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Published June 2021, Updated April 2023

USACE Construction Schedules

New to USACE Schedules? 3 Things to Know

Published November 2022


USACE Construction Schedules

Successfully executing these requirements as the contractor for the government to review and accept is critical for cash flow early on in the project – for the contractor performing the work, and for the government’s supervision and administration (S&A) charges.

USACE Schedule Withholding Payment Rejection
USACE Schedule Basis for Payment and Cost Loading

This article talked about 3 things to know about construction schedules if you’re new to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects as a contractor or a new government employee. These topics are important to understand because if they’re overlooked or not executed correctly the project could end up with issues or delays in progress payments.

3 Things to Know:


  • There may be more requirements, restrictions, and general oversight on USACE schedules than what you may be used to from the private sector.


  • The schedule is tied directly to progress payments, and the government can reject payment or withhold if the schedule fails to comply with the requirements.


  • In addition to progress payments, the schedule is also directly tied to other contract administrative processes, including the submittal register and quality control / quality assurance.


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


Thanks for reading.


Related Articles:

How to Review a P6 Schedule Log

Why Quality Construction Schedules Matter

USACE SDEF Explained

Schedule Cost Loading

Summary

Because schedules directly influence so many other parts of the contract administrative processes, they are a critical and powerful project management tool.


In addition to progress payments, the schedule is tied to other contract administrative processes, including the submittal register and quality control / quality assurance.

If the schedule doesn’t meet the requirements, the government can reject progress payments and also withhold. This importance of the schedule’s relationship to the contractor being able to get paid cannot be understated.

As we talked about in our Schedule Cost Loading article, the schedule serves as the basis for progress payments.

The schedule is tied directly to progress payments, and the government can reject payment or withhold if the schedule fails to comply with the requirements.

Federal projects typically have more schedule related requirements and restrictions than non-federal projects, and the extent of these requirements can catch you off guard as a new contractor or government employee if you’re not already familiar with them.


The standard 01 32 01.00 10 scheduling specification is 23 pages long, longer than what you may be used to - and has specific requirements (and limitations) on what’s in the schedule, how it’s calculated, how it needs to perform, and the process for submission.


For example:


  • Level of Detail. There are specific provisions related to the schedule’s level of detail, including a listing of mandatory tasks, procurement activities, and limitations on activity durations.


  • Logic. Requirements include those related to out-of-sequence conditions, schedule calculation settings, leads, lags, and allowable types of relationships.


  • Activity Coding and SDEF. A predefined activity coding structure needs to be applied so the schedule can be converted into a SDEF file and uploaded into USACE’s Resident Management System (RMS), which is their project management system.


  • Schedule Submission. This process includes a status review and agreement between the contractor and government, the contractor’s draft schedule submission, the Periodic Schedule Update Meting, the contractor’s final schedule submission through RMS, government review, and issuance of the progress payment.  


These examples are only a handful of the requirements. As the contractor developing the schedule or the government performing the reviews, ensure your scheduling resources are trained and ready to work with these requirements – early on in the project too.


The Preliminary Project Schedule is the first schedule due to the government, 15 calendar days after Notice to Proceed (NTP). This is followed by the Initial Project Schedule, due 42 calendar days after NTP (these durations may be customized though from the standard specification).


The schedule requirements need to be captured in the first and every schedule submission to follow – the specifications don’t allow for a “rolling wave” approach to gradually include them all.

There may be more requirements, restrictions, and general oversight with USACE schedules than what you may be used to from the private sector.

This article talks about 3 things to know about construction schedules if you’re new to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects as a contractor or a new government employee.


If you’re coming from the private sector, you may be surprised to learn how many requirements, restrictions, and overall level of oversight there is for USACE project schedules. The schedule requirements are important to understand because if they’re overlooked or not executed correctly you could end up with project issues or delays in progress payments - which isn’t good for anyone.


The requirements we talk about in this article are from the standard UFGS 01 32 01.00 10 specification, which is used for USACE projects with any level of complexity. While we’re focusing on USACE projects for this article, these requirements may also apply to other agencies using this specification, including NAVFAC, AFCEC, NASA, and the VA.


3 Things to Know:


  • There may be more requirements, restrictions, and general oversight with USACE schedules than what you may be used to from the private sector.


  • The schedule is tied directly to progress payments, and the government can reject payment or withhold if the schedule fails to comply with the requirements.


  • In addition to progress payments, the schedule is also directly tied to other contract administrative processes, including the submittal register and quality control / quality assurance.


Note: As with all our articles, the following is provided for informational use only and does not supersede any information or specifications provided by USACE - simply to serve as a starting point.


Submittal Register. With USACE projects, the schedule is uploaded into the government’s Resident Management System (RMS) and can be linked to the submittal register to populate the contractor “need-by” dates in the submittal register. These are the dates each submittal item needs to be submitted, approved, and material needed.


After these links have been made, every time a schedule update is uploaded into RMS, the submittal register’s “need-by” dates will auto-populate with any new dates from the current schedule information. This provides the contractor and government visibility on which submittals need to be prioritized, decreasing the chance of delays due to late or overlooked submittals.


Quality Control and Quality Assurance. The schedule is also a critical tool to drive the contractor’s Quality Control (QC) and the government’s Quality Assurance (QA) processes.


The contractor’s Quality Control Plan includes a Definable Features of Work (DFOW), which is a listing of separate and distinct groupings of work. The DFOW is used as the basis for developing the schedule’s feature of work (FOW) activity coding structure that needs to be applied to all activities.


Once the FOW codes have been applied to the schedule activities, they can be grouped and sorted to see when the first activity for each feature of work is starting. This allows the QC and QA staff to plan for the Three Phase Control System, including the Preparatory Phase (making sure the site and submittals are ready to have the work begin), the Initial Phase (to include the first inspection), and the Follow-Up Phase (with monitoring and additional inspections).


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This blog is for general informational purposes only and is not to be considered an official interpretation or enforcement policy of the UFGS standard specifications. As individual project requirements vary, refer to your specific contract. See our Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for additional information.

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