W5_GGS_Procurement and Contract – Mapping of OmniClass & CSI MasterFormat

Problem Statement

Procurement and Contract is the next phase in the project execution stage after the engineering phase is completed. The previous blog posting has discussed the comparison of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in the Engineering phase. This posting will discuss the selection of appropriate WBS in the Procurement and Contract phase.

Feasible Alternatives

Two alternatives of WBS Data base are considered:

1.       CSI Master Format

“Is the specification -writing standard for most commercial building design and construction projects in North America. It lists titles and section numbers for organizing data about construction requirements, products, and activities”.[1]

2.       OmniClass 31

Table  31 Phases, the only OmniClass table that explain the stages (higher level of categorization than phase) of the project activity from conception until project closure, including Procurement and Contract phase.

Selection Criteria

There are three (3) criteria that have been selected as parameters to analyze and compare the alternatives:

  • WBS level of details , this will explain how detail each alternative structures their WBS, expressed by the number of WBS level.
  • Relationship of WBS item with the specified work activities/stage, is how close each alternative express the specified work activities/stage (or the content of the WBS).
  • Work flow of activities, is the sequence of activities in the Procurement and Contract Stage.

Analysis and comparison for each alternatives

Lexicography, one of non-compensatory models for multi attributes decision making technique is used for the analyzing the alternatives. The following figures show WBS of each alternative:

 Figure 1 – CSI Master Format

 Figure 2 – OmniClass Table 31 – Phases

Each WBS Database comparison is expressed in the following table:

Table 1 – Summary Information of Procurement and Contract Phase

All attributes in table 1, be ranked in order of importance by doing paired comparison between each possible attribute combination. Result as on table 2:

Table 2 – Ordinal Ranking of Attributes

Based on table 2, the ranking is found to be Relationship of WBS items > WBS Level of details > Work flow of activities.

The application of lexicography to the ordinal ranking developed in table 3.

Table 3 – Application of Lexicography in Procurement and Contract Phase


The preferred alternative according to table 3 is CSI MasterFormat. This is because the relationship of WBS item (or the WBS content) and WBS level of details are the two top ranked attributes, and the CSI MasterFormat is the best of all in these two attributes. In the Procurement and Contract stage, CSI Master Format shows its dominance on Omni Class, especially as it has clearly defined all forms and requirements during this phase. These details will be valuable information and check list for the project team during the preparation of procurement and contract documents.

Next step

The next step will be to build up WBS for Procurement and Contract stage using CSI MasterFormat to prove whether the conclusion above is correct, and start evaluating the impact during tender and procurement phase.


CSI OmniClass (2010), OmniClass A Strategy for Classifying the Built Environment [OmniClass Table 31- Phases]. Retrieved from. Retrieved from http://www.omniclass.org/tables/OmniClass_31_2006-03-28.pdf

Sullivan, G., William, Wicks, M., Elin, Koelling, Patrick, C. (2009), Engineering Economic, Fifteenth Edition. Pearson International Edition.

CSI, CSC (2011), Master Format Numbers and Titles.

[1] CSI, CSC (2011), Master Format Numbers & Titles, page 1

1 thought on “W5_GGS_Procurement and Contract – Mapping of OmniClass & CSI MasterFormat

  1. OUTSTANDING posting, Gustav!!! Nice work…..

    Couple of questions-
    1) Given that CSI’s Masterformat 2004 and Omniclass Table 22 “Work Results” are one and the same, is there a reason you chose Masterformat over Omniclass?
    2) Given that Omniclass Table 23 “Products”; Table 32, “Services” and Table 41, “Materials” are all key to procurement, is there a reason why you didn’t include them in your analysis?
    3) Is there a reason why you didn’t list the work of Jean-Yves Moine in your references? http://3d-wbs.blogspot.com/?z The work Jean-Yves is doing is cutting edge in this field and is something you need to consider fitting into into your paper. (Or building your paper around)

    The above are not criticisms of your paper, but questions that you need to address when you start writing the paper.

    Keep up the good work, but very shortly, you need to move beyond the literature review stage and start to actually write your paper.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

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