Quantities & manpower - Estimate, plan, track, control.

Get the quantities and manning levels right; continue to track, analyse and revise both on a regular basis; take corrective action when needed and you will have a guaranteed recipe for successful completion on or ahead of schedule. 

On-line tools provided for the convenience of CHIP users, fall into two main categories, namely EMMAs and CALCULATORS. An EMMA, short for ESTIMATING MANPOWER MANAGEMENT APPLICATION, is a calculator that facilitates the estimating of man-hours required for the erection/construction/installation of a given scope of works, but then goes on to create an S-curve/manpower histogram and the means to monitor progress, analyse trends and take corrective actions where necessary. In addition simple CALCULATORS are provided that assist with a variety of estimating functions, some of which include creation of S-curves and histograms for planning purposes.


In turn, EMMAs fall into two further categories of importance, namely general, or detailed. A 'general' EMMA can used for any schedule of works where measurement of progress can be 'ball-parked' in a single unit, in large or bulk quantities. For example, concrete works measured in cubic yards or metres; erection of cable trays measured in feet or metres; concrete paving in square feet or metres; or welding in diameter inches. Alternatively, a detailed EMMA, such as one for piping, breaks the workscope  down into greater detail, requiring close attention to detail when assessing progress.


General EMMAs useful for three different time spans can be found in these pages, one for schedule periods of up to 18 months (below); one for periods of up to 18 weeks CLICK; and a third for up to 18 days. Detailed EMMAs will be found under PIPING.


Multi-purpose EMMAs (18 months; 18 weeks; 18 days)

The EMMA below can be used for any 'bulk' activity, over a period of up to 18 months, which involves a physically measurable unit of construction work scope that is quantified in tens, hundreds or thousands.  

A multi-purpose EMMA comprises 3 'pages', namely 'INPUT' (Basic data that must be inputted in order for the EMMA to function), 'TABLES' (Spreadsheets for inputting target & actual progress percentages, manhours etc), and 'CHARTS' (Where inputted spreadsheets are presented as S-curves & histograms). The EMMA can be used:

  • to set up a target rate of progress (S-curve);
  • to set an estimate of man-hours, converted to manpower requirements (histogram);
  • to record units measured as complete each month;
  • to record man-hours consumed each month, thereby automatically comparing the actual rate of progress and actual usage of manpower, with planned rates.
  • furthermore, unsatisfactory trends can thereby be identified and work re-scheduled, along with automatic revisions to manpower requirements, that will lead achievement of target completion.

Initial requirements for inputting are:

  • the estimated total quantity;
  • definition of the unit (eg m3);
  • an estimate of man-hours required per unit;
  • the average number of hours to be worked each day, week or month (18 day, 18 weeks & 18 month schedules)

Thereafter, inputting should be in accordance with notes provided. NOTE: For the EMMA to work, values must be inputted to all lines in Sheet 2 TABLES, from Month, Week or Day 1.

Use of an EMMA will be of particular interest to anyone with responsibility for getting a work scope package completed on or ahead of schedule. 


For additional explanation of potential usage, view the following video of an 18 week EMMA. 

EMMA for a work package of up to 18 months duration

Useful to anyone wishing to maintain a 'global' overview of a particular construction activity that can be 'eyeballed' for its progress over a long period of time, given ball-park estimates of quantities and manhours and access to records and reports. Also useful for in-depth analyses of progress in relation to manpower requirements.