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How To Make A Progress S Curve That Will Make You An Expert – Part 2

In Part 1, I have shared the three simple steps for using “S Curvelogy”. Today, I’m going to share the first one.


Step 1: Figure out how you would get progress data that you can plot S Curve


S Curvelogy technique is so easy and simple. It is asking and answering the following five questions;

1. What is the appropriate time scale interval?

2. How can I come out with a percent compete (planned and actual) to set a progress curve?

3. Which data should I load? Budgeted value based on man hours, cost, or weighting?

4. Do we have milestone evaluation method for progress measurement? Or, have we agreed progress measurement method?

5. How do I load or allocate the budgeted value?

If you could answer these questions before you start working on progress curves, you are done with 50% of the tasks required to produce a progress curve that will set you up for success, essentially that will make you an expert.

Why it is so important?


If you could answer them, you would be able to figure out the best way or technique to reach your goal – developing a progress curve that works.

Some people don’t do that way or simply do not know how to get a progress data that will set your project team up for success. They just simply get the data or method that they could find, whether it is reliable or suitable for the project. They simply populate a progress curve and use it for measuring project performance, hoping that it would help achieving project’s goal.

Believe me, if you are using the progress data that is not only appropriate for the project, but it is unreliable, I can tell you it won’t help you to control your project.

It is supposed to help the project team to detect the risks in advance so that project team have a time to act. So, do not the repeat the same mistake and follow the instruction carefully.

To plot progress S Curve, you need three data inputs - the appropriate time scale interval, planned percent complete and actual percent complete.


So, what is the appropriate time scale interval?


It is a reporting period or measurement period at which the progress of project is reported. E.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Generally, the time scale interval is determined by contract requirements or organizational procedures and practices.

It is fundamental that you read the contract requirements or company’s procedures first before you set up any reports.

The second question that you would ask is …....

How can I come out with a percent compete (planned and actual) to set a progress curve?


The answers are;

TIP 1 - Calculate the percent complete based on quantity completion if the planned and earned value data is not available.
 
TIP 2 - Calculate the percent complete based on the planned value and earned value data.

TIP 3 - Get the planned value and earned value – that is reliable, achievable and agreeable by project team.

TIP 1 – Calculate the Percent Complete based on Quantity Completion


You can skip this section if you have already done this before. Otherwise, keep reading.

There are several progress curves that do not require you to get planned and earned value. Its calculation is simply based on quantity completion. Let me illustrate this by using the following formula and example;

--> Formula for progress calculation;
- Planned % complete = Planned quantity at a given period /Total planned quantity 
- Actual % complete = Actual quantity at a given period /Total planned quantity
Suppose you have 100 cubic yards to complete in 10 days, and estimate to complete 10 cubic yards per day. After day 1, 8 cubic yards is completed. Then, the percent complete would be,
- Planned % complete at Day 1 = 10 cubic yards /100 cubic yards = 10% 
- Actual % complete at Day 1 = 8 cubic yards /100 cubic yards = 8%
By using the above formula, you can simply develop the following progress curves
- Drawing production progress curve – based on the type of drawings and quantity 
- Quantity Installation progress curve – based on the type of work and quantity
However, the downside of this method is you would not be able to see overall picture of the project if it involved multiple trades.

On the other side, earned value technique is considerably most accurate method in progress calculation and you can easily predict the overall progress regardless of the project type and its complexity.


TIP 2 – Calculate the percent complete based on the planned value and earned value data


Getting a percent complete for both planned and actual is quite easy, if you have got the “Planned Value and Earned Value.

--> To calculate a planned percent complete, use the following formula;
PV (Planned Value) at a given period/BAC (Budget At Completion - Total authorized budget assigned to scheduled work)
For example: If the schedule says that your team should have done 500 hours of work at a given time, and you’ve got to work a total of 1,000 hours on the project, then your planned percent complete would be………,
Planned Value (500)/BAC (1000) = 50%
--> To calculate an actual percent complete, use the following formula;
EV (Earned Value) at a given period/BAC (Budget At Completion - Total authorized budget assigned to scheduled work)
For example: At that time, if your team delivered the physical work that is equivalent to 400 hours of work, then actual percent complete would be.……….,
Earned Value (400)/BAC (1000) = 40%
So, Planned % and Actual % complete are easy to work out, if you got “Planned Value and Earned Value.


TIP 3 - Get the planned value and earned value. So, how do I get “planned value and earned value?”


When you are trying to figure out the planned value and earned value, the first thing you should ask yourself and discuss with your team is.....,

Which data should be used as a basis for the planned and earned value calculation? or Which data is available to you to calculate them?

Now, Let’s take a deep dive into this…..


Which Data Should I Load? Budgeted Value Based on Man Hours, Cost or Weighting?


When you are trying to develop a progress curve that works, the first thing you should ask yourself is “which data should I load?”, because a planned value or budgeted value can be hours, cost or weighting.

So, make sure you know the client’s specific requirement or contract requirements before proceeding your work. It will save you a bunch of time due to reworks.

For example: Your client might specify the requirement like “CONTRACTOR shall demonstrate that resource loading, man-hour supports the progress curves for each phase of the work and for its subcontractors”.

In the same way, some clients might require you to use cost loading or “Weighting (Fraction)” as the basis of progress curve because cost is common among all activities and the impact of some of the major components far exceed the relative value based on hours alone.

For instance: There are several progress curves that you can develop using man hour, cost or weighting (fraction) loading data.

-> Engineering progress curve (overall and by discipline) – man-hour basis

-> Construction progress curve (overall and by trade or contract) – man or equipment hours basis

-> Procurement progress curve – cost or weighting basis

-> Commissioning progress curve – man-hour basis

-> Overall project progress curve – cost or weighting basis

NEXT STEP?


Once you figured out an appropriate time scale interval and the basis of S curve data - whether to use hours, cost or weighting to get planned and earned value,

We can go to the NEXT STEP – where you would learn how to determine the PLANNED/EARNED VALUE which is essential steps in building the progress S Curve.

This will be shared in the upcoming post.

What are the requirements for loading S Curve data in your project? Would you share with us?

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