitated those actions.
  6. 10. Bi-Weekly Schedules and Meetings: Meetings, which facilitated communication and planning among team members.  These were directed mainly at trade contractors, but also encouraged needed support from the owner and architect.
  7. 11. Overall Project Schedule: Developed early in the project with input and buy-in information from trade contractors.  This was used to judge the overall project performance.
  8. 12. Design Team Meetings: A weekly review of design progress was accomplished, and provided an opportunity to look ahead for construction needs.
  9. 13. Liaison Meeting: Bi-Weekly meetings included owner representatives to facilitate major decisions and exchange valuable information.
  10. 14. Submittal Log: Tracks all submittals by trade contractors requiring approval by the architect and engineers.  Critical submittals and overdue submittals were discussed at the regular team meetings.
  11. 15. Daily Manpower Reports: This report tracks trade contractor’s manpower.  This report is reviewed daily and weekly to monitor adequacy of work forces necessary to maintain schedule.
  12. 16. CCA Status Reports: Tracked changes (Contract Change Authorization) and the Owner’s contingencies available for changes.  This is reviewed at the regular team meetings.
  13. 17. Alternate/Value Engineering Log: Tracked potential additive and deductive changes that the Owner may wish to implement.  Many items were deferred until it as determined whether the item needed to be incorporated.
  14. 18. Three-Month Calendar: A three-month calendar with all upcoming meetings and major events was included with all meeting minutes and was updated weekly.
  15. 19. Compatibility

a. Confirm with the selected contractors and vendors that the planned construction is compatible with the master schedule, master budget and quality expectations.

b. All contractors are expected to participate in the Quality Assurance program adopted for the project.

  1. 20. Procurement Compliance

a. Coordinate with the Owner’s program, the master schedule, the master budget and the needs of other consultants; develop a master procurement plan and schedule which outlines items, including long-lead items, materials or services to be procured from construction contractors, vendors or others.

b. As the successful bidder executes the required work, confirm the agreed specifications are followed.

c. Coordinate the furnishing of materials between the contractors and vendors

d. Coordinate the logistics of storing of furnishings, fixtures, materials and equipment

  1. 21. Requests for Information

a. Confirm requests for information are relayed among the parties

b. Expedite responses Shop Drawings & Submittals

c. Confirm that contractors develop & maintain shop drawings logs, submittal logs and change order logs

d. Conduct progress reviews with team members to confirm compliance with schedule, budget, and quality

  1. 22. Progress Payment Reports

a. Develop and review progress payment reports

b. Evaluate and comment on applications for payment

c. With design team, make approval recommendations to Owner Change Orders

d. Establish change order request process and necessary backup

e. Review change order requests

f. With design team, make approval recommendations to Owner Claims Resolution (if necessary)

g. Review claims entered by others

h. Investigate details and form positions for review and approval by Owner

i. Monitor claims resolution plans and coordinate activities

j. Confirm with contractors that Owner required insurance is continuously in place

f. Post Construction process

  1. Performance Compliance
    1. Coordinate the handing over of new systems and facilities to maintenance personnel
    2. Monitor the start-up, testing, and balancing of mechanical and electrical systems
    3. Review contractor’s punch lists and lists of non-conforming work
    4. Assist Owner and consultants with establishing Owner’s punch lists
    5. Pursue full resolution and correction of outstanding work items with applicable contractors
  2. Operating and Maintenance Manuals
    1. Obtain operating and maintenance manuals from consultants, contractors or vendors
    2. Schedule dry run for train production equipment and other systems that may be running for the first time
    3. Check manuals for conformance, log in, and distribute to the Owner’s maintenance personnel
    4. Coordinate the training of Owner’s personnel in the operating and maintenance of systems
  3. As-Built Drawings and Specifications
    1. Confirm that required as-built drawings and specifications are submitted to the Owner
    2. Maintain a log of inspection reports and give to Owner upon completion Certificates of Substantial Completion
    3. Review certificates of substantial completion
    4. Verify compliance with the terms of the contracts
  4. Certificates of Final Completion
    1. Review certificates of final completion
    2. Verify compliance with the terms of the contracts
    3. Verify that all contractors are committed to the completion of the project as specified.

g. Quality Control

1. Procedures and processes

This starts with the total philosophy and is implemented through each aspect of the project.  Quality assurance of The Woody 2000 project can only be accomplished through proactive involvement of the management team, interaction with the Owner, and design personnel. Many tools are used to ensure that we deliver a quality product to the Owner.

Those tools include:

a. Design reviews-Constructability reviews & value analysis

b. Submittal control and approval

c. Pre-construction meetings for major building components

d. RFIs that clarify designer’s intent and remedy conflicts

e. Partnering Sessions at key intervals of the project to clarify project standards and goals

f. Trade contractor education in the QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) requirements of the project.

Quality assurance and control of the Construction Manager and subcontractors and in field operations will begin during the design phase to determine that the contract requirements are clearly understood by all parties.  Periodic inspections will be conducted to ensure that all items are in conformance, or that non-conforming items are corrected.  All parties involved with the project are expected to participate and each subcontractor will be expected to sign off on our written program.

Procedures will include:

a. Scope reviews with subcontractors prior to bid and award

b. Review of quality control checklists that apply to subcontractors

c. Mock-ups, to be reviewed by Owner and design team.

d. Conduct periodic observations of the subcontractors’ work

e. Determine if work is in compliance with contract requirements

f. Note in the daily log or in the daily inspection report and attach the daily log

g. Distribute Architect’s Field Reports and monitor corrective measures

h. Prepare and distribute completion lists towards project completion and monitor status

i. Prepare punch lists prior to Consultant inspections with goal of Zero Punch list

j. Enforce Safety Program during construction phase

k. Maintain clean job site

I have found that the best way to avoid serious quality problems is to identify each quality issue as early as possible.  This forces each subcontractor to focus on quality early in the project and maintain that focus throughout.  Quality is built in from the beginning…it won’t happen at the end of the project. I understand that Quality is not an add-on or extra, but a critical and essential part of a successful project.  I recognize that Quality must be driven from the corporate level and measured throughout our organization. It is imperative that the entire Woody 2000 project team is on board with the enforcing of a very strict quality assurance program.

