Chicago 2016 Abstracts

Opening  Keynote, Monday, 8‐9:30am

Planning a Sustainable Future through Effective Leadership in Project Scheduling

Speaker: Frank Saladis


Project managers and the methods of project management have been shaping the future for centuries.  From the structures we know as the wonders of the world to the international space station, to the technologies that brought us the cloud, smart phones and smart pads; project managers have been instrumental in creating the environment we live and work in today.  As the demands of the business environment change and the needs of our social communities become more complex, the future will also become more challenging.  Today’s demands drive the future, and the future beckons the project manager to become more creative, innovative and adaptive.  Sustainability, mega projects, natural disasters, economic uncertainties and business risk have created the new project management playing field, and that field will continue to change like the stairways of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Castle — continuously moving and shifting.


The future will require imagination, skill, discipline and adaptive leadership that will promote and support the need for planning, well defined scheduling and effective management of project resources.  It will also require project managers and teams to ensure they are change ready and will respond to new opportunities as well as risks.


This presentation will provide insights about how to sustain the value provided by the project manager and will emphasize the importance of planning, team-based scheduling and adaptive leadership.

Scheduling 101, Monday, 10‐11:15am

Schedule Development Checklist

Speaker: John Hartman 

This presentation will outline the value and use of a standard checklist in the schedule development phase. It will make clear what a good schedule development checklist is (and what it is not).  Additionally, the value of using a checklist will be addressed in the areas of consistency and use of a dynamic list of technical, contractual and commercial areas including historical company performance challenges encountered along the way.

Claims 101, Monday, 10‐11:15am

Where Do We Stand on Standards?

Speaker: Charles Fournier

The body of knowledge addressing delay analysis has been growing at an exponential pace.  And very soon, the ASCE will issue its own Standard for Schedule Delay Analysis, joining the existing Society of Construction Law [SCL] Delay and Disruption Protocol and AACE International Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 Forensic Schedule Analysis.


This most recent attempt to provide a broader framework for delay analysis should encourage us to take a step back and review these standards within their diverse industry context.  Are the existing and forthcoming standards broad enough to cover all types of projects?  Have they fully embraced the increasing diversity of the scheduling environment?  Are there subject areas within the standards that require further attention or improvement?  As acknowledged by the ASCE draft standard, the concept of ‘delay’ is not specific to a single scheduling technique.  Yet, each of the three standards limits its scope to a deterministic subset of CPM scheduling.  We may still need a broader topography of the delay analysis landscape with its many nuances and bifurcations.


Building on 15 years’ experience with claims management and delay analysis from haul road resurfacing in Oregon to LNG megaprojects in Western Australia, this presentation will (1) reposition the above standards within the broader context of delay analysis, (2) map some still-uncharted territories (e.g. linear non-CPM scheduling) and (3) highlight some of the most common risks emerging from the gaps between existing standards and the increasingly complex scheduling context within which these standards operate.

Scheduling 102, Monday, 1‐2:15pm

Does Scheduling Telecommuting Work on Major Projects?

Speaker: Rod Dawson

The author was assigned as head of program controls for a Program Management Consultant (PMC) joint venture team retained to manage a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar urban transit design and construction project.  The lead scheduler assigned to the program controls team was not physically located in the project office but performed his duties telecommuting from his home located some 400 miles away.  In the past, the lead scheduler on major projects had always been located full-time in the project office and the question was – could a major project ’s schedule be successfully managed by telecommuting?  The answer proved to be emphatically yes, and this paper discusses what makes schedule telecommuting work well with respect to (1) project scheduling tasks, (2) the traits required to effectively perform senior scheduling duties remotely, (3) the right work environment for a telecommuting scheduler and (4) the benefits/drawbacks of schedule telecommuting to the client, the employer and the scheduler.

Claims 102, Monday, 1‐2:15pm

Methodology Wars: The Road to Victory

Speaker: Ken Sparks


This paper will discuss the importance of choosing the proper methodology for identifying delay issues and quantifying the impact of those delays. Using a project example supported by an arbitrator’s finding, this paper will show that when accurate, contemporaneous schedules exist, these schedules should be used for the delay analysis.


The expert for a general contractor attempted to use a collapsed as-built schedule model to demonstrate that a steel subcontractor’s procurement of the steel for two ramps, together with owner impacts, delayed the project.  Using the contemporaneous schedule submittals and an analysis of the collapsed as-built summary activities, the subcontractor’s expert was able to show that the steel procurement did not delay the project and was not concurrent with the owner delays.


Scheduling 103, Monday, 2:45‐4pm

Critical Chain: Sometime, A Steady Schedule

Speaker: Kirk Rainer

When something is not steady, it is not reliable or predictable.  More specific to scheduling, variation or variance of actual activity to scheduled activity translates into routine and recurring waste and an overall loss of confidence in planning, production and other performance of a program.  Conditions lending to such scheduling performance are generally:


  • Product configuration design beyond start-up of the production phase
  • Engineering and supplier-sourced quality-related issues/problems
  • Governance-related compliance and certification for full production (among other phase gates of the program)

Relatively new to the aviation community, we have embarked on a product/program to introduce light, business aircraft. At present, and with a Provisional FAA Certification, the organization is proceeding with some assembly operations leading up to full production/delivery. In the interim, there is opportunity to assess scheduling performance against current and projected production rates and, in the process, obtain improvement in scheduling production/assembly against uncertainties endemic in such programs.

