“What happens if the only reason the contractor is giving you a schedule is to get paid and for purposes of detailed CPM analysis it is practically useless?” [Anonymous 5/20/2010 4:26 PM CDT] 

This was the response we received from one of our recent blog posts.  A good question – in fact a great question! 

Well, why did we demand a CPM from the contractor?

There is only one reason to demand a CPM from a contractor and that is to provide additional assurances that the contractor CAN possibly complete the project on time. If we are not concerned with the contractor’s ability of timely completion, perhaps we should ask for a bar-chart or just a list of deadlines for owner controlled activities, and let our contractor get on with its work.

Why did we demand a performance bond?

What happens if the contractor is giving you a performance bond, from Uncle Henry, printed right off his inkjet printer, just to get paid? If we know the contractor to be reputable do we really need this “expensive piece of paper” for which WE pay dearly? 

The specification details exactly what form of performance bond is required, and the engineer better check very carefully that such is what has been delivered before allowing the contractor to proceed. The specification should also detail exactly what form of CPM schedule is required, and the engineer’s duty here is no less.  

No, we are not going to squeeze a whole specification for CPM into this blog.

Many books have been written on the topic, including a chapter in the text by Jim O’Brien and me,
CPM in Construction Management, now in it 7th edition. [This title is also a McGraw-Hill text.] 

But perhaps the short answer to the very good question raised is, “What happens when  the contractor deliberately is giving you a bogus submittal?” The ball is now back in your court.