2. Enforcement

A regular quality inspection process will be documented and necessary notices to correct will be issued to the parties involved.  If the quality infraction is not corrected pr mitigated properly, a 48 hour notice will be given to the parties involved, requiring an immediate resolution.

3. Phased and Final Punch lists and completion certification and review

A preliminary punch list will be given to the subcontractors involved as certain phases of construction are completed.  The subcontractors are expected to correct items to eliminate the need for them to be added  to the final punch list.  Once a sub-contractor has completed their appropriate punch list, a completion certificate will be issued in order to release retainers held as per the contract documents.

VI. Project Narrative

a. Project description

The project will consist of a building expansion to the existing structure that totals 25 percent of the existing floor space.  We will match the existing design of the exterior envelope and establish a concise mobilization plan to minimize interruptions to the existing manufacturing process. The construction of the building structure will consist of 12” masonry wall construction with an exterior stucco façade and a decorative masonry wainscot.  The roofing system will match the existing three ply built up roof and an additional top coat will be installed on the entire building to eliminate the potential for water intrusion. The interior finishes will include a drywall on metal frame system with acoustical ceiling panels to match existing.  The floors will have an industrial based epoxy coating and the existing facility flooring will be repaired and repainted as necessary. The structural footers and lag bolts will be installed as per the structural drawings and shop drawings provided by the equipment manufacturer. The expansion will include new restroom facilities to comply with regulatory requirements and a renovation of existing office spaces.  The conceptual building estimate is based on an average labor standard for the British Columbia area.  There is an equipment allowance for the production train based upon estimates given by the manufacturer. Mechanical and electrical systems are included as per the initial program provided by the Woody 2000 project steering committee conceptual strategic plan.  The site work will include the necessary landscape and hardscape to match the existing facility. There will be a 1 million dollar contingency on the project.

b. Comparative analysis of prior process to proposed process

VII.  Project Network Diagram

a. Proposed methodology

The following Project Network Diagram was prepared for The Woody 2000 Project and is based upon a typical schedule for the assumed scope of work.  This PND will be expanded upon as we begin the preconstruction planning process.

The project duration is expected to be 78 weeks long.  This is based on the conceptual estimate and the aforementioned programming parameters.

b. Critical Path and Milestones

The critical path is the Strategic planning to Program Design to Construction Shell to Interior Finishes to Project Closeout.  A complete detailed PND will be completed as part of the Project Management Plan along with an associated Overall Project Schedule.  Schedule management will be part of the preconstruction and construction phases as actual dates will be entered to ensure that there is no schedule creep.

c. Overall Project Schedule

The Overall Project schedule will be completed during the preconstruction phase.  A preliminary project schedule is attached as Exhibit A.

