What is As-Planned vs. As-Built?
First Definition: The as-planned vs. as-built analysis is a simple technique used to compare a baseline or as-planned schedule with an as-built schedule or a schedule update reflecting progress. This method compares the planned start and finish dates with the actual start and finish dates of the activities on the critical and near-critical paths as planned. This identifies delayed start dates, extended durations, and late finishes. This method is most effective for simple projects with short durations and a clear critical path that remains consistent across the entire project. Its accuracy decreases as the actual critical path deviates from the planned schedule.
Second Definition: As-Planned versus As-Built simply compares what actually happened to what was supposed to happen. Measures the activities of the baseline or other planned schedule against those of the as-built schedule or schedule updates to identify delays that have occurred.
When using this method, it is important that delays are measured by the differences between the actual dates as-built and the dates as-planned, as opposed to the dates as-planned. Late dates reflect when the available float for the activity is exhausted and therefore when the activity becomes critical.
Many companies or organizations made up of contractors and construction consultants reported using As-Planned versus As-Built methods more than any other delay analysis technique. This method also ranked it as the most successful method. This result is particularly surprising given that many in the industry see the method as one that is most likely to be challenged by the opposition.
Advantages of the As Planned Versus As-Built Method
The contractor or claims analyst has a number of things to consider when selecting the delay analysis methodology to be used. Sometimes a certain method is explicitly called for in the contract documents. More often, however, there is flexibility in deciding which method is best suited to the dispute. In such situations, the claimant should consider which method best supports his thoughts on the issue, based on the nature of the dispute and the available documentation.
Even in the most straightforward disputes, overly complex analysis can reduce the chances of recovery. If the delay analysis is too complicated to follow, the evaluator will not trust its findings. One of the greatest strengths of the As-Planned versus As-Built Method is that it is very easy to understand and thus appeals to those who present themselves to an inexperienced audience.
The added benefit of the low-resource requirements comes from the simplicity of the method. Since the method is less intensive than other methods, the time required to prepare the analysis is generally significantly shorter than that of other more complex methods. And in situations where an outside consultant is being used, this results in lower costs for the client. Simplicity and ease of use are likely the primary factors behind the overwhelming popularity of the claimant approach.
Again, construction contractors and claims consultants ranked inadequate project record documentation as the most frequently encountered obstacle to the effective use of certain delay analysis methods. Ideally, the effect of the delay on the schedule is measured at the time it occurs. In order to do so, the project schedule must be properly maintained by regularly updating it to reflect the actual start and finish dates, reassessed duration of activities, modified relations of activities, etc.
Contractors often fail to update the project schedule properly, thus excluding the use of some of the more technical delay analysis methodologies. In these cases, the As-Planned vs. As-Built method is an attractive option, as it does not require contemporary updates.
Disadvantages of the As Planned Versus As-Built Method
All that said, while the As-Planned versus As-Built Method is simple and inexpensive to implement and overcomes limitations with the available documentation, there are weaknesses that should be considered when assessing its use. For example, the method is not well suited for determining the cause of delay when a project is complex, takes longer durations, or is designed in a manner that deviates significantly from the planned sequence. In addition, the method is not typically appropriate for projects that include near-critical pathways that experienced delays, as the method can not consider shifts in critical paths over time.
A further limitation of the method is its failure to consider concurrent delays. The As-Planned versus As-Built Method will not typically reflect these critical considerations. Special attention is critical to documenting concurrent impacts or known pace events when performing an analysis.
Eventually, while using a common delay analysis technique, the As-Planned versus As-Built analysis may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation. The above provides a brief discussion of the method and its limitations.
- As-Planned versus As-Built Method is a basic simple method
- As-Planned versus As-Built Method is observational, no changes are made to the programme
- As-Planned versus As-Built Method is a straightforward comparison between as planned vs actual performance of work
- As-Planned versus As-Built Method can only be carried retrospectively (require as-built programme)