AACE International’sCertified Scheduling Technician (CST)PrimerAuthorsDr. John O. Evans, III, PSPPeter W. Griesmyer, Chair, AACE Education BoardValerie G. Venters, CCC, Chair, AACE Certification BoardFirst EditionCopyright 2013

AACE International’sCertified Scheduling Technician (CST)PrimerFirst EditionCopyright 2013By AACE International1265 Suncrest Towne Centre Dr.Morgantown, WV 26505-1876USAPhone: 1.304.2968444Fax: 1.304.2915728Email: [email protected]: www.aacei.orgAvailable as an electronic download print-on-demand publicationISBN: 978-1-885517-81-5

AcknowledgmentsThis primer is the culmination of untold hours of discussion, calculation, and composition.The following people are recognized for substantial effort given to this guide:Dr. John O. Evans III, PSPPeter W. GriesmyerValerie G. Venters, CCC2012-2013 AACE Education Board MembersPeter W. Griesmyer, ChairNadia Al-AubaidyDr. John O. Evans III, PSPDr. Makarand Hastak, CCEDonald F. McDonald Jr., PE CCE PSPSunu M. Pillai CCE EVP PSPRohit Singh, P.Eng. CCEAnn Marie Cox EVP, Co-ChairChris A. Boyd, CCE CEPClive D. Francis, CCCDr. Don Mah, P.Eng.Bryan Payne, PE CCE CFCCDr. Sean T. Regan, CCE CEPJames G. Zack Jr., CFCCThe assistance of the AACE Headquarters (HQ) staff members is also greatly appreciated:Dennis Stork, Executive DirectorCharla Miller, Staff Director-Education and AdministrationPenny Whoolery, Manager, CertificationMarvin Gelhausen, Managing EditorNoah Kinderknecht, Art DirectorDesign, editing, formatting, and proofing work on this primerPerformed by the AACE Headquarters Publications Department

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerTable of ContentsIntroduction to the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer . iiiUse of this Primer and Access to Other Selected AACE International Materials . vCST Certification Requirements and Process . viiChapter 1 – Scheduling Overview . 1Introductory Information and Overview . 1Planning for the Scheduler . 2Work Breakdown Structure . 2Schedule Specification . 3Stakeholders . 4The Scheduler’s Interest in Time . 5The Scheduler’s Responsibility for Effective Project Documentation . 5The Scheduler’s Career Path . 6Chapter 2 – Scheduling Principles . 7Introductory Information . 7Schedule Documentation . 7Schedule Basic Documentation/Baseline Documentation (General) . 7Schedule Maintenance/Controlling . 7Baseline Schedule . 8Tracking Schedule Progress . 8Schedule Change Management . 8Schedule Maintenance Feedback . 9Schedule Output and Deliverables . 9Control Level Schedules . 9Variances and Trends . 10Schedule Analysis . 10Schedule Forecasts . 11Management Summary . 11Chapter 3 – Elements of a Basic Schedule . 13Introductory Information . 13Principles Used in Developing a Schedule . 13Concepts . 13Schedule Development . 13Schedule Specification . 14Feedback from Stakeholders . 14Types of Schedules . 15Data Elements and Supporting Information for Building a Basic Schedule . 16Activities . 16Durations . 16Relationships . 17Constants and Calendars . 18Milestones . 19Appendix A – Schedule and Scheduling Terms . 20Appendix B – Document Comparison Chart . 24Bibliography. 27List of Versions/Revisions/Changes . 29 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0i

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0AACE Internationalii

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerIntroduction to the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerThe Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer has been prepared by the AACE International,Education Board to support personal study for those seeking apprentice certification in scheduling.Thank you for choosing to use this on-line document. The AACE Education Board trusts that it meetsyour needs and expectations.If you have any suggestions for material to be added to the Primer or corrections that need to beaddressed, please e-mail your suggestions to: AACE International, Attention: Education Board Chairat: [email protected] of the material presented in the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer is drawn directlyfrom the AACE International Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP) Certification Study Guide[First Edition]. In some cases the quoted material may be slightly altered, usually in verb tense, sothat the material is in format with the overall intent being represented in this Primer. A secondaddition that occasionally occurs is the addition of new “bullet list items” to add appropriate materialof interest. Where a major change appears it is noted by this indicated: [Changed from P&S-SG].We recommend that you begin your use of the Primer by reviewing the section: “Use of theScheduling Primer and Access to Other Selected AACE International Materials.”Thank You 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0iii