VIII.  Projected Cost Summaries

a. Conceptual Estimate

Square Foot Cost Estimate Report
Estimate Name: The Woody 2000 Project
Amelia Holdings Ltd
Industrial Estates , Someplace , BC
Building Type:
Store, Department, 1 Story with Face Brick with Concrete Block Back-up / R/Conc. Frame
Story Count: 1
Story Height (L.F.): 14
Floor Area (S.F.): 110000
Labor Type: Union
Basement Included: No
Data Release: Year 2010 Costs are derived from a building model with basic components.
Cost Per Square Foot: $122.19 Scope differences and market conditions can cause costs to vary significantly.
Building Cost: $13,441,000
% of Total Cost Per S.F. Cost
A Substructure 8.30% $7.62 $838,000
A1010 Standard Foundations $0.95 $104,000
Strip footing, concrete, reinforced, load 5.1 KLF, soil bearing capacity 3 KSF, 12″ deep x 24″ wide
spread footings, 3000 PSI concrete, load 75K, soil bearing capacity 3 KSF, 5′ – 6″ square x 13″ deep
A1030 Slab on Grade $5.44 $598,000
Slab on grade, 4″ thick, non industrial, reinforced
A2010 Basement Excavation $0.24 $26,500
Excavate and fill, 100,000 SF, 4′ deep, sand, gravel, or common earth, on site storage
A2020 Basement Walls $1.00 $109,500
Foundation wall, CIP, 4′ wall height, direct chute, .148 CY/LF, 7.2 PLF, 12″ thick
B Shell 49.50% $45.67 $5,024,000
B1010 Floor Construction $0.81 $89,000
Cast-in-place concrete column, 12″ square, tied, 100K load, 14′ story height, 142 lbs/LF, 4000PSI
B1020 Roof Construction $32.80 $3,607,500
Precast concrete floor, 30’x30′ bay, 12″x36″ T, 8″ plank, 24″x92″ L beam, 40 PSF superimposed load, 121 PSF total load
B2010 Exterior Walls $4.91 $540,000
Brick wall, composite double wythe, standard face/CMU back-up, 8″ thick, perlite core fill
B2020 Exterior Windows $1.22 $134,500
Aluminum flush tube frame, for 1/4″glass, 1-3/4″ x 4-1/2″, 5’x6′ opening, 1 intermediate horizontal
Glazing panel, plate glass, 3/8″ thick, tinted
B2030 Exterior Doors $0.53 $58,000
Doors, stainless steel & glass, balanced, standard, premium, 3′-0″ x 7′-0″ opening
Door, steel 18 gauge, hollow metal, 1 door with frame, no label, 3′-0″ x 7′-0″ opening
B3010 Roof Coverings $5.35 $588,000
Roofing, asphalt flood coat, gravel, base sheet, 3 plies 15# asphalt felt, mopped
Insulation, rigid, roof deck, composite with 2″ EPS, 1″ perlite
Roof edges, aluminum, duranodic, .050″ thick, 6″ face
Gravel stop, aluminum, extruded, 4″, mill finish, .050″ thick
B3020 Roof Openings $0.06 $7,000
Roof hatch, with curb, 1″ fiberglass insulation, 2′-6″ x 3′-0″, galvanized steel, 165 lbs
Smoke hatch, unlabeled, galvanized, 2′-6″ x 3′, not incl hand winch operator
C Interiors 20.60% $18.97 $2,087,000
C1010 Partitions $1.32 $145,500
Metal partition, 5/8″fire rated gypsum board face, 1/4″ sound deadening gypsum board, 2-1/2″ @ 24″, same opposite face, no insulation
1/2″ fire rated gypsum board, taped & finished, painted on metal furring
C1020 Interior Doors $1.78 $195,500
Door, single leaf, kd steel frame, hollow metal, commercial quality, flush, 3′-0″ x 7′-0″ x 1-3/8″
C3010 Wall Finishes $0.21 $23,000
Painting, interior on plaster and drywall, walls & ceilings, roller work, primer & 2 coats
C3020 Floor Finishes $11.65 $1,281,000
Carpet tile, nylon, fusion bonded, 18″ x 18″ or 24″ x 24″, 35 oz
Tile, ceramic natural clay, marble, synthetic 12″ x 12″ x 5/8″
C3030 Ceiling Finishes $4.02 $442,000
Acoustic ceilings, 5/8″ plastic coated mineral fiber, 12″ x 12″ tile, 25 ga channel grid, adhesive back support
D Services 21.60% $19.95 $2,195,000
D2010 Plumbing Fixtures $1.15 $126,000
Water closet, vitreous china, bowl only with flush valve, wall hung
Urinal, vitreous china, wall hung
Lavatory w/trim, vanity top, PE on CI, 20″ x 18″
Service sink w/trim, PE on CI,wall hung w/rim guard, 24″ x 20″
Water cooler, electric, wall hung, dual height, 14.3 GPH
D2020 Domestic Water Distribution $0.30 $33,500
Gas fired water heater, commercial, 100< F rise, 500 MBH input, 480 GPH
D2040 Rain Water Drainage $0.56 $62,000
Roof drain, CI, soil, single hub, 6″ diam, 10′ high
Roof drain, CI, soil, single hub, 6″ diam, for each additional foot add
D3050 Terminal & Package Units $6.00 $660,000
Rooftop, single zone, air conditioner, department stores, 10,000 SF, 29.17 ton
D4010 Sprinklers $2.27 $250,000
Wet pipe sprinkler systems, steel, light hazard, 1 floor, 50,000 SF
D4020 Standpipes $0.19 $20,500
Wet standpipe risers, class III, steel, black, sch 40, 6″ diam pipe, 1 floor
Wet standpipe risers, class III, steel, black, sch 40, 6″ diam pipe, additional floors
D5010 Electrical Service/Distribution $0.95 $104,500
Service installation, includes breakers, metering, 20′ conduit & wire, 3 phase, 4 wire, 120/208 V, 1200 A
Feeder installation 600 V, including RGS conduit and XHHW wire, 1200 A
Switchgear installation, incl switchboard, panels & circuit breaker, 1200 A
D5020 Lighting and Branch Wiring $7.31 $804,000
Receptacles incl plate, box, conduit, wire, 2.5 per 1000 SF, .3 W per SF, with transformer
Miscellaneous power, to .5 watts
Central air conditioning power, 3 watts
Fluorescent fixtures recess mounted in ceiling, 1.6 watt per SF, 40 FC, 10 fixtures @32watt per 1000 SF
D5030 Communications and Security $1.18 $130,000
Communication and alarm systems, fire detection, addressable, 100 detectors, includes outlets, boxes, conduit and wire
Fire alarm command center, addressable with voice, excl. wire & conduit
Internet wiring, 2 data/voice outlets per 1000 S.F.
D5090 Other Electrical Systems $0.04 $4,500
Generator sets, w/battery, charger, muffler and transfer switch, gas/gasoline operated, 3 phase, 4 wire, 277/480 V, 7.5 kW
E Equipment & Furnishings 0.00% $0.00 $0
E1090 Other Equipment $0.00 $0
F Special Construction 0.00% $0.00 $0
G Building Site work 0.00% $0.00 $0
Subtotal 100% $92.22 $10,144,000
Contractor Fees (General Conditions,Overhead,Profit) 25.00% $23.05 $2,536,000
Architectural Fees 6.00% $6.92 $761,000
User Fees 0.00% $0.00 $0
Total Building Cost $122.19 $13,441,000

Complete Budget Recapitulation

Site Development:             $500,000

Building Construction Cost:     #13,441,000

Production Equipment:      $2,000,000

Contingency:               $1,000,000

Total Projected Cost:      $16,991,000

The cost summary is a conceptual estimate based on stated assumptions.

A complete budget planning process is completed during the preconstruction phase of the project.  The scope will be managed as to keep within the approved budget.  The contingency fund will be closely monitored and only used with the Woody 2000 steering committee approval.

IX. Summary Evaluation and Conclusion

a. Analysis of proposed to actual project

Woody 2000 Project Comparative Analysis Exhibit C

It is our intent to provide the above services in order to eliminate the potential problems that would arise using the original Woody 2000 project methodology.

b. Evaluation of end project

I believe that the needs that were specified during the background investigation along with the information gathered at the strategic planning sessions and departmental focus group sessions will give us the proper programming information to implement the project within the specified budgets and timelines.

c. Client exit interviews and evaluation

At the end of the proposed project, we will perform a post-implementation audit and Final Project Report.

