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Timing of Control Activities in Project Planning

Timing of Control Activities in Project Planning

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P ergam on
International Journal o f P roject M anagem entV ol. 16, N o. 1, pp. 51-58, 1998
,~ 1997ElsevierScienceLtd and IPM A Allrightsreserved
P rin ted in G reat B ritain
0 2 6 3 -7 8 6 3 /9 8 $ 1 9 .0 0 + 0 .0 0
P II:S 0 2 6 3 -7 8 6 3 (9 7 )0 0 0 1 2 -4
T im in g
o f c o n tr o l a c tiv itie s in
p r o je c t p la n n in g
M assim o
d e F a lc o
a n d
R ob erto
M a c c h ia r o li*
D ip a r tim e n to
d i P r o g e tta z io n e
e G e s tio n e In d u s tr ia le , S e z io n e
Im p ia n ti In d u s tr ia li,
U n iv e r s ita (c ) d i N a p o li
F e d e r ic o H , P ia z = a le
T e c c h io 8 0 , 8 0 1 2 5
N a p o li, Ita ly
T h is
p a p e r
d e a ls
w ith
th e
tim in g
o f
m o n ito r in g
a n d
c o n t r o l
i n
p r o j e c t
p la n n in g .
T he
n e e d
fo r
m o n ito r in g
a n d
c o n t r o l
a c tio n s
a r is e
b e c a u s e
p r o j e c t s
a r e
d y n a m ic
i n
n a t u r e
a n d
b e c a u s e
o f
c h a n g in g
environm ents. The
m o n ito r in g
o f th e
p r o je c t d e v ia tio n s
f r o m
th e
p la n n e d
sch ed u le
d u e
t o
environm ental changes
a llo w s
th e
g e n e r a t io n
of proper
f e e d b a c k
t o
e n a b le
c o r r e c t iv e
a c t io n s .
A fter
h a v in g
r e v ie w e d
th e
m a in
r e a s o n s
th a t
s u g g e s t
th e
o p p o r tu n ity
t o
u se
s t r u c t u r e d
a p p r o a c h e s
t o
project control, w e
m ake
a
p r o p o s a l fo r th e q u a n tita tiv e
d e te r m in a tio n
o f th e tim e
in sta n ts
w h en
th e
m o n ito r in g
a n d
c o n t r o l
a c tio n s
s h o u ld
ta k e
p la c e
i n
o r d e r
t o
e ffe c tiv e ly
m an-
a g e
th e
projects. T he
proposal is based
o n
th e
d e fin itio n
of an
E ffo r t F u n c tio n .
T he
q u a n tita tiv e
a n a ly s is
o f
i t s
c o n c e n t r a t io n
a llo w s
th e
a llo c a tio n
o f
th e
m o n ito r in g
a n d
c o n t r o l
a c tiv itie s .
~
1 9 9 7
E ls e v ie r
S c ie n c e
L td
a n d
IP M A
K eyw ords:M onitoring,control, project m anagem ent
A
r e c e n t
in v e s tig a tio n
u p o n
p ro je c t
fa ilu re s
co n firm s
th a t
O rg a n iz a tio n
&
M anagem ent
p la y s
a
m a jo r
ro le
a s
th e
m ain
c a u s e
of failures, representing
3 2 .7 %
a n d
3 6 .7 %
o f th e
total reasons
in , re s p e c tiv e ly , th e
p e rio d s
1 9 8 6 - 1 9 9 2
a n d
1986-1994.7 A nother
b ig
ro le is p la y e d
b y
P la n n in g
&
M o n ito rin g
w ith
i t s
15% .
T h is

i l l u s - tra te s th a t, d e s p ite th e c o n tin u o u s e v o lu tio n in th e p ro - je c t

m anagem ent
field, the
tra d itio n a l
a p p r o a c h e s
s t i l l
s h o w
a la c k
o f a p p ro p ria te
m e th o d o lo g ie s fo r th e
p ro -
je c t c o n tro l.
W h ile
a c a d e m ic
s tu d ie s
h a v e
c o n c e n tra te d
th e ir
e f f o r t s
o n
m a th e m a tic a l
a p p r o a c h e s ,
lik e
r i s k
a n a ly s is
o r
s to c h a s tic
analysis, com panies
h a v e
m ain ly
f o c u s e d
th e ir
a tte n tio n
o n
e m p iric a l
p r o c e d u r e s
lik e
cost bud-
g e tin g
a n d
r e s o u r c e
a llo c a tio n .
