W12.0_RQ_Simple Case of Progress Measurement


There are six most common methods to measure progress : units completed, incremental milestone, supervisor opinion, cost ratio, and weighetd or equivalent units. In order to get clear understand of those method, this blog will try to analys which method will be suitbale to be used to the following simple case.


Figure 1 : Cross Section CSP

The works is construction of Corrugated Steel Pipe [CSP] 1800 Dia L 8m. The works consist of : excavation, sand bedding, laying CSP, and backfilling. Pay item will be only laying CSP, no separate pay items for sand excavation, sand bedding, and backfilling. Client will require contractor to produce daily report which shall clearly report daily progress work achievement. The following table are estimated by Contractor to complete the works.


Figure 2 : BAC, Duration, and  Men Hours

 The Question is : How to measure daily achievement of works as required to be reported to Client.


As mentioned above, there are six most common methods to measure progress :

  • Units completed
  • Incremental milestone
  • Start finish
  • Supervisor opinion
  • Cost ratio and
  • Weighted or equivalent units


Conclusion will be made by comparing suitability of each method



Figure 3 : BAC, Duration, and  Men Hours in percentage

Assessment to the feasible alternatives can be explain as the following :

Alternative 1 Units Completed : Each subtask can not be accomplished simulatenously thus this alternative is not applicable.

Alternative 2 Incremental Millestone : Subtask is handled in sequence thus this alternative migh be applicable.

Alternative 3 Start Finish : Effor time required for each subtask is not very difficult to estimate thus this alternative is not applicable.

Alternative 4 Supervisor Opinion : This method might be applicable however, this is subjective approach. The major problems is that some superviors are optimists and some are pessimists thus this method is not recommended.

Alternative 5 Cost Ratio : Tasks does not involve a long period of time thus this method is not applicable.

Alternative 6 Weighted or Equivalent Units : Tasks does not involve a long period of time thus this method is not applicable.


Based on the aforementioned selection therefore it can be concluded that Alternative 2 is applicable method to be used. Therefore, progress can be measured Excavation : 11% in total, sand bedding 33% in total, laying CSP 56% in total, and  back filling 100% in total.


Daily report can be presented to Client using incremental milestone method as described in alternative 2.


  1. Giammalvo, P.D. (2012). AACE Certification Preparation Course Handouts.
  2. Humphreys, G.C. (2011). Project Management Using Earned Value Second Edition. Humphreys & Associates, Inc.
  3. The Education Board of AACE International.(2010). Skills & Knowledge of Cost Engineering 5th Edition Revised. AACE International.

3 thoughts on “W12.0_RQ_Simple Case of Progress Measurement

  1. Good posting, Pak Ridwan. I think for only 8 meters of pipe, I might have considered the Start – Finish method as well- 40% billable after the contractor has mobilized, the pipe and materials have been delivered to the site and the other 50% upon substantial completion and the final 10% after 30 days. (Just in case there is any settlement), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with your approach either.

    If you really want to take on a challenge, try to figure out how to calculate the physical percent complete on a well platform!!! That was one of the toughest applications of Earned Value I have ever run across.

    Interesting posting but make sure you compare Humphrey’s Chapter 29 against Skills and Knowledge, Chapters 14 and 15. Humphrey’s offers a couple more methods than the 6 you identified, and it wouldn’t hurt for you to be aware of them. Also, Chapter 15 in Skills and Knowledge talks about using earned value when you don’t have a well defined BCWS. (Earned Value Using Variable Budgets) Very common in the oil and gas sector. As a matter of fact, I would strongly urge you to do a blog posting on that topic. Much more common in the oil and gas sector and a set of tools & techniques you should be familiar with using..

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

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