Construction documentation today

Time impact analysis

A time impact analysis (TIA) tool can be effective in determining whether or not certain work was delayed and if it had an impact on the overall project schedule.
A time impact analysis (TIA) tool can be effective in determining whether or not certain work was delayed and if it had an impact on the overall project schedule.

TIA supports acceleration claims as well as impacts or delays. Today, the use of CPM techniques to determine and evaluate time-related cost claims on construction projects is widely accepted. At the onset, the contract parties must look at the contract and the scheduling specifications in participation for guidance and direction on the presentation and evaluation of time-related claims. It is recommended to study the different scenarios required to prove any impact or delay on the project.

Network schedule techniques have great utility in evaluation delay and impact on a project. These techniques permit simultaneous proof of both the fact and cause of delay. Accordingly, a TIA can be effective in determining whether or not certain work was delayed and if it had an impact on the overall project. The key advantages of networking techniques and the use of TIA procedures are as follows.

  1. Network schedule techniques allow critical activities of work to be identified. The various paths of criticality are quite visible and those impacted by delay can be easily recognized. The float time that exists or expired as project conditions change can also be identified.
  2. Network schedule techniques provide a basis for isolating the planned performance time of each party involved in a project.
  3. TIA is an effective tool for proving certain work was delayed and also provides a means for isolating and quantifying delay periods.
  4. TIA allows each party to a contract to independently demonstrate its understanding of the delay and prove certain acts or occurrences caused the delay.
  5. It provides the ability to determine the relationship of one delay to any other delays that may have occurred or may be occurring at the same time. Concurrent delays can be measured and quantified.
  6. When impacts occur, TIA techniques can assist in determining corrective actions.
  7. Consistent application of TIA procedures throughout the project’s duration provides a means to realistically forecast the results of impacts as they occur on a certain milestone or the overall project completion date.
  8. TIA can be useful in proving causation between a specific delay and the associated cost.
  9. It can be used to demonstrate impact on unchanged work.
  10. TIA tools can help keep a project schedule up to date and properly adjusted.
  11. It aids in creating and preserving evidence of game plans, delays, and actual performance.
  12. Forensic CPM schedule analysis involves the critique of TIA.

Early involvement of experts

The project manager’s cognitive thinking abilities and the analysis of all documents is required before meeting with the company attorney. Construction disputes generally require the involvement of experts to help solve problems and provide litigation support.

Experts and consultants may also be necessary at trial to give opinions based on assumed hypothetical facts or actual knowledge of the circumstances of the case.

Provisions in the contract documents and applicable law can generally be found, within certain limitations, to support the position of both parties. Ultimately, the facts most often determine the success of the claim. Therefore, the key to successful analysis and resolution of a claim is the contract dispute expert who excels in the persuasive presentation of facts obtained via a comprehensive documentation process.

It is prudent to involve experts during actual construction when a claim is probable. The expert may be able to recommend ways to mitigate damages or reduce the impact of a problem. They can also suggest methods of preserving or creating demonstrative evidence through CPM schedule graphs for use during negotiation, arbitration, or trial. Most importantly, involvement by the expert during actual construction allows their testimony to be based on first-hand data and knowledge rather than on facts learned from others.

Involvement of the construction attorney is also desirable when problems develop. His or her knowledge of the legal aspects of contract compliance and claim preparation provides reassurance to proceed on a sound legal basis. There is no method for management of a construction project that will guarantee the absence of change orders, impacts, delays, or claims.

Both the legal counsel and an experienced claims consultant should be involved in the structuring of the project documentation requirements as well as in the preparation, negotiation, and settlement of a claim.

The following excerpt from a construction case highlights the importance of a properly developed and monitored schedule.

Except in the middle of a battlefield, nowhere must men coordinate the movement of other men and materials – in the midst of such chaos and with such limited certainty of present facts and future occurrences as in a construction project ….. Even the most painstaking planning frequently turns out to be mere conjecture, and accommodation to changes must necessarily be of the rough, quick, and ad hoc analogous to ever changing commands on the battlefield.


The project manager has the responsibility and obligation to monitor and document project daily reports, weather, change orders, CPM schedule updates, meeting minutes, delay claims, monthly billings, RFIs, insurance requirements, testing, submittals, warranties, progress photos, and forensic schedule analysis (FSA) studies.

Proper documentation by the assiduous project manager could mean the survival of the company.

Norman F. Jacobs, Jr., CSI Emeritus, PMI, SAR, ASPE, CPE, AACE, IIE, formed Jacobs Consultant Services in 1981 to provide a variety of construction services including cost and project management, schedule control assistance, and claims preparation and negotiation. Prior to this, Jacobs provided design-build, construction management, and general contracting services for more than 30 years in a variety of capacities, ranging from estimator to president and board member. He has chaired Virginia’s Associated General Contractors (AGC) Documents Committee, has presented seminars on construction legal subjects with the Virginia Bar Legal Committee, and is past president of the CSI Richmond Chapter. Jacobs can be reached at

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