    1. Post-implementation Audit

The post-implementation audit is an essential procedure that will be during the post-construction phase. During this process, the Project Management Plan(PMP) is critiqued and there are a number of comparative analyses performed on the essential processes followed during the construction phase.

We will schedule three specific days with the key project staff to discuss the project and develop a checklist of items to discuss for the audit. All historical data on the project is cumulated and reviewed.

  1. The existing project management team is then joined by another project manager and a corporate project executive. We will also ask the Woody 2000 executive team to give us input on the final project.
  2. The information gathered is used as a basis for the final project report. We have developed a standard of questions and tasks that are asked and answered that include the following:
  1. i.     Evaluate the project outcome and compare the outcome to the project program, mission statement and owner’s goals and requirements.
  2. ii.     Develop a comparative analysis of the projected to actual project schedule and then identify key indicators and causes for the change in projected to actual schedule.
  3. iii.     Prepare a comparative budget analysis between the forecasted and actual budgets. Identify weaknesses and trends in buyout and vender escalations.
  4. iv.     Identify weaknesses, shortfalls and what scope changes  areas caused the use of the contingency funds.
  1. We will review the project management methodology and determine if the staffing requirements were sufficient, if the PMP met the requirements dictated by the Woody 2000 stated project objectives, and if the overall project was successful.
  2. We will conduct an owner representative post-construction phase interview to confirm that the project was successful and what areas could in the project management process could have been improved. An initial interview is held privately with the Woody 2000 executive steering committee  and then is followed by an owner-project team closing luncheon.  This informal meeting is with the entire project management staff, corporate project executives, and owner representatives and has been very successful on all of our projects.  Recognition certificates are given and there is a time that individual testimonies are given.

2.  Post-project Appraisals and Final Report

A final project appraisal is completed and summarized in a Final Report and is a full documentation of the project.  This report is a tabbed, fully bound manual and, in most instances, is several volumes in length.

d. Concluding statement

I have outlined the basic Project Management Plan in this proposal and I feel confident that the proposed  Woody 2000 project would be completed successfully within the owner’s expectations and defined parameters.

Proposed Project Schedule


Preliminary Projected 5 Year Cash flow



1.  Constraints – Springer Link Data  (1999). Increasing Constraint Propagation by Redundant Modeling: an Experience Report [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 9 June 2010).

2.  Construction Specifications Institute  (2010). CSI Master format [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 21 June 2010).
3. reference dictionary (2010). [Online]. Available from (Accessed: 21 June 2010).

4.  RS Means Estimating Reference 2010). [Online]. Available from (Accessed: 22 June 2010).

5. The Blending of Traditional and
Agile Project Management (2010). [Online]. Available from (Accessed: 20 June 2010).

6.  University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (2010). Reading Wideman, M. (n.d.) Project management case study: the custom woodworking company — Woody 2000 project [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 23 June 2010).

7.  Whole Building Design Guide (2010). Project Delivery Teams [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 20 June 2010).
8.  Wysocki, R.K. (2009) Effective Project Management: traditional, agile, extreme. 5th ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing. (pp. 109-440).


The Matching of Leadership Style to Project Type

The Matching of Leadership Style to Project Type

Over the past twenty five years I personally noticed a dramatic shift within the philosophies that surround the culture of the project management team.  In the eighties, the management team was following more of a top down approach with the project manager being the primary source for leadership, technical guidance, and decision making. This style of management has evolved on more complex projects to more of a team based management system with the project manager comporting like a facilitator or technical coach. From a practical standpoint,  I have had many opportunities to assign project managers to various projects and it was interesting to review the findings in the article by Muller R. and Turner, J.R. (2007)and to examine how their findings parallel my actual experiences in managing a team of over 30 project managers. It is imperative to understand the management styles and leadership idiosyncrasies of your management team and decipher the best type of project manager that would suit a certain project based on their strengths and style. In this summation, I will evaluate the authors’ claim that the project manager’s leadership style influences project success and how certain leadership traits, as stated by the authors, can be unimportant and possibly detrimental to the success of a project.

Background Information

There are various schools of thought in regarding to project management styles, techniques and practices.  The authors outline the evolution of the six leadership schools that have occurred over the past seventy five years along with the three historical schools. The early schools were described(Muller R. and Turner J.R. p. 22,2007) as the following:

  1. Trait School – This school of thought believes that leaders are “born with” a natural leadership capability.  It is interesting to note that there is some validity to this claim as you can discretely observe certain children being “leaders of the pack”.
  2. Behavioral School – This school believes that behavior of leadership styles are developed and taught.  In a modern day application, many leaders and managers attend various “self help” seminars and conferences that deal directly with developing behavior and improvement of behavioral skills.
  3. Contingency School – This school identifies seven traits (Turner J.R. n.d.) of project managers as problem solving, results oriented, energy, initiative, self confidence, perspective, communication, and negotiating ability.  He further states that each one of these styles is appropriate to the stages of a project as listed as feasibility, design, execution, and close out. In reality, I practice this methodology when selecting or assigning project managers to a task, activity, or project. I may select a project manager who has more initiative, perspective and self confidence to a feasibility or conceptual design phase.  I would employ a project manager that is more results oriented for an execution or close out stage.
  4. Visionary School – This school identifies two types of leaders that focus on relationship and communicating values, and implementing process and are referred to as transformational and transactional leaders.  Merriam-Webster dictionary ( 2010)defines transformational as “ the operation of changing (as by rotation or mapping) one configuration or expression into another in accordance with a mathematical rule; relationship based” and transactional is defined as “a system of psychotherapy involving analysis of individual episodes of social interaction for insight that will aid communication; process based”. It is interesting to note that these two types of leaders are present in my present pool of project managers.  According to Muller R. and Turner J.R. p. 22 (2007), “…based on the work of Dulewicz and Higgs and our results from our interviews, we would predict that they would find a transformational leadership style preferred on complex change projects and a transactional style preferred on simple, engineering projects”.  This result does coincide with my assessment that transformational project managers make better facilitators on large projects and transactional project managers are more analytical by nature; being more task process orientated and able to complete more efficiently simple tasks, activities or projects.
  5. Emotional Intelligence School –  This school assumes that all managers have some level of intelligence and what differs is the managers emotional response to situations(Muller R. and Turner J.R. p. 22 (2007).  This school was expanded by Goleman, Boyatzis,  and McKee in a book published by the Harvard Business School Press in 2002 that identified nineteen leadership competencies that were grouped into four dimensions:

a.  Self Awareness (Personal competency)

b.  Self Management (Personal Competency)

c.  Social Awareness (Social Competency)

d.  Social Management (Social Competency)