T he
m a tc h in g
p o in t
b e tw e e n
th e th e o re tic a l a n d
p r a c tic a l a p p r o a c h e s is s till
fa r
aw ay,
b u t,
fro m
o u r
p o in t
o f
v ie w , th e
a c a d e m ic
researches can
w ork
as a
lig h th o u s e
t o
in d ic a te
p o te n -
tia l
a r e a s
o f
im p ro v e m e n t
a n d
le a d
th e
m anagers
to w a rd s
n e w
te c h n iq u e s a n d
to o ls .
E v e n
i n
a
ra w
analysis, it is possible
t o
re a liz e
th a t
m uch
m ore
em phasis
h a s
b e e n
d e v o te d
t o
project de-
s ig n
a n d
p la n n in g
th a n
t o
p ro je c t
c o n tro l.
N evertheless, very frequently the
p la n s
a re
d is r e g a r d e d
a l s o
fo r
th e
r e a s o n s
re p o rte d
a b o v e .
T he
n e e d
fo r
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l
a c tio n s
a r is e s
b e c a u s e
p ro je c ts
a re
d y n a m ic
i n
n a tu re
a n d
th e y
a re
o fte n
c a rrie d
o u t
i n
c h a n g in g
e n v iro n m e n ts .
T he
m ain
fa c to rs
a ffe c tin g
e x is tin g
p la n s
a r e :
re v is io n
o f
th e
a c tiv itie s
d u ra tio n
*A uthor for correspondence.
e s tim a te s , te c h n ic a l s p e c ific a tio n s c h a n g e s , d e liv e ry fa il-
ures, etc...
I n
th is c o n te x t, th e
m o n ito rin g
o f th e
p ro -
je c t
d e v ia tio n s
fro m
th e
p la n n e d
s c h e d u le
d u e
t o
e n v ir o n m e n ta l c h a n g e s a llo w s th e g e n e ra tio n
of proper
f e e d b a c k t o e n a b l e c o r r e c t i v e a c t i o n s . ~ '2
T y p ic a lly , th e c o n tr o l a c tiv itie s a re c a rrie d
o u t a t th e
project m ilestones, w here
it is possible
t o
c le a rly id e n t-
ify the
o u tp u t o f th e
p h a s e
a n d
t o
com pare
it w ith
th e
d e s ir e d
o u tp u t.
T h is
ty p e
o f c o n tro l c a n n o t
b e
m issed
a n d
c o n s titu te s
th e
b a s ic
a p p r o a c h
i n
th e
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tr o l a c tiv ity . H o w e v e r , th e c o n tr o l o f th e
o u tp u t
a t
th e
e n d
o f
th e
p h a s e
i s
r i s k y
a n d
in e ffe c tiv e
s in c e
one can
e x p e rie n c e la te re c o g n itio n o f p ro b le m s .
T h u s , in te rm e d ia te
p o in ts
of control becom e
n e c e s s -
a ry
t o
p ro v id e
a n
e ffe c tiv e
o n - p r o c e s s
u p d a te
o f
th e
m ain
project param eters,
s u c h
a s
cost, resource, tim e,
w ork
c o m p le tio n , e tc . T h e
in tro d u c tio n
of an
in c r e a s e
i n
th e
num ber
o f
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l
a c tiv itie s
a lo n g
th e
p ro je c t
tim e
s p a n
re q u ire s
th e
s o lu tio n
o f
tw o
a d d itio n a l
d e c is io n -m a k in g
problem s,
th e
f r e -
q u e n c y
a n d
tim in g
o f
c o n tro l.
A
h ig h
f r e q u e n c y
o f
control, besides the
a s s o c i a t e d
d ire c t c o s t, is tim e c o n -
s u m in g
a n d
d iv e rts
resources from
th e
m ain
a c tiv itie s .
O n
th e
o th e r h a n d , a lo w
frequency does not allow
a n
e a rly
w a rn in g
n e c e s s a r y
t o
a p p ro p ria te ly
in te rv e n e .
