How to prepare Financial S-Curves for Construction Management.
This section will provide simple methods for preparation of Financial S-Curves for any Construction Projects,
which anyone can use.
You would only need a Spreadsheet such as Excel to prepare a Financial Bar Chart and to convert the Chart into a
Graphical Format which would take the shape of an S-Curve.
First you need to prepare a Bar Chart showing Work Actvities Vs Time in the
Construction Period. This is also called the Work Program. Then allocate costs into each
activity in the duration. Costs is usually based on man-days input or in some cases the actual values for
the works in the contract.
Below is a example of a Planned Activity & Costs.
The top row is duration in weeks from start to finish, and the left-hand column are the activities set out in a
proper order or sequence of construction. The green cells denote work activity at that particular time. The figures
inside each green cell is the costs for that particular activity.
Next you would need to prepare an Actual Activity & Actual Costs using the same format
above, as shown below. The figures in "red" denotes actual activity and costs to date which you need to update
From both above Planned and Actual Costs, you can derive a simple Chart which takes the form of
a distorted S-Curve.
For this example, the "blue" curve is the Planned Activity while the "red" curve at current time is the Actual
Activity, and here the Work Progress Financially is Behind Schedule.
With this chart you can see at a glance what is happening to your project and what you must do to recover from
The above are simple yet very powerful and effective methods for managing a construction project which every
contractor and construction engineers should be familiar with. Similar approach can be taken for Physical S-Curves
which are discussed in other sections.
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Philip Goh (B.Sc, MIEM, P.Eng. MICE,