W11_IN_Alternatives Handling Out-of-Sequence Schedule Activity

1. Problem Recognition

It is considered almost never Project is going exactly as per initial plan. Construction always has excuses at least several during the project, starting from Procurement until the commissioning phase.

Activities sequence can change easily during project execution and priority will be given to those activities which could be done at the certain moment. That’s become a reason to have many of out-of-sequence activities in the schedule.

In this blog posting, along with rebaseline effort for Pearl team schedule several methods required to be applied to fix occurrence of out of sequence activity in schedule.

2. Feasible Alternatives

Various methods both automatically and manually are able to be applied to fix out of sequence activity

A. (Manual) Adjusting planned “lag”
B. (Manual) Splitting the activity and re arranging logic
C. (Manual) Changing relationship logic
D. (Automatic menu/Manual) Retained Logic
E. (Automatic menu) Progress Override

However, the above methods need to be applied by following this condition for consistency

  • All activities prior status date need to be in completed status
  • All incomplete/remaining work need to be scheduled beyond status date
  • Avoid soft constraints
  • Ensure critical path formed

3. Outcomes

In our project currently several type of out-of-sequence activities happened where on fixing it, we need to consider nature of the activity, its logic and project constraint that it may affects. Following are 3 cases of out-of-sequence and options for fixing it.

Case 1: Out-of-Sequence for Blog Posting activity

11.1

Nature:

  • blog posting activity is able to complete in parallel (we don’t need to wait blog week 2 finish to complete blog week 3)
  • it should not exceed project final date on 7th July 2018
  • Duration for each task need to keep on 7 days reflecting its weekly requirement.

Out of Sequence:

All blog posting activity are previously linked with FS relationship. However as project goes along, starting week 4 activity are not completed 100% while project are stepping on week 5 period. Same condition repeated for week 5 activity and so on until week 9 when we agree to rebaseline.

Options:

  1. Reschedule incomplete portion of work beyond status date (auto menu in mic.project)
  2. Using Method C – changing relationship FS to SS. This is because blog posting duration surpass project completion date if remain on full FS logic for all task.  SS logic applied just until not surpassing completion date. Note: count risk of compressed duration.  

11.4

Case 2: Out-of-Sequence for Paper Task

11.5

Nature:

  • Paper is actually able to be done in parallel. However it is more ideal to start third draft when second draft completed. So FS relationship is preferable.
  • Waiting time for paper submission result that requires 3 months need to be addressed.
  • it should not exceed project final date on 7th July 2018

 

Out of Sequence:

As seen on above, first draft activity completion is not catching up schedule status date. Progress delay, but the condition is not necessarily required extension of duration because completion of this activity is all depends on team member commitment to complete (internal factor). However schedule remain need to be fixed to reflect current condition.

Options:

11.6

  1. Reschedule incomplete portion of work beyond status date (auto menu in mic.project)
  2. Using Method B: splitting activity. To address waiting time for paper result which is mandatory part to achieve 1 of 2 main objective of this course, which is passed certification.

 

Case 3: Out-of-Sequence for Problem Solving Task

11.7

Nature:

  • Problem solving is able to be done in parallel
  • It is previously plan started on week 8, but now on week 14 with the same amount of scope. (compressed duration required)
  • it should not exceed project final date on 7th July 2018

Out of Sequence:

Several team members seeing that problem solving task is easier to complete while in idle time with no progress due to other task takes more time (blog and paper require more effort). Therefore even though original plan said that problem solving task start after mid term (week 8), on week 4 or 5 some actuals has been claimed on it, making problem solving task start earlier. On the other hand, delay in other task impacting mid term as starting point of problem solving task, it shifted to start from week 8 to week 14.

Options:

11.8

  1. Method D: Retained Logic, selection of the Retained Logic option will allow the affected activity to start early. This menu available on P6 but for microsoft project we need to do it manually
  2. Using Method C – changing relationship FS to SS. This is because problem solving posting duration surpass project completion date if remain on full FS logic for all task.  SS logic applied just until not surpassing completion date.

4. Selection of criteria

Comparison should be done to examine each instance of out-of-sequence progress to determine the correct response case by case.

5. Analysis & comparison

  1. (Manual) Adjusting planned “lag”: it might applied for activity that started late, or even started earlier (by applying minus lag)
  2. (Manual) Splitting the activity and re arranging logic which can be in different ways : this is applied for activity that have parts which as project goes along, considered to be captured and monitor separately.
  3. (Manual) Changing relationship logic: it might applied for activity that previously on FS relation to keep ideal logic, but as project goes along, it is actually able to be done in parallel and compression of total duration is required (to handle delay) without impacting project completion date.
  4. (Automatic menu/Manual) Retained Logic : Selection of the Retained Logic option will allow the affected activity to start early, but schedule its completion in accordance with the network logic. The activity will not be allowed to complete until all its predecessors are completed, and the original duration is satisfied.
  5. (Automatic menu) Progress Override: Selecting Progress Override will treat the activity with out-of-sequence progress as if it has no predecessors so it can continue without being affected by its incomplete

6. Selection of preferred alternative

Based on comparison result, the most preferred alternative is based on assessment on each case by case, which method will able to maintain schedule integrity and ensure that the schedule remains reliable after activities are added, removed, broken down into smaller activities, or sequenced differently from the last period.

7. Performance monitoring

There are varieties of reasons to execute tasks out of sequence, some are listed as above. If that happens, we need to be aware of it and also understand the implications of doing so. And we need to address how to fix it based on each case nature and out-of-sequence type that happen to it.

Reference

  1. What are Out of Sequence Activities
    https://tensix.com/2014/07/what-are-out-of-sequence-activities/
  1. Handling Out of Sequence Progress in an updated P6 schedule https://www.planacademy.com/handling-out-of-sequence-progress-in-an-updated-p6-schedule/
  2. Wagner, Ralph. Scheduling Best Practice pp 2 – 4. Retrieved from
    http://warnercon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Article-9-Handling-Out-of-Sequence-Progress1.pdf
  3. Humphreys, G.C. (2011). Project Management Using Earned Value Second Edition. Humphreys & Associates, Inc, Chapter 13.
  4. Fix Out of Out of Sequence Activities
    https://garudaaace2015.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/w6_hmip_fix-out-of-sequence-activities-of-garuda-aace-2015-schedule/
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One thought on “W11_IN_Alternatives Handling Out-of-Sequence Schedule Activity

  1. Another really awesome blog posting, Bu Innar. Too bad you didn’t cite the work of Steve Patterson on this same subject. He took a little bit different approach so it may be worth your time and effort to experiment for another blog posting using this same case study but this time, use MS Project instead of Primavera and see if you get the same results?

    http://pmworldjournal.net/article/retain-or-override/

    I always enjoy your blog postings, Bu. Keep them coming…

    BR,
    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

    Like

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