Total float is a very important indicator of your schedule. Therefore, it is important to understand how to control it and how it could affect your future performance of the project.
What is the total float?
Total float is the amount of time any activity can be delayed without delaying the project. The below figure will explain more.
Activities A, B, C, and D are on the project critical path. it means if any activity is delayed 1 day, the project will be delayed 1 day. On the other hand, activities 1 and 2 have total Float because any of them could be delayed for some time (total float) without impacting the project finish date.
How total float could impact your project?
Total Float could show unrealistic delays to your project or could make you lose your entitlement for an Extention of time. EOT
A-unrealistic delays because of total float:
let us assume that you have high float for activities 1 and 2. the you decided to link activity 2 to activity D to reduce the total float. Now, while updating your program of work, an activity I got delayed, the project will show unreal delays because of the wrong link between Activity 2 and Activity D.
B- lose your entitlement of an extension of time EOT:
On the other hand, let us assume that there was a link between activity 2 and activity D where you missed in your schedule of work. if the client or the consultant for any reason holds activity 1 for some time, you will struggle to prove that this action will impact the project because activity 1 has very hight total float.
Tips and Tricks to control your schedule total Float:
I made the above introduction to explain to you that linking activities in a proper way is the main action to control the total float. However, the following are some tips and tricks to help You reducing high total floats:
1- link activities in a proper way as expected to be executed on-site.
2- You should not have any open ends. i-e activities without a successor or predecessor.
3- Be sure that your critical path is realistic and most likely present the situation on-site.
4- Do not create unnecessary relationships between activities, it will hurt you rather than helping.
5- link Shop drawings and materials to all related construction activities and not only the first one. Maybe you need this link later on in your EOT
6- You can define your working crews to be working at certain areas, floors, buildings at the same time. Accordingly, you can link these areas, floors, buildings together.
7- Define the most important activities in your project and be sure total float is 100% correct.
8- If you have a horizontal project where work can be started anywhere, try to create a control milestones to control the project phases, zones etc. Also you can link zones and areas together. No one can work everywhere at the same time.
9- If you have a resource driven activity, be sure to clarify your baseline to show that these durations are based on certain resources. Accordingly, only this amount of work can be done every day,week,month.
10- If you did all the above and still have hight float, you might consider increasing the testing and commissioning duration for the activities with high floats. Don’t try to make every singly activity in your baseline critical because you will start recording delays once you update your baseline. Always try to be logical.
What else could be a good reason to control the project total float? Share me your opinion in the comment section below.