They also determined six management styles known as visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding. The first four styles were found to be adequate in as a management style while the last two were considered toxic.  Their conclusions are very prevalent in my management organization as that I require project managers on substantial and complex projects to exemplify leadership that is calm and collective with their emotions “in check” to deal with problems, obstacles, and a multitude of personalities on a major project. I assign managers that are self-confident and that are aware of the emotional needs of the project management team and who exemplify an affiliative and coaching style of management.

6.  Competency School – This school encompasses all the previous schools of thought and determined three competency types; intellect, managerial, and emotional and three leadership styles; goal-oriented, involving, and engaging.  The dictates of this school are interesting as Dainty, Cjeng, and Moore (2005) conclude that construction project managers follow two core competencies which are team leadership and self control. Again, you can note that these findings support the “team concept” and that self control (which I would say is selflessness, nurturing, facilitating and uplifting the project team) are key disciplines that are necessary for project managers within my organization.  The article expands on the mechanisms of the “Competency School” and how the styles given are essential to promote the project manager as being well rounded in competencies and styles of management.

Research Model

The authors developed two hypothesis’ as a basis for their study (Muller R. and Turner J.R. p. 22,2007) and are described as:

  • Hypothesis 1 – The project manager’s competency, which includes his or her leadership style, is positively correlated.
  • Hypothesis 2 – Different combinations of project leadership competency are correlated with success on different types of project.

To test these hypotheses, the authors conducted a quantitative study using a questionnaire and a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews.  They developed a comprehensive listing of management styles with interrelated precepts from the various schools of leadership thought. The interviews dealt with the type of projects, their application areas, complexity, strategic importance, culture, and contract type and were conducted by interviewing assigning managers or sponsors.  After the interviews were completed, a web based questionnaire was developed that considered project type, project success, leadership, and demographic. The interviews were conducted with 14 people from various businesses and cultures and the questionnaire had a response of approximately 400 people.

Results and Conclusions

The results of the interviews and web-based questionnaires were tabulated and validated through a comparative process of both the quantitative and qualitative results. A number of conclusions supported the authors’ two original hypotheses and they were able to publish the following results(Muller R. and Turner J.R. pp. 26-31, 2007):

1.  In high performance projects, emotional competencies are significant contributors to project success.  This includes conscientiousness, sensitivity, and communication. As I previously mentioned, the project manager’s role on complex and high performance projects is more of a facilitator of systems and that the methodology used to communicate and implement project directives is key and pivotal to the success of a project.

2.  In engineering projects, conscientiousness and sensitivity are key management competencies with a positive management style of motivation and communication.  Vision was noted as a detrimental  style and I would agree since engineering projects are more scope oriented with task accountabilities and sensitivity to accomplish the project as defined.  Vision is more of a conceptual process that may be part of early vision casting and not part of an engineering process that is already defined within a Project Management Plan(PMP).

3.  It was concluded that “Emotional Competence” significantly contributes to project success, thus supporting my own philosophy that project managers need to be nurturing and considerate to the emotional needs of the project team and be cognizant of the culture of a project.

4.  Hypothesis 1 was supported by the studies that concluded that “Project manager leadership style influences project success”.  Unfortunately, I have discovered this truth the hard way as I have had to replace the project manager on a few projects because their leadership style was not conducive to the success of the project.

5.  Hypothesis 2 was also supported by the studies that concluded that “Different leadership competencies are appropriate in different projects.” And this finding is consistent to my practical assigning of certain project managers to certain types of projects.  For instance, a few years ago I completed a substantial project for the US Department of Defense, this project had fourteen different project managers working simultaneously on different sub-projects.  When developing the management strategy for the project, we established a chart that identified each the management styles and individual competencies of each project manager.  We then reviewed and charted each one of the activities of the sub-projects and matched the project managers accordingly based on their leadership style and the needs of the sub-projects.

Detrimental Factors

The study identified strategic perspective and vision as unimportant and even detrimental in project managers (Muller R. and Turner J.R. p. 31, 2007). I would understand how these styles of leadership would be unimportant since a construction project manager is typically employed after the project has materialized, however, the exception for the use of these two elements would be if a project manager was involved in the initial concept or strategic vision casting phase. Project managers that are visionary tend to be used within the early stages in the design development phase of preconstruction.  A project manager needs to focus on achieving project goals by implementing the PMP and an must be sensitive to the needs of the project.  He must also be able to communicate and actualize the established PMP that has undergone extensive planning during the preconstruction phase.

Summary Evaluation

After reviewing the authors’ conclusions, I have determined that their hypotheses are accurate and with merit.  I have personally experienced the outcomes of these two hypotheses given and have practiced their precepts in the planning and implementation of projects I have been managed. According to the National Institute of Building Sciences (2010), “Assembling the correct team is critical to achieving the best outcomes possible and minimizing risk and loss”. .


1. reference dictionary (2010). [Online]. Available from (Accessed: 21 May 2010).

2. University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (2010). Reading Muller R. and Turner J.R. 2007. Matching the project manager’s leadership style to project type [Online]. Available from: University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (Accessed: 21 May 2010).