Critical Chain gains/uses knowledge of these variances and reallocates such uncertainty in such a way as to streamline a series of activities while escalating the critical constraint. This approach has other attributes that lead to long-standing, scheduling performance improvement under such conditions. This paper assesses the application of Critical Chain for establishing a steady scheduling practice and performance.

Claims 103, Monday, 2:45‐4pm

ASCE/ANSI Standard Guidelines for Schedule Delay Analysis

Panel Discussion: W. Stephen Dale, Rob D’Onofrio, Brian J. Furniss
Jesus de la Garza

The development of an industry consensus standard for schedule delay analysis is a leap forward in the never-ending effort to minimize disputes in construction delay claims.  This session will provide an overview of the newly published ASCE Construction Institute Standard, “Schedule Delay Analysis,” through a panel discussion with ASCE committee members.  Discussion topics will cover why the standard doesn’t recommend a specific schedule delay analysis method, but rather identifies 36 guidelines that apply to schedule delay analyses. The standard covers eight areas:  the critical path, float, early completion, chronology of delay, concurrent delay, responsibility for delay, changing schedules after-the-fact and acceleration. The panel will also highlight a few key guidelines and take questions about the new industry standard.



Scheduling 104, Tuesday, 8‐15‐9:30am

Managing a $250 Billion Capital Program

Speaker: Stu Ockman

This presentation revisits advice recently given to an owner managing a $250 billion capital program with a major emphasis on design-build projects.  How does one effectively manage such a program?  The answer is, unsurprisingly, project-by- project. We’ll look at steps you can take on your projects to improve the odds of on time/successful project delivery in an environment where the contractor will see a nice contribution to its bottom line and the owner will receive a quality project with a timely delivery and at a fair price.  The focus will be on (1) quality and time of performance, (2) responsibility and risk, and (3) contingency planning. Here’s your opportunity to learn or confirm the steps (and checks and balances) necessary to maximize your chances of project success.



Claims 104, Tuesday, 8‐15‐9:30am

Delay Claims ‐ The Big Unanswered Questions

Speaker: Andy Ness


This session will address some important legal questions regarding delay claims for which the existing case law provides little, no, or only weak guidance. Such issues are more numerous than many would like to admit.  Key legal issues that tend to arise over and over again nevertheless are poorly defined or resolved by case law, particularly respecting methods of analyzing and proving delay claims and dealing with concurrent delays. Confronting these key open issues directly provides a useful and informative perspective, and it is intended as a step toward finding better answers.



Scheduling 105, Tuesday, 10‐11:15am


Schedule for Strategic Project Success: Do Monster Projects Right the Only Time

Speaker: Lee Peters

Monster projects come in many shapes and forms from the Olympics to hospitals to space stations to IT installations of all kinds.  Explore principles to guide planning and execute the plan.  Look to the fundamentals of projects: results, scope and performance, to identify strategic issues.  Organize these issues into categories eliciting additional issues.  Put issues under control.  Reflect on the taxonomy of planning: strategic, tactical, operational, task/tool.  Walk the project over time, taking flash photos of the evolving project at milestones.   Use five-day durations to identify and hive off sub-projects putting them under project control that accelerates performance.  Ensure effective transitions between types of work, including temporary work; and between projects, from area to area.  Make the schedule communicate to all what is coming, at what speed and when it will arrive.  Become a proficient manager of projects.  Learn to launch, staff, oversee, control and close projects.  Enable scheduling to be the strategic source of project success.



Claims 105, Tuesday, 10-11:15am

Update of Recent Decisions Involving Schedule Impact and Delay

Speakers: Steve Hurlbut, Mark Groff

This presentation will discuss recent federal and state court decisions discussing CPM and schedule impact and delay issues. The lessons learned from such cases can be an important guide to industry practitioners prosecuting or defending claims.



Scheduling 106, Tuesday, 1‐2:15pm

Planning and Delay Management Using Linear Scheduling


Speaker: Rick Moffat


Pipeline, power transmission and highway projects are planned and built based on the repetitive and sequential flow of work from one end of the project to the other.  This session will investigate the differences between linear scheduling and traditional CPM scheduling methodologies and explore the benefits of using linear scheduling in both live projects and forensic analysis.


Claims 106, Tuesday, 1-2:15pm

Absurd Scheduling Methodologies for Proving Delay

Speaker: Tom Fertitta

Over the past approximately 15 years, many in the scheduling industry have attempted to develop standards intended to be used as guidelines in the preparation of schedule analyses, in particular analyses to prove delay.  Have the guidelines taken hold?  Have schedule analysts been paying attention?  We will attempt to answer these questions by presenting examples of “absurd” methods used in actual disputes we have encountered over the past few years. We will walk you through a few examples of methodologies that ignore current conventions; and, as part of the presentation, include examples of absurd correspondence we found during the preparation of our analyses.


