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American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci.

, 5 (3): 313-321, 2009 ISSN 1818-6769 © IDOSI Publications, 2009

Application of Project Scheduling in Agriculture (Case Study: Grape Garden Stabilization)
S.M. Fahimifard and A.A. Kehkha Department of Agricultural Economics Engineering, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
Abstract: Some activities of project are critical in the sense that delay in their commencement will delay the overall project completion time. Therefore, management and scheduling of projects is inevitable. In this paper, project scheduling in agriculture, for establishing 300 hectares grape garden in Agricultural Research Center of University of Zabol, is carried out by CPM (Critical Path Method) and PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) methods. Results show that the minimum completion time of this project, based on using Normal time and PERT method is 390 days and 364.67 days, respectively. Also the results obtained from employing CPM method indicate that the cost of reducing the project completion time to 365 days is 23643530 Rials. Key words: Project scheduling % CPM % PERT % Agriculture INTRODUCTION Project scheduling and control refers to the planning, scheduling and control of projects, which consist of numerous activities. In the other words, Scheduling issue is a frequent task in the control of various systems such as manufacturing processes [1], project management [2] and service system control (reservation systems, timetabling). Examples can be found in diverse areas such as shipbuilding, road construction, oil refinery maintenance, missile launching and auditing. The management of such projects is problematic, because certain activities must be completed in a prescribed order or sequence. This means that some of these activities are critical so that they delay in their commencement will delay the overall project completion time. In addition, because the basic input parameters for planning (time, cost and resources for each activity) are not deterministic and projects are typically characterized by: C C C Uniqueness (no similar experience) Variability (trade-off between performance measures like time, cost and quality) Ambiguity (lack of clarity, lack of data, lack of structure and bias in estimates) Project planning and scheduling is inevitably involves uncertainty. tools are used seriously by a large majority of project managers [3, 4]. In the case of simple projects we can use diagrams to identify critical activities and calculate the minimum time required for their completion and in the case of more complex projects, a simple algorithm is used to identify critical activities and the minimum project completion time. Two techniques associated with the algorithm are the CPM (Critical Path Method) (for developing strategies to complete a project in less than what would normally be regarded as the minimum time) and the PERT (Project Evaluation Review Technique) (for determining probabilities associated with completion times when the activity durations are unknown). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is studying the application of project scheduling in agriculture, for stabilizing 300 hectares grape garden in Agricultural Research Center of Zabol University, by CPM and PERT methods with WinQsb software. CRITICAL PATH METHOD (CPM) During the late 1950’s, Engineers from the DuPont Company developed a scheduling technique called CRITICAL PATH PLANNING and SCHEDULING “CPPS” to assist them in minimizing the downtime of industrial facilities during renovations. In 1963, the Associated General Contractor of America “AGC” began a series of conventions devoted to the use of CPM, which

Many different techniques and tools have been developed to support better project planning and these

Corresponding Author: S.M. Fahimifard, Department of Agricultural Economics Engineering, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

