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Construction : Plan the Work

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Plan the Work
Process Map

(pdf 50KB)
Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) / Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Schedule Development
Project Cost Estimate / Budget Development
Risk Management Plan
Change Management Plan
Communication Plan
Quality (QA/QC) Plan
Transition and Closure Plan

Plan the Work is the portion of the project management process that produces the Construction Project Management Plan. The construction management plan should complement the pre-construction PMP and integrate pre-construction information and commitments as appropriate.

Project Management Plan

The Construction Project Management Plan defines the project performance baseline—the project deliverables, schedule and budget plans—and the management methods used by the project team to deliver the project.

The project performance baseline documents the project team’s detailed goals for the performance of the project within the scope, schedule, and budget parameters established by region or organization management. The baseline includes:

  • Scope - the deliverables to be produced by the project team.
  • Schedule - the logical sequence of work and related milestones.
  • Budget - the allocation for the project.
  • Risk – potential risks to the project.

The Construction Project Management Plan includes the Risk Management , Change Management , Communication Management , Quality Management , and Transition and Closure plans. These plans help align the team toward uniform goals and describe how the team will:

  • Ensure work done by the contractor is in compliance with the contract.
  • Manage risk events and change.
  • Enforce the level of quality required by the contract documents.
  • Identify how, when and who will need and receive what project information.
  • Plan for an effective transition or closure.


  • Contract documents
  • Contractor construction or working day schedule
  • Contractor’s bid amount
  • Work Order Authorization
  • Construction engineering workforce plan
  • Initiate and Align Worksheet (docx 30kb)
  • Capital Program Management System (CPMS)


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  1. Identify the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) for your project and create the project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Together, they provide a hierarchical coding structure that is required to define projects in the Project Management and Reporting System (PMRS) . Various EPS options (see below) are available to meet region, mode or project needs.

  2. The lowest level of the EPS is the transition point to the highest level of the project specific WBS, which is the project WIN title. The WBS specifies and categorizes the work to be done. Additional detail beyond the phase level is determined by project management and reporting requirements. See the WSDOT EPS/WBS Guidelines. (pdf 150kbB)

    Plan The Work

    The Master Deliverables List (MDL) may be used as the basis for creating the project WBS. It is organized by phase and includes a comprehensive list of deliverables and common WSDOT milestones. The MDL provides consistent task names at the deliverable level with flexibility for the project manager to assign and name the appropriate activities. See Using the MDL in Primavera (pdf 200KB) for further information.

  3. Identify the appropriate work packages for the project and create the project schedule. The project manager may choose to identify discreet work packages below the phase level, such as work done by the contractor.

    Work packages represent specific groupings of work such as Contractor Activities, Payable Agreements, Construction Engineering, Project Management, Inspection, Materials testing, Contract Administration, etc. Group work packages to establish control accounts; see Control Account guidelines (pdf 150kb) for further detail.

  4. The WBS provides the structure for project; identify the applicable milestones and activities to deliver the work product. Solicit input from the entire project team; including specialty groups and consultants. See PMRS Initial Schedule Development process (pdf 100kb) document and map (pdf 40kb).

  5. To complete the schedule; link the activities to the appropriate predecessors, successors and milestones. The WSDOT Construction Manual provides guidance for construction schedule development and use under a construction contract; this includes but is not limited to sections 1-2.5 Contract Time and 1-2.5A General. The schedule is saved as part of the project performance baseline.

  6. Determine whether you are using roles/resources or expenses for planned Construction Engineering (CE) costs. In PMRS, the planned value is created by allocating either the project costs to the activity resources or expenses detail. This planned value is saved as part of the project performance baseline. See the Desktop Procedures for Primavera Scheduler (pdf 1.5mb) and PMRS Cost Management training.

    PMRS provides the ability to cost load the project schedule, track actual costs and forecast the remaining costs of the work to be performed. Estimate at Completion and actual expenditures are compared to the planned value in the project performance baseline and the committed funding in the Capital Project Management System (CPMS).

  7. Review the contractor’s approved construction schedule if available or the working day schedule. Evaluate and confirm the schedule critical path and milestones.

    Note: The working day schedule may be used prior to receiving the contractor’s construction schedule. If the working day schedule is used; it should be updated after the contractor’s construction schedule is approved. Additionally, update the schedule after major delays, winter shutdowns, or changes that affect the total time for completion.

  8. Distribute, review, and analyze the draft project schedule with all parties involved in the delivery of the project. Assess impacts and resolve any issues.

  9. Identify variances between the CPMS authorized amount and milestones and the PMRS planned value and milestones. Reconcile and discuss with region or organizational management before seeking endorsement and setting the project performance baseline.

Along with the project performance baseline, the CN PMP describes how the team will manage project progress and performance. The CN PMP addresses Risk Management , Change Management , Communication Management , Quality Management and Transition and Closure .

Development of the CN PMP is an iterative process; as the plan is developed it may trigger a change to the scope, schedule or the estimate at completion.

For example; the team identifies a potential risk event where construction work over a fish-bearing stream will occur during the salmon migration season. By adjusting the order of work and the schedule, impacts to the salmon migration are reduced or eliminated.

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Risk Management Plan

Risk management planning is the systematic process of deciding how to approach, plan and execute risk management activities throughout the life of the project. It is intended to maximize positive risk events (opportunities) and minimize negative risk events (threats) to the project objectives.

