Q&A with Bruce Stephan

PMA and Bruce Stephan leveraged NetPoint to better analyze, understand, and share the delay sources for risk assessment of a complex $1 billion+ transit project that was behind schedule with three years of work remaining.

Bruce presented his experience at the 2016 NetPoint & GPM Conference.

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What made this project unique to others you have managed in the past?

Although not unique, design-build contracts are less common in the industry. This is a mega construction project with a contract value of $1.2B.


During your initial schedule analysis at month 19, a four-month initial delay was predicted in the P6 schedule that later was realized to be an eight-month delay.

When demonstrating the schedule to the client using NetPoint, did visualizing the schedule help convince the client that the eight-month delay was accurate?

Yes, it did. We found the initial delay during discussions, schedule analysis, and document reviews. During the analysis, we found that the contractor had not incorporated known change orders in their schedule. When we incorporated the known change orders, an additional four-month delay became obvious. NetPoint was used to graphically show the delay and communicate it to the project team.


Consolidating a 10K+ activity schedule into a one-page 200-activity NetPoint model is quite a feat!

How long did it take you to create the one-page model and how many other PMAers were involved (if any)?
Was this the most complex one-page schedule you had ever created?

It took about a week or two and it was done by David Weber from the PMA Phoenix office. We do this type of schedule consolidation on a regular basis, but it wasn’t the most complex. The most complex NetPoint one-pager we did was on the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center where we pulled 125 schedules into one NetPoint view.


Having worked on this project, what is the one piece of advice you would share with fellow industry experts?

When running risk workshops on complex projects, it’s best to use a summary schedule like NetPoint to do what-if scenarios live to show the impact of risks and mitigations being analyzed.


Are you still involved in this project?

My role on this project has been completed.


What outcome is expected to get the project back on track now that the client clearly understands the current schedule from the NetPoint demonstration?

As a result of our efforts, the client recently settled a large delay claim with the contractor and re-baselined the project. PMA was recently re-engaged to conduct another risk assessment for the project that will help keep the project moving towards timely completion.