313

. by using a probability distribution for each task. J. µ = bv/ (v+w). which is incorporated into the most widely used project management software tools. Crash the activity(s) identified in step 1 to the point where another path in the network becomes critical or the activity(s) have been crashed to their the lowest possible values (to avoid over-crashing. 2009 were followed by publications. it is often circumspect to crash by increments of one time unit). 314 . The two types of cost associated with an activity are the normal-time cost and the crash time cost. Berny [23]. Completing a project in a shorter period of time can be achieved by crashing one or more critical activities by devoting additional resources to these activities so that they are completed in less than normal time. optimistic and most likely) are approximated. Keefer and Verdini [28] and many more. When project managers are required to complete a project in a time that is shorter than the length of the critical path. In the 1980s. Goyal [11]. Immediate replies carne from Gallagher [20]. Where f(x) is Probability density function (pdf). Maghraby and Salem [12]. [17]. However. Kelley [8]. = b²v w/ (v+w) 2/ (v+w+1). during the 1960s and 1970s. Troutt [25]. Revise the network and determine the critical path. This technique. The CPM technique for crashing project activities while minimizing cost is as follows: [5] C Identify the activity on the critical path with the minimum crash-time cost per unit of time. which follows a Beta distribution1. It makes no attempt to handle or quantify uncertainty. The intent was to establish CPM methodology for the contracting community. & Environ. Moitra [27]. Under this assumption it can be shown that the means and variances of the activity times can be respectively approximated by: C C C 1 Beta distribution: (WinQSB 1. The best-known technique to support project scheduling is the Critical Path Method (CPM). Fulkerson [7]. Ford and Fulkerson [9]. Results in PERT are more realistic than CPM but PERT does not address explicitly any of the sources of uncertainty listed above. v and w are the shape parameters and b>0. Herrerias [24]. calculates the earliest network (the ‘critical path’). Repeat steps 1 to 3 until all critical activities have been crashed. b is the scale parameter. In the Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) it is assumed that each activity time is a random variable. CPM [5] is a deterministic technique. among others. Also. numerous authors have participated in the same debate expressing similar doubts Farnum and Stanton [23]. is purely deterministic. the activity costs are a function of the activity durations. Sci. PROGRAM EVALUATION REVIEW TECHNIQUE (PERT) Ever since PERT method was first used in the 1950s to estimate the duration of tasks in a ballistic missile program. Vazsonyi [18]. If they are not known with certainty they should be treated as random variables. MacCrimmon and Ryavec [16]. Solution procedures for the linear case are proposed by Kelley and Walker [6]. With the acceptance of CPM scheduling by several Federal Government Agencies. Chae and Kim [26]. three different estimates (pessimistic. questioning the reasoning behind the classical values of the PERT parameters. Agric. Sasieni [19] reopened the debate. as well as for other types of problem. Since then. using normal activity times for non-crashed activities and crash times for crashed activities. Then the ‘critical path’ and the start and finish date are calculated by use of distributions’ means and applying probability rules. However.w-1)/b/B(v. this technique has been satisfactorily used by experts both for the theoretical treatment of the duration of tasks within a project and for the cash flow within an investment. Instead of having a single deterministic value. If there is more than one critical path. v>0.0's help) f(x)=P(x/b. Siemans [10]. identify an activity on each path (perhaps a shared activity) such that the total of the crash-time costs per unit of time is a minimum. the CPM’s place in the contracting industry was finally established. which is the earliest time for project completion. which. The foregoing has assumed that the activity times are known with certainty. various authors proposed a revision of the hypotheses put forward by the creators of the PERT method: Heally [13]. 29] does incorporate uncertainty in a restricted sense. which are bounded from below (crash duration) and from above (normal duration). another well-used technique Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) [5. so the problem arises as to which activities to crash and by how much. w>0.v-1)P(1-x/b. Clark [14]. 5 (3): 313-321. for 0 x b. they can use the CPM. by use of a network of dependencies between tasks and given deterministic values for task durations.Am-Euras. Pulido et al. including General Services Agency and the Corp of Engineers. Grubbs [15]. Littlefield and Randolpli [21].w). Different costs are typically incurred in crashing different activities.

