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Bills of Quantity vs Work program

posted Jan 13, 2018, 5:00 PM by jeffery jim


I am always blown away with the level of incompetency of many construction contract administrators in the government sector when it comes to work program. This goes to engineers, quantity surveyors and architects as well in the private sector who have the fair share of making comments for a work program of a project. If you are incompetent, learn!

1. Work program is a planned approach where the financial distribution is not exclusively tabulated based on bills of quantities. It is derived from or based on the bill of quantity and can be deposited into appropriate activities and sequences. With that been said, it can be either combination or splitting the financial sum from a bill into each level of activities in order to render physical progress.

2. Not every activity will have its dominant presence in bill of quantity as in the work program. Testing and Commissioning is the holding point and a critical path of a project where cost are extracted from various bills. There is no dedicated bill in a contract which specifies only testing and commissioning cost. All are included or inserted into various bills which need to be extracted and form a T&C WBS.

3. Not every petty details are included into a conventional level 5 work program. Some are retained in measurement sheets/schedules which are derived based on itemized entity in the bill for measuring work completed based on work done versus work required in the bill with rates as agreed in the bill. Nevertheless, this assist the summation of the key activities in the work program. This again depends on contract form you have decided; either a PWD203 or PWD203A. Bill of Quantity or drawing and specifications. Some administrators don't even know the difference, how would you be strategic enough to use clause 25 and 26 of the contract form to administrate and going around with variation order(s) and evil trickery of the contractor?

3a. Why would you breakdown a bolt and a nut task when both go in tandem with a work program and can be lumped together? Reinforcements and concrete in structural bills often lump everything together while work program divides it accordingly based on level or storey of each building. For that good reason why it is divided to monitor physical progress rather than financial progress of itemized entity from a bill.

4. When some administrators talk about this and that in jargon, usually they have no idea about Schedule Basis memorandum and Project Execution Plan. We planners are taking the burden to configure a method which is easy and here comes bunch of smart people trying to complicate project.

5. If you are really concern about the project, tracking is the only way. Tracking the gantt chart with monte carlo simulation makes it easier until you are facing progress issue and performance at site. You can even simplify problem at site by using the Pareto rules by sorting out 20% of the mess at site which resorting to 80% problem at site before deciding in resources crashing in order to remedy the project delay.

6. In any case if your project worth more than RM200 million and life threatening, we can talk about Spearman or Pearson statistical distribution, Latin hypercube sampling and iteration, risk aversion on individual task or resources using beta distribution and what ever tools that we have. We can even conduct risk analysis and draw you fishbone or tripod beta illustrations if we need to. But why complicate things that is easy like rising a low rise building?

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