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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

Construction Planning and Scheduling - CEM 421


Homework # 1 - Chapter # 1 - Construction Planning and Scheduling

1.1 What are the characteristics of a project? How the success of a construction project is defined?

a. Characteristic of a project

 Finite

 Complex

 Homogeneous

 Nonrepeatitive

a. A successful completion of a construction project is defined as delivering a facility that

meets the owner’s specified needs and requirements on time and within budget.

1.1 What is the difference between scheduling and planning?

 Scheduling determines when the work must be done.

 Planning determines what needs to be done, which needs to do it, and how project objectives

are to be met.

1.1 Why do we need to schedule the construction project?

 Construction projects are becoming more and more complex and costly, requiring greater

attention to the management of both time and resources, so scheduling is needed to (1)

communicate the construction plan, (2) establish production goals, (3) monitor and measure

progress and (4) manage change.

1.1 Define and discuss the project life cycle “5 phases”?

a. Conceptual Design Phase - deals with the preliminary evaluation of the concept on which

the construction project is based.

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

b. Detailed Design Phase – represents a refinement and expansion of the work performed

during the conceptual design phase.

c. Construction phase – is the actual construction of the project. During this phase resources

are applied in an orderly manner to complete the project on time and within budget.

d. Closeout Phase – occurs when the owner accepts the project as substantially complete

and ready for its intended use.

e. Commissioning Phase – follows the construction phase. During this phase, systems

incorporated into the project are checked out and calibrated.

1.1 Define project management and Project Management Objectives?

a. Project management is the process of achieving project objectives through a

predetermined organizational structure.

b. Project management objectives involves (1) time management, (2) resource management,

(3) quality management and (4) risk management.

1.1 What are the main project management functions? Briefly discuss each function?

a. Planning – involves the establishment of a predetermined course of action within a

forecast environment. It determines what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how


b. Scheduling - determines when the work must be done.

c. Monitoring – not only involves ensuring that the goals and objectives of the project are

being met.

d. Controlling – involves adjusting the plan to resolve unforeseen problems in order to meet

the project goals and objectives.

1.1 What are the steps of the planning and scheduling process? Briefly discuss each step?

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

a. Identify project activities – the first step in the construction planning and scheduling

process is to break-down and analyze the project.

b. Estimate activity durations – once the construction activities have been defined, the next

step in the construction planning and scheduling process is to estimate activity durations.

c. Develop the project plan – the project plan establishes the order in which activities are to

be complete and the planned sequence of construction.

d. Schedule project activities - assign a start and finish date to each activity.

e. Review and analyze the schedule – the review and analysis looks at such things as when

activities are performed to ensure that activities are schedule to be performed out of

season or, if they are, that the activity duration is adjusted for out of season work.

f. Implement the schedule – involves both interval scheduling (which involves the planning

of day to day construction work at the site) and updating the construction schedule.

Homework # 2 - Chapter # 2 – Activity Identification

2.1 What is the definition of a construction activity?

 A construction activity is a discrete part of the project that can be identified for planning,

scheduling, monitoring and controlling the construction project.

2.2 What are the characteristics of an activity? Briefly discuss these characteristics?

a. Activities Consume Time – to be classified as an activity, a project work item must

consume time.

b. Activities Usually Consume Resources – activities usually consume resources although it

is not necessary that a work item consume resources in order to be classified as an


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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

c. Activities Have A Definable Start And Finish – activities represent specific work items

that must be accomplished in order to complete the project.

d. Activities are assignable – the responsibility for completing an activity is assignable

because activities represent discrete work items that must be accomplished in order to

complete the overall project.

e. Activities Are Measurable – activities are measurable in terms of progress because

activities represent individual work items with unique scope of work.

2.2 What are the categories of construction activities? Briefly discuss these categories?

a. Administration – Administrative activities are as important as construction activities and

should be included in the construction planning and scheduling.

b. Mobilization/Demobilization – Mobilization activities include those activities that are

necessary to physically prepare to begin the construction at the site. Demobilization

activities include the removal of on-site services and equipment when those services and

equipment are no longer needed.

c. Procurement – activities include all activities necessary to obtain equipment and

materials for construction.

d. Construction – activities are those activities that involve the erection, installation or

construction of any part of the project.

e. Start-Up And Testing – activities are those activities that are required after the

installation of a system.

Homework # 3 - Chapter # 3 – Estimating Activity Duration

3.1 What is the unit time selection for activity duration depends on?

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

 The unit time selection for activity duration will depend on when the schedule is prepared in

the project life cycle and the objective of the scheduling effort.

