The role of a project controls professional is in many ways affected by the tender or contract requirements related to scheduling. I’ll refer to the ‘schedule requirements’ from now on for simplicity. If you are at the project owner’s side, your expertise may be needed to draft up these requirements for the future contractors to comply with. If you are at the contractor’s side, you’ll be responsible to make sure that the bid complies with tender requirements. In a later phase, during execution of the contract, you’ll have to guard that all actions and submitted documentation comply with the requirements.
But what can be found in those requirements and what do you have to pay attention to? It does not matter if you’re part of the owner’s or contractor’s project team, it is indispensable to involve a professional with profound knowledge on the subject, because you quickly end up in highly technical discussions between the parties involved.
There is more to showing THE Critical Path in Primavera than your project manager can imagine. Primavera allows you to change certain settings to define the criticality of activities: you can define a threshold value for total float, or choose for the longest path instead of a total float-based critical path.
It is likely that you are interested in all activities that drive a certain milestone. And it makes much more sense to monitor the longest path towards this milestone instead of the critical path defined by total float. This very useful option is however a little bit hidden in Primavera P6 and I desperately want to share it with you! It is a method I use on EVERY SINGLE PROJECT.
When reading through the endless search results while preparing this post on the role of the Planning Engineer and Project Controls Engineer, I came across a company’s website which showed their desperate need for people filling in roles related to project controls in their organisation. They were recruiting for:
Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules have been ruling the world of projects for a long time. Considering the benefits of CPM, that is quite understandable, isn’t it?
They provide the bigger picture of the project and allow for scenario and what-if-analyses, risk analyses, delay analyses and critical path analyses. They are useful for assessing the resource needs, they provide the team with due dates for ordering long lead items and they allow to include contingencies for risks.
As consultants, we frequently come across schedules of substandard quality. You’ve probably seen our top-picks of mistakes as well: overuse of SF-relationships, too many constraints or even the absence of links between the activities. We receive requests to perform a schedule quality analysis more often these days, so it seems that the market starts understanding the importance of quality standards.