This means that we can make probability statements concerning T.Am-Euras. Earliest and Latest Finish time and Slack time) of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization in Agricultural Research Center of Zubol University. Critical Activities. In practice. for determining such things as the critical path. Table 1: Activity Analysis for Project Scheduling of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization Activity name On critical path Activity time Earliest start Earliest finish 1 Yes 36 0 36 2 Yes 10 36 46 3 Yes 7 46 53 4 Yes 33 53 86 5 Yes 147 86 233 6 Yes 10 233 243 7 Yes 147 243 390 8 No 21 243 264 9 No 10 53 63 10 No 14 264 278 11 No 5 278 283 12 No 2 63 65 13 No 148 65 213 14 No 2 65 67 15 No 198 67 265 16 No 4 67 71 17 No 148 71 219 18 No 148 71 219 19 No 2 71 73 20 No 298 73 371 21 No 2 73 75 22 No 98 75 173 23 No 4 75 79 24 No 298 79 377 25 No 298 79 377 26 No 2 79 81 27 No 73 81 154 28 No 60 264 324 29 No 38 324 362 Project Completion Time = 390 days Number of Critical Path(s) = 32 Latest start 0 36 46 53 86 233 243 271 66 333 347 76 242 78 192 80 242 242 84 92 86 292 88 92 92 290 317 292 352 Latest finish 36 46 53 86 233 243 390 292 76 347 352 78 390 80 390 84 390 390 86 390 88 390 92 390 390 292 390 352 390 Slack(LS-ES) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 13 69 69 13 177 13 125 13 171 171 13 19 13 217 13 13 13 211 236 28 28 315 .e. J. (i. the mean activity time E{ti} is substituted for the unknown activity time ti in our algorithms and T denote the time required to complete a group G of activities.. then the Central Limit Theorem can be used to demonstrate that T is approximately normally distributed. Earliest and Latest Start time. by using WinQsb software and based on using Normal time. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Minimum Project Completion Time (Using Normal Time): The results of Activity Analysis for Project Scheduling (Minimum Project Completion time. These probability statements are of considerable use in the special case where the activities of interest are on the critical path-they are probability statements concerning the completion of the project in the minimum time. (i.$30). mi = is the most probable time and is an estimate of the time which would occur most often if activity i were repeated a large number of times. sum of Var{ti} over activities in group G) If there are enough activities in the group (i. If the activity times are statistically independent then the mean and variance of T can be approximated by: in group G) and Var{T} = Var{ti . bi = is the pessimistic time and is an estimate of the longest time which activity i could take if "everything went wrong".e. Agric. 5 (3): 313-321. have been shown in Table 1. sum of E{t } over all activities i i iεG and Var{t i }= (b-a) 2 36 Where: ai = is the optimistic time and is an estimate of the shortest possible time in which activity i can be accomplished. & Environ.e. Sci. 2009 E{t i }= a+4m+b 6 E{T} = ∑ E{t } .

there are 32 Critical Paths and the activities 1. 1. time is measured on the horizontal axis. Similarly. 4. while latest start and finish times are depicted using pink bars. 14. have been shown in Table 2. crashing analysis is a process of reducing the activity time to meet the desired completion time. their Slack time is zero. 6 and 7 are Critical Activities. In addition. And the activities 1. finish and duration times. 5. 4. 2. A Gantt chart for Project Scheduling of stabilizing 300 hectares grape garden in agricultural research center of Zabol University by using of WinQsb software is presented in Fig. 5 (3): 313-321. J. the Gantt chart shows that the activities 1. Crash time. earliest start and finish times are depicted using the blue bars. we solve the LP model to obtain the crashing solution. 23. delays in their commencement will delay the overall project completion time. 1: The Gantt Chart for Project Scheduling of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization The Table 1 shows that. the cost of reducing the project completion time to 360 days is 23643530 Rials. It is a graphical tool to show the start and finish times of each activity. 6. & Environ. 3. 21. Normal time. 3. 3. Additional cost.. 24 and 25 become the Critical Activity. On the other word. Agric. 4. 16. 12. In this means that. Therefore. 9. Suggested time. In this Gantt chart. earliest start and finish times are depicted using the red bars. 5. the Table 1 shows that the minimum project completion time is 390 days. 6 and 7 are Critical. Gantt Chart: Gantt chart was originated by Gantt [30]. 2. each activity is listed on the vertical axis and a horizontal bar is drawn to depict activity start. 316 . In a Gantt chart. while latest start and finish times are depicted using green bars and for Critical Activities. Because their Earliest and Latest Start time and Earliest and Latest Finish time are coincident. The Table 2 shows that. Managers find Gantt charts useful because they can simply glance at the chart on a given date to see if the project is being completed on schedule. In PERT-CPM. 7. Suggested cost and total cost of reducing the project completion time to 365 days) by using of WinQsb software. 2009 Fig. 2. The results of Crashing Analysis for Project Scheduling (new Critical activities.Am-Euras. CPM Analysis: For the project with deterministic activity times. 5. 19. for non-critical activities. Sci.