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAACE InternationalUse of the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer and Access to OtherSelected AACE International MaterialsUse of the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerThe Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer has been prepared by the AACE International’sEducation Board to support personal study for those seeking Apprentice Certification in scheduling.The Primer is a support tool for your use in preparing to take the certification examination for aScheduling Technician.The Primer provides:oooA brief introduction to some of the key considerations in scheduling that a schedulercommonly encounters.A compendium of important aspects for preparing a Critical Path Method [CPM]schedule for construction and industrial applications.A compendium of common terms that the scheduler should fully understand by theexamination candidate.There are also several things that the Primer is not intended to accomplish. It has not beendeveloped to:ooBe a teaching tool for those not familiar with CPM scheduling and/or not havingconsiderable experience in the processes of developing a schedule. And,It is not all inclusive, but a refresher overview intended to aid the examinationcandidate in developing the skills to be ready to sit for the certification examination.At various places in the text, boxed material is presented. These boxes are guides to activities andactions that will support use of the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer. An active exampleof a box-information-format follows:The AACE International Education Board welcomes suggestions for improving thisedition of the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer.Send your suggestions, by email, to: [email protected] 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0iv

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAccess to Other Selected AACE International MaterialsAACE International makes available to the general public a number of its publications at no cost.These include:oAACE International Recommended Practices: This is a set of over 40 in-depthdocuments, representing detailed studies of various topics important to theprofession of cost engineering. Those with particular interest to scheduling andschedule management have been cited in the Bibliography for this monograph.AACE International Recommended PracticesDefinition from the Association website[Edited]The AACE International Recommended Practices (RPs) are intended to be the main technicalfoundation of our educational, and certification products and services.The RPs are a series of documents that contain valuable reference information that has been subjectto a rigorous review process and recommended for use by the AACE International Technical Board.AACE’s RPs are frequently quoted and referred to in all facets of industry. TCM Framework: This document develops flow diagrams for many aspects of the costengineering profession.The TCM FrameworkDefinition from the Association website[Edited]Total Cost Management (TCM) is a systematic approach to managing cost throughout the life cycle ofany enterprise, program, facility, project, product or service. The TCM Framework: An IntegratedApproach to Portfolio, Program and Project Management is a structured, annotated process mapthat for the first time explains each practice area of the cost engineering field in the context of itsrelationship to the other practice areas including allied professions.TCM is a continuing effort to promote best practices for cost and management professionals. 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0v

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAACE InternationalTo Register and Gain Immediate On-Line AccessGo to the AACE International website at: in using the “New Visitor Registration” form. This will give you immediate access to the AACEInternational Recommended Practices and TCM Framework for your use.If you have any difficulties in accessing AACE International resources that are available on-line,contact the association staff: Email: mailto:[email protected], by telephone at: 1-304-296-8444, or at:1265 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-1876 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0vi

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerCST Certification Requirements and ProcessThe prospective Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) should know all requirements for earning thecredential. This will allow the most efficient use of time to improve one’s knowledge, skills, andabilities.For the most current information regarding the eligibility requirements and application and paymentfor this certification, visit the AACE website at under the Certification section.Examination FormatThe exam is delivered through computer based testing (CBT) and consists of multiple choicequestions. The examination is open book, allowing candidates to bring the Certified SchedulingTechnician (CST) Primer to use during examination. Programmable or pre-programmed calculators(including those with financial functions) are also permitted.For the latest information regarding the CST exam format or recommended resources, visit the AACEwebsite at under the Certification section. 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.0vii

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerChapter I - Scheduling OverviewIntroductory InformationMuch of the information in this chapter is expository. However, some of the material hasdirect citation. This information is sourced as follows: Chapter 2: “Scheduling” of Planningand Scheduling Professional (PSP) Certification Study Guide. The style of the annotation is:[P&S-SG: (plus - page number)].OverviewThe material in this chapter provides overviews of important topics related to the skills that ascheduling technician needs to develop. Specific information about the broader aspects of thescheduling process and developing a schedule are presented in the following two chapters.Each candidate seeking Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) certification will have differentestablished educational and experience credentials. No two individuals can possibly have the samebackgrounds in their work experiences. With this in mind, it is appropriate to point out that thisprimer provides an overview of important topic areas that every scheduler should have knowledge ofprior to seeking certification. Some of the areas of interest presented will be fully familiar to you andothers will be new areas of interest.All the issues covered by this text are considered appropriate for examination questions for thecertification examination. The body of questions from which your examination is built will changewith each examination. Therefore, you should expect that not all the material in this primer will becovered on your particular examination.The Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) examination also is based on the simpler forms of contractconstruction. That is, a bid and awarded contract based on issuance of plans and specifications witha fixed duration of time.There are broad aspects of scheduling that are not covered in this primer as they are beyond thescope of the technician. However, you should be aware that they too, are important parts of thescheduling process and will become important later in your career. These aspects of scheduling willnot be covered in the examination process, unless encountered on the most fundamental basis andthen usually in conjunction with other concepts. They include:o Contractso Constructabilityo Resourceso Risk and Recovery Planningo Cost/Resource Loadingo Cost and Resource Managemento Schedule Change Managemento Accelerationo Variances and Trendso Recovery Schedules, And,o Alternate Types of Schedules (Linear, Critical Chain, Etc.). 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.01

