Presenting the Anatomy of a Project Schedule

Construction management touches every phase of a project, which is why construction schedules have the largest impact on a project’s budget and delivery target. Effective planning and resource allocation is vital to success. Oftentimes, the difficulty with schedule management is a lack of understanding of how the planning and scheduling process intertwines with and affects project outcomes.

Schedules are the Lifeblood of a Project

Delays in forming a construction schedule can have detrimental outcomes on a project. A functional and efficient schedule can identify benchmarks, determine sequencing, and anticipate potential challenges early on allowing for flexibility when obstacles occur down the line.

Most lawyers are not trained in construction management or lack prior field experience. Our construction experts augment the expertise of their legal team so they are better equipped to address client needs and tailor their counsel.

It’s important to take advantage of opportunities where experience in construction management can be shared with new-to-construction lawyers to help them prepare for their next case. By engaging an expert, lawyers can gain a clearer understanding of scheduling basics.

A Lesson in Scheduling

Peritia’s construction management expert Manuel del Valle recently addressed this topic in a presentation to young lawyers at Hudson, Lambert, and Parrott. Manuel drew topics from his experience, prior litigation cases, speaking engagements, and a brief conversation with Wes Lambert, Partner at Hudson, Lambert, and Parrott with aims at helping non-technical professionals develop the necessary skills and knowledge to understand schedule development.

Manuel was inspired by Steve Swart’s recent blog for the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, Conversations with My Younger Self: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Then. Recognizing the complexity of construction management, having experienced its elaborate and integrated phases first-hand, Manuel acknowledged the need to educate novice legal professionals on construction schedules. Therefore, he created a high-level training lecture on project schedule terminology, how project planning leads to developing the baseline schedule, and options for forensic evaluation from the expert witness perspective.

Educating the Lawyers of Tomorrow

The knowledge Manuel possesses can be leveraged to grow the confidence of lawyers new to the construction industry. His wisdom on project schedules and experience allow him to impart the most recognized evaluation methods and guide lawyers on how to assess their impact on cases. Manuel’s background also allows him to simply explain how the planning process and development come together at the contractor’s level to understand how multiple variables such as productivity and labor loading can affect overall schedule duration and can impact project execution. He is able to bridge the legal and technical sides of construction disputes to showcase how thorough planning and leveraging an expert’s knowledge in forensic analyses can help contractors prepare and avoid worst-case scenarios which result in more efficient projects and deliverables.

Manuel’s experience allows him to answer common questions from lawyers, such as:

  • When is it time to bring in a consultant?
  • What schedule evaluation method should be used?
  • Is the added expense of engaging an expert for an ongoing dispute worth the juice?

In his lecture, he relayed the urgency to bring experts on board early, offered recommendations for the most accepted practices and evaluation methods from AACE International, and then explained how his experience allows him to quickly determine if “the squeeze is worth the juice”.

Leverage Our Experience

Our team has the know-how and expertise, spanning over 20 countries with 120 years of combined experience. We have worked in every phase of construction: pre, during, and post-build which has allowed us to gain insights into how each component of a project works together and its rippling effect. Our work within the construction industry allows us to intuitively adapt to shifting schedules, costs, and scopes to keep projects moving forward. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today.

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