3.2 A key factor to estimating activity duration is the availability of resources! What are the types of

resources that effect activity duration? Explain how?

 Labor

 Equipment

 Material

 Subcontractors and Suppliers

Most activity durations are resource driven and activity duration estimates need to be based

on available resources.

3.3 What are the sources of quantity and productivity data?

a. Quantity Takeoff (from Plans and specifications)

b. Bid Estimates

c. Past Experience

d. Outside information

e. Estimating guides

f. Industry and Trades Organizations

g. Manufacturers, Fabricators, and Suppliers

h. Specialty Contractors

3.4 What are some of the assumption that should be made when estimating initial activity duration?

 Normal work crews and equipment complements are assumed when estimating activity

duration unless otherwise planned for in the bid estimate.

 Planned resource productivity should be based on available resources and projected

jobsite environment when the activity is schedule to be carried out.

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

 Normal workdays and workweeks are assumed.

 No contingency time should be included in any activity’s duration except for reasonably

excepted events and conditions.

3.3 What is the importance of duration accuracy? How the accuracy of the estimated activity

durations can be improved?

a. Activity duration accuracy is the basis for the construction schedule; in construction, time is


b. The accuracy of the estimated activity duration can be improved by:

 Dividing activities into smaller activities which will increase activity detail and

duration estimate accuracy.

 Loot at each activity independently and don’t follow specific logic path when

assigning activity durations.

 Use the people responsible for performing the work as a resource for estimating

activity durations.

Homework # 4 - Chapter 4 - Bar Chart Schedules

4.1 What is a bar chart?

 A bar chart is the most commonly used method of planning and scheduling construction projects.

It provides a graphic representation of the project plan that includes the activities that make up

the project, the estimated duration of each activity, and the planned sequence of activity

performance. In addition, a bar chart provides and effective method of communicating the

construction plan to a variety of people of varying backgrounds and experience.

4.2 Define and describe the process of preparing a bar chart schedule?

a. Identify Activities – the first step in preparing a bar chart schedule is to identify the

activities that are needed to be completed in order to complete the project.

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

b. Estimate Activity Duration – After identifying the activities, the next step is to estimate

the activity durations based on available resources.

c. Develop Activity Sequence – Once the activities have been identified and activity

durations estimated, the next step is to determine the sequence that activities will

performed during construction. This step takes into account the relationships between the

various activities.

d. Construct Bar Chart – After the above steps were taken, the bar chart schedule can now

be constructed by considering the following questions:

 How should be the bar schedule laid out?

 What time units should be used?

 Should work days or calendar days be used?

 What about noncontinuous work?

4.3 What is the fenced bar chart? How does the fenced bar chart differ from the regular bar chart?

 A fenced bar chart is a bar chart that graphically shows the planned construction

sequence on the bar chart schedule. A fenced bar chart provides a transition from pure bar

chart schedule to a network schedule.

4.4 What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Bar Chart?

a. Advantages

 Easy to prepare

 Effective communication tool

 Generation and use of summary bar chart schedules

a. Disadvantages

 Do not show interrelationships between activities

 Hinders project management

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

Homework # 5 - Chapter 5 - Activity Network Development

5.1 What are the most common network models that are found in the construction industry? Briefly

describe each network model and emphasis the difference between each model?

 Activity-On-Node (AON)

 Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)

 Activity On Arrow (AOA)

5.2 What are the network model characteristics? Briefly describe each characteristic?

 Discrete Activities – All activities represent discrete, readily definable portions of the

project that need to be schedule during the project planning process and monitored and

controlled during construction.

 Deterministic Durations – The duration of each activity in the network is determined

during the planning process based on resource availability and physical certain physical


 Deterministic Logic - The network logic represents the planned sequence of work.

 Activity Flow – is unidirectional from the start of the project to the completion of the


5.3 What are the different types of activity logic? What is the difference between each logic type

[Give examples to support your answers]?

a. Sequential logic – Sequential activity logic requires that all activities that logically

precede a given activity be complete before the given activity can start.

b. Concurrent logic – Once the initial preceding activity is complete, two or more activities

can begin concurrently and proceed independent of one another.

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CEM421- Construction Planning and scheduling- Homework Assignment

c. Multiple successor logic – any activity in a network can have more than one successor

activity and often does.

d. Multiple predecessor logic – An activity can have more than one concurrent predecessor


e. Combinational logic – occurs when activities have both multiple successors and


5.4 What are the most logic problems?

 Incorrect logic

 Redundant logic

 Logic loops

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