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Published June 2021, Updated April 2023

Schedule SDEF Responsible Party RESP Explained

Rule of Thumb: Schedule Level of Detail. 

Published October 2022

Consider an activity titled “Submit and Review Steel Fabrication Shop Drawings”. The contractor would be responsible for the prepare and submit portion, and the government would be responsible for the review portion, so this should be split into two separate activities – “Submit Steel Fabrication Shop Drawings”, and “Review Steel Fabrication Shop Drawings”.



Schedule Activites --> ONE Feature of Work (FOW)


A project’s features of work are often a core component of administering a military or federal construction project – Definable Features of Work (DFOW) are integrated into the contractor’s Quality Control processes such as Three Phase Control, and linking the schedule to the submittal register in RMS.


A feature of work is a portion of work that is separate and distinct, has its own control requirements, and its own trade or discipline.


The contractor’s Definable Features of Work (DFOW) listing is developed as part of the Quality Control Plan. The feature of work codes in the schedule are based on that DFOW.


Each activity can have no more than one feature of work code applied.


Schedule SDEF Responsible Party RESP
Federal Military Construction Schedule Level of Detail
Schedule SDEF Feature of Work FOW

Military and Federal Schedule Requirements

Summary

Military and federal construction projects using the standard UFGS 01 32 01.00 10 scheduling specification have various requirements involving the schedule’s level of detail. These requirements are important for the schedule to function as a project monitoring and planning tool, as well as the basis to determine earnings for progress payments.


An easy-to-remember rule of thumb regarding the schedule’s required level of detail:


Rule of Thumb: Schedule activities need to be detailed enough so that each activity has only ONE responsible party, and ONE feature of work.


The responsible party (RESP) and feature of work (FOW) codes are developed in the schedule’s Standard Activity Coding Dictionary.


Responsible party codes define who is responsible for performing the activity, and feature of work codes are taken from the contractor’s Definable Features of Work (DFOW) listing as developed in their Quality Control Plan.


Use this rule of thumb when developing or reviewing your project schedule to ensure not only that the schedule is compliant, but also that it’s clearly communicating the work plan and activities for progress payments.


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


Thanks for reading.


Related Articles:

Why Quality Construction Schedules Matter

An Overlooked (but Beneficial) Scheduling Spec Section

USACE SDEF Explained

Schedule Linking to RMS Submittal Register

For example, consider an activity titled “Install Drywall and Paint Walls”. Drywall installation and painting are two separate features of work,  so this should be split into separate activities – “Install Drywall” and “Paint Walls”.



Graphic Example


The graphic below shows an example of this level of detail.


The top activity titled “Overhead MEP Rough-Ins” has multiple responsible parties, and multiple features of work. Following the rule of thumb for each activity to have one RESP and one FOW, the bottom activities show the generalized activity broken into a greater level of detail with individual activities.


Military and federal construction projects using the standard UFGS 01 32 01.00 10 specification have numerous requirements around the schedule’s level of detail, including activity durations, design and permitting activities, procurement, government activities, mandatory tasks, and so on.


A schedule’s level of detail is important because clearly defined activities allow it to function as described in the specifications – as a project monitoring and planning tool, and the basis to determine earnings for progress payments.

Activities that are non-descript, vague, general in nature, or missing altogether impede the schedule’s ability to do so.

This article describes an easy-to-remember rule of thumb regarding the schedule’s required level of detail:

Rule of Thumb: Schedule activities need to be detailed enough so that each activity has only ONE responsible party, and ONE feature of work.

See the sections below for:

  • Quick Intro to the Standard Activity Coding Dictionary
  • Schedule Activities --> ONE Responsible Party (RESP)
  • Schedule Activities --> ONE Feature of Work (FOW)
  • Graphic Example
  • Quick Intro to the Standard Activity Coding Dictionary

    As described in our SDEF Explained article, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or other federal agencies may require schedule files to be formatted per the Standard Data Exchange Format (SDEF).


    This format allows the transfer of schedule and cost information from the contractor’s system (e.g. Primavera P6) to the government’s system (e.g. Resident Management System / RMS).


    The first step in making the SDEF file is to create and implement an activity coding structure in the schedule. This structure is predefined and described in the scheduling specification but includes two specific fields – the responsible party (activity code RESP), and the feature of work (activity code FOW).



    Schedule Activites --> ONE Responsible Party (RESP)


    The responsible party code (RESP) defines who is responsible for performing the activity – whether it’s the prime contractor, a subcontractor, the government, or another party involved in the project.


    Each activity can have no more than one responsible party code applied.

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