Project Management Consulting
We assist in critical aspects of project management, cost and schedule control, contract administration, claims prevention, and dispute resolution. We establish an open and collaborative environment among all key parties to evaluate project planning and execution issues and facilitate solution identification.
Our experienced professionals are well versed in all aspects of project delivery. At our client’s direction, we provide our services individually or collectively, tailored to fit each project’s specific needs. Our project management consulting services include:
Project Management Plans, Project Controls, and Contract Administration Policies and Procedures
We provide guidelines for, and assist with the development and review of, our client’s Project Management Plan to ensure that it provides the communication, management, control, and documentation policies, protocols, and procedures that our client intends. By thoroughly examining the plan, we ensure that it reflects the scope of work and responsibilities of each party engaged on a project.
As-Planned Schedules and Schedule Updates
We prepare or revise baseline CPM schedules, based on the contract scope of work requirements, contractual deadlines, resource loading and constraints, procurement plan, construction equipment availability, subcontracting plan, and the contractor’s basic plan and sequence for performing the work. After preparing an initial draft, we review the baseline schedule with the contractor and owner to ascertain if it is consistent with their objectives.
As work progresses, we may prepare schedule updates based on actual progress, including any change orders and other delays that may impact planned performance. We may also meet with the owner’s representatives to discuss the baseline schedule and schedule updates, and we can prepare time impact analyses and requests for time extensions as a result of delays.
Cost Estimate and Forecast Reviews
We review cost estimates as they are prepared to determine if they include all of the work scope and reasonable engineering and project management costs, equipment and materials costs, labor rates and productivity factors, and design development and contingency allowances based on the completeness of the engineering and design upon which the estimate is based.
We can then assist with cost forecasts as additional engineering is completed and field construction is performed to consider equipment and material cost trends, impact of changes, actual engineering and construction labor productivity, and delays that affect time-related costs.
Cost and Schedule Risk Analyses
Either as part of the baseline schedule preparation and initial cost estimate reviews, or as part of the schedule updating and cost forecast process, we provide risk analysis services that apply Monte Carlo probability determinations based on risk factors known for the project and based on our experience.
Examples of risk factors that may affect schedule activity durations and costs include but are not limited to:
- Uncertainty in the scope of the work
- Uncertainty in quantities to be installed
- Extended design development effort for “first of a kind” projects
- Poor labor productivity
- Unusually severe weather and natural disasters
- Late governmental approvals, e.g., permits, customs, regulatory
- Extended time required for procurement and delivery of equipment and materials
- Civil unrest and work stoppages
- Lack of qualified labor
- Late funding approvals
- Extended start-up period required to achieve full production
- Differing site conditions
- Unanticipated escalation of equipment and materials cost
- Contractor default
- Defective work
On-Site Cost and Schedule Control, Progress Reporting, Schedule Development, and Assessment of Labor Productivity
We provide on-site consulting for clients needing experts who are stationed at a project site. Using a structured approach for cost and schedule control, progress reporting, schedule development, and labor productivity assessment, our involvement in the early stages of a project provides the greatest opportunity to effectively control costs, schedule, and quality of work. We tailor our on-site services to meet a client’s specific needs. A sample of these services includes:
- Development of procedures, standard reports, coding structures, metrics, and templates
- Controlling budget development and performing job cost control
- Development and coding of actual costs, coordination with accounting, and preparation of projected expenditures
- Updating and tracking of contingency budget
- Development and maintenance of change order logs and supporting documentation
- Development and maintenance of request for information logs and supporting documentation
- Development and maintenance of field change order logs and supporting documentation
- Preparation and review of cashflow reports
- Baseline schedule development, including work breakdown structures, activity identification, durations, responsibilities, and resources
- Development of project and construction management staging requirements
- Verification of field progress and preparation of schedule updates
- Preparation of look-ahead schedules
- CPM scheduling training for client personnel
- Identification of risks and impact issues
- Analysis of schedule delays and impacts for extensions of time and compensable delay costs
- Tracking of purchased and installed quantities, and corresponding labor man-hours/preparation of periodic labor productivity reports
- Preparation of daily reports
- Preparation and review of weekly reports and monthly progress reports
- Linkage of CPM schedule to project cost report
Project Reviews and Audits
We review and audit project management, contract administration, and project cost and schedule performance of active projects. We recommend audits at these project milestones: (1) completion of basic design or FEED, and development of detailed design procurement and construction bid packages; (2) 30 percent detailed design completion; (3) start of construction; and (4) start of piping erection or start of building interior buildout.
A project manager can be entrenched in project details and optimistically believe a project is in better shape than it really is. The primary purpose of reviews and audits is to verify that project personnel are following recommended practices for:
- Cost control
- Change management and control
- Schedule reviews and approvals
- Documentation control and maintenance
- Timely responses to contractor requests for information
- Contract administration
- Invoice reviews and approvals
Our experience in project problem analysis allows us to identify potential problems that may evolve into delays and cost overruns and recommend mitigation measures before problems escalate into major disputes. We recommend practical solutions to problems that are based on cause-effect analysis. If an audit is performed early in a project, recommendations can be implemented to improve project execution and reduce time and cost overruns.
Other Project Management Consulting Services
We also provide the following services:
- Reviews and critiques of contract documents, proposals, and bid packages to identify and eliminate potential inconsistencies, ambiguities, conflicts, errors, and omissions
- Analysis of contract language to identify exculpatory clauses and risks
- Contract administration and owner’s representative
- Preparation of document control and tracking procedures
- Project reviews and audits
- Project management and controls seminars
- Schedule quality assurance reviews
- Claims prevention training seminars
Standard of Care and Standard of Excellence Experts
Our experts have analyzed claims on some of the largest construction disputes in the world involving owner allegations that EPC or EPCM contractors failed to perform their work according to good industry practice or the standards of care and excellence identified in contract documents.