Scheduling Manual
for Design Projects

1.0 Purpose
2.0 Scope
3.0 Definitions
4.0 Responsibilities
5.0 Discussion
6.0 Attachments

1.0 Purpose

Project scheduling is an integral element of an effective project control system. Project schedules are established the earliest feasible time and monitored/statused throughout the life of the Project. The purpose of this procedure is to provide standard guidelines in the development and updating of project schedules and all supporting documents and reports.

2.0 Scope

The scope of this procedure applies to all new projects that are scheduled in Primavera. Projects would include all capital projects in the Capital Program Management Division (CPM) and other support type projects deemed appropriate by division management.

One of the primary responsibilities of Project Management is to establish a plan and schedule for the project as early as possible. The schedule must portray the activities required to support the project plan. The project manager must impose tight control and discipline on all members of the project team to see that the planned schedule objectives are met.

The NJDOT planning and scheduling system described in these procedures is designed to aid Project Management in discharging the aforementioned responsibility. It outlines the steps in schedule development and control of these schedules once they are developed. It delineates the interfaces with and responsibilities of the various elements of the project organization in the scheduling process, and it describes the reports generated by the Program Support Services and their use as tools in schedule control.

While the project manager is directly responsible for establishing schedule milestones and maintaining overall schedule control, the implementation of the planning and scheduling system is the duty of the planner/ scheduler assigned to the project team. However, for the system to perform its functions effectively, the support of all project personnel involved in the scheduling process is required, as is their adherence to these policies and procedures.

The planning and scheduling system performs the following major functions:

  1. Provides time-scaled network schedules that define when in-house (and consultant) work tasks are to be performed.
  2. Provides detailed bar charts for these schedules.
  3. Provides tools for evaluating schedule performance to date.
  4. Provides tools for forecasting final schedule performance.
  5. Produces reports for management to plan for the Capital Program.
  6. Produces reports that provide the Project Manager, and CPM staff with the information necessary to monitor schedule status and to initiate corrective action if required.
  7. Provides assistance in implementation of corrective action when required. This may include authorizing overtime, increasing manpower, or intensifying expected activity. If this does not solve the slippage problem, it is desirable to revise the schedule and re-plan the project.

3.0 Definitions

Activity– A clearly defined item of work with a duration. Every activity is required to have a predecessor and a successor except the first and last activity of the schedule.

Activity ID– The Activity ID is assigned to every activity identifying the status of the activity and Function Code. The first digit is the Status Code of the activity, and the second through the fifth digits is the Function Code.

Status Code- The status of the activity is labeled as “A” for active/ approved or “D” for draft.  Milestones that are reported on (such as the Award Report) are considered as active (such as Right of Way Availability, Award, etc.).

Critical Path– The critical path is the longest path of contiguously connected activities through a schedule.  Any delay in critical activities (assuming Total Float = 0) will delay the schedule.

Current Schedule- The current schedule reflects any logic changes and additions/ deletions of any activity since the target/ baseline schedule has been approved. Also the current schedule is updated monthly. However the schedule may be changed at any time to reflect the projects current status.

Data Date– The Data Date is the starting date of all remaining work from which the schedule is calculated.

Duration- The number of working days required to complete an activity.

Early Finish (EF)- Scheduled earliest date an activity may be completed.

Early Start (ES)- Scheduled earliest date an activity may start.

Function Code– The function code is a four digit number assigned to every standard or non-standard activity.

Lag– The number of days an activity is delayed in relation to its predecessor. For example:  Activity #1 has an SS with a 10 day lag to Activity #2. This means Activity #2 may start 10 days after Activity #1 starts.

Milestone– An activity with no duration and represents an accomplishment during a project.

Nonstandard Activity- Any activity that is not listed in the Template Schedule. A function code is assigned by a Scheduler and will end in a number other than a zero or a five.

Predecessors– Activities that are required for the start or finish of a given activity. Every activity should have a predecessor except the first activity of the schedule.

Primavera (P3e)- Primavera Project Planner for the enterprise, a commercial scheduling software package that is being used to schedule the projects.

Project Baseline/ Schedule Action Form (Attachment 4)– The form to request a new schedule or baseline schedule from the Bureau of Program Support Services to be entered into P3e.

Project Baseline Schedule/ Budget Form (Attachment 7.1)- A form used to obtain management approval for changing the baseline of a project: schedule and/or budget. It is located on-line in PRS. The following people must approve a baseline change before it can be implemented: the Program Manager and the Director of Project Management.

Project Reporting System (PRS)– A windows based program installed by Project Budget Development and Analysis used to organize information about each project.

