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S CURVE REPORTING FOR COST ENGINEERS AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS

S-curves, a picture is worth a thousand

words.


INTRODUCTION

what the mysterious S Curve is, why it is an important project

management tool, and how to generate one.


WHAT IS AN S CURVE ?

"a display of cumulative costs, labour hours or other quantities plotted against time.

The name derives from the S-like shape of the curve, flatter at the beginning & end,

and steeper in the middle, which is typical of most projects. The beginning represents

a slow, deliberate but accelerating start, while the end represents a deceleration as

the work runs out."




TYPES OF S CURVE ?

There are a variety of S Curves that are applicable to project management

applications, including...

 Man Hours versus Time S Curve

 Cost versus Time S Curve

 Baseline S Curve

 Actual S Curve


MAN HOURS VERSUS TIME S CURVE

The Man Hours versus Time S Curve is appropriate for projects that are labour

intensive. It shows cumulative man hours expended over time for the duration of

the project. As man hours are a product of man power and working hours, these

may be adjusted individually or together to ensure the project remains on schedule


COST VERSUS TIME S CURVE

The Cost versus Time S Curve is appropriate for projects that contain labour and

non-labour (e.g. material supply / hire) tasks. It shows cumulative costs expended

over time for the duration of the project, and may be used to assist in the

calculation of the project's cashflow.


BASELINE S CURVE

Prior to project commencement, a schedule is prepared outlining the proposed

allocation of resources and the timing of tasks necessary to complete the project

within a set time frame and budget. This original schedule is referred to as the

Baseline Schedule. From this schedule, a Baseline S Curve is generated. This S

Curve reflects the planned progress of the project.