Technical Program Abstracts

(CSC) Cost and Schedule Control

NOTE: Program Subject to Change

(CSC-3330) Stage-Gate Controls for a Capital Improvement Program, Part 2

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Mir M. Ahmad; Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE


Successful delivery of capital improvement projects and programs (CIP) requires achieving on-schedule, on-budget projects with optimum quality, all critical for maximum return on investments and revenue generation. Therefore, strong project control system play important roles in the successful delivery of new investments and projects.

Most projects are treated as phased efforts with individual almost stand-alone subprojects, however, in a CIP, the stage-gate methodology includes all phases of projects integrated under a unified project with different stages. A successful approach used is the Stage-Gate approach in which project planning, schedule, change management, and controls are aligned according to stages and critical control gates.

The authors, working for an ENR Top 50 Program Management Firm ranked at #12 in June 2019, have implemented a successful and efficient project planning and controls method for a $100M annual CIP client program following the AACE TCM Framework and Recommended Practices. This paper is the expansion of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) planning and Scheduling (Part I) paper, which was the highly ranked presentation at the 2019 AACE Conference. The authors further elaborate the concepts from that paper into deeper stage-gate planning and a focus on the full project controls aspects the program.

(CSC-3334) Implementing the 1/2-Step Analysis During Your Project: 'The 'Devil' in the Details

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Matthew Nichols, PSP; Brian J. Furniss, PE CFCC PSP


The 1/2-Step Analysis is a schedule analysis method used to quantify schedule progress and revisions on an update-by-update basis. Dividing milestone date changes into progress and revisions values can show an analyst that a milestone that is on-time for each schedule submission is actually losing progress.

This paper will demonstrate to the reader how to perform a 1/2-Step Analysis using Primavera P6. The process in itself is simple, but there are several options and steps that must be performed to achieve an accurate result. To this end, the paper will use effective graphics to detail the activity values that must be modified when performing a 1/2-Step Analysis. It will also cover how to analyze schedule revisions, and importantly how to analyze critical schedule revisions.

Finally, the paper will demonstrate how to perform a 1/2-Step Analysis on a simple house project using examples of increasing complexity. It will then review real-life applications of the 1/2-Step Analysis on several projects, both from the perspective of a monthly schedule review and a forensic schedule analysis.

(CSC-3356) Field-Level Change-Order Management Enhancement

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Neil D. Opfer, CCP CEP PSP FAACE


Oftentimes, construction projects are overrun with change orders to the original work scope.  Few construction projects are completed without change orders.  Given this, it is the exception when a construction contract does not include provisions for handling change orders.  Consulting experience over a number of years by this writer has shown that failure to recognize and properly handle change orders on projects is a key reason for profit fade amongst contractors.

Therefore field personnel need enhanced procedures for recognizing changes and then dealing with these changes to comply with the contract.  There are times when changes to original design drawings seem to be purposely not called out but these same changes will significantly increase the line item's work scope.  Field personnel can take advantage of technology such as electronic document analysis to spot changes in plans that otherwise would have been missed until it was too late in the process.  Enhancements must also be made in field documentation of actual costs involved in the change order which can also benefit through recent technology advances.  Field-level management, particularly, first-line supervisors, often are ill-suited to the paperwork involved in change orders.  Corrections for these issues are essential and this paper's focus.

(CSC-3384) Contractor's "Lean Forward" Approach - Risks and Opportunities

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Samar Zidan Serag El Din, PSP; Ahmed El Fawal


Scope changes are almost inevitable in construction contracts.  Addressing time and cost impacts 'timely' is of paramount importance for proper contract administration, proper project management, smooth project close-out, and ultimately dispute avoidance.  Both owners and contractors have a shared responsibility to follow the contractual change management clauses and procedures.  In a US federal contracts environment, often times one or both parties fail to do so, and end up in a dispute resolution process or even litigation. There are various reasons for these failures from both parties. The bureaucracy of the US federal organizations in addressing contract changes is an owner's common failure. This has often led contractors to adopt a 'Lean-forward' approach on federal construction contracts. Contractors execute changed scope works before agreement with the owner on the schedule and cost impacts through a contract-defined process and a contract modification. Contractors believe this is a delay-mitigation mechanism they are obligated to undertake, and that it hedges their business risks of delays and budget overruns while appeasing the owner. This paper will shed light on the risks and opportunities associated with this approach undertaken by contractors, and provide guidance to contractors' schedulers, project managers and executives regarding this approach.

