Our Philosophy

We focus on finding a complete technology solution for our clients.

Our solutions allow systems and business processes to be integrated and leveraged throughout all business facets; accounting, document management, resources and project controls. Utilizing real world experience and best practices, Nu Solutions can reduce the time (and money) it takes a client to implement these new processes and systems alone.

What began as Alaska’s only project management and consulting firm to offer Oracle Primavera products, has quickly grown into a strong, reputable Oracle Gold Partner with clients spanning across the globe.

Our Scheduling Core Values

Thanks for choosing Nu Solutions Consulting for your Project Management needs. Below you’ll find information regarding our philosophy, what we provide, how we’ll provide it, and your responsibilities in this process.

Our Project Management Philosophy
Planned Start and Finish dates are the resulting output of a well-developed schedule workflow. This means they are a “product” of a schedule, not an “input” into a schedule.

Data we require:

1.Project schedule requirements and any other documents that would assist us in creating the schedule and be familiar with the Project.

2. Key project dates

a. Planned start date
b. Must Finish by – required completion date for all activities.
c. Any mid-Project milestones or Deliverables that must be achieved

3. Calendars

a. We’ll identify the different work calendars for all the work being performed, to include seasonal/shutdown calendars if required.

4. Work Breakdown Structure

a. This will form the “skeleton” of the project, and should be the outline that best fits a standard schedule view of the work being performed.

5. Activity workflow information for each task:

a. Work Calendar and Planned Work Duration

1. Activity durations will be kept as short as possible; this aids in schedule management, risk management, and overall schedule strength. This will lead to most, if not all activities, using Finish-to-Start relationships. Where a Start-to-Start relationship is desired, we will look harder at the workflow and discover that a Finish-to-Start will be possible with better workflow refinement.

b. Relationships to and from other work activities

1. Every activity will have at least 1 predecessor and 1 successor, except for Project Start and Project Finish.
2. With very rare exceptions, relationships will be Finish-to-Start; where Start-to-Start is
3. Lag time between activities will not be used at all for FS relationships, being replaced by an
4. Start-to-Start lag is possible, but is generally better handled by further refining the workflow

c. Are there any constraints that must be applied (deadlines, or enforced delays/wait for external events). Non-work time will normally be handled by the Calendars

d. Additional information applied to each activity such as type of work, who is performing work,
where is work being performed, Bid Item, etc. This is Project-specific.

e. If Resource loading, we will identify the best way to meet the overall requirement.

f. If Cost Loading, we will work with you to represent fair and valid costs.

We will need schedules from each subcontractor and/or major vendor participating in the work; they don’t need to be complex if the work is simple, but we will not “drop dates” into the schedule to represent work. We can assist with gathering this information, or you can collect information from them (same information as above, Planned Duration, Calendar, Relationships).

Data we won’t use:
Data from any party that consists solely of Dates will not be utilized.

Previous Schedule products which have already been prepared, that do not follow the above best practices in Scheduling, may or may not be utilized at Nu Solutions’ discretion.

How we do it:
We build schedules from the Start forward; we will not build a schedule from the Required Finish and then “work backwards”.

Activities that are commonly thought of as Milestones (Submit 35% Design) will be replaced by an actual workflow showing what it takes to accomplish that Milestone/Deliverable (Develop 35% Design, then Submit 35% Design, then Review 35% Design). The only milestones present in the schedule will represent Deliverables and/or Reporting requirements. If “Work” is being represented, then a true activity workflow will be built.

There will be no gaps in the schedule unless driven by non-work time or external wait time.

We will build the entire workflow of the job, using your best possible plan, without observing the planned Start/Finish dates.

  • This results in the creation of a schedule that represents your best possible effort, a job that would result in excellent outcome.
  • This first draft will not be “on time”; it will generally be long.
  • We will then evaluate the entire workflow (the best possible effort) and identify the best possible areas to streamline workflow, reduce durations, increase calendar effort, etc.
  • This process avoids “cutting” the schedule before you have the whole job planned, which is a common error in schedule creation.
  • Your Project Management team will not be able to “watch the dates” as the workflow is built. Only once a full product has been built, will the resulting dates be available.

If your schedule will be Resource and/or Cost loaded, we will gain approval of the planned schedule workflow, prior to loading Resources and/or Cost onto the schedule. This avoids costly re-work if the workflow is not agreeable.

Collaboration and Communication

Project Schedules are an agreement between Contractors and Owners as to how the job will be planned and worked. We will involve the entire Project Management team in the creation, approval, update, and change processes as the Project moves forward. This takes the place of several collaborative ways:

1. Initial Schedule submission – we will schedule an informal Schedule Review session with the Owner and/or their Representatives, where we will walk through the schedule and present the planned workflow. This is an opportunity for the schedule to be reviewed with the assistance of the team who created it. Comments and revision requests will be considered, and possibly executed, during this session. The goal of this session is to leave with an “approved” concept that then can be formally submitted for approval. Guiding the entire team through the Project Schedule reduces barriers to collaboration and results in rapid turnaround to any comments that may be present.

2. Update Sessions – where possible, Project Update sessions will be conducted similarly to Initial Review. In this session, Project progress will be entered prior to the meeting, and then the updated Schedule will be reviewed by all parties Jointly; problem areas will be identified and discussed. Any planned changes to the planned workflow can be identified and executed as required. Current status against planned (Baseline) will be discussed.

3. Change management – Schedules must be living documents; as your Project changes, so too must the Project schedule. You must ensure we remain informed of all possible changes to Project Scope, Time, and/or Budget if there is a possibility of Schedule impact. We will assist with identifying required changes due to changes in work conditions and/or changes in workflow. If changes in scope occur, we will assist with the preparation of required Change products, such as Time Impact Analysis and/or Fragnets, to facilitate rapid change to the project schedule.

4. Validity for all parties – the Project schedule should be useful for all participants (Owner, Project Manager, Superintendent, Foremen, Subcontractor, and Vendors) We will strive to build a product that supports all their needs, in hopes of avoiding “standalone” products like 2-week lookaheads in MS Excel that are not driven from the official Schedule.

It’s about finding the right match and balance between technology products and business processes. A software product alone will not solve business problems.

Patrick Lovelance, Owner and President of Nu Solutions Consulting