  1. Review the risk management plan developed during the PE phase; specifically identifying risk events that may occur during the Construction phase.
  2. Determine if the response strategies are suitable for the project conditions.
  3. Assess the impact and likelihood of the identified risks on project objectives.
  4. Identify any new risks not previously identified in the PE phase.
  5. Develop a prioritized list to determine the risks that require further analysis or mitigation.
  6. Develop strategies and specific actions to be taken should the risk event occur.
  7. Assign individuals to monitor the risk response action, ensuring each risk has an “owner”.
  8. Track and monitor the identified risks during construction. Retire risk events that are successfully avoided, mitigated or have passed the time during which the risk is possible.

Incorporate the risk management plan into the construction project management plan for endorsement by region or organization management.

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Change Management Plan

  1. Execute construction contract changes as required by the Construction Manual and the contract specifications. Thresholds and approval authorities are defined and documented in the Construction Manual.
  2. Enter executed change order information into the Construction Contracts Information System (CCIS) database.
  3. Populate Primavera Contract Manager with contract change information from CCIS.

See the Contract Change Management process document and map.

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Communication Plan

Communication planning identifies who needs what information, as well as when and how it will be delivered. The communication plan (docx 29 kb) is based on the project information needs of the project team, management, customers, stakeholders and the public. Recognize relationships that need to be established and maintained in order to work effectively.

A communication matrix provides a means for easily defining the communication approach internally and externally.

  1. Assign responsibility to the appropriate staff to communicate project information.
  2. Pro-actively use the communication plan and available technologies to ensure the right project information is getting to the right audience at the right time.
  3. Develop guidelines such as decision making processes, methods for resolving conflict and escalating issues.
  4. Create general awareness about the project and upcoming construction activities using face-to-face meetings, phone calls, project web pages, folios, emails and news media.
  5. Tell the construction story as it unfolds; engage people by providing current and meaningful progress information on an ongoing basis.
  6. Plan for emergency events; establish a communication protocol in the event of an accident on the project. The protocol identifies the WSDOT and Contractor contact information, procedures and responsibilities in an emergency situation.

Incorporate the communication plan or matrix into the project management plan for endorsement by region or organization management and the Public Information Officer (when needed).

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Quality Management Plan

Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of ensuring the appropriate standards are applied to the project, while Quality Control (QC) monitors and measures performance against those standards. Project contract documents, specifications, the Construction Manual and Record of Materials specify quality requirements and acceptance actions.

Those actions are intended to meet certain objectives for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) on WSDOT projects primarily to:

  • Develop and put into practice a consistent approach to meeting appropriate quality standards, objectives, and requirements on all WSDOT projects.
  • Establish and perform only those quality management activities that add value to WSDOT projects.

Contract documents and the Construction Manual define the responsibilities of project participants and the requirements for quality assurance. The Record of Materials documents the project’s quality acceptance and control procedures. The acceptance criteria define the baseline against which the QA efforts for the project team are compared.

  1. Review the project work elements and determine the relevant quality standards for each process, product and deliverable.
  2. Identify the metrics to compare actual technical, schedule and cost performance to the planned value.
  3. Review the applicable quality standards with performing staff to verify understanding of the assignment, specific quality standards and requirements for acceptance.
  4. Identify responsibilities and procedures and responsibilities to monitor and document performance and results.

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Transition and Closure Plan

Transition and closure is the process of completing a major activity, phase, or the project itself. This includes transferring the completed work and remaining project responsibilities to others; demobilizing the project team and facilities; documenting lessons learned; archiving; and closing out the administrative and financial processes. All transition and closure activities are completed before the activity, phase, or project is deemed “complete” and the project manager is released from responsibility for the project.

At WSDOT, project closure is usually defined as the completion of construction, while the completion of Scoping or Pre-Construction is usually termed as a transition point.

  1. Transition and Closure

    Outline the points when transition and closure activities will take place; the responsible organization; and the steps to accomplish an efficient and effective transition or closure. Include those activities as discrete work elements in the project schedule and planned value. Establish project specific acceptance requirements and procedures to ensure completion of each activity, phase, or the project and financial closeout.

    Identify the steps and requirements to demobilize staff and resources. The absence of a sound approach to staff transition often creates a “non-productive environment in which staff members are focused on identifying their next assignment. Establish roles, responsibilities, budgets, and schedules to demobilize facilities, equipment, and services associated to a transition point (or when they are no longer needed).

  2. Lessons Learned

    The WSDOT Lessons Learned system is an on-line, automated database designed to capture, present and track lessons learned. Establish specific project team activities and responsibilities to identify, compile and report lessons learned.

  3. Archiving

    Identify the appropriate archiving requirements for the projectrequirements for the project based on the Construction Manual, region specific archiving requirements and Electronic Content Management (ECM) processes (pdf 700KB).

  4. Rewards & Recognition

    Review requirements and policies regarding reward and recognition with region or organization management. Based on the work, the conditions under which it will be performed, and the roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations of team members, identify “target” performance measures. These measures are indicators of performance beyond expectations and are “stretch” targets that are achievable, but require significant extra effort to accomplish.

    Identify appropriate project rewards and recognition. Celebrate achievements with appropriate reward and recognition.

Throughout the life of the project, continue to foster a sense of cooperation and coordination with the project team. Involve the entire project team in developing the Project Management Plan.


  • Construction Project Management Plan (PMP)

    the PMP includes the required Initiate and Align Worksheet (docx 30KB) elements; project performance baseline; risk, change, communication and quality management plans and a plan for transition and closure. These elements are implemented at appropriate points throughout the life of the project.

    Before endorsing the project management plan or changes to the plan, ensure you understand the impacts of the change to the project objectives and commitments.

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