Relationships– How activities are connected. There are 3 main relationships:  FS – Finish to Start, SS – Start to Start, FF – Finish to Finish. Usually the SS and FF Relationships have a lag.

Standard Activity– All of the activities are listed in the Template Schedule. A standard activity has the same function code across all projects and ends with a zero or a five.

Successors– Activities that follow the start or finish of a given activity. Every Activity should have a successor except the last activity of the schedule.

Target/ Baseline Schedule- The approved project schedule against which all progress is compared.

Template Schedule- The template schedule lists all major work activities in a logical sequence to be used as a model for creating new project schedules. There is a template for each project delivery process, Pipeline 1, Pipeline 2 and Pipeline 3. These schedules list activities from Feasibility Assessment through award contract and into construction. The activities in these schedules have average durations. The durations and other modifications are the responsibility of the Project Manager with the assistance of a scheduler.

Total Float– The number of days an activity can slip without delaying the project.

Universal Project Code (UPC)- a six-digit project identifier. The first two digits represent the fiscal year the project was created. The last four digits are the next available sequential numbers.

Update Form (Attachment 7.2)- a form that contains a list of all activities for a project that are scheduled to start, finish, or progress during the update period. The forms are produced by the schedulers and distributed to the Project Managers. Updates are marked by the project manager and returned to scheduling for entry into Primavera.

Working Days– Calendar days less the weekends and holidays.

4.0 Responsibilities

Project Manager (PM)- Directs the preparation of and approves all baseline documentation.  Also, defines the scope, develops the schedule, and estimates the cost of the project. The PM must also monitor adherence to the baseline plans, budgets, and funding for the project.

Schedulers- Provides day to day implementation of this procedure. Specific responsibilities include working with project team members to prepare all project schedules for management review and approval; provides evaluations of all change orders and/or design change notices; provides dates, reports, and/or lower level schedules to project team members, and insures that all actual schedule information is presented in the proper formats to support the databases/ reports.

5.0 Discussion

5.1 Schedule Development

All capital projects managed in CPM require a schedule and a baseline schedule approved by the Director of Project Management.

Before the Consultant Selection Process begins, the Project Manager should contact the Scheduler to develop the Consultant Selection Schedule. Based upon the draft Feasibility Assessment Report, the Project Manager should develop the whole schedule through construction. This will provide for a realistic projected award date for the project. This schedule may be used to develop the in-house budget for Preliminary Design. The Activity ID’s for the consultant selection activities and the milestone activities through Preliminary Design, Final Design and Construction will be labeled with an “A”.  All other activities will be labeled with a “D”. 

When the Project Manager begins negotiating the Preliminary Design with the Designer, the Project Manager should contact the Scheduler to finalize the Preliminary Design Schedule. The Activity ID’s for the Preliminary Design Activities will change from “D” to “A” when the Preliminary Schedule is approved or when Preliminary Design begins.

Towards the end of the Preliminary Design, the Project Manager should contact the Scheduler to develop the Final Design Schedule. This Schedule will be used to develop the in-house budget. The Activity ID’s for the Final Design activities will change from “D” to "A” when the Final Design is approved or when Final Design begins.

Every Schedule is updated monthly. The Schedule may be modified at anytime to reflect what is actually happening with the project. When the Project has been awarded, the Design part of the Project is completed and the Schedule stops being updated.

5.2   Draft Baseline Schedule

When a Project Manager starts to develop a Consultant Selection Preliminary Design or Final Design Schedule, the schedule is classified as a Draft Schedule until the Schedule is approved. Once the Project Manager is confident with the activities in the schedule, the Bureau of Project Support Services is notified to develop the In-house Budget. A Draft Schedule is developed as follows:

  1. The UPC and detailed Scope of Work are required to be given to the scheduler before a draft schedule is developed.
  2. The PM submits to the scheduler a template Logic Diagram identifying the required activities durations, any changes to the logic and the project information (Program Manger, Project Manager, County, etc.).
  3. The scheduler requests to add the schedule in P3e from the Bureau of Program Support Services using the Project Baseline/ Schedule Action (pdf 15k) Form.
  4. The scheduler will enter the schedule information into Primavera and will check if the logic is reasonable and the critical path is continuous and runs through the award activity.
  5. The scheduler will give the PM a copy of the Schedule Bar Chart (pdf 296k) (Attachment 7.4) and will relay any questions or concerns he/she has about the schedule.
  6. The Project Manager will review the information and with the assistance of the scheduler, make any changes needed.
  7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the Project Manager is satisfied with the Schedule. The Project Manager will then notify the Bureau of Program Support Services to develop the in-house budget.