(CSC-3429) Top Ten Approaches to Achieving the Final Project Completion Date

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Glen R. Palmer, CFCC PSP; Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE


Many projects today fail when it comes to completing on the planned final completion date. This failure is generally due to a number of issues related to the quality of the analysis of delays, owner commitments, and contractor performance problems.  A high level of technical analysis, supported by lessons-learned and deep experience in problem resolution and mitigation of delays, greatly improves the opportunities for achieving on-time completion.  Unfortunately, this high-level technical analysis is often not performed, whether it is due to inexperience, lack of competence, limited time for analysis, or weak analysis.  The use of a system to provide completion prediction and analysis streamlines the effort and ensures that these ten approaches are consistently followed for a successful completion.  

During this presentation, the authors continue their series of 'Top Ten' issues and will give you their top ten approaches for enhancing your project's chances of meeting this planned date. The authors of this paper are widely experienced in planning and scheduling complex projects, dispute resolution analyses, project controls, project management and have testified as experts in forensic and project schedule analysis.

(CSC-3441) Progress Earning Rules of Credit and Their Impact on Cashflow

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Ferdinand R. Karbowski, Jr. PSP


Many owners establish standardized earning rules of credit for progress measurement. Cashflow is most certainly an important consideration on any project whether from an owner's perspective or a contractor's perspective. The weighting associated with these rules of credit will undoubtedly have an impact on cashflow. This paper will discuss and illustrate the impact to cashflow for various rules of credit scenarios. The paper will focus on standard rules of credit for engineering, procurement, and construction. In the end, understanding how rules of credit for progress measurement affect cashflow can lead to a sustainable methodology that be used to mitigate the challenges of accurately measuring projects.

(CSC-3447) The Value Add of High Quality Project Forecasts

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Harlan Doherty


High quality project forecasts that utilize the strength of industry leading enterprise project performance software and feedback driven performance improvement actions add value to the organization by providing a clear view of total project cost relative to budget.  Accurate project cash flow projections, and risk analysis using Monte Carlo on cost and schedule allows project teams to confidently move forward with project funding actions on large scale capital expansion projects.  The organization is better able to make intelligent decisions regarding future project funding actions when it has the benefit of a clear picture regarding where the project currently stands, and how future project cash flow projections will impact overall return on dollars invested in the project.

(CSC-3546) Project Controls Reporting: Having the Message Heard

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Christopher P. Caddell, PE CCP DRMP


Project controls reports during the lifecycle of a project are critical to helping the management team understand how the project is performing from a productivity, progress, schedule, and cost perspective.  These reports provide not only information about performance to date but forecast the likely outcomes at the completion of work.  However, all too often the critical messages in project controls reports are not heard or even worse ignored, negating the benefit they provide in helping the team manage the project to a more successful outcome.  These reports often lack the necessary attributes to ensure the message is heard by the management team such that they act on it.  Best practice project controls reporting depends on having the right content, issued in a timely manner, formatted well, with the issues identified and recommendations provided where possible.  A well-structured, well delivered project controls report is more likely to resonate with the management team and have the impact it should on their decision making.

(CSC-3550) Scope Change Control for KPI Purpose

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Brahim Seddiki, CCP


Key Performance Indicator is becoming a vital tool for tracking an organization's performance and outlining the effectiveness of its various functions and processes that are important for achieving organizational goals. It is also known as KPI or Key Success Indicators. This paper will highlights and describes a methodology that would help to build a comprehensive mathematical model based on historical data (cost, time, physical progress) using ML Supervised Learning to evaluate the scope change control and measure its performance for KPI purposes in three dimensional setup.

Machine Learning used are polynomial regression, logistic regression for classification, gradient descent and entropy.

Meetings & Events