How to write a Model Scheduling Specification

Incorporating the GAO’s “Best Practices in Scheduling” Appendices



By Tijo Kurian

India & Libya




To develop a scheduling specification with an appropriate type of specifying was researched in this paper. Considering world-class CSI manual of practices and Texas DoT for specification template and Master Format 2004 from CSI & CSC for coding structure with incorporating “GAO’s Best Practices in Scheduling” in scheduling specification.  By conducting proper analysis with Engineering Economic Analysis Procedure to develop the scheduling specification with seven steps. In the analysis, powerful decision-making tools like SWOT analysis to refine from the four types of specifying to the appropriate two, then through force field analysis, select the most preferred type of specifying to develop the scheduling specification. Performance specification is the selected type of specifying from the alternatives to develop the Model Scheduling Specification. Hence a robust scheduling specification has developed adopting best practices from the standards and GAO’s Best Practices as appendices to this paper.

Keywords: Performance Specification, Contractual, writing style, contractor, Scheduling


Specifications are one of the essential components that make up the contract agreement between the owner and the contractor.[1] “Specifications define the requirements for products, materials, and workmanship upon which the contract is based and the requirements for administration and performance of the project.”[2] “They are written to achieve a work result.” A specification is clear, concise, accurate, and easily understood. In most countries, the specification is part of the contractual documents. Then only the contractor will follow the specifications without hesitant. It’s essential to select the type of specification and adopt the writing style. The techniques used in the preparation of specifications involve the development of sections from the product reference material and editing section from other references. In developing specifications, the preliminary step is to gather information regarding the project-specific requirements and product selection decisions, require systematics and progressive compiling information in the early design phases.

There are several decisions to be taken on the outset of specification preparation. Before writing the original sections for a project, the type and organization of the specification must be decided upon. Information collected should be developed in the three-part section format, which provides consistency in the presentation of information and allows us to a wide variety of projects. A decision must be taken on the appropriate method of specifying. Sometimes more than one method may be necessary for the same specification or in the same section.

Specification Language

Specification language requires correct usage of vocabulary, grammar along with the correct sentence and paragraph construction. In the specification language, four principles of effective communication should follow, Clear, Concise, Correct, and Complete…


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How to cite this paper: Kurian, T. (2019). How to write a Model Scheduling Specification Incorporating the GAO’s “Best Practices in Scheduling” Appendices. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Kurian-how-to-write-a-model-scheduling-specification.pdf



About the Author

Tijo Kurian

India & Libya



Tijo Kurian is a project management professional with over 14 years of experience in upstream and downstream oil and gas projects. He is currently working as a Senior Project Engineer at Waha Oil Company in Libya. He previously worked with Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd, Bilfinger Berger Germany, as Project Control Engineer in various oil and gas projects. He holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from MG University, Kottayam and Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from DOTE, Tamil Nadu, India. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI, USA. He is pursuing some other project management/project control credentials from AACE, Guild of Project Controls, and PMI under the tutorage of Dr.  Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS, GPM-m Senior Technical Advisor, PT Mitrata Citragaha. Tijo Kurian can be contacted at tijokurien007@gmail.com .


[1] Specification Writing – Fundamentals of Structure …. https://www.bicsi.org/docs/default-source/conference-presentations/2017-winter/specification-writing.pdf?sfvrsn=9d504f43_2

[2] Specification Writing – Fundamentals of Structure …. https://www.bicsi.org/docs/default-source/conference-presentations/2017-winter/specification-writing.pdf?sfvrsn=9d504f43_2