3.  Whole Building Design Guide (2010). Project Delivery Teams [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 22 May 2010).

The Four Types of Constraints used in Determining Task Dependencies

The Four Types of Constraints used in Determining Task Dependencies

As part of project management planning, it is necessary to develop a concise and detailed project network diagram in order to complete an accurate and concise project schedule.  The establishment of task dependencies allows us to determine the methodologies needed to estimate task duration and the dynamic on how the tasks interrelate. By understanding these dependencies, a project manager can contemplate the best approach toward the overall project schedule and identify tasks that have potential to skew the project schedule.  Task dependencies deal with the relationships between given tasks and how they affect each other. The four task dependencies as stated by Wysocki, (2009 pp. 166-167) are Finish-to-start(FS), Start-to-start(SS), Start-to-finish(SF), and Finish-to-finish(FF). The types of dependencies used depends on the constraints that consist between various tasks that have been identified for the project. Understanding the dependencies of each task helps the project management effort to better understand the intricacies and correlation of each task.  There are four types of constraints in determining task dependency as described in our textbook (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 167-171) which are: Technical constraints, Management constraints, Interproject constraints, and Date constraints. During the preconstruction phase of a project, the management team will hold strategic planning sessions to specifically detail out the project network diagram and the overall project schedule.  I have encountered all four types of constraints in project network diagramming and will illustrate how these constraints have affected the sequencing of the tasks on previous projects.

  1. Technical constraints – These constraints deal with the actual construction processes that are tasked to complete an activity or assembly.  It has been my experience,  that technical constraints are the most common type of constraint and in many instances are based on practicality of building methods and standards. For instance, in constructing a footer assembly, excavation and trenching must first be completed(Task 1), then the forms must be put in place(Task2), then the structural rebar must be set (Task 3), then the concrete must be poured(Task4).  In this simple example each task must be completed before moving on to the next task.  This is known as a Finish-to-start(FS) dependency. The completion of each predecessor task determines when the next task can begin. It may be necessary for the project manager to make some decisions that are discretionary. These “judgment calls” (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 167)are decisions or strategies that the project manager may take in modifying the sequencing of tasks to a Start-to-start(SS)dependency. For instance, if the crew forming the footer assembly is ahead of schedule and there is a risk of rain, the project manager might relocate the crew to another task in order to eliminate the possibility of a washed out footer form. The project manager also may use Best-practices constraints(Wysocki, 2009 pp. 168) as he may use his own experiences from similar tasks or projects to adjust the schedule accordingly.  Using the aforementioned illustration, a project manager may determine that the overall project schedule could be accelerated if the footer crew was split and began performing their tasks concurrently at different sides of the building. I have found that it is quite necessary to communicate with field supervisory staff in order to maximize opportunities that may arise in performing tasks concurrently.  There are also Logical constraints (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 168) that a project manager uses based on his own reasoning due to the way he may think the overall project schedule could be optimized. I believe that we must use logic in all our decisions and that sometimes the use of logic, based on our experiences and past practical techniques, can provoke us to establish a certain constraint on a task. As an example,  I have discovered that “Threshold Inspections” on Federally funded projects can cause a lag variable of up to 10 days after the completion of a certain task, therefore, logic tells me that I have to schedule certain tasks concurrently and shift the resources around the project as not to delay productivity on a project. Unique requirements (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 169) are a type of technical constraints that deal with a critical resource or a task that has a unique requirement that affects the successor task. There are unique requirements usually on all projects that can be from materials testing, regulatory inspections, specialized equipment, and other unique resources.
  2. Management constraints – This type of constraint is a management-imposed constraint and is different than the technical constraint since it can be reversed in comparison to the technical restraint that cannot(Wysocki, 2009 pp. 169). Many times, I have changed a 7 day work week to a 5 or 6 day work week because the project may be ahead of schedule and/or there will be a time that certain tasks may be completed a bit too early for the proper sequencing of the project.  Using double or triple daily shifts are also management constraints that are discretionary and usually can be reversed if necessary.
  3. Interproject constraints – This type of constraint is based upon the premise that a deliverable of one project or task is needed to complete another project(Wysocki, 2009 pp. 169-170). It is necessary to identify Interproject constraints during the early stages of project planning in order to account for any potential delays caused by an outside source. I have encountered many Interproject constraints specifically when it comes to custom or  manufactured systems, machinery or products.  For instance, some of our larger development projects have chiller plant facilities  that exceed 30,000 to 40,000 tons of refrigeration; these plants have custom made boilers and associated equipment that is one of a kind and is custom designed and manufactured off site.  It is critical that these various manufacturers and outside sources attend some of the project planning meetings in order to coordinate lead times for design, production, and delivery. This constraint sometimes is used with the Start-to-finish(SF)dependency when an existing boiler system (Task1)is installed then the old boiler system (Task 2) can be discontinued.
  4. Date constraints – Contrary to what the author says regarding Date constraints, this type of constraint is many times necessary and contractually required by the clients that hire our services.  Additionally, Date constraints establishes time milestones or benchmarks on a project that the entire construction team works toward. The three types of date constraints as described by Wysocki (2009 p. 170) are:
    1. No earlier than – Specifies the earliest date that on which a task can be completed.
    2. No later than – Specifies a date by which a task must be completed.
    3. On this date – Specifies the exact date on which a task must be completed.

I have used these types of date constraints on projects and found them to be very useful in maintaining the overall project schedule.  As an example, the “no earlier than” date is often used when installing certain interior finishes to a project. Many times we would not want a certain finish completed due to the possibility that the finish may be marred or ruined is completed prior to some other relevant tasks. In coordinating mechanical and electrical systems, we often use “no later than” date constraint in order to coordinate the various interconnections of these systems.  The “on this date” constraint is often used when there is a utility shutdown or interface with an outside agency that establishes a certain date for a certain task to occur.