G e n e ra lly ,
th e
m ain
fa c to rs
a ffe c tin g
f r e q u e n c y
d e -
c is io n s
a re
c o st o f m o n ito rin g , u rg e n c y
o f th e
p ro je c t,
e x p o s u r e
t o
d e la y s ,
a v e r a g e
tim e
s p a n
o f
th e
ta s k s
in v o lv e d .3
C o n c e rn in g
th e
tim in g
o f
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l
a c tio n s ,
v a ria b le
re v ie w
p e rio d s
p ro v id e
s e v e r a l
a lte rn a tiv e s :
le s s
in te n s iv e
m o n ito rin g
a t
th e
e a rly
5 1
T im in g o f c o n tr o l a c tiv itie s
in p r o j e c t p la n n in g ." M
d e F a lc o a n d R
M a c c h ia r o li
P I
P 2
P 3
P 4
P 5
P 6
P 7
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P
9
P
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P
1 1
P
1 2
P
1 3
P
1 4
P
1 5
P
1 6
P
1 7
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.o m o
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/
o o
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< * .:*
~
~
.~ '~
..'
.'
~ i!~ !~
F ig u re
1
E v o lu tio n
o f th e
c u m u la tiv e
e ffo rt fu n c tio n
s ta g e s
a n d
m o re
re v ie w s
a t
th e
e n d , 5
m o re
f r e q u e n t
m o n ito rin g
a t
th e
b e g in n in g
a n d
le s s
afterw ards,4
re v ie w
a fte r
c o m p le tio n
o f
k e y
a c tiv itie s .
A n
e x p e r -
im e n ta l
in v e s tig a tio n
in to
th e
perform ance
o f
th e
d iffe re n t
a lte rn a tiv e s
i s
re p o rte d
i n
P a rto v i
a n d
B u rto n . 6 A d d itio n a lly , th e
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l fu n c -
tio n s
d o
n o t
n e c e s s a r ily
n e e d
t o
b e
perform ed
c o n c u r -
re n tly :
i t
i s
p o s s ib le ,
fo r
e x a m p le ,
t o
h o ld
w e e k ly
m e e tin g s
t o
m o n ito r
p ro g re ss,
b u t
t o
p e rfo rm
c o r r e c -
tiv e a c tio n s m o n th ly .
F ro m
th e
d is c u s s io n
m ade
s o
fa r, it a p p e a rs
e v id e n t
th a t,
b e s id e s
th e
b a s ic
p la n n in g
a c tiv itie s
n o rm a lly
n e e d e d
i n
p ro je c t p la n n in g ,
it is o f p a r a m o u n t
im p o rt-
a n c e
t o
d e s ig n
a n
a c c u r a t e
c o n tr o l p la n ,
w h ic h
d e fin e s
th e ty p e a n d
th e
d is trib u tio n
of surveys.
I n
th is
p a p e r
w e
p r o p o s e
a
fram ew o rk
t o
m ake
d e -
c is io n s
c o n c e r n in g
th e
tim in g
a n d
f r e q u e n c y
o f
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l
a c tio n s .
T he
b a s ic
p rin c ip le
u n d e rly in g
o u r
a p p r o a c h
i s
th a t
p ro je c ts
c a n
fo llo w
d iffe re n t
p a tte rn s
w ith
d iffe re n t
b e h a v io u r s .
T h is
m akes
c le a r th e
n e e d
o f d iffe re n t a llo c a tio n s
o f c o n tro l
p o in ts .
T he
p ro je c t
c ritic a l
m om ents,
i n
term s
o f
r e s o u r c e
n e e d s ,
c o m p le x ity
o f
w o rk
a n d
c o n s tra in ts ,
a re
ty p ic a lly d is trib u te d
n o t u n ifo rm ly
(e v e n if th e
u n i-
fo rm
d is trib u tio n
is som etim es
a
g o o d
a p p ro x im a tio n ).
O ur
p r o p o s a l
i s
t o
c o n s id e r
th is
d is trib u tio n
i n
p la n -
n in g
th e
c o n tro l,
c o n c e n tra tin g
th e
c h e c k
p o in ts
w hen
th e
w o rk
c o n te n ts
a re
c ritic a l a n d
re lie v in g
th e m
w hen
the w ork
a p p e a r s
s m o o th .
A c c o rd in g ly
w ith
this, it is preferable
t o
c o n c e n tra te
th e
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tro l
a c tio n s
i n
th o s e
c ritic a l
p e r io d s .
T h u s ,
th e
p ro b le m
i s
s h i f t e d
o n
th e
d e fin itio n
o f
a
fu n c tio n
w h ic h
e x p r e s s e s
th e
e ffo rt
re q u ire d
i n
5 2
e a c h
tim e
fram e
(F ig u re
1
show s
a
p o s s ib le
p ro je c t
p la n
a n d
th e
c o r r e s p o n d in g
c u m u la tiv e
e ffo rt
f u n c -
tio n ). T h e
q u a n tita tiv e
analysis of the effort and
cum u-
la tiv e
e ffo rt
fu n c tio n s
a llo w s
th e
c o m p u ta tio n
o f
th e
c o r r e s p o n d in g
c o n c e n tra tio n .