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAACE InternationalPlanning for the SchedulerPlanning and scheduling is a concept in construction and process management that go together like“reading and writing” or “cake and ice cream.” They cannot be separated one from the other.However, the parts of planning associated with the work of a scheduling technician can be discussedas a unit of information.Within construction and process management there are several types of planning. They include:oooConceptual Planning;Planning in Design; and,Construction Planning.Only construction planning, which is an element of your Certified Scheduling Technician (CST)examination, will be discussed in this primer.Construction Planning is that planning required to:oooooooooDevelop and document the Work Breakdown Structure [WBS].Establish the schedule specification for the project.Identify stakeholders.Define a list of deliverables.Define the work to be performed.Estimate work durations.Create the baseline schedule.Collect and report schedule progress. And,Present period and special purpose reports. [Changed from P&S-SG]Work Breakdown StructureThe Work Breakdown Structure [WBS] is a hierarchy division of the work scope elements of a projectto be performed. The function of the WBS is to divide the scope of work into manageable parts thatcorrespond to key deliverables, phases, or milestones with the intent to avoid the omission of keyelements and assist in the communication of cost, schedule, quality, and resource performance datato stakeholders.The WBS is product-oriented or process-oriented. Defining the WBS, like all tasks in the planningprocess may be dynamic, cyclical, and iterative. [P&S-SG: 88 and 89] 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.02

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerFigure 1—Sample WBS StructureSchedule SpecificationThe schedule specification states the planning and scheduling requirements and purposes; level ofdetail required; reporting periods and capabilities; minimum and mandatory scheduling tools; initialschedule development, submission, phasing and milestone; changes; claims and disputes; schedulerexperience and qualification; and other requirements that the owner-client deems appropriate forthe specific project. [P&S-SG: 146]You, as a member of a scheduling team, may well be involved in some or all of the development ofthese criteria for a schedule and schedule implementation.Specifically, the purpose of a scheduling specification is to identify minimum requirements for:ooooooooooKey milestones and overall contract duration.Required phasing and sequencing.Contractor’s plan, means and methods.Cost and resource loading and reporting.Subcontractor and supplier integration.Plan and schedule basis documentation.Owner and client requirements, such as goals and objectives, ability to monitor thecontractor, and control required when progress fails to meet contractual milestonesand requirements.Schedule types and levels to be used and maintained.Reporting requirements: levels, frequencies, and formats. And,Scheduling software programs that are allowed, preferred, or required.[P&S-SG: 148]Material on creating a baseline schedule, collecting and accounting for progress, and reporting arediscussed in Chapters III and IV.This short overview has provided a brief summary of planning in construction with an emphasis onthe detail that will be involved in competent planning, as a part of the scheduler’s responsibilities. 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.03

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAACE InternationalStakeholdersStakeholders are entities with an interest in the particular effort being undertaken. For aconstruction project, a stakeholder is any entity that has an issue with the project. In processmanagement, a stakeholder is one who is concerned with the process being undertaken.Stakeholders are composed of any interest group with an interest in the project. By this, they maybe positive supporters of the project or have a deleterious issue to undertake. Any stakeholder’sinterest may be short-term or last the duration of the project. To provide a complete list ofstakeholders would be difficult, however a list of types of stakeholders includes:oooooooooIndividuals.Small and/or large groups of individuals either associated or not.Social and/or political organizations.Federal, state, and or local government entities.Professional individuals and/or groups. This may include: Architects, engineers, surveyors, planners, etc., either involved or not in thedesign and implementation of the project. And, Outside professionals supporting the projects such as: those responsible forsite analysis to include archeological or mineral evaluations, testing during allphases of the work, and outside overview, etc.The owner and/or association of owners whose interest may not always be mutuallyinclusive.Contractors and subcontractors.Suppliers. And,Tradesman and tradesmen’s organizations, such as labor unions.Looking more fully at who the different stakeholders are in the construction arena, they generallyinclude two classes that are broken down into their respective areas of interest. The two classes are:ooExternal to the project; And,Internal to the interests of the project.External stakeholders come to the project with an interest and/or objective that must be understoodand addressed by the internal stakeholders.Stakeholder interests change with the various stages of the project. Failure to consider anappropriate issue at its appropriate time in the development and implementation of the project willonly cause problems. An overlooked issue may cause the time and effort, of a later discovery, todelay ongoing work. Attempting to hide a stakeholder’s issue, without addressing it, bodes well forno one.The project scheduler will be involved in addressing stakeholder issues. Many stakeholder issuesmay be long solved before the scheduler becomes active in project development, but certainelements of the schedule planning process may raise previously unaddressed and/or new issues.Evaluating plans in the process of developing schedules, or integrating materials and or costs, mayshow new and not previously considered issues that bring their interest representatives to the front.The schedule planning and development process is always a problem solving process, requiring thesettlement of stakeholder concerns. 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.04

