Putting a Simple Time Impact Analysis (TIA) Together
Let's put together some simple instructions for how a Contractor can put a proper Time Impact Analysis (delay claim) together. It can be a confusing process and often times Contractors don't put them together correctly. As a result, this puts the Contractor at a disadvantage when negotiating as they aren't fully confident in the claim they are submitting. So let's set up some guide lines to give you confidence in the Time Impact Analysis that you're putting together. Before we jump in, let me make a few disclaimers: Your situation is unique and these instructions are provided for information purposes only. Also, always follow what is outlined in the Project's Specifications when submitting a Time Extension Request.
Before we jump into the step-by-step, let's review a few common mistakes that Contractors make when putting a delay claim together:
- Choosing the wrong schedule file to insert the delay event into. Either from a file with a data date way before the delay event occurred, or a file after the delay event.
- Claiming that since the recent schedule update has negative float, the amount of time they are owed is equal to the negative float in the most recent schedule update.
- Not breaking the delay into "Contractor caused" and "Owner caused", and instead assuming that the Owner is responsible for the entire event.
- Not taking into account other concurrent events that may have caused the delay to be excusable but non-compensable.
- Not submitting a separate "Time Impact" file, and instead making the delay claim through the monthly narrative report or through an email.
These are all things that can be easily avoided with some step-by-step guidelines. Overall, here's how we'll be putting our time impact together:
Step 1.) Choose the right schedule.
Step 2.) Make a copy of that file.
Step 3.) Insert the delay event into our copied schedule.
Step 4.) Report the delay.
Step 1 - Choosing the right file:
Pick the approved schedule update that immediately preceded the delay event. That means, if the delay event started April 10th, you would use the March file if that was the latest update that was approved prior to the start of the delay event on April 10th. You might be thinking, "that's subjective, is it when we submitted the RFI, when the Change Order was issued, or when we performed the work?" You're right, it is subjective and your situation is unique. In general, take it back to the first point when the project team was aware that a change event was taking place. Either when the unforeseen condition was encountered, when the RFI was responded to which prompted a change, or when the Change Order was issued which directed a change in the design. Whatever that first event was, pick the schedule file that immediately came before that event.
I created a mock-schedule to give an example. The image below shows the longest path from our pre-impacted schedule:
You can see that before our project was delayed, we were showing a substantial completion date of October 7, 2019. Let's say that during the excavation of our foundations we encountered some unknown utilities that had to be removed. Since this is the schedule update that we have right before the delay event happened, we can use this as the basis for evaluating the delay.
Step 2 - Make a copy of that file:
Now that we've identified the right schedule file, let's make a copy so that we can insert the delay event and see how the schedule was impacted.
Step 3 - Insert the delay event into our copied schedule:
We'll now use the copied "pre-impacted" schedule file to insert the delay event into so that we can see how our contract milestone was affected. Let's say that you started excavation of the foundations on August 6th, 2018 or, 5 days after you were supposed to start. You were three days into excavation when an unknown utility was discovered. This triggered an RFI, testing of the unknown utility, a Change Order, and added work to remove the utility. Let's map it out to see what this looks like:
Here's what we did, we added a three day activity (A1130) to account for the "progress delay" by the Contractor. Also, we split our excavation (A1000) into two activities: the 3 days prior to discovering the unknown utilities and the 2 days remaining after the unknown utilities were resolved.
We can see that due to this event, the project has been delayed by 19 work days or, 25 calendar days. However, three of those days are owned by the Contractor due to the starting the excavation 3 days late (for the sake of this exercise, we'll assume it's the Contractor's fault). As a result, the Contractor was delayed 16 work days or, 22 calendar days and will be responsible for recovering the additional 3 days that they delayed the project.
Step 4 - Reporting the delay:
You'll need to refer to the Project's specifications to see how you should be reporting the delay. But typically, I'll use the following format in my narrative to report the delays:
1.) General Overview - Give a description of the delay event and a summary of what you as the Contractor are claiming. How many days of delay are you requesting? Are you seeking compensable delay, non-compensable delay? Etc.
2.) Background - Provide a detailed background of the timeline of events and reference the backup documents that support the dates you used in your analysis. This should include RFIs, CORs, Change Orders, Daily Reports, Inspection Reports, Email Correspondence, etc.
2.) Methodology - Provide a description of what you used as the pre-impacted schedule file, what changes you made/activities you added to show the delay, and the overall affect it had on the completion date. Also, explain any other considerations you may have made in your analysis. Did you consider other events that were happening at the same time? If so, how did you account for those events?
3.) Summary - Summarize your claim.
4.) Exhibits - Include the pre-impacted longest path and the post-impacted longest path at a minimum in your exhibits.
Along with the narrative report, I'll submit the actual schedule files for the "pre-impacted schedule" and "post-impacted schedule".
There you have it! Again, this is isn't the end-all, be-all of reporting delays. But hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to put one together and how the Owner may approach your claim after you submit your Time Impact Analysis.