TIME MANAGEMENT – Schedule Specification Implementation (Part 2)

This Subject Series addresses the sources and implementation of a contract schedule specification.  The Subject Series structure will be multiple parts and be a logical extension of the series titled MANAGING RISK OF DELAY.

The overview of this series is:

The balance of this post and subsequent ones in this series are/will be from the paper.  In general, this informative work compares two approaches to schedule specification implementation.


The past decade has witnessed an explosion in affordable microcomputer-based scheduling software, a greater appreciation of the importance of CPM schedul­ing techniques in controlling time and cost, and a broader understanding of how to use these techniques within the construction industry.  The past ten years have also seen an increase in CPM schedule related disputes ranging from entitlement to delay damages to termination for default for failing to perform according to the approved progress schedule.  There are almost as many different scheduling specifications as there are construc­tion contracts.  Yet, as just one example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps ofEngineers), the largest constructor in the world and a pioneer in requiring the use of CPM scheduling techniques on their projects, has not significantly changed its scheduling specification in the last ten years.

The Corps of Engineers scheduling specification has served as a model for many scheduling specifications in both the public and private sectors.  Recently, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) adopted a major revision to the Corps specification.  This paper examines some of the changes and the arguments that they’re designed to resolve.  [Snip].


Before examining the changes at DFW, it is useful to look at the following summary of a typical Corps of Engineers’ scheduling specifica­tion.  The spec requires the use of a network analysis system (NAS) to assure adequate planning and execu­tion of the work and to assist the Contracting Officer in apprais­ing the reasonable­ness of the proposed schedule and evaluating the progress of the work.

1. The Contractor is responsible for the scheduling of construction.

2.  An example of one of the numerous acceptable types of network analysis systems is shown in Appendix A of the Corps of Engineers Regulation ER 1 1 11.

3. The NAS shall consist of network logic diagrams and accompanying mathematical analyses (computer printouts).

4. The minimum number of activities is 250.

5. The selection and number of activities is subject to the Contracting Officer’s approval.

6. Estimated activity durations are to be in calendar days.

7. A monetary value is to be assigned to applicable activities.

8. The program used in making the mathematical computations shall be capable of compiling the value of completed and partially completed activities.

9. The Contractor’s initial NAS submission is to be made within 40 calendar days after receipt of notice to proceed.

10.     The Contractor shall review the NAS with the Contracting Officer.  Any revisions necessary shall be resubmitted within 10 calendar days after the review.

11.     The Contractor shall use the approved schedule for planning, organizing and directing the work, reporting progress, and requesting payment for work accomplished.

12.     If the Contractor desires to make changes in his method of operating and scheduling, he shall notify the Contracting Officer in writing stating the reasons for the change.

13.     The Contracting Officer may require the Contractor to revise the NAS to show the effect of major changes on the entire project.

14.     Changes which affect activities with adequate slack time shall be considered to be minor except when an accumulation of minor changes may impact the contract completion date.

15.     The Contractor shall submit an updating of the mathematical analysis at monthly intervals.  Updating information is subject to the approval of the Contracting Officer.

16.     The Contractor shall also submit a narrative report with the update analysis including a description of the problem areas, current and anticipated, delaying factors and their impact; and an explanation of corrective actions taken or proposed.

17.     When notice to proceed with changes in the work is issued prior to settlement of price and/or time, the Contractor will revise the network logic and/or time estimates of all activities affected by the changes on the next succeeding update.

18.     Float or slack is not time for the exclusive use or benefit of either the Government or the Contractor.

19.     Time extensions will be granted only to the extent that equitable time adjust­ments for the affected activities exceed the total float or slack available at the time notice to proceed is issued for the change.

20.     The Contractor shall develop a scheduled earnings curve for both the earliest completion and the latest completion of all activities.  The earnings curve shall be updated monthly to reflect all changes resulting from the latest NAS updating.

A big advantage of the Corps specification is the requirement that a monetary value be assigned to each applicable activity and that the schedule be used for requesting payment for work accomplished.  This insures that the schedule will be updated monthly and that both the Contractor and the Corps agree each month on the percent complete for each activity in progress.  Though it does not assure either accurate recording of actual start and finish dates or accurate estimates of remaining durations for activities in progress, it does assure that the schedule will be used.  Thus, the likelihood of accurate actual dates and remaining durations is increased.


It is important to note that McLaughlin and McLaughlin [M&M] is not a law firm and is not intending to provide legal advice.  M&M is a consulting firm providing (among other services) non-legal expertise in dispute resolution and litigation support.  The Resource Center is for the convenience of blog visitors and M&M does not offer this for commercial purposes.  For further information on M&M services, please see www.McLaughlinandMcLaughlin.com.