Planning Methodology
A properly site does require minimum monitoring

A properly monitored site fetches god productivity and enhanced output.

1. The total information system is centered on micro level estimation of cost at the element level, translating the contract amount to minute elemental level cost for costing and budgeting, which would be later used as the control measure.

2. To facilitate such detailed costing, necessary data has to be built up over the years on various types of job, various locations, various environments etc.

3. The control mechanism is built on a 2-tier system for the site viz., Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), which are controlled by Operation Manager and Work Packages (WP), which form part and parcel of WBS. In a site, different systems, which could separately traced and distinctly identified, would be called as different system, which could be separately traced and distinctly identified, would be called as different WBS. For each WBS there would be one man in charge (Operation Manager) and he would be held responsible for the costs pertaining to the WBS. The system would throw up feed back information regarding a particular type of work incidentally.

4. When it comes to Work packages, a group of packages would form a WBS. Work Package would comprise of work relating to a homogeneous group of activities of a WBS and hence would also help in the process of proper estimation for future job.

The estimation is done for the following categories of cost, which would be called as subheads of expenditure.
a) Direct Labor
b) Support Staff/ Supervisory manpower (called as “Contractor Staff”)
c) Construction Equipment/Aids
d) Temporary materials
e) Temporary materials
f) Erection Tools
g) Consumables
h) Mobilization and demobilization (travel & transport of men and machinery)
i) Insurance
j) Ancillary
k) Material handling
l) Commissioning assistance
m) Any other supply items

After completing Estimation in great details, as listed in previous paragraphs, the Senior Manager person does the budgeting. Budget is broken into three levels viz. Estimator’s Budget, Manager’s Budget and Corporate level budget. The corporate budget is the stripped down version of the overall estimation. The manager’s budget is a contingency. The estimator’s budget forms part of the manager’s budget but is devoid of any provisions of contingency. After the budgeting process costing is done. While the estimation and the budgets are according to the heads of expenditures as given in the paragraph on Estimation, the costing is based on WBS, WP and heads of expenditure. This mean that for each WBS, cost with respect to every head of expenditure is arrived at. Such an exercise is done for every single WBS. The total cost of all WBS would be equivalent to the total budgeted amount. The total budgeted amount could also be broken into different heads of expenditure by adding the values of different WBS. Thus, there would be a total picture of cost looking at it from either the WBS angle from the head of expenditure angle. Work packages are very smaller and are nothing but miniature of WBS in concept.

The various activities in the project are fitted into the overall time schedule in terms of different months. The requirement of manpower for each of the categories is estimated on the basis of assumptions made at the estimation stage in terms of manpower and the time frame as decided. The manpower schedule is drawn in terms of each category of manpower on the frame. The charging of manpower is done to the respective WBS. The starting point is the overall schedule, which is given by client, and this is split up into weekly, fortnightly and monthly schedules.

The direct labor, which generally has more percentage contribution, requires close monitoring. This shall be monitored for each WBS and WP. Also the information forms basis to compute:
- Efficiency of manpower
- Composition of trades
- Costing for future projects

One method of Progress Measurement is based on billing value. Billing is done based on agreed milestones. The primary input for billing is only the total man-hours deployed. Projects are divided into two categories – labor oriented and equipment oriented. For the purpose of such a categorization, the total cost as estimated and budgeted for labor and rest of the components is compared and if labor outweighs the other components, it is termed as labor oriented and vice – versa. The ratio of this comparison is used as a weighing factor for estimating the progress. There can be other methods of progress measurement also defending upon client’s agreement.

Inventory control is exercised at the level of WBS, based on monthly reports. Based on value and life, an item is categorized either asset or inventory. Control is exercised on inventory items and charged 100% to the projects. As regards assets, 100 % value is charged to the project but the salvage value is also taken into account at the end of the project defending on whether it is sent to another project or disposed off etc. Control on certain categories of consumables like the electrode requires systematic analysis of theoretical requirements and comparison with actual requirement.

Knowledge of contract is essential for everyone. However, there should be a designated Engineer of contract who is authorized to study and point out deviations on jobs in site.

All construction aids/equipment are analyzed with respect to their utilization and this utilization and this utilization factor is recorded as measurement of the extent to which the equipment is utilized in comparison to the total hours for which it has been made available at site. Also the fuel is recorded for proper monitoring which forms as basis for future project estimation.

The permanent materials should be segregated based on WBS and WP and also should be stored in yard accordingly. This will eliminate double handling of materials thus saving manpower and machine hours.

The drawing used should be approved for construction drawing. This defends on the method of drawing issue by client. Segregation of drawing based on WBS, WP and also relevant materials in advance based on Master drawing list has to be done.

Day-to-day recording of weather is also carried out and reported on monthly basis. This information is used primarily to analyze shortfalls in productivity and progress. Also it is used for time extension against liquidated damage.

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