Project Management

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Program and Project Management Services

Combs & Shearers objective in providing Management Services is to ensure desirable outcomes during all phases of a Program or Project including the Strategic Planning, Design, and Construction phases. We do that by enhancing communications between the owner, designer, and builder of a project and by providing oversight for their performance. Additionally, we are able to deal with many financial and contractual problems, and provide objective recommendations in order to resolve conflicts. We have the proven capability to present our clients with the information required for knowledgeable, and timely, common sense decisions.

When undertaking any management program, whether in Program Management, Project Management, or Construction Management, we plan our personnel resources to provide availability on both a short notice and a long-term basis. Management decision-making procedures have been developed and are in place regarding the division and performance of work and for the flow of information. These procedures are subject to continuous improvements from our experience with complex, technically intensive designs. The scope of work for each delivery or task order is assessed and matched to the appropriate Team Members’ strengths and other resources according to the type of work and locations involved.

Cost Estimating

Accurately forecasting the cost of future projects or operating activities is vital to the survival of any business or organization. Combs & Shearers’ cost estimators can develop the cost information needed to determine if a proposed activity or project would be profitable. Our estimators can also provide the evaluative tools to determine whether an existing activity or project is making a profit and/or is otherwise meeting financial expectations.

CSi cost estimators will collect and analyze data on all factors that can influence costs, such as:

  • Materials of Construction
  • Labor Categories, Labor Rates and Availability
  • Project Location
  • Seasonal Variations in Weather
  • Requirements for Special Tools or Equipment
  • Unique Site Requirements

Project Planning and Scheduling

The objective of any project scheduling activity is to ensure that a project or work effort, will be able to adhere to the three main criteria of cost, time, and risk factor (s). Usually it is difficult to optimize the three variables at the same time. Therefore an acceptable limit for two of the three variables is set and the project is optimized in terms of the third variable.

When beginning a new project, CSi planners will establish a “Milestone Schedule” based upon the following factors:

  • Contractual Commitment Dates
  • Cash-flow restrictions
  • Multi-year funding
  • Resource limitations (both personnel and equipment)
  • External approval requirements

After the “Milestone Schedule” has been developed, CSi planners will then develop a Detailed Project Schedule that would include additional considerations for:

  • The “Work Breakdown Structure” – a detailed identification of individual tasks (e.g.; procurement of main feed pumps, road grading, secure environmental permit, etc.) which must be completed for the entire project to be considered complete
  • Forecast early start, late start and finish dates for each task; including calculation of “slack” (float).
  • Task dependencies; including: technical precedence, procedural precedence and imposed precedence.
  • Determination of Critical Tasks; and establishment of a Critical Path
  • Assignment of resources – both personnel and equipment

As the project continues to evolve, we will maintain the Project Schedules by:

  • Tracking the progress of tasks and activities on a periodic basis
  • Evaluating actual performance versus expected performance
  • Advising task managers when corrective action may be necessary to maintain or improve schedule and performance

Budget Development

Combs & Shearer can develop budgets for engineering, design, construction, and operations and maintenance projects utilizing tools developed in-house and by government agencies. The parametric cost estimating tools allow pre-concept cost estimates based on historical data. 


Combs & Shearer staff are experienced with all types of report formats, including client specific reports. Our engineering and administrative staff are fully knowledgeable with the entire suite of Microsoft Office products plus many others.