Construction scheduling techniques

By Dr. Mahdi Damghani

Projects scheduling
Split project into tasks.

Estimate time and resources required to complete each task. Organize tasks concurrently to make optimal use of workforce. Minimize task dependencies to avoid caused by one task waiting for another to complete. delays

Dependent on experience.

project

managers

intuition

and

Scheduling

Primary objectives
* Best time * Least cost * Least risk

Secondary objectives
* Evaluation of schedule alternatives * Effective use of resources * Communications

Construction projects scheduling techniques

Mathematical Analysis
* Network Diagrams a) PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) b) CPM (Critical Path Method) c) GERT (Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique)

Bar charts
* Milestone Chart * Gannt Chart

1- Developed in the 1950·s 2- A graphical representation of the tasks necessary to complete a project 3-Visualizes the flow of tasks & relationships

Network analysis & Critical Path Method Is a project graph.  Depicts various operations which have to be performed to complete a project. Clearly illustrates inter-relationships and inter-dependence between activities. Can be established and quickly revised/edited on computer. Has produced greater efficiency and speedier completion of projects.

Event or Milestone System (PERT)

Activity on the node (Precedence Diagrams)

Activity on the arrow

Activity on the arrow (AOA) 
Principle component is the arrow which is employed to represent project activity

Excavation

3
Start event

Duration

4
Start event 

Event number at tail of arrow must always be less than that at the head of arrow.  Length of the arrow has nothing to do with the duration of the activity.  The arrow does not necessarily need to be straight, it can be bent or curved to suit the construction of the network

Some useful guides
Two simultaneous tasks start and end at the same events.
Task C cannot start until both tasks A and B are complete; a fourth task, D, cannot start until A is complete, but need not wait for B. A second task can be started before part of a first task is done

Planning logic
1. Draw the following network:

Activities B and C both follow A Activity Activity D Follows B E Follows C

Activities D and E precede F

Planning logic
2. Activity Activities Activity Activities Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity Draw the following network: H follows G J and K both follow H O follows K only L and P both follow J M follows L Q follows P and O N follows M R follows Q S follows both R and N

Planning logic
3. Activities Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity Activities Activity Activity Draw the following network: G and H both follow F D follows both B and C C precedes both F and D J follows E only and precedes L K follows D and precedes L L follows both J and K and merges with M and N at the finish event. M follows G A commences the network N follows H B and C follow A E follows B and precedes J F follows C and precedes G and H

Scheduling 
Once planning logic is satisfactory, the scheduling process commences.  Duration (days or weeks) taken from method statement are used to determine the duration of all project .  from the duration, the earliest possible time for each activity is calculated and entered in the left hand box or square at each event.
Earliest start time Latest start time Earliest finish time Latest finish time

Excavation

1

Duration

2 

Where 2 or more activity arrows merge at an event, the longest time is entered. Calculation of earliest start times is called ´ forward pasµ.  Network is now analyzed in reverse order, calculating the latest times for each activity to finish and entering in right hand box.  Where 2 or more arrows leave an event, the shortest time is entered.  Calculation of latest finish times is called the ´backward passµ.

Critical path and Float 
Float=spare time Critical activities = no float, i.e. Earliest Start Time = Latest Start Time (EST=LST) & EFT=LFT Duration = Start-Finish times 

Total float (amount of time by which an activity can be delayed without affecting the overall duration of the project) TF=LFT-EST-Duration  Free float (amount of time by which an activity can be delayed without affecting the succeeding activity) FFij=ESTjk-EFTij  Independent float (occurs when the minimum time for an activity is greater than the activity duration) IF=EFT-LST-Duration  Shared float (float that is common to more than one activity and, if used by one activity, is no longer available to another) SF=TF-FF (shared with succeeding activity)

Example 1: show the critical path and obtain TF & FF for all noncritical activities.

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1 4

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3 2 9 2

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7 1

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Step 1: draw the network (this has been done in this example)
List all the necessary tasks in the project or process. One convenient method is to write each task on the top half of a card or sticky note. Across the middle of the card, draw a horizontal arrow pointing right.
Determine the correct sequence of the tasks. Do this by asking three questions for each task: Which tasks must happen before this one can begin? Which tasks can be done at the same time as this one? Which tasks should happen immediately after this one? It can be useful to create a table with four columns ³prior tasks, this task, simultaneous tasks, following tasks. Diagram the network of tasks. If you are using notes or cards, arrange them in sequence on a large piece of paper. Time should flow from left to right and concurrent tasks should be vertically aligned. Leave space between the cards. Between each two tasks, draw circles for ´events.µ An event marks the beginning or end of a task. Thus, events are nodes that separate tasks. Look for three common problem situations and redraw them using ´dummiesµ or extra events. A dummy (slide 7) is an arrow drawn with dotted lines used to separate tasks that would otherwise start and stop with the same events or to show logical sequence. Dummies are not real tasks.

Step 2: find the critical path. the longest path from the beginning to the end of the project. Mark the critical path with a heavy line or color. Calculate the length of the critical path: the sum of all the task times on the path (20).

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3 2 9 2

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7 1

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Step 3: Calculate the earliest times each task can start and finish, based on how long preceding tasks take. These are called earliest start (EST) and earliest finish (EFT). Start with the first task, where ES = 0, and work forward. 8 4 2
10

5 4

14 7
14

4 0 0 1 4 2 6 7 1 7 8 4 2 3 7 3 9 7

6 4

18 11
18 20

10

11

2 9 9 2

2

Step 4: Calculate the latest times each task can start and finish without upsetting the project schedule, based on how long later tasks will take. These are called latest start (LST) and latest finish (LFT). Start from the last task, where the latest finish is the project deadline, and work backwards. Latest finish (LFT) = the smallest LST of all tasks immediately following this one Latest start (LST) = LFT ² task time for this task 10 10 8 8 4 4 11 11 0 0 1 4 2 6 7 1
13

2

5 4

14 7
14 14

4 7 3 3

14 16
14

6 4 9 7

18 11
18 18 20 20

4 4 2

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2 9 9
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Step 5: total float and free float from slide 15 8 8 4 4 11 11 0 0 1 4 2 6 7 1
13 10 10

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14 7
14 14

4 7 3 3

14 16
14

6 4 9 7

18 11
18 18 20 20

4 4 2

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2 9 9
16

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7 8

14

2

Example 2 : show the critical path and obtain TF & FF for activities D, L, S and AB

Note: In complicated diagrams it is not always easy to find the critical path in the first place. Therefore , you need to obtain EST, EFT, LST and LFT for all activities and then those nodes having EST=EFT and LST=LFT are node in the critical path.

1

Example 3 : find the critical path in the diagram below

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