4D Construction Planning and Scheduling is the new way to enable digital creation of the approved project delivery approach. It facilitated through the development of specific project plans and schedules that combine 3D data and time data into a single integrated model.

In other words, 4D puts the project plan into real context, requiring the deployment of a clearly specified 3D Construction Planning and Scheduling process together to improve the delivery team’s ability to identify, manage and remove the multiple and compounding instances of waste caused by errors, confusion, and inefficiency in the planning and execution of projects.


The focus and purpose of 4D Construction Planning and Scheduling is to enrich the planning and scheduling process to achieve improved communications and stakeholder participation. It enables the creation of a robust delivery approach that can be understood, validated and reliably implemented by the project delivery team.

Owners should insist on seeing a 4D Plan as part of the Contractor’s BIM Execution Plan and the 4D Plan needs to include more than just a series of animations. It also generates visual reporting of construction schedule through the entire life of the project, including jobsite status updates. Synchro 4D Planning tool provides Real-Time Advanced Graphic Simulations, Real-Time Collaboration, Dynamic Communications, Baseline-Actual Comparison, Lean/BIM Integration, Dynamic & Static Clash Detection and Optimize Delivery Approach. For owners, the bottom line is simple-without 4D they are missing a big opportunity to save time and money altogether.


  • Reduction in lost time in the project execution due to – Time lost in dealing with rework in the field caused by unplanned workspace clashes; Time lost in the field due to extra meetings convened to “talk through” the confusion in the schedule; Time lost in the field due to the occurrence of unplanned safety events that could have been avoided
  • Reduction in mistakes in the field caused by lack of needed information due to – Assuming a construction plan can be developed based solely on review of the design model; Assuming the initial schedule forecast is suciently accurate based on unverified/ unreview inputs; Assuming a construction sequence is flawless without a thorough review by all stakeholders of site logistics and temporary works
  • Reduction in the margins (cost avoidance) by removing unnecessary conservatism due to – Additional “float” in scheduled activities to account for “assumed delays”; Additional space allocated for activities to account for the possibility of congestion; Additional time for contractors to be on site



Planners, BIM Coordinator/ Specialist/ Manager, Project Manager/ Director/ Owner


Andy Tiong Meng Jun

Andy Tiong Meng Jun is the Project Planning Management Consultant with PCSS Consultancy since December 2007. Being a certified Primavera Project Management Training Trainer, he has delivered training to various organizations, such as Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd, Mcdermott (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Brunei Shell, Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd, Dammit Worley Parson (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, Labuan Shipyard Sdn Bhd, Brooke Dockyard Engineering Works & Construction, Petrokon Utama (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, Shapadu (Selangor) Sdn Bhd, Sapuracrest Petroleum Bhd, Shin Yang Sdn Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Sahib (Brunei) Sdn Bhd and Adenin Works & Engineering (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, just to name a few.

Implementing solutions to ensure clients maintain a distinct competitive advantage by continually delivering successful project, he is also able to provide a range of professional project management systems and services to ensure client projects are managed successfully throughout the entire project life cycle, reducing the risk of project costs and schedule overruns.

Other professional skills include establishing a PMO into client organization, making it an integral part of client’s organizational culture; developed project management processes and procedures; project management auditing; project planning, monitoring and scheduling services; holding a project planning workshop and conducting work scooping/site visit to verify scope and identify any potential operational problem.

He is also involved in RUBY Petronas (Vietnam) FPSO PLEM construction project – producing Project Master Schedule & Manpower Loading for various projects during tender stage; assisting respective Sub-contractor to compile and generate their work master schedule for PLEM project; directing and co-ordinating planning and scheduling activities; scheduling and schedule performance monitoring (daily manpower reports and productivity performance reports); attends weekly meeting; close monitoring on CPM and assisting Project Manager on critical activities & issues; and creating a standard threshold for project schedule.

April 2019

Construction companies began adopting CPM in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Critical Path Method (CPM) is project modelling technique developed in the late 1950s. By the late 1970’s and early 1980s, the personal computer made CPM affordable and accessible to the masses; so how has construction performance fared since CPM became the standard for construction planning and scheduling? For years, we have all seen the numbers and charts put up for debate showing no evidence that the original hopes and excitement of CPM is living up to its original expectation.

In construction, the CPM model is based on the input of individuals who use personal experience and historic project performance to inform their work. People must read 2D design documents showing what the project looks like first at the start (existing conditions) and what the finished project will be on completion.

To be clear, the construction delivery approach, the field operations plan, is created from the imagination of a person(s) who is required to envision the activities, duration, and dependencies of the specific project from seeing the existing conditions at the start and the construction design for the completed project at the end. Once created, they can review the delivery approach with others using the Gantt chart or network diagram.

It will never going to be enough to improve construction performance if CPM alone. Project today are more likely to end in a dispute or claim rather than be completed on time or on budget, lawyers love the baseline versus actual CPM artefacts to help sort out the mess. CPM should remain part of the foundation for planning, scheduling and the controls systems required for managing construction operations and it will continue to be required for the foreseeable future.

How can we improve performance?

Start by recognizing that 3D design changes everything and drives complexity, and for at least 60 years all engineering lead industries have known it. BIM is organised and structured by 3D spatial model. Today, many construction projects utilize 3D models for the final integrated product design’s spatial coordination to avoid fabricating and installing any component in the wrong location before production operations begin.

When it comes to 4D, the industry falsely led to believe that creating a schedule by reading 2D drawings and keyboarding into the legacy CPM software and then linking the CPM to the 3D model is right. SYNCHRO Software is doing 4D. Creating construction operations directly from 3D model at any level of 3D model detail is where 4D is the best. The critical path network and 2D documents are the derivative, they are outputs of 4D. 4D leads construction companies’s workflow and has envolved their construction management processes into the modern digital age.