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An Investigation Into Project Scheduling Practices Deployed Within The UK Construction Industry (2014)

Project Scheduling Practices Deployed Within The UK Construction Industry Dissertation – Project scheduling on construction projects is central to solid project control and the construction of schedules has been discussed extensively in literature, and processes and methodologies have been widely agreed on. Today’s project scheduler is under pressure to create an accurate logic driven schedule of works, but he is also under pressure from the project team to ensure his schedule hits all contractually agreed sectional completion dates and project milestones.

It is hypothesized that today’s project scheduler can effectively present a seemingly well-constructed schedule, but also ensure it to be flexible enough to allow for delays to the project not to affect the reporting milestones or end dates. An examination of the literature on project scheduling identified recommended scheduling techniques and the limitations of their use in the 21st century. Available research techniques were considered and the case study methodology was selected.

A case study schedule was then selected from a pool of schedules which had originally been accepted by experienced construction clients and submitted to a leading claims analysis company. A critical analysis of the case study schedule attempted to identify whether traditionally accepted schedule compilation techniques, as identified in the literature review, were actually being used by the scheduler. Analysis of the schedule showed that although superficially the schedule appeared to be constructed according to traditional practices, there were noticeable anomalies which indicated the scheduler was obscuring the true principles of project scheduling.

Practices identified included multiple instances of serious logic flaws, a critical path obscured by the use of artificial constraints, the use of long lags in place of activities, inconsistent production rates for identical processes, very long activity durations during the construction phase, and a high total float distribution. In conclusion it is important to understand that today’s project schedule must be able to control the project, but it must also stand up to critical analysis should it be necessary to use it to substantiate time or cost delays in the event of a dispute.

The aim of this dissertation is to investigate to what extent modern day project schedulers are using traditionally accepted and approved practices when compiling project schedules. This aim will be supported by objectives as follows:

  • An exploration of the processes and methodology that project management experts recommend to be used when constructing a project schedule through a critical examination of the literature available.
  • A critical examination of a Primavera P3 case study schedule. The schedule will be part of a live construction project. Analysis will focus on the technical validity of the schedule, and to what extent the scheduler has employed traditionally approved scheduling techniques.

  • 15,000 words – 58 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Excellent analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for construction project management students

1: Introduction
Background/Rationale
Research Aims and Objectives
Research Hypothesis
Organization of the Dissertation

2: Literature Review
The Importance of the Schedule and the scheduler
Work Breakdown Structures
Critical Path Methodology
Gantt Charts
Activity Duration
Earned Value

3: Research Methodology and Data Collection Approach
Research aim and Hypothesis restated
Research Approach

4: Data Composition, Analysis and Discussion
Introduction
Collection of Data
Data Analysis Methodology
Data Composition
Data Analysis and Discussion
Schedule Structure
Logic Analysis
Total Float Distribution
Lag Usage
Ladder Logic
Constraint Usage
Critical and Near Critical Path
Activity Durations
Duration Distribution
Linear Activity Production Rates
Project calendar
Costs
Primavera Scheduling Settings

5: Conclusions
Meeting the objectives, including limitations encountered
Overall statement of findings and reflection

References

Appendix

Project Scheduling Practices Deployed Within The UK Construction Industry Dissertation
Project Scheduling Practices Deployed Within The UK Construction Industry Dissertation

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