A Development of Performance Metrics for Forecasting Schedule Slippage

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Virginia Tech


Project schedules should mirror the project, as the project takes place. Accurate project schedules, when updated and revised, reflect the actual progress of construction as performed in the field. Various methods for monitoring progress of construction are successful in their representation of actual construction as it takes place. Progress monitoring techniques clearly identify when we are behind schedule, yet it is less obvious to recognize when we are going to slip behind schedule.

This research explores how schedule performance measurement mechanisms are used to recognize construction projects that may potentially slip behind schedule, as well as what type of early warning they provide in order to take corrective action. Such early warning systems help prevent situations where the contractor and/or owner are in denial for a number of months that a possible catastrophe of a project is going to finish on time.

This research develops the intellectual framework for schedule control systems, based on a review of control systems in the construction industry. The framework forms the foundation for the development of a schedule control technique for forecasting schedule slippage — the Required Performance Method (RPM). The RPM forecasts the required performance needed for timely project completion, and is based on the contractor's ability to expand future work. The RPM is a paradigm shift from control based on scheduled completion date to control based on required performance. This shift enables forecasts to express concern in terms that are more tangible. Furthermore, the shift represents a focus on what needs to be done to achieve a target completion date, as opposed to the traditional focus on what has been done. The RPM is demonstrated through a case study, revealing its ability to forecast impending schedule slippage.



schedule performance metric, early warning system, forecast, project control, schedule control