5.3   Approval of Baseline Schedule

When the Project Manager is satisfied with the Draft Schedule he/she will submit the Project Baseline Schedule/ Budget (pdf 199k) form along with a copy of the schedule for approval. The required approval signatures are the Program Manager and the Director of Project Management. When the schedule is approved, the original Project Baseline Schedule/ Budget (pdf 199k) form is sent to the scheduler. The award date will be constrained and the scheduler will request to baseline the schedule in P3e from the Bureau of Project Support Services using the Project Baseline/ Schedule Action form.

5.4   Schedule Updates

Projects schedules are updated once a month.

Schedule Update (pdf 292k) forms are produced and distributed by the scheduler one week before they are due back. They list all activities scheduled to start, finish, or progress during the period between the last update and the next update. The Project Manager is to mark up the Update (pdf 292k) form with the actual start/ finish dates and/or remaining durations of each listed activity.

When the scheduler receives the completed Update (pdf 292k) forms from the Project Managers, he/she should first review it to be sure the form is filled out completely and there are no questions about the remarks. After the scheduler updates the schedule he/she shall make a copy of the schedule and deliver it to the Project Manager. The Project Manager will review the schedule and contact the scheduler if he/she has any changes to make.

If an activity started
If an activity started on the date in the Start column, write an “A” next to the date or in the actual start column, and update the forecast finish (see “If an activity has an actual start date” below).

If an activity started on a date other than the date in the Start column, write the actual start date in the actual start column and update the forecast finish  (see “If an activity has an actual start date“ below).

If an activity that is not listed started, write the activity number and the actual start date on the form. This may be a logic change and requires revisions to the schedule. The PM should write down the logic change (if any) and be available to revise the schedule with the scheduler and update the forecast finish (see “If an activity has a start date” below).

If an activity completed/ finished
If an activity finished on the Finish date, write an “A” next to the early date or in the actual finish column.

If an activity finished on a date other than the Finish date, write the actual finish date in the actual finish column.

If an activity that is not listed finished, write the activity number and the actual finish date on the form. This may be a logic change and requires revisions to the schedule. The PM should write down the logic change (if any) and be available to revise the schedule with the scheduler.

If an activity has an actual start date
If an activity has an actual start date then one way the activity can be progressed is by revising the remaining duration. The forecast finish date will then be based on the remaining duration relative to the new data date. Another way to update an activity with an actual start date is to write the forecasted finish date in the actual finish date column.

If an activity did not start
If an activity was scheduled to start, but did not, leave the update line blank and let the logic and remaining duration (change if necessary) dictate the new forecast date.

Schedule Changes
If any time during the month the Project Manger becomes aware of any changes to his/her project which will affect the schedule he/she should meet with a scheduler to make those changes. These changes might include logic changes, duration changes, and addition or deletion of activities (standard or nonstandard). At all times the schedule should reflect what is actually happening with the project and show the targeted milestone dates.

5.5   Revised Baseline Schedules

If after a schedule has been approved there has been major changes to the scope of a project the Project Manger may seek to have his/her target/ baseline schedule replaced. This is called a Revised Baseline Schedule. The Project Manager shall make the necessary changes in the current schedule and submit a copy of that schedule along with the Project Baseline Schedule/ Budget (pdf 199k) form as described in Section 6.3 for approval. Once the schedule is approved, the constraint date on the award activity is changed in the current schedule and the scheduler requests from the Bureau of Program Support Services to baseline the revised schedule using the Project Baseline/ Schedule Action (pdf 15k) form. The old target schedule will be retained in the P3e system.

5.6   Scheduling Reports

After the schedule update period, the scheduling unit from the Bureau of Program Support Services produces many reports and charts for Management, Program Managers, Project Managers and many Bureaus in the Department. Also the activity dates are used in the blue book and other publications in the Department. Because of the extensive use of the scheduling information, it is very important that the schedules accurately reflect what is happening on the project in a timely manner.

5.7   Budget/ Funding Impacts

If there are Budget/ Funding Impacts as a result of schedule changes these impacts should be communicated to the appropriate units. These impacts might include a change in fiscal years or change in the amount of funds.

6.0 Attachments

6.1   Project Baseline/Schedule/Budget Action Form

The Project/ Baseline/ Schedule/ Budget Action Form (pdf 199k) is generated by the PRS (Project Reporting System) software.

6.2   Update Form

The Update Form (pdf 292k) is printed using P3e (Primavera Enterprise).

6.3   Bar Chart

The Schedule Bar Chart (pdf 296k) is printed using P3e.

6.4   Project Baseline/ Schedule Action Form

View the Project Baseline/ Schedule Action Form (pdf 15k)


Last Maintenance Correction:
July 26, 2005