082. For example.364. The results of Activity Analysis based on PERT (Critical Activities. & Environ. If they are not known with certainty they should be treated as random variables. Earliest and Latest Start time.353 400.364.082.000 0 0 0 439. 2009 Table 2: Crashing Analysis for Project Scheduling of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization Activity Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Oeverall Project: Critical path Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Normal time 36 10 7 33 147 10 147 21 10 14 5 2 148 2 198 4 148 148 2 298 2 98 4 298 298 2 73 60 38 Crash time 19 6 4 17 74 6 73 10 5 8 3 1 74 1 99 2 74 74 1 149 1 49 2 149 149 1 36 60 19 Suggested time 32 6 7 33 147 10 130 21 10 14 5 1 148 2 198 2 148 148 2 298 1 98 4 298 298 2 73 60 38 365 Additional cost 1. have been shown in Table 3. Agric.353 365 and 380 days. 2: Cost-time trade-offs in crashing 300 hectares grape garden stabilization The cost-time trade-offs are depicted in Fig.000 0 0 0 0 39.000 0 0 0 0 200. 2. However.000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2..000 0 0 0 0 204. It also involves the probability analysis.000 0 0 0 0 204.353 Normal cost 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Suggested cost 1.Am-Euras. Sci. Earliest and Latest Finish time and Slack time) by using of WinQsb software. Activity mean time.000 0 0 0 439. J. The whole procedure includes determining critical path and computing the expected project completion time. Fig.000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2. the cost of reducing the project completion time to 370 days is 10505000 Rials.353 400.000 0 0 0 0 200. it is used for managing projects with probabilistic activity times. which can be used to determine the cost of reducing the minimum project completion time to any value between 317 .000 0 0 0 0 39. This is a similar process of CPM method. Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT): The foregoing has assumed that the activity times are known with certainty. 5 (3): 313-321.

