Scheduling and Time Management

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Scheduling is the cognitive skills of framing and determining the timing of the activities comprising the project to let managers be able to execute the project in a timely manner. The project scheduling is sued for:

  • Understanding the activities’ timing and the project due date.
  • Obtaining resources available on site in the correct time.
  • Making adjustments as well as corrective actions if schedule shows that the plan will result in late completion.
  • Evaluating the value of penalties on project late completion.
  • Evaluating the project cash flow.
  • Determining the effect of change orders on the project completion time.
  • Determining the value of project delay and the responsible factors.

Purposes of different kinds of Schedules

  • Firstly, Detailed schedules
  • Secondly, Summary schedules
  • Thirdly,Mini schedules
  • fourthly, Short interval schedules
  • fifthly, Special purpose schedules

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1 -Detailed Schedules

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  • Detailed schedules break major work actions down into tiny tasks so the schedule can be analysed in greater detail.
  • For example, foundations would be broken down into formwork, reinforcing, and cast-in-place concrete.
  • These categories would be broken down even further in the schedule. Detailed schedules are mainly utilized at the field office level to talk about the finer points of a work flow.
  • They are on the wall at the office while marking important lines to be discussed

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2 -Summary schedules

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  • Summary schedules group activities under broader frame
  • Those schedules are always used for better management final reports and representations

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3 -Mini-schedules

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  • Basically, a mini-schedule is any portion of a summary or detailed schedule broken down into even finer detail.
  • Sometimes a particular division or area of work requires more scrutiny regarding the various activities needed to accomplish the work—such as the mechanical division, which includes plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).

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4 -Short-interval schedules

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  • Short-interval schedules, also named as look-ahead schedules, which are conducted by superintendents and trade foremen to organize activities and manage the work activities over a mainly short periods, almost 2- to 4-week intervals.
  • They are often written by hands and are shared with the specific trades involved. Although they originate from the larger detailed schedules intended for management, the look-ahead schedule really acts like an individual work plan for the work crews on site.

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5 -Special-purpose schedules

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  • Not all schedules used in construction are used to organize and sequence work. Many schedules are there to monitor of activities that support the work, like delivery schedules as well as inspection schedules.
  • Although, many of those activities may be integrated into the full schedule to be sure that their effect is not significant on the main plan.

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Steps of the Scheduling Process

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  1. Determining Activity Durations
  2. Calculate ES, EF, LS & LF
  3. Calculate the critical path
  4. Communicating and Updating the Schedule
  5. Notifying Subcontractors

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Programme Evaluation Review Technique (PERT)

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PERT is an approach to analyse the included tasks to finish a proposed project, mainly the time required to complete every single task, and to determine the least time required to complete the overall project.

PERT was created mainly to simplify the planning and scheduling of major and complex projects. It was able to overcome uncertainty by making it possible to schedule a project while during a non-clear situation and knowing accurately the details and timing of all the activities.

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Activity

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A piece of work that consumes time. It doesn’t need the any kind of effort or tasks to be done by people like waiting for a ship to arrive to use its carriage or waiting for concrete to harden and that can take few hours or days and does not necessarily need any kind of human effort

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Critical Activity

An activity that has no latitude (room or freedom) in start time and finish time. To sum up, if a critical activity is not accomplished by the determined time so that the project itself and its timeline will be seriously affected.

Critical Path

The longest path through the network (logic) diagram.

Total activities on the critical path are very important activities.

Duration

The window of time within which an activity is supposed to be finished.

Effort

Spent hours from labour to finish a task

Float (or Slack)

Flexibility, or latitude, with regard to decide when an activity shall be done and or not.

Forward Pass/Backward Pass

Techniques for determining the amount of float in the implementation of individual activities.

Activities with zero float are known as critical activities.

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Benefits of using the CPM

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  1. CPM endorses a logical discipline in the planning, scheduling, and control of projects.
  2. CPM supports more long-term and detailed planning of projects.
  3. All project personnel get a full overview of the total project.
  4. CPM gives us standardized systems of documenting as well as communicating project plans, schedules, and time and cost performance.
  5. CPM identifies the most crucial elements in the plan, focusing management’s attention to the odds of the project that is most constraining on the scheduling.
  6. CPM utilizes an easy methodology for determining the consequences of technical and procedural changes that occur on the main project schedule.
  7. CPM gives us the opportunity to be efficient and allowing economic planning of all operations to be aligned with current mandatory project completion

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Time destroyers & saviors

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TIME destroyers

What most of us must do is to write down how they spend their time and follow few tips and time management methods that will be beneficial to them most of the time.

 The following are real examples of the most common time wasters

External Time destroyers.

  • Frequent visitors with no meeting plan
  • Telephone calls that are interrupting you
  • Un necessary meetings
  • Waiting time in general at Dr’s clinic or waiting for someone to finish his job to be able to begin yours.
  • Environmental emergencies
  • Boredom and managerial complicated methods of working
  • No priorities or standards.

 

Internal Time Wasters

  • Inability to take say no for annoying people and dream stealers.
  • Poor planning and lack of contingency plans.
  • Creating inefficiency by implementing first without prior planning
  • Procrastinating and unfinished tasks
  • Making unreasonable time estimations.

Failing to delegate and doing everything.

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TIME Saving tips

  • Say no to multi-tasking and start doing only one task at a time.
  • Declare daily and long-term priorities and stick to it
  • Handling your email quickly in a specific wasted time like when you are waiting or during commuting.
  • Deleting non important things away.
  • D personal due dates
  • Ensuring all meetings have a purpose, time limit, and include only essential people.
  • Maintaining accurate timetable
  • Utilize a list of daily tasks and to-Do lists.

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“What are the most valuable PM soft wares?”

There is no perfect and absolute answer because it depends on certain factors like

  • Cost without sacrificing Functionality
  • Capability and high tech ,putting into considerations the ease of use
  • Compatibility and competitive advantage with competing systems.
  • Documentation processes used without tolerating bad Start-up Support  and  the importance of service (On-going Tech Support)

Here are some tasks that a software tools cannot efficiently do:

  • Make strategic decisions especially in an uncertain environment.
  • Gather data as well as drawing conclusions based on significant statics.

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