As I have mentioned, date constraints are used often on my projects and are generally a requirement from our clientèle.  The US Department of Defense has very strict requirements for completion of projects and often state a definitive completion date and, if not met, they impose liquidated damages that can be considerable.  Many retail and commercial clients use date constraints in order to forecast leases, marketing strategies and financial cash flow projections.

The process of establishing task dependencies is crucial in understanding the dynamic of a project and the development of a functional project management schedule. Understanding the use of constraints is necessary and how the various constraints interrelate to each other and ultimately affect the overall project schedule. A study by Cheng, Choi, Lee and Wu (1999) warns that we must be cautious with potentially being redundant in using constraints, therefore, we need to review our network diagram as a whole and make any necessary adjustments.

Reference List:

  1. Wysocki, R.K. (2009) Effective Project Management: traditional, agile, extreme. 5th ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing. (pp. 167-171)

The Six Methods for Estimating Task Duration

The Six Methods for Estimating Task Duration

During the preconstruction phase of a project, A Project Management Plan (PMP) is prepared to facilitate the implementation of the construction phase of a project.  As part of this process, tasks are assigned to various disciplines that cover everything from the design development and forecasted budget, to the development of standardized systems for cost control, quality assurance, risk, communication, procurement and resource management.  There are six methods of estimating task duration as defined in our textbook (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 149-152) which are: similarity to other activities, historical data, expert advice, Delphi technique, Three-point technique, and Wide-band Delphi technique. I have used these methods on various projects and will illustrate the use of these methods and the variations that occurred comparatively on a 30 story high rise residential structure and a US Department of Defense weapons facility.

1.  Similarity to other activities – This technique is used on all of our projects specifically when it comes up to the Design Development phase of a project. Our typical design process for each project is as follows:
a. Conceptual design with preliminary program budget (30 days)
b. Schematic design with preliminary budget tied to feasibility study (60 days)

c.  50% Design Development (D/D) with revised preliminary budget (60 to 90 days)

d.  100% Design Development with final D/D budget (60 days)

e.  50% Construction Documents with C/D Budget (60 to 90 days)

f.  100% Construction Documents with final C/D budget that will be the basis for the GMP (60 days)

Since we use this standard design methodology in all our substantial design projects, our management team would review  these similar tasks and estimate duration based upon their own experiences to each specific project and the complexities involved with those projects.  In the case of the 30 story residential tower, our team determined that the allocated time for Design Development phase could be reduced by 30 percent due to the fact that the design team experienced many similar projects and that tasks related to D/D could be completed more efficiently.  On the contrary, our team nearly doubled the projected time for the D/D phase on the military installation because of the many unknowns and bureaucratic red tape that typically occurs with government contracts.

2.  Historical Data – When planning a project of similar scope, my management team will review past project tasks and compare the projected schedule that was developed to the actual completed schedule.  Since our firm has completed many high rise residential structures, the development of our tasks for the 30 story residential structure was relatively simple due to the similarity to other high rise structures.  Conversely, we had no historical data that was specific to a unique facility such as the construction of a weapons facility, however, we could dissect similar standardized tasks from other projects and compare area to relevant scope and develop a somewhat accurate forecast. An example of this is the fire suppression systems,  as both projects had a similar fire suppression system, we were able to use historical data on both projects using a formula of historical outputs based on area and size of the structures.

3.  Seeking Expert Advice – Over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the awareness of Green Technology and the use of systems integration in building structures. Our management team has now adopted a standard procedure in which we seek the advice from vendors that are specific to an emerging technology that we might not have sufficient historical data on.  With the 30 story residential project, we asked to help define tasks and duration with the development of an integrated building automation system that included fingerprint technologies for keyless access and HVAC monitoring and efficiency control.

4.  Applying the Delphi Technique – Our management group uses this technique primarily when estimating electrical and mechanical systems.  Due to the specific nature of these systems, a small task group would be assigned to estimate the duration involved in these tasks. On the military installation there was a redundant four pipe mechanical system with a back up generation plant, the task group consisted of electrical and mechanical engineers that individually assessed the tasks involved and estimated duration and then collectively discussed their findings.  They would then repeat the procedure similarly to the Delphi technique and would then report their findings to the management group.

5.  Applying the Three-Point Technique – This technique is used often within our management team in estimating the duration of tasks specific to site development, building structure and interior installations. In many instances the circumstances involving a project may vary depending on location, resources available and the other project specific variables, therefore, we would develop a preliminary task list with projected duration based on some historical data from previous projects and then we would use the Delphi technique to finalize a projected duration. Since there is a diversity of skills and professional affiliations within our management group, we have found that the averages are very close to the actual estimates.

6.  Applying the Wide-Band Delphi Technique – When determining the duration of a task that we do not have historical data or expert advice, our group would employ the Wide-Band Delphi technique. We used this technique a number of times when estimating tasks for the Department of Defense project. Since many of the tasks associated with this project were unordinary in our course of work, we would use this method in obtaining our best task duration estimate.  As an example, this project required the construction of one meter thick walls with 5 centimeter embedded lead plates.  This assembly of building components was an unusual specification, therefore our management team determined best and worst case schedule scenarios and followed this technique in order to determine our estimated duration for this task. This project had numerous proprietary specifications thus requiring our team to often follow the use of this technique.

It has been my experience that the use of these various methods have improved the accuracy of estimating the duration of tasks.  Some of the above methods are used on all projects while others are used in specific situations based on the scope and complexity of the project.  According to  Wysocki, 2009 p. 148, “task duration is a random variable” therefore there are some variable factors that must be considered.  The following are a few examples of some mitigating variables that occurred on the above referenced projects:

1.  Varying skill levels – The skill levels vary from project to project due to location, available resources, existing workloads, and project time constraints.  On the military installation, we were required to work around the clock, therefore causing us to hire various levels of site personnel, some with minimal experience compared to hiring all experienced personnel.  The sheer magnitude of work and along with the time constraints given caused our production to be less than a normal labor projection.

