TIME MANAGEMENT – Schedule Specification Implementation (Part 5)

This Subject Series addresses the sources and implementation of a contract schedule specification.  The Subject Series structure is and 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 is from the paper.  In general, this informative work compares two approaches to schedule specification implementation.

This extract from the paper covers:



Too often, disputes over schedule approval are used as an excuse by the Contractor to delay submitting schedule updates.  Schedule revisions, reflecting changes in the Contractor’s plan after contract award, should never be made prior to receiving initial schedule approval since the approved schedule is the bench mark for measuring the impact of these changes.  However, schedule updates are very different from schedule revisions.  While a schedule revision changes the planned activity logic and/or durations, a schedule update only reports progress against the plan with actual activity starts and finishes and projected remaining durations for activities in progress.  Schedule approval can never be allowed to impact the reporting of actual progress on a regular basis.  The DFW Airport specification, of course, insures the accurate and timely reporting of activity percents complete by tying the schedule updates to progress payments with clauses such as the following:

“The monthly updating of the Schedule is an integral part and basic element of the estimate upon which progress payments will be made.  Therefore, the Contractor shall not be entitled to progress payments until it provides complete Schedule Updates or Revisions as specified herein.”

However, DFW goes one step further in insuring timely schedule updates by stating,

“Regardless of the status of Schedule approval, the Schedule shall be updated monthly until Project Substantial Completion.  Entering of actual progress made through the date of the Schedule Update, including dates activities started and/or completed, and the per­centage of work completed and estimated remaining duration for each activity in progress will be subject to approval of the BOARD.”

The above clause points out the importance of thorough review of each update by the Owner to insure accurate progress reporting.  Accurate progress reporting is vital in comparing actual performance against the plan, and actual start and finish dates are difficult to reconstruct if not accurately recorded when they occur.


An important part of any scheduling specification is to avoid end-of-contract claims.  By including language to resolve delays and changes monthly, the incidence of end-of-contract claims can be greatly reduced.  The DFW Airport specification states,

“Each monthly invoice shall be accom­panied by the following state­ment:”

“The amount billed to date is fair and adequate compensa­tion for the work performed, and the current Contract amount is fair and adequate compensa­tion to perform the current scope of work by the current Contract completion date.”

“Any exceptions to this statement must be noted with the invoice, and both the Contrac­tor and the BOARD shall cooperate to resolve the exceptions prior to the next invoice.”

This clause puts the Owner on notice of any pending claims with each invoice and requires both the Contractor and the Owner to evaluate and attempt to resolve claims monthly.

This series of posts will conclude with the balance of the paper along with a summary of the paper and some useful links (please see above for title).

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.