W e
c o n s id e r
th a t
a ll
c a s e s
c a n
b e
r e d u c e d
t o
fo u r
m ain
ty p o lo g ie s ,
w here
th e
e f f o r t is m o r e
c o n c e n tra te d
a t th e
b e g in n in g , a t th e
e n d
o r
a t
a
c e rta in
p o in t
o f
th e
p ro je c t
le n g th ,
o r
i s
n o t
c o n c e n tra te d
a t
a ll
(F ig u re
2
show s
th e
e v o lu tio n
o f
th e
c u m u la tiv e
e ffo rt
fu n c tio n
i n
th e
fo u r
c a s e s ) .
T he
n e x t
s t e p
c o n s is ts
i n
th e
a llo c a tio n
o f
th e
M o n ito rin g
&
C o n tr o l a c tiv itie s a c c o r d in g
t o
th e
in te n -
s i t y
a n d
d is trib u tio n
o f th e
effort. T he
c o n tro l d e n s ity
fu n c tio n ,
w hose
s h a p e
i s
assum ed
t o
fo llo w
a
norm al
c u r v e ,
i s
c o m p u te d
a c c o r d in g
t o
th e
e ffo rt
c o n c e n -
tra tio n .
T he
d e fin itio n
o f
a
fram ew o rk
w ith
th e
d e s c rip tio n
o f
th e
m o n ito rin g
a n d
c o n tro l
a c tiv itie s
p ro v id e s
project m anagers
w ith
a n
e ffe c tiv e e s tim a tio n
o f
b o th
th e
c o n tro l
r e s o u r c e s
n e e d e d
a n d
th e ir
a llo -
c a tio n .
T h is
w ay
th e y
h a v e
th e
p o s s ib ility
t o
in te rv e n e
w ith
tim ely
c o rre c tio n
a c tio n s
w hen
th e
a c tu a l
s itu -
a tio n
differs from
th e
d e s ira b le
o n e
a n d
t o
react effec-
tiv e ly ,
s in c e
th e
d e v ia tio n s
in c r e a s e
w ith
th e
d is ta n c e
b e tw e e n
tw o
c h e c k p o in ts
a n d
w ith
th e
e ffo rt re q u ire d .
D efin itio n
of the project characteristics
T he
ty p ic a l d e s c rip tio n
o f th e
p ro je c t e v o lu tio n , g iv e n
i n
term s
o f
th e
c u m u la tiv e
c o s t,
i s
r e p r e s e n t e d
a s
a
logistic curve w ith
its 'S ' s h a p e , w h ic h
show s the differ-
e n t
a c c e le ra tio n
o f
th e
th re e
p h a s e s :
a t
th e
b e g in n in g
th e
in e rtia l
fric tio n
k e e p s
dow n
th e
e x p e n s e s ,
i n
th e
m id d le
a
stro n g
in c r e a s e
show s
u p
w ith
th e
e x e c u tio n
T im in g o f c o n tr o l a c tiv itie s in p r o je c t p la n n in g : M
d e F a lc o a n d R M a c c h ia r o fi
E ffo rt
A
~
T
T
brae
E fto rt
C
hm e
E ffo rt
B
~hm e
E ffo rt
D
D e fin itio n
o f E ffo rt
F u n c tio n
C la ssifica tio n
o fP r o je c t
C o m p u ta tio n o f
D e te r m in a tio n
In te n sityo f
o f C o n tro l
E ffo rtD e v ia tio n
D is trib u tio n
C h aracteristic
P aram eters
p |
F ig u r e3
The logic fram ew ork of the proposal
F ig u r e2
T h e f o u r ty p ic a l e v o lu tio n o f th e c u m u la tiv e e ffo rt
fu n c tio n
of m ost
a c tiv itie s
a n d
a t th e
e n d
th e
w o rk
s lo w s d o w n
a g a in .
H o w e v e r , th is
s c h e m a tiz a tio n
i n
som e
cases can
b e m is le a d in g . In
f a c t, it is n o t u n u s u a l
t o
fin d
p ro je c ts
w here
m ost
o f
th e
a c tiv itie s
a re
c o n c e n tra te d
a t
th e
e n d
o r a t th e
b e g in n in g
o f th e
c y c le . T h e
first situation
is ty p ic a l in
th e
e a s t e r n
w orld, w here
o n e
w a its
till the
la s t
m in u te s
t o
p e rfo rm
th e
t a s k s ,
a n
e x a m p le
o f
th e
s e c o n d
i s
th e
so ftw are
d e v e lo p m e n t
p r o c e s s
w here
m ost
o f th e
critical w ork
is in
th e
in itia l
d e s ig n
p h a s e .
