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Published June 2021, Updated April 2023

How to Balance CLINs in a MILCON Schedule

Published December 2022

How to Balance CLINs in a MILCON Schedule : A Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

If a schedule’s CLINs aren’t properly balanced, the government may reject it as it wouldn’t be able to serve as the basis for progress payments without the dollar values adding up.


If you’re working on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project using the government’s Resident Management System (RMS), CLIN balancing errors also prevent the schedule from being uploaded into the system.


Below are the steps to balance CLINs in a MILCON schedule:


1.    Create the Standard Activity Coding Structure
2.    Under the BIDI Activity Code, add each CLIN as a Subcode
3.    Assign a BIDI Code to All Activities
4.    Group and Sort the Schedule by BIDI Code
5.    Assign Costs to Activities within Each Group
6.    Confirm the Schedule’s Total Cost Equals the Contract Value

Schedule Cost Loading CLIN Balancing

Source: UFGS 01 32 01.00 10, updated Feb-2015

In this article, we’ll guide you through the 6 steps with examples to balancing contract line item numbers (CLINs) in a military construction (MILCON) schedule.


A project’s CLINs represent a portion and cost of the contract. Each CLIN has its own value, and all CLINs added up equal the total contract value.


As we talked about in our Schedule Cost Loading article, the standard UFGS 01 32 01.00 10 specification includes the requirement for the schedule to serve as the basis for progress payments.


With the schedule’s cost loading, the total value of all activities coded to a CLIN need to equal the value of that CLIN – in other words, be “balanced”.

Source: UFGS 01 32 01.00 10, updated Feb-2015

Make sure the activity coding structure is made on the project level, and NOT the global level. This is explained in our P6 Mandatory Requirements article.


Schedule CLIN Bid Item Coding BIDI

The Bid Item Coding (BIDI) correlates with the CLINs.


Standard Activity Coding Dictionary SDEF

Source: UFGS 01 32 01.00 10, updated Feb-2015

The first step to balancing CLINs in a schedule is to create the Standard Activity Coding Structure as explained in our USACE SDEF Explained article.

This coding structure is predefined in the specifications and tells you what needs to go in each field, activity code names, length, and description of the structure.

1.  Create the Standard Activity Coding Structure

CLIN BIDI Activity Code in P6

2.  Under the BIDI Activity Code, Add Each CLIN as a Subcode

Once the activity coding is set (on the project level), add each CLIN as a subcode to the BIDI code.

The example below has the requirements from the Standard Activity Coding Dictionary snapshot above – the code length is 6 characters, and the description for each is the Bid Item (CLIN).

Source: UFGS 01 32 01.00 10, updated Feb-2015

Schedule BIDI CLIN Cost Loaded

3.  Assign a BIDI Code to All Activities

Now that the activity coding structure is complete, assign a BIDI code to all activities. For example, all activities related to the scope of CLIN 0001 are assigned to that BIDI code.


The schedule’s activities need to be detailed enough so there’s only ONE BIDI code assigned to each activity.


All activities need to have a BIDI code assigned, even if there are no costs with that activity.

P6 Schedule BIDI CLIN Code Example

4.  Group and Sort the Schedule by BIDI Code

Now you can group and sort your schedule by the BIDI codes to see all the activities under each CLIN.
P6 Schedule CLIN Cost Loading Example

5.  Assign Costs to Activities within Each Group

You can now assign costs to each activity within each group, making sure the activities add up to each CLIN value.

Make sure the cost loading is set up into a single lump sum labor resource as explained in our P6 Mandatory Requirements article.

P6 Schedule CLIN Balancing Cost Loading Example

6.  Confirm the Schedule's Total Cost Equals the Contract Value

Once you’ve finished cost loading each CLIN, make sure each CLIN adds up in your schedule to equal the total contract value.

In this article, we walked through six steps to balance contract line item numbers (CLINs) in a military construction (MILCON) schedule.​

A schedule’s cost loading is “balanced” when the schedule activities coded to a CLIN equal the value of the CLIN, and all CLINs totaled together equal the contract value.

If the schedule does not have balanced CLINs, the government may reject it as the basis for progress payments and there will also be issues uploading the schedule file into the government’s Resident Management System (RMS).

Below are the steps to balance CLINs in a MILCON schedule:

1.    Create the Standard Activity Coding Structure
2.    Under the BIDI Activity Code, add each CLIN as a Subcode
3.    Assign a BIDI Code to All Activities
4.    Group and Sort the Schedule by BIDI Code
5.    Assign Costs to Activities within Each Group
6.    Confirm the Schedule’s Total Cost Equals the Contract Value


Questions or comments? Reach us at connect@cpm-ss.com.


Thanks for reading.


Related Articles:

S-Curve from a Construction Schedule (with Examples)

Schedule Cost Loading

New to USACE Schedules? 3 Things to Know

Checklist – Schedule Cost Loading

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