By Steve Rizer
A contract might not require the use of a particular method for schedule delay analysis, but does that really mean any method can be used? This is an issue that Navigant Construction Forum Executive Director James Zack addressed during “Schedule Delay Analysis: Choosing a Method,” a 90-minute webinar that WPL Publishing hosted last week. “If the contract is silent on the issue, the analyst, obviously, is free to use any method at all, but there is a caution here that I’d offer you.”
Zack informed webinar attendees that even if a contract does not prescribe a certain delay methodology, “the language may establish certain restrictions. For example, if the contract doesn’t say anything whatsoever about what technique to use, it may still say that you have to prove ‘the event must impact the critical path’ or ‘the event must delay the completion of the work.’ If either one of those phrases is buried in the time-extension clause or the change-order clause, chances are you’re going to have to use a methodology that’s CPM [Critical Path Method] based.”
If a contract does specify a certain methodology, it is a good idea to check whether the contract “really requires the specified technique at all times,” Zack said. “For example, it’s not uncommon for a public-works contract in the United States to demand a time-impact analysis with respect to making change-order proposals but make no mention whatsoever of using any particular technique when there are requests for equitable adjustments or delay claims later on in the job. That may give the forensic scheduler a bit more wiggle room in selecting his methods.”
It is important to adhere, strictly, to clear contract requirements, “but we’ve found a bunch of scheduling specifications and delay-analysis specifications that, frankly, are ambiguous,” Zack said. Among such ambiguous terms are "But for time impact analysis" or an "impacted as-built analysis," he said. “Those terms don’t make any sense. The words can be written, obviously, but they’re not recognized words anywhere in the scheduling industry. So, while you have to adhere to clear contract requirements, if you get something that’s that ambiguous, you may be able to negotiate a different schedule methodology going forward.”
Also during the webinar, Zack discussed the basic types of delay analysis, the basics of forensic scheduling, the types of forensic scheduling methods, and related topics.
To purchase a recording of the event, visit http://constructionpronet.com/Products/Schedule-Delay-Analysis.aspx.