Schedules are typically developed from the top down, but are then maintained from ‘Level 4’ up. Level 5 schedules are temporary documents based on the ‘Look-ahead’ schedule and used to coordinate work in an area.
Level 1 Schedule:
Executive Summary, also called a Project Master Schedule (PMS). This is a major milestone type of schedule; usually only one page, it highlights major project activities, milestones, and key deliverables for the whole project. It is used to summarise the project schedule in reports and other documents when a more detailed schedule is not required. Frequently developed by the ‘client’ as part of its initial feasibility studies for the project and then maintained by the contractor; may be used to assist in the decision making process (go/no-go, prioritization and determining the criticality of projects). Can be used to integrate multiple contractors / multiple project schedules into an overall program schedule. Audiences for this schedule Level include, but are not limited to client, senior executives and general managers. If included with a bid and/or the Contract, demonstrates conformance to contractual and other milestones.
Level 2 Schedule:
Management Summary, also called a Summary Master Schedule (SMS). Maintained as a summarisation of the Level 3 Project Coordination Schedule(s). It depicts the overall project broken down into its major components by area and is used for higher-level management reporting. Frequently developed by the ‘client’ as part of its commitment planning for the project and then maintained by the contractor. Can be used to integrate multiple contractors / multiple project schedules for the overall control of a program. It will include the Level 1 information expanded to show activities by area or major item of capital equipment. Should demonstrate the driving path for structures and major process systems at the CSI Division Level (e.g., Earthwork, Foundations, Framing, Enclosure, MEP Services and Process Equipment), based on the project method statement. Audiences for this type of schedule include, but are not limited to general managers, sponsors, and program or project managers.
Level 3 Schedule:
Project Coordination Schedule (PCS) also called a Publication Schedule. Initially developed as an integrated CPM overview of the project, the Level 3 schedule is then maintained as an integrated rollup or summary of the Level 4 schedule activities for reporting status to senior management and to report monthly status to major clients, etc. The schedule consists of a set of integrated Level 4 schedules based on Critical Path Methodology (CPM) and is developed with detailed input from the project management team. Usually developed by the ‘main contractor’ as part of its tendering process for the project or by the project team during the initial phases of planning. The Level 3 schedule spans the whole of the project and is used to support the monthly report. It includes all major milestones, major elements of design, engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning and/or start-up. If the Level 4 schedules are primarily developed by trade/sub-contractors, during the initial phases of the project the Level 3 schedule provides the schedule framework and constraints used by the subcontractors to develop their tenders. During the execution phase of the project this schedule defines the overall critical path and is the primary coordination tool for the overall project. Audiences for this type of schedule include, but are not limited to program or project managers, CMs or owner’s representatives, superintendents, and general foremen.
Level 4 Schedule:
Execution Schedule, also called a Project Working Level Schedule. Level 4 is the detailed working level schedule, where each schedule is an expansion of part of a Level 3 schedule, and is established within the integrated project schedule. This is the key working level CPM schedule displaying the activities to be accomplished by the project workforce and is required for every project. The dates generated by the schedule activities represent the anticipated start and completion of work required to complete the project. If there is no ‘Level 3’ schedule, activities in future months/years may be summary in nature but still provide approximate start and completion dates for major pieces of work (this is called ‘rolling wave scheduling’). Developed by the ‘contractor’, ‘subcontractor’ (trade contractor), or the project team prior to commencing work on the project execution, or work in a phase or area of the project. The Level 4 schedule may be for the whole of the project or a part of the project depending on the size of the project and complexity of the work. A critical factor is keeping each ‘Level 4’ schedule to a sensible size that can be easily managed, updated, validated, etc. ‘Level 4’ schedules may be for major sections of the work or for discrete processes such as a ‘Design Schedule’, ‘Procurement schedule’ and/or a ‘Commissioning Schedule’. Generally, the ‘Level 4’ schedule represents the area of authority of a section manager or engineer, so one manager is responsible for all of the work in the schedule. Activities are generally over a week in duration (depending on the nature of the project) and should be resource loaded at least in the near term and include detailed crew movements and other means and methods to ensure viability. Where used, short term ‘look ahead’ are produced from this level; typically ‘Three Week Look-ahead’ schedules are updated every two weeks. Audiences for this type of schedule include but are not limited to project managers, superintendents, and general foremen.
Level 5 Schedule:
Detail Schedule. The further breakdown of the activities of a Level 4 Schedule. A short term schedule used to map out the detailed tasks needed to coordinate day to day work in a specific areas. Level 5 schedules are developed by workforce supervisors to plan and coordinate their work at the detail level; Workarounds and critical areas can be exploded here. Typically Bar Charts (Gantt Charts), the schedules are replaced every 1, 2 or 4 weeks depending on the complexity of the work, typically schedules extend for 1 or 2 weeks beyond the date when the replacement is due (eg a ‘weekly schedule’ will extend for 2 weeks and be updated/replaced each week), this encourages continuity of working. Audiences for this type of schedule include but are not limited to superintendents, team leaders, crew leaders, general foremen, foremen and sub-foremen.
- Where available, the WBS is used as a basis for the development of the schedule structure
- Level 1 and 2 schedules are normally developed as part of the pre-feasibility studies to determine the viability of the project.
- Only Mega projects will have a fully maintained Level 1 and Level 2 schedule. Smaller project typically only have a Level 2 schedule.
- The Level 3 schedule is initially developed as a high level CPM overview of the project. If the project is relatively small, the Level 3 schedule is expanded into a Level 4 schedule for coordinating the execution of the works. On larger projects with multiple Level 4 schedules the Level 3 schedule is maintained as the project’s overall, integrated CPM schedule.
- Every project requires a Level 4 schedule for day to day coordination of the project’s work. However, the overall size of this schedule needs to be ‘manageable’ and focused on the work in one management area. The Level 3 schedule becomes critical for the overall coordination of the project as soon as more than one Level 4 schedule is in use.
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