Effective Management of
Time on Mega Projects
Why there are so many
problems and how to solve them?
are two primary choices in life; - to accept conditions as they exist,
- or to accept the responsibility for changing them.
Schedule, Float, Critical Path.
Effective Management of Time on Mega
construction industry’s ability to effectively manage time is
getting worse. If the Burj Khalifa in Dubai had been built at the same
speed as the Empire State Building (completed in 1931) it would have
opened two years earlier! Research by the CIOB undertaken in
2007 found most complex/mega projects failed to adequately
mange time, most finished late and the situation was getting worse over
time. Interestingly, the degree of failure seems to be the
same regardless of the size of the penalties imposed for late
completion and regardless of the form of contract used. PPP, Alliance,
Partnering, D&C, and traditional forms of contract all
experienced similar trends and similar levels of failure.
What the CIOB research did uncover was the significant difference in
performance between simple and complex projects and on complex
projects, between those using effective time management compared to
those that did not. The research found:
response to this challenge, the CIOB assembled an international team of
project planning and scheduling experts (including the author)
under the leadership of the then IPP, Keith Pickavance, to implement a
three-phase strategy to provide the required standards of performance
in effective time control. Phase 1 focuses on the education
training and accreditation of project schedulers; it includes:
outcome on simple projects was not influenced by the use, or non-use of
time management; success and failure rates remained the same.
on complex projects (mega-projects) was directly influenced by the
effective use of time management processes. The better the
use, the better the outcome.
2 will focus on the promotion of amendments to standard forms of
contract to facilitate effective time management. Followed by Phase 3,
which will focus on the education, training and accreditation of
development of a Guide
Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects
(the Guide). This work has been completed and the Guide will be
published in November 2010.
production of an educational framework for current and future project
schedulers. This work has started and Patrick Weaver is part of the
dissemination of the Guide to other professions in the industry.
The Guide has introduced a range of practical ideas to enhance the
effective management of time in mega-projects which will be the focus
of this paper:
research has clearly demonstrated time is not money and the effective
management of the use of time cannot be achieved by measuring cost
performance or imposing cost penalties. The team that
developed the Guide have between them, well over 100 years of
experience managing time on major projects world-wide. This paper will
identify the key elements within the Guide that proactively contribute
to the successful delivery of mega projects, relate these ideas to
practical examples of their use on mega-projects and offer a way
forward to improve time management.
need for effective planning ahead of scheduling and the different
objective of these two processes.
concept of ‘schedule density’ and the need to
schedule at an appropriate level of detail based on the contemporary
knowledge available to the project team.
need for on-going dynamic scheduling to manage time. Traditional
contracts set up a fixed schedule that is used for the
‘historical reporting of failure ’. The Guide
advocates processes for proactively minimising delays using schedule
need to contemporaneously assess the impact of delaying events in real
time based on accurate and current schedules to allow effective
concepts are built into our updated 1 & 2 day Successful
report of the UK
Construction Task Force - Rethinking
(Sir John Egan, 1988), © Crown Copyright.
A copy of this report is available for viewing [ download
'Rethinking Construction' ]
- Scope for Improvement
reports by Blake Dawson Lawers (now Ashurst):
- - Report
on the Australian Construction Industry (2006) - Prjoect Pressure
- - Report
on the Australian Construction Industry (2008) - Project Scoping: view
- - Report
on the Australian Construction Industry (2011) - Project
For Construction Innovation (closed 2010), a Guide
to Leading Practice for Dispute Avoidance and Resolution reports:
Construction Conference 2010 (ICC2010)
12 to 13 October
Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia