Production Control Best Practices #6: Clarifying Scope

Task or activity descriptions alone are not enough to explain the work that should be completed to call the task 100% done in a location.  It is very common to have subcontractors report an item 100% completed when the GC thinks it is not completed or have  a task suspended at 95% completed because some small part of the scope could not be completed.  This different understanding of scope can be caused by many issues.  For example, how do you define a fire protection main and a branch?  Which walls are 1st pass interference walls?  Do you need to pass all the inspections before the task is 100% done?  Is the overhead connection to walls part of overhead MEP or In-Wall MEP?


If these issues are not resolved, production control data will be inconsistent and a lot of time will be spent reconciling numbers.  Even worse, work will often happen out of planned sequence and locations get suspended.  This generates chaotic looking schedule displays.  It is best to make sure that everyone is on the same page.  Integrating schedules with a 3D model and quantities provides a great tool to ensure this.


3d model helps illustrate scope 

Caption: One best practice to help communicate scope is showing Subs the 3D model or the 4D simulation.


In my home country of Finland, a task plan is created for each important operation.  The task plan can be an A3 size document explaining all the details of the operation including cost, schedule, quality, and safety aspects.  The cost aspect shows an extract of bill-of-quantities.  The schedule part includes productivity and crew information, planned crew flow, and target production rate.  It also lists all the constraints required to start the task in each location.  A checklist is included for all quality inspections and what needs to be completed to call the location 100% done.  Safety requirements are also summarized.  The task plan is used to prepare subcontractor agreements (RFPs), in preparation of material procurement and as a document handed over to workers so that they understand the requirements of their task.


task plan example

Caption: a cut away from a task plan showing each operation, the required manpower, and equipment


Vico Office can be used as an input for many parts of the task plan:

  • Schedule, production rate, and resource information from Schedule Planner
  • Quantities from Cost Planner
  • 3D images of scope by isolating elements in Takeoff Manager


For more information about task planning see:

Junnonen, J-M and Seppänen, O. (2004). ”Task Planning as a part of production control”. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of Lean Construction (IGLC12). Elsinore, Denmark.


To learn more about the best practices discussed in this article, please see:

Service: In-Wall Coordination

Blog: 4 Best Practices for 4D Movies


And be sure to go back and review the previous best practices for production control:

Part 1: Beyond Start Dates

Part 2: Get the Subs Involved

Part 3: Manpower and Suspensions

Part 4: Control Actions

Part 5: Planning the LBS


And don’t forget the Video Training Series to see how Vico Office approaches both planning and production control:

Schedule Planner Video Training

Production Controller Video Training


Tags: lbms, task plan, location-based scheduling, explaining construction scope, in-wall coordination, clarifying scope with subs, 4d simulations, production control