Scheduling 107, Tuesday, 2:45‐4pm

Schedule Specifications: Turning Best Practices into Requirements

Speaker: Dave Gorski

Too often when a project or program schedule is required to plan and monitor a project there is a lack of specific requirements set forth for the program scheduler to follow. There may be a set of minimal requirements, but the majority of scheduling best practices are not spelled out. Although there are numerous documents available which provide best practices, there is a need for a uniform set of requirements that may eventually become standard specifications for a project schedule.


This paper will touch upon past experience in establishing guidelines in program scheduling from the project design side. It will present a philosophy for developing and tracking projects based upon the literature regarding best practices which may ultimately transition into standard specifications.



Risk 101, Tuesday, 2:45‐4pm

Schedule Risk Analysis Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Speaker: John Owen


All too often schedule risk analysis is perceived as an advanced and time consuming technique and is often only performed in a cursory manner to satisfy contract bid requirements.  This presentation will show how even simple generic analysis can highlight areas for estimate refinement and, then, how simple tools like historical analysis and estimate confidence assessments can dramatically improve the realism and achievability of schedules with relatively little effort.


Scheduling 108, Wednesday, 8‐15‐9:30am

High Visibility Scheduling and Control

Speaker: Ed Mahler

This is a sharing session.  I have been a contract project scheduler for the last 23 years supporting corporate internal clients. As a full time scheduler, I’ve had plenty of time to determine the strengths and weaknesses of scheduling software programs and to establish a mode of operation that both optimizes a program’s value to the client and minimizes the effort needed to do that.  The purpose of this session is to share what I do to optimize schedule visibility and the resulting project manager’s control of their project.  Some may find aspects of my approach unorthodox but progress doesn’t happen by doing what’s always been done.  I’ll be interested in hearing the observations and methodologies of my peers as I hope you’ll be interested in learning about mine.



Risk 102, Wednesday, 8‐15‐9:30am

The Impact of Selected Assumptions and Core Tenets on Schedule Risk Assessment

Speaker: Jim Quilliam

In the quest to ensure the sound representation of Schedule Risk Assessment (SRA) simulations, this case study will provide a progressive model comparison of SRA assumptions and core tenets.  The elements of this approach will focus on (1) the methodology and tools, (2) the progressive assumptions and core tenets applied and (3) the conclusions and lessons learned for practitioners.

The outcome of this case study offers new insight into the importance of selected assumptions used for schedule simulations. This will greatly enhance the understanding and confidence that leadership and project teams have in the schedule risk assessment results.  It will also assure that sound decisions are made based on the reliability of these crucial simulation factors.



Scheduling 109, Wednesday, 10‐11:15am

A History of Scheduling: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Panel Discussion: Rod Dawson, John Hartman, Andy Ness, Stu Ockman

From mainframe computer scheduling in the 60’s and 70’s to microcomputer scheduling in the 80’s and 90’s and beyond.  What was it like at the birth of CPM scheduling? Why has the quality of schedules on many of our projects deteriorated over the years? And, what steps can the College and the profession-at-large take to right the ship in the very near future?  These are just a few of the topics/questions we’ll address in a wide-ranging discussion of scheduling: then, now and tomorrow.



Risk 103, Wednesday, 10‐11:15am

The Art and Science of Monte Carlo-Based Schedule Risk Assessment

Speakers: Matt Murch, Steve Scott

Quantitative schedule risk assessments have become more prevalent over the past decade; however, there are numerous pitfalls that may be encountered. Risk assessment models must be carefully constructed and assumptions appropriately modeled.  This discussion will focus on leading practices for both constructing effective Monte Carlo-based schedule simulation models and developing inputs that accurately reflect the nature of both uncertainty and risk events.  Strategies for performing Monte Carlo-based schedule simulations will be shared including case studies based upon real life examples demonstrating potential pitfalls as well as the benefits of successful quantitative schedule risk assessments. 


Closing Keynote, Wednesday, 11:30am‐12:30pm


Our Challenge for the Future

Speaker: Tom Driscoll

We have seen a steady evolution in (1) the delivery of projects, (2) evaluation of risk, (3) scheduling software and how it is used, (4) delay methodologies, (5) the legal implications of using a project schedule and (5) the schedule-related, adversarial relationships that may develop along the way.  Speculation about the future of scheduling practice may be nothing new, but it is a subject that needs serious attention by all participants in the scheduling profession.  As an organization dedicated entirely to the practice of scheduling, the Project Management College of Scheduling (PMCOS) has the opportunity to rise to the challenge and provide the leadership necessary to bring about the changes and collaboration that will be necessary.

The challenge is a simple one.  What’s needed is a commitment and a multi-pronged approach towards establishing standards and guidelines and bringing about collaboration with other professional associations along the way.  The task will not be easy, and not all will agree.  Join us in defining the critical path toward better scheduling practice and what works best for our projects as we move into the future.