Construction Delay Claims
I prepare time-impact-analysis (TIA) construction delay claims for projects that have been halted, disrupted, or wherever production is impacted. As part of construction delay claims, I work with your team to facilitate and implement methods of accountability and record-keeping that are essential to the claim process, as well as best practices in mitigating future risks that I have learned from my years as a project manager, general contractor, and especially as a tradesman. I have found that the absence of such due diligence is a virtual guarantee that a delay claim will be rejected.
On the other hand, I have realized great success in facilitating successful claims for general contractors and specialty trades – subcontractors and vendors. Completing a successful claim empowers contractors with enterprise best practice solutions to identify and quantify future delay or disruption claims.
How common are construction delay claims? In a 2017 McGraw Hill survey, three quarters (75%) of those who participated in the study experienced a claim or dispute in the last five years, including 83% of the GC respondents (Dodge Data Analytics, 2017). That’s not surprising given that some 75% of construction schedules are prepared by project managers lacking CPM schedule training. Despite their frequency, the percentage of those who make successful construction delay claims is small.
The US Court of Claims has defined requirements for a contractor to recover delays using the critical path method: the Court relied upon a number of cases – including Kinetic Builders, Inc. v. Peters, Essex Electro, and Sauer Inc. v. Danzig, Wilner, G.M. Shupe, Inc. v. U.S. and PCL Constr. Servs., Inc. v. U.S. to make the point that to recover compensable delay the contractor must demonstrate that the government’s actions impacted the critical path of the project schedule. In this regard, the Court reached back to Haney v. U.S. for the definition of the term “critical path” as set forth by the U.S. Court of Claims:
“Essentially, the critical path method is an efficient way of organizing and scheduling a complex project which consists of numerous interrelated separate small projects. Each sub-project is identified and classified as to the duration and precedence of the work … The data is then analyzed, usually by computer, to determine the most efficient schedule for the entire project. Many sub-projects may be performed at any time within a given period. However, some items of work are given no leeway and must be performed on schedule; otherwise, the entire project will be delayed. These latter items of work are on the ‘critical path.’ A delay, or acceleration, of work along the critical path will affect the entire project.” (James G. Zack, Sgarlata, & Guarino)
For my calculations, I utilize Deltek Acumen Fuse for modeling and comparing unlimited schedule baselines, updates and revisions in order to return accurate time impact analyses. Fuse is able to parse databases from all of the leading platforms: Primavera, MSP, Asta, Cobra, et al.
The Fuse platform features the industry only module that computes validated indices calculated from industry benchmarks for project logic integrity and probability of meeting deadline. Fuse maintains a record of some 250 metrics for every activity in the schedule, as well as a complete historical perspective. Fuse is used by DOD, GAO, NASA, and is widely used in the gas and petrochemical industry. It is stipulated as the standard method for delay claim submittal by the US Defense Contracting Management Agency (DCMA). As such, there is no claim too large or complex for its forensic and analysis modeling.
For more discussion of project schedule management, my textbook “Managing Residential Construction Projects: Strategies & Solutions” McGraw Hill, 2006 (New York) features an extended chapter on the subject of best practices. The book is widely available in Hardcover or Digital Version.