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Forensic schedule delay analysis is the investigation of tasks and the activities by using CPM scheduling methods to model the real project situation to resolve delay claims through negotiations or legal processes.
Time is one of the most important components of a construction project. If this time is not used efficiently then delays occur which will cause the project to overrun. Delays which have financial impacts for both the contractors and subcontractors and even the client themselves. Forensic schedule delay analysis methods are used to resolve construction disputes when this occurs to try and resolve the situation between the two parties.
During the construction process, multiple delays can occur concurrently which can be caused by more than one party. Therefore, delay analysis and claim management is an unavoidable process in a construction project which requires effective tools and techniques to resolve the disputes.
There are four commonly used methods for Forensic Schedule Delay Analysis:
As-Planned vs As-Built Analysis is the comparison of the planned work against the actual performance completed. The dates and durations of the activities are selected from the baseline schedule and compared with the actual schedule. The main benefit of this method is that it is easy to perform and understand. Many experts favour this method because of its simplicity.
Another method which can be used is Windows Analysis. The overall schedule is divided into windows with a selected duration. Then the activities within the selected window are updated by the expert responsible for considering and analysing the delays. Windows Analysis method provides precise information regarding to the delays when there are regularly updated. This method is also very difficult to manipulate due to its precise monitoring.
Time Impact Analysis is a delay analysis method that considers the cause and effect of a change to the (CPM) schedule. An event that causes a delay is identified and its relationships with the activities are determined by using this method. Time Impact Analysis is a useful technique for analysing complex schedules and determining concurrent delays. This technique is accepted by many courts and agencies. However, it has some limitations such as manipulation and it is very expensive and time consuming.
The final method used in Collapsed As-Built. In this method, the expert uses the actual as-built schedule and takes out the duration of all the delays caused by to the contractor. As-built critical path is determined by analysing the activities of this revised schedule. Collapsed As-Built analysis is a useful technique for determining concurrent delays.
Forensic Schedule Delay Analysis Methods are closely related with right CPM calculations. There is no standard method and each method have their pros and cons. Deciding which method of making delay analysis is based on the type and the characteristics of the delay.
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