2.  Unexpected events – This can occur on any project and is something that cannot be forecasted except by the placement of proper contingencies. We encountered an unexpected increase in the structural steel package and copper piping package on the 30 story residential project.  This was caused the Chinese government who by an unprecedented move bought iron ore and copper futures causing a drastic delay in the procurement of these materials.  Consequently, the estimated duration for the tasks associated with these materials was increased.

3.  Efficiency of worker’s time – This variable is one of the most difficult to quantify due to the various factors involved including location of project and resource availability. The 30 story residential project was located in a central downtown area that required predominant union labor.  Due to specific union labor standards,  the labor forecasts were increased by 20 percent.  The group came up with this increase based on the increase in breaks and other union requirements.

4.  Mistakes and misunderstandings – According to my experience,  this occurs on all projects especially when the onsite work force exceeds 500 workers or more. Small mistakes are easy to correct and are minor adjustments to the schedule, however, the greater the mistake, the more likely it is to completely miss a duration of some specific task or activity.  An improper application of an elastomeric coating on the military installation caused a substantial delay to our projected schedule.  This was due to improper field communication therefore causing a mistake in the application causing the work to be completed twice.

5.  Common cause variation – Even though our firm gas completed numerous multi story projects, invariably there is always a natural variation in the estimated time it takes to complete a given task.

Reference List:

1)     Wysocki, R.K. (2009) Effective Project Management: traditional, agile, extreme. 5th ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing. (pp. 148-152)

The Five Process Groups

The Five Process Groups

In order to successfully complete a project it is necessary to implement the basic tenets of the five project process groups as defined in our textbook (Wysocki, 2009).  Based on my experiences, I have found that these five processes can be integrated into answering most questions that pertain to a new project or program. In many instances the process groups’ methodologies are overlapping and reoccurring during the entire range of the project.

In the area of construction management, the initial thought or idea of development is typically facilitated through various strategic planning sessions conducted by a small group of owner representatives.  During these initial meetings, the group would define “what business situation is to be addressed”.  In many cases, a preliminary report would be compiled taking into a consideration the overall project objectives, financial feasibility and project due diligence. It must be noted that many owners and investors will wait for a positive go ahead from finance before they proceed to the scoping and planning processes.  The reason for this is that there is usually a considerable amount of costs associated with the scoping and planning of a project.

The Scoping Process Group would be used to answer “what needs to be done”.  During this initial phase,  a development team would be formed that would include owner representation,  design professionals, construction management and financial team representatives.  This scoping process is also known as the pre construction phase of a project.  A number of factors are taken into consideration which include code and zoning compliance,  design and constructability issues, systems analysis, owner needs assessment , and overall design development coordination. The preconstruction phase of a project is crucial in balancing the owner’s needs to budget and design development criteria to schedule.

The Planning Process Group would be used to answer “what will you do”. This process is a continuum of the pre construction phase and would expand the initial program outlined in the scoping process and begin the process of design development.  During this phase, it is necessary to confirm the owner’s needs and constraints regarding overall project budget while validating the schedule and major milestone approvals.  A Project Management Plan would be developed as described by the Whole Building Design Guide (2010), “A Project Management Plan (PMP) documents key management and oversight tasks and is updated throughout the project as changes occur. The plan includes definition of an owner’s program goals, technical requirements, schedules, resources, budgets, and management programs. It also provides a vehicle for including efficiencies in the design and construction phases of all buildings. It will also serve as the basis for completed construction documents and outline the commissioning plan for finished execution”

The Launching Process Group would be used to answer “how will you do it”. Prior to the launching of the project, the pre construction phase must address all the appropriate needs in regards to project design, cost, feasibility, resource management, and the development team’s sign off of the design development documents and corresponding budgets.  Only at this time can the design development documents be released to the construction documents phase.  During this phase,  there  will be an expanded overall project completion schedule with defined critical paths and subsequent related tasks that integrate coordination between the owner and the design and construction teams. Various processes will be developed to include quality assurance, value engineering, change order methodologies, risk management, procurement management, and communication strategies.

The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group would be used to answer “how will you know you did it”.  This process is a continuation of the construction phase and is performed simultaneously with the Launching Process Group.   This process includes design reviews, constructability reviews, value analysis, submittal control and approval, mock-ups and on-site inspection and partnering sessions at key intervals of the project to clarify project standards and goals.  Periodic inspections and procedures are developed to include scope reviews, contract compliance and budget to actual cost comparisons.

The Closing Process Group would be used to answer “how well you do”. This process is the beginning of the post construction phase and takes into consideration the overall commissioning of the facility.  During this process, we would establish a system for performance compliance which includes the handing over of new systems and facilities to the maintenance personnel. An Operating and Maintenance Manual would be prepared that includes manuals from consultants, contractors or vendors and the coordination and training of owner’s personnel in the operating and maintenance of systems.  There would be a confirmation that required as-built drawings and specifications are submitted to the owner along with certificates of substantial completion and verification of compliance with the terms of the contract.

It is my strong belief that each and every one of the components of these five process groups are necessary to have a successful project.  I believe that each process is of equal importance and that each process is codependent on each other.

Reference List:

1)     Wysocki, R.K. (2009) Effective Project Management: traditional, agile, extreme. 5th ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing. (pp. 27-30)

2) Whole Building Design Guide (2010). Strategic Project Plan and Development [Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 1 May 2010).

Hello world!

Welcome to This blog was established as a forum for project managers to post their articles, publications, comments, photos and anything else that has to do with the project management field.  This blog is being started by some colleagues that attend the University of Liverpool Masters if Science in Project Management program.

I hope all will enjoy!

Categories: Uncategorized