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerThe second area where a project scheduler may find his or her skills at stakeholder amelioration is inthe project update process. Every update is a compromise aimed at reflecting the best possiblepresentation of the “truth,” represented by what is shown in the field. Solving the problems thatarise in accumulating data and presenting solutions is the scheduler’s primary responsibility. Doingso in a presentation that fully reflects the facts on-the-ground is not always easy, most assuredlywhen the news is not “good news” for all parties with a stake in the particular situation. Determiningalternatives for a problem is often a responsibility of the scheduling team.The Scheduler’s Interest in TimeTime has two main interests for the scheduler: First is effective use of the scheduler’s own time, andsecondly, is how the scheduler represents time in his or her products.Time is the one resource than cannot be saved. The scheduler is always at the mercy of the calendar.This process involves not just the one time responsibilities of creating a baseline schedule, but alsothe routine processes of periodic updates. Not covered by these routine processes, but ofimportance, are the time required for special issues—such as addressing and solving changedconditions, latent or patent, and also determining and building acceptable alternatives to a myriad offield problems that occur on every project.Key to the presentation of time in project scheduling is planning for its presentation. This includeseffectively responding to time considerations and constraints laid out in the contract documents.Also of importance is the creation of consistent and universally recognized time formats andcalendars in the development of schedules.Such items as seasonal conditions, estimating weather, weekend and holiday interruptions to workare important considerations. Some projects use other considerations of time: locales ininternational countries and/or extended religious rituals or holidays may affect work. Transportationof labor to the work site over long distances may affect the time on-the-job site.If these time considerations and/or constraints are not effectively considered in developing aschedule, the merits and validity of the schedule come into question. Fully understanding theseconsiderations builds reliable and usable products to guide the construction effort.The Scheduler’s Responsibility for Effective Project DocumentationThe owner and the contractor, much less the end users, rely on being able to turn to the constructiondocumentation to preserve their stakeholder interests in the project.Effective projectdocumentation makes this process easy, useful, and effective. The responsibility for much of theperiodic documentation rests with the scheduling team and schedulers.Effective project documentation is a learned, organizing skill. It takes effective, concise oralpresentation skills, with an ability to “think on your feet,” to move forward in the constructionindustry. Advancement also requires a well defined and developed written communication ability.These skills form themselves not only orally and in writing, but also in the ability to quickly andartfully draw concepts which present an accurate communicative sketch to the skilled interpreterwho can turn the idea into a finished product for design or schedule use, and a sketch that will showthe novice a representation of an idea. 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.05

Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerAACE InternationalProject documentation also includes designing and using a system to complete various schedulingmaterials, such as: (product, submittals, correspondence, drawings, samples, test results, schedules,and all other forms of contract documentation), in such a manner as to be readily retrievable. Use ofthe project documentation is only valuable when, after each use, it can be quickly found andmeaningfully used by the scheduler and others.The Scheduler’s Career PathThe scheduler’s career path begins with education and experience. Sitting for and passing anintroductory certification examination and gaining certificate as a Certified Scheduling Technician(CST) demonstrates possession of fundamental skills.Putting this fundamental knowledge to work increases and develops skills in the construction orprocess industries. The skills in communicating and schedule management, as an individualscheduler or a team member, open many doors and opportunities to advance in the industry of yourchoice. Once you pass the CST exam and after several years of professional on the job experience,taking the next step and gaining certification as a Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP) canbecome an achievable goal.Schedulers with continuing education can move up within their work environment or open their ownenterprise. An understanding of the fundamentals of schedule development, schedule management,and scheduling skills should provide any practitioner with much career satisfaction.The Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) certification lays the foundation for further advancement inyour career. It also may lead you to seeking other certifications offered by AACE International.These include:ooPlanning and Scheduling (PSP) certification; or,Certified Cost Engineer (CCE) or Certified Cost Consultant (CCC). 2013, AACE International (All Rights Reserved) CST Primer – 1.06

AACE InternationalCertified Scheduling Technician (CST) PrimerChapter II - Scheduling PrinciplesIntroductory InformationElements for developing a schedule are presented in this chapter. This information isdrawn from: Chapter 2: “Scheduling” of the Planning and Scheduling ProfessionalCertification Study Guide. The style of the annotation is: [P&S-SG: (plus: pagenumber)

Use of the Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer The Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) Primer has been prepared by the AACE International's Education Board to support personal study for those seeking Apprentice Certification in scheduling. The Primer is a support tool for your use in preparing to take the certification examination .