T he
d iffe re n c e
w e
t r i e d
t o
em phasize
w ith
th e s e
tw o
e x a m p le s
a p p e a r s
e v e n
m o re
e v id e n t
if an
"effort' dis-
trib u tio n
is considered
ra th e r
th a n
th e
ty p ic a l c o s t d is -
trib u tio n .
G e n e ra liz in g
th is
ty p e o f d e s c rip tio n , it is p o s s ib le
t o
id e n tify
fo u r
b a s ic
p a tte rn s
t o
w h ic h
th e
p ro je c ts
c a n
b e
r e d u c e d .
I n
F ig u r e
2
th e ir
d iffe re n c e s
a re
im m ed i-
a te ly
r e c o g n iz e d .
T he
first three
p a tte rn s
h a v e
a lre a d y
b e e n
d is c u s s e d ,
w h ile
th e
l a s t
o n e ,
th e
hom ogeneous,
d e s c r ib e s
th e
s itu a tio n
w here
( i )
i t
i s
h a r d
t o
id e n tify
a n y
p a r tic u la r d is tri~ b u tio n
o f th e
effort or (ii) the
e v o l-
u tio n
i s
h ig h ly
irre g u la r
s o
th a t
th e
b e s t
f i t
c u r v e
re m a in s
th e c o n s ta n t d is trib u tio n .
T he
c o n s is te n c y
a n d
re lia b ility
o f
th e
c la s s ific a tio n
m ade
s o
f a r ,
how ever,
re q u ire s
a
num ber
o f
assum p-
tio n s
t o
b e
m ade
fo r
th e
p ro je c t
c h a ra c te ris tic s .
T he
fo llo w in g
h y p o th e s is
a re
b y
n o
m eans
lim itativ e
a n d
n o rm a lly
a p p ly
t o
a
b r o a d
r a n g e
o f p ro je c ts :
M o d u la r ity :
th e
p ro je c t
i n
i t s
l i f e
c y c le
s h o u ld
n o t
b e
decom posable
i n
a u to n o m o u s
m odules.
I f
s u c h
m o d u la rity
exists, how ever, one
c a n
s till a p p ly
our approach
t o
th e
in d iv id u a l m o d u le s
s e p a r a te ly .
A p p r o x im a tio n :
t o
c l a s s i f y
p ro je c ts
a c c o r d in g
t o
th e
schem e
i n
F ig u r e
2 ,
lo c a l
irre g u la r
b e h a v io u rs
s h o u ld
b e
sm oothed,
g iv e n
th e ir
lim ited
in flu e n c e
o v e r th e w h o le p ro je c t p a tte rn .
M e a s u r a b ility :
th e
c la s s ific a tio n
i s
su b m itted
t o
th e
d e fin itio n
o f
a n
'e f f o r t
fu n c tio n ',
w h ic h
s h o u ld
e v a lu a te
h o w
th e
r e s o u r c e s - - n o t
o n ly
p h y s ic a l,
b u t
a l s o
in ta n g ib le --a re
ta k e n
u p .
T im in g
o f m o n ito r in g
a n d
c o n t r o l
T he
a im
o f th is w o r k
is to
d e te rm in e
th e c o n tr o l d is tri-
b u tio n
i n
th e
project design
p h a s e .
T he
d e te rm in a tio n
o f th e
c o n tro l p la n
a llo w s
th e
d e te c tio n
o f p o s s ib le
d e -
v ia tio n s
fro m
th e
o rig in a l
p la n .
T h u s
th e
p r o p o s e d
a p p r o a c h
c o n s is ts
o f
th e
fo llo w in g
s te p s
(F ig u re
3
re p o rts th e
lo g ic f r a m e w o r k
o f o u r p ro p o s a l):
C o m p u ta tio n
o f E ffo r t D & tr ib u tio n :a ll c a lc u la tio n
a re
b a s e d
o n
th e
d e fin itio n
of an
e ffo rt fu n c tio n .
I n
th is
p a p e r
a
re la tio n s h ip
w ith
th e
num ber
o f a c tiv i-
tie s a n d
th e
total slack
in e a c h
p e rio d
is p r o p o s e d .
