Other than to assess tender prices, is there any further purpose for the Activity Schedule under an ECC3 Option C Target Contract?


Although the purpose of the Activity Schedule is more extensive under Option A, it does provide some additional discrete functions under Option C, over and above providing a breakdown of the tendered total of the Prices and assisting with tender assessments. The additional roles/tasks that it supports are set out in clauses:- Cl. 31.4, Cl. 54.1-3 and Cl. 63.12.

In simple terms not much.

The activity schedule is used to generate the total of the Prices at tender stage. This becomes the target price under option C and the mechanism to assess pain/gain. The only significant use of the activity schedule (unlike option A it is not used to assess Price for Work Done to Date) is therefore to add the value of implemented compensation events to it to demonstrate the revised target cost at any one point in time.

On option C contracts we have two halvesof an equation one half being the Defined Cost and the other the total of the Prices (the target).

The Activity Schedule remains important as without keeping this upto date you with compensation events you cannot accurately calculate the preliminary and final assessment of the contractor’s share.

The correct allocation of compensatiion events to activities in the Activity Schedule can also forecasting and budgeting.

The activity schedule if tied into the programme - as it should be - also becomes the baseline for earned value analysis in terms of comparing how much has been spent (Defined Cost + Fee) with how much should have been spent at a point in time and given progress. As such, it needs to ber updated to take account of compensation events, but if the starting point is wrong, then so shall any updates.

I would reinforce Jon’s comments - the starting point needs to be correct. An unrealistic target from the outset has a detrimental effect on the operation of the contractors share and often a project will already easily exceed or be within the target from day one.
Spend time establishing a realistic target at the outset.

The activity schedule can also be used for cost management. By monitoring the Price for an activity of group of activities against the Defined Cost plus Fee it will indicate which elements of the works are achieving savings and which elements are overspending. Linking this the Contractor’s forecast it will indicate not only what the outcome pain / gain is likely to be but also how that position was achieved.