Many delay, disruption, and loss of productivity claims are lost or substantially reduced in value because mistakes, errors and carelessness are reflected in the original schedule and plan of operations. The original schedule is often the first piece of documentation that the owner receives demonstrating the contractor’s professionalism in planning and management.

Contractors should pay great attention to the scheduling process and avoid many of the common mistakes that can lead to a loss of credibility on the project. It is impossible to list all of the possible initial scheduling mistakes, but the following is a list of the Top 14 mistakes in the initial construction schedule that some courts and boards of contract appeals have noted:

  1. No proof of the information used to prepare schedule
  2. Errors in technical logic
  3. Incomplete schedules
  4. Overlooking procurement of critical materials
  5. Failure to consider physical restraints
  6. Failure to consider weather restraints
  7. Failure to consider resources
  8. Failure to consider the economics of the sequencing
  9. Failure to consider uncertainty and risk in establishing durations
  10. Schedule does not “tie in” to the anticipated means and methods and/or estimate
  11. Logic intentionally deviates from the manner in which the contractor intends to build
  12. Elimination of float by increasing durations
  13. Unrealistic productivity or durations
  14. The schedule submitted to the owner was not used to build the project

Again, the schedule can often set the tone for the job. In court, it is the document that establishes the benchmark of all time related claims. As such, it has a tremendous impact on the judge and jury and influences the credibility they will attach to the evidence that follows.