C la s s ific a tio n
o f
P r o je c t:
o n c e
th e
e ffo rt
d i s t r i -
b u tio n
i n
a
s p e c ific
p ro je c t
h a s
b e e n
d e te rm in e d ,
i t
is possible
t o
id e n tify
th e
c a t e g o r y
it b e lo n g s
to , b y
c o m p a rin g
th e
c u m u la tiv e
d is trib u tio n
w ith
th e
hom ogeneous
c u m u la tiv e
d is trib u tio n .
T h is
s t e p
d e fin e s th e
a lg o rith m
t o
use in
th e fo llo w in g p h a s e s .
C o m p u ta tio n
o f Intensity
o f E ffo r t D e v ia tio n :
th e
a r e a
in c lu d e d
b e tw e e n
th e
c a lc u la te d
e ffo rt
d i s t r i -
b u tio n
a n d
th e
hom ogeneous
e ffo rt
d is trib u tio n
i s
th e
m easure
o f th e
d e v ia tio n
in te n s ity .
T h is
a r e a
i s
a tta in e d
d iffe re n tly
i n
th e
d iffe re n t
p ro je c t
c a t-
e g o r ie s .
C h a r a c te r is tic
P aram eters
o f
th e
C o n tr o l D e n s ity
F u n c tio n :
assum ing
th e
c o n tro l
d e n s ity
fu n c tio n
i s
n o rm a lly
d is trib u te d ,
th e
next step
c o n s is ts
i n
d e te r-
m in in g
i t s
c h a ra c te ris tic
param eters #
a n d
a .
T h e s e
param eters
a re
re la te d
t o
th e in te n s ity
o f d e v ia tio n .
D e te r m in a tio n
o f C o n tr o l A c tio n s :
tim in g
of con-
trol activities is determ ined
a c c o r d in g
t o
th e
c o n tro l
d e n s ity
fu n c tio n .
I n
th e
fo llo w in g
s u b s e c tio n s
a ll
s te p s
o f
th e
p ro -
p o s e d
a p p r o a c h
a re
d e s c ib e d
i n
d e ta il.
C o m p u ta tio n
o f th e e ffo r t fu n c tio n
O nce
a
d e ta ile d
p ro je c t p la n
h a s
b e e n
d e v e lo p e d
(u sin g
s t a n d a r d
te c h n iq u e s
lik e
th e
c ritic a l
p a th
m e th o d ),
a n
e x a c t
a c tiv itie s
s c h e d u le
i s
d e te rm in e d .
A c c o rd in g ly ,
fo r
e a c h
a c tiv ity
j ,
s t a r t i n g
a n d
e n d in g
d a te s
a re
know n.
F o r
e a c h
a c tiv ity ,
th e
s la c k
tim e
S j
i s
com -
p u te d
a s
th e
d iffe re n c e
b e tw e e n
th e
la te s t
p erm itted
c o m p le tio n
tim e
a n d
th e
a c tu a l
p la n n e d
c o m p le tio n
tim e. N o te
th at this definition is different fro m
th e
o n e
o f th e
s la c k
v a ria b le
u s e d
i n
C PM
for the
critical path
id e n tific a tio n . In
th a t
case, in
fact, it is defined
a s
th e
d iffe re n c e
b e tw e e n
th e
la te s t
a n d
e a rlie s t
c o m p le tio n
tim es.
T he
first step
consists in
d iv id in g
th e p la n n e d
p ro je c t
le n g th
T
in to
n
tim e
in te rv a ls .
A
tim e
in te rv a l
iE (1. . . . . n ) is d e f i n e d
as an
in te rv a l d u rin g
w h ic h
n o
a c -
tiv ity
s t a r t s
o r
e n d s .
A c c o rd in g ly ,
d u rin g
e a c h
tim e
in te rv a l
& (1. . . . . n ),
th e
num ber
o f a c tiv e
ta s k s
i s
c o n -
s ta n t.
F o r
e a c h
in te rv a l
i
th e
tim e
h o riz o n
h a s
b e e n
d iv id e d
in to ,
i t
i s
n e c e s s a r y
t o
c o m p u te
th e
e ffo rt
re q u ire d .
T he
effort E , in
p e rio d
i is d e fin e d
as a
f u n c -
tio n
o f
\u2022
th e
to ta l
num ber
o f
a c tiv itie s
b e in g
c a rrie d
o u t
i n
p e rio d
i, d e n o t e d
a sN A t a n d ;
5 3

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