1667 246.5000 55.5 62.6667 3 Yes 6.3333 0 187.3333 296. Sci.9976 Completion Probability in 370 days 0.5247 0..1667 312. 370 and 365 days are (1->19-->21-->23-->25).6667 53 99. respectively. Also.5249 0.8333 5 1.5 205.1667 0.6667 0 3.6667 322. the probability of project completion time in 365.1667 65 67.8333 1.1667 75. 14. 5 (3): 313-321.6667 159.Am-Euras.6667 19 Yes 2. the maximum probability of completion this project in 380. 3.8333 Completion Probability in 380 days 0.67 days.5 17 No 142.5 84.9980 0.8408 Completion Probability in 365 days 0.3955 1 --> 9 --> 12 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.5 364. 23 and 25 are Critical Activities.3333 28 No 60 252.3333 221.6667 67.6667 5.3411 1 --> 12 --> 14 --> 16 --> 19 --> 25 5.5 267.4391 Critical Path Completion Time Std.5 46.5 214 18 No 134.5 71.1667 230.3333 0.1667 6.6667 267.6667 73.6667 53 307.3333 14 Yes 2.8333 1 0.8414 0.3333 46.3333 15.8333 0 0.8333 53 62.0000 0 264.6667 269.14% and 52. Dev 1 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.5 65 364.1667 248.6667 327.3333 78 361.5 46. 2009 Table 3: Activity Analysis for Prject Scheduling of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization Activity On Critical Activity Earliest Earliest Name Path Mean Time Start Finish 1 Yes 36.6667 53 4 No 31.3333 216.8333 322.1667 78 80.5 327.1667 71.8333 231.3333 62.9977 0.3333 Standard Devietion 1.3437 1 --> 14 --> 16 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.6667 68.8333 364. 12.8333 0. Agric.6667 364.1667 364. respectively.1667 29 No 37.4135 1 --> 3 --> 9 --> 19 --> 21 --> 25 5.1667 148.8333 5. is 99.1667 75.1667 266.6667 100.8333 171 23 Yes 2.6667 78 364.6667 73.3333 327.1667 71.3333 15.3333 21.1667 266.3333 343 8 No 20. In addition the Table 3 shows that.8333 231.3333 99.3333 1 --> 12 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.8333 11 No 5.6667 237. the Table 4 shows that.3333 65 183.1667 80.3333 1 --> 16 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.5246 0. 370 and 380 days according to different Critical Paths.1667 27 No 68. there is 384 Critical Paths and the activities 1.5 73.6667 26 No 2. 318 . 9.8333 16 Yes 4. the minimum probabilistic project completion time is 364.8409 0. The above Table 4 shows that.3333 15.8333 6 No 9. & Environ.1667 2.1667 71.3980 1 --> 3 --> 9 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5. has been shown in Table 4.9979 0.6667 231.6667 5 0.1667 222.5 338 73.5248 0.3463 1 --> 3 --> 19 --> 25 5.5 364.3333 67.8333 0. 2.1667 253 246.3333 15.8333 81.8333 22 No 95.3333 78 265.5245 The Table 3 shows that. 19.3333 252.6667 20 No 26.3333 0 115.5 0.5 71.9978 0.1667 9 Yes 9.6667 364.6667 75. 84. 370 and 365 days.5 75.5 46.1667 8.3333 0 193.1667 312.6667 252. Dev 1 --> 12 --> 19 --> 21 --> 25 5.(1-->12-->19-->21-->25)and(1-->14->16-->19-->21-->23-->25).80%.3411 1 --> 9 --> 12 --> 23 --> 25 5.5 0 36.4365 Latest Start 0 36.3333 5.1667 36.3333 7 No 111.1667 1.3333 65 203.3333 25 Yes 286.1667 62.6667 Slack (LS-ES) 0 0 0 15.3697 1 --> 3 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.6667 71. 21. J.6667 1.1667 5 0.3333 53 84.8410 0.1667 15 No 181.6667 78 364.6667 267.67 days Number of Critical Path(s) = 384 Table 4: Probability Analysis for Project Scheduling of 300 hectares grape garden stabilization Critical Path Completion Time Std.5 2 Yes 10.5 0 161.0000 67. Dev 1 --> 14 --> 16 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5. the best Critical Paths for completion this project in 380.3463 Critical Path Completion Time Std.6667 15.1667 349.8333 272 12 Yes 2.3333 5 No 137.8333 78 24 No 283.5 221.5 0.3359 1 --> 12 --> 16 --> 23 --> 25 5.6667 67.3333 21 Yes 2.5 0.6667 75.5 364.3748 1 --> 9 --> 12 --> 14 --> 16 --> 19 --> 21 --> 23 --> 25 5.3333 0.6667 364.3333 Project Completion time = 364.8333 226.6667 237.8412 0.5 Latest Finish 36.6667 364.49%.3333 0 55.8333 10 No 14.1667 73.8333 0 150. Also.8333 65 13 No 138.1667 1. 16.

