Delay Analysis: and Contract Administration

Previously we discussed the dangers of over reliance on delay analysis based solely on software.

To reiterate we are not suggesting that one should avoid using such analysis – we’re merely advising caution; don’t fall in love with it!

One way to temper one’s love affair is to check the integrity of the schedule, establish alternative results and risk assess. But the best solution is to ensure that one knows and understands the ‘real’ story of the project.

Understand the ‘real story’ of the project

At this point, I could repeat that over used mantra ‘Records, Records, Records’; but what does it mean in practical terms?

It does not mean, for example, designing a multi-page form to be completed by site staff daily.

They have got a job to build and this simply will not happen. It has got to be both practical and workable, so it becomes part of best practice and not a chore. It needs to be simple.

When I first started as a Trainee QS, my then manager used to say he would rather dump unused records in the skip at the end of the project, than not keep them at all. Not really a concern in the digital age but the basic point is valid – it talks to establishing best practice.

Simple means a diary, or daily email, or perhaps a worksheet in a shared folder. Something that takes a few minutes at the beginning or end of the working day. This can then be coordinated by a nominated individual, probably the contract administrator, who can also seek clarification whilst its fresh in the memory. The information can then be summarised in a worksheet-based chronology, which can be used to sort themes, issues, events, and impacts.

Keep things simple – Keep a daily diary

Again, if done daily, it should not become a chore and promotes best practice. Also, on projects with onerous time bar clauses the worksheet could be adapted to include dates and deadlines for submitting the required notices.

On larger more complex projects or where numerous issues start to develop, consideration should be given to procuring a dedicated administrative resource for the task. This would involve additional cost but relatively small and certainly more cost effective than appointing consultants at the end of the project to carry out time consuming and expensive retrospective investigations.

The important goal is to establish and understand the ‘story’ of the project, risk assess and set realistic expectations.

Please contact us if you require any advice and support on a specific project.