Assessing Contractor Schedules in Oman against the GAO’s Scheduling Best Practice Guide


By Hassan Al Barrami



Delay in construction projects due to scheduling is considered one of the most common problems causing a mass of negative effects on the project and its participating parties.  The purpose of this paper is to assess contractor schedules in Oman against the GAO’s Scheduling Best Practices and to find out the 20% causes of 80% of scheduling problems according to Pareto Chart. In this paper 9 schedules from local contractor analyzed and compared to the 10 best practices listed in GAO Schedule Assessment Guide. Pareto Chart technique applied and found out that schedules have bad weakness in assigning resources to all activities. List of recommendations given according to GAO’s Scheduling Best Practices to come over this problem.

Keywords: scheduling, project management, project delays, assigning resources to activities, projects scheduling in Oman.


Infrastructural projects are considered crucial in developing countries where also a huge number of personal buildings are constructed every year. In Oman the cement demand is going to increase at annual rate of 6 per cent for the next four years as stated in Times of Oman magazine and this to cover mega infrastructure projects and tourism ventures. it is clear that construction projects are going to increase which means very good opportunities are coming to light for entrepreneurs . Since there will be many companies which are going to compete to win the contracts it is vital for those companies to be very competitive in the market. The clients always prefer the contractor who have a very good experience in constructions and have good reputation in finishing projects on time, within budget and as per the required quality.

Unfortunately most of building construction projects are not finishing on time, beside that the budget is exceeded most of the time. Many studies had been made to find out the reasons for delay and the reasons for exceeding the budget in construction projects. Delay of projects could be due to shortage of material on site or market, equipment failure or break down. Workers skills also are playing role in projects duration. There are another reasons for projects delay like financing reasons where the contractor facing difficulties to proceed the projects as he could not pay his expenses. Sometimes the client changing his scope which leads to increase in overall cost and time and sometimes the environment is the basis for the delay like bad whether condition.

Many projects are getting delay due to government actions such as waiting for permits and approvals. Poor planning and scheduling of the construction projects may also lead to bad results in project completion time and budget. In this paper building projects schedule will be studied and compared to the best practices listed in GAO Schedule Assessment Guide.  The reason why this topic had been selected is that schedule provides a road map for systematic project execution and it is power full tool to major progress, resolve potential problems in advance and it helps to eliminate causes of delay and extra expenses. Scheduling is playing considerable role to control projects effectively.

According to GAO Schedule Assessment Guide, “four characteristics should be considered for high-quality and reliable schedule”:


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About the Author

pmwj25-aug2014-Al-Barrami-AUTHORHassan Al-barrami flag-salalah

Salalah, Sultanate of Oman

Hassan Al-barrami is a senior maintenance planning engineer working in Salalah Methanol Company since December 2008.  He worked in operation department before shifting to maintenance (Planning and Project section) and  has been through all phases of Salalah Methanol Plant project (construction, pre commissioning and commissioning).  He has very good experience in SAP (PM and MM modules), Planning and scheduling plant turnaround and shutdowns using scheduling software (primavera and MS Project). He got his degree in industrial engineering from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). He lives in Salalah and can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected] .