2. 9. 12. which consist of numerous activities. 10 1. 12.. 3. 9. 2. 2. 6. 19. 3. 2. 4 1. 5. 2. 19 1. 4. 9. 3. 2. 2. was studied by CPM and PERT methods with WinQsb software. 12 1. 2. 26 1. 9. 5 (3): 313-321. 14 1. 9. 4. 23 1. 2. 2. 23 1. 9. 16. 12. `16. R. 19. 26. 16. 4. 5. 3 1. 8. 3. 2. 11. Soil Sampling and Analysis Location Identification and Land Map Preparation Determination of Irrigation System Type Land Digging and Initial Fixation of Pipes and Links Continue to Fix Pipes and Links Main Pipe Burying and Primary Welding of Secondary Pipes Continue to Secondary Pipes Welding Pipes Checkout and Burying Land Surveying and Ripping for Windbreak Fixation Ditch Fix and Windbreaks Drenching Plantation of Windbreak Seedlings Plantation Lines Primary Survey Continue to Plantation lines Survey Primary Heavy and Semi Heavy Ripping Continue to Heavy and Semi Heavy Ripping Primary Location Survey and Digging of Pits Continue to Pits Location Survey Continue to Pitts Digging Arable soil. 2. 3. 9. 9. 3. 9. 5 1. 6. 8. 3. Results of CPM method showed that the cost of reducing the project completion time of this project. 9. 12. 3.Am-Euras. Appendix 1: The Activities list of Project Scheduling of 300 hectares Grape Garden Stabilization in Agricultural Research Center of Zabol University Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Land Preparation. 4. 12. 9. Therefore management and scheduling of projects is inevitably. 3 1. 4. 23. 23 1. 3. 16 1. In this paper. 3. 16. 2. 14. 16.80%. 3. 12. 16. 12.49%. 2 1. Agric. Moghaddamnia for helpful comments and suggestions on this paper. 3. 21. 21. 9. 16 1. some activities of project are critical in the sense that delays in their commencement will delay the overall project completion time. 2. to 365 days is 23643530 Rials. 23. 3. 9. 12. 19. 2. 26 1. 10. 3. 2. the application of project scheduling in agriculture. Sci. 9. is 99. 3. 16. 2. 3. 3. 8. 12. 3. 6 1. Gravel and Fertilizer Primary Transfer to Farmland Continue to Arable soil. 12. 21 1. 4. 2. 19. 21. 2. & Environ. 19 1. 6 1. 6. 19. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would like to thank A. The main results are as follow: C C C Minimum completion time of this project. 2. respectively. J. 9. 16. 21 1. 2. 3.67 days. 9. base on using Normal time and PERT method was 390 days and 364. 2. 14 1. 2. 12. 3. 21. 12. respectively. 9. 9 1. 12. 3. 16. 19. In addition. Gravel and Fertilizer Transfer to Farmland Primary Preparation of Mixed Soil Continue to Mixed Soil Preparation Mixed Soil Primary Transfer to Farmland and Primary Filling of Pits with them Continue to Mixed Soil Transfer to Farmland Continue to Pits Filling with Mixed Soil Primary Setting of Pipes (16inches) and Droppers Continue to Setting of Pipes (16inches) and Droppers Heavy Irrigation Predecessor … 1 1. 3. 12 1. 2. 2. 84. for stabilizing 300 hectares grape garden in Agricultural Research Center of Zabol University. 12. 9 1. 28 Normal time 36 10 7 33 147 10 147 21 10 14 5 2 148 2 198 4 148 148 2 298 2 98 4 298 298 2 73 60 38 Crash time 19 6 4 17 74 6 73 10 5 8 3 1 74 1 99 2 74 74 1 149 1 49 2 149 149 1 36 60 19 Crash time cost 4600000 400000 3000000 450000 10950000 720000 888000 420000 1648000 125000 120000 39000 2886000 320000 31680000 439000 2886000 29600000 600000 89400000 200000 9800000 1200000 119200000 59600000 48000 1776000 0 9120000 Optimistic Most time likely time 34 9 5 29 125 8 100 18 9 13 4 2 130 2 160 4 130 125 2 24 2 90 2 270 275 2 65 60 35 35 9 6 30 135 9 110 20 9 14 5 2 135 2 180 4 140 130 2 26 2 94 2 280 285 2 67 60 37 Pessimistic time 45 16 9 39 160 13 130 27 14 19 7 3 160 3 210 6 165 160 3 32 3 105 3 310 305 3 76 60 40 29 Plantation of Grape Seedlings 319 . 3. 19. 9. 19. 2009 CONCLUSIONS Project scheduling and control refers to the planning. 2. 21. 370 and 365 days. 3. Results of PERT method showed that the maximum probability completion of this project during 380. 16. 6.14% and 52. 8. 21. 12. 23. 4. scheduling and control of projects. 16 1.

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