Chapter 9 Computer Scheduling Projects should be scheduled one byte at a time

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1 Chapter 9 Computer Scheduling Projects should be scheduled one byte at a time

2 Computer Scheduling Critical path method (CPM) requires numerous computations to determine activity start and finish dates, float values, and the overall project duration Computers are ideal for repeatedly performing mathematical computations on a set of data Computers enable and facilitate both mobility of the project schedule and multiple-user access

3 Computer Scheduling Terms Activity Code: A value assigned to each activity to help organize the activities into manageable groups Base Calendar: A calendar that applies to all of the activities in a project Baseline Schedule: The original schedule created at the beginning of the project against which the project s progress is measured

4 Computer Scheduling Terms Collapsing the Schedule: Consolidating the subtasks within their respective summary tasks so that only the summary tasks are shown Constraint: A restriction imposed on the start date, finish date, or other aspect of an activity Data Date: The date used as the starting point for schedule calculations Data Date Line: A vertical line on a Gantt chart representing the current date

5 Computer Scheduling Terms Expanding the Schedule: Showing the subtasks within their respective summary tasks Filtering: Searching through the project activities and showing only the activities that match specific criteria Global Change: A change that affects all activities, or a selected group of activities, at the same time, even those filtered from view Layout: The appearance of the schedule on the computer screen

6 Computer Scheduling Terms Link Line: The line that connects the bars of linked tasks on a Gantt chart to show logic relationships Linking: The process by which relationships between activities are created Milestone Activity: A zero-duration activity that signifies the start or finish of an activity or group of activities Network Loop: Circular logic within a network of activities that prevents progression across or through the network

7 Computer Scheduling Terms Progress Bar: A bar on a Gantt chart that represents the progress of a particular task Recurring Task: A task that occurs at regular intervals in a project, such as a weekly project meeting or a safety walkthrough of the job site Resource Calendar: A calendar that applies to a specific resource to define when the resource is available Sorting: Organizing the project activities according to a specific format

8 Computer Scheduling Terms Splitting a Task: Interrupting a task so that part of it is completed later in the project Subtask: A minor task typically representing detailed effort Summary Task: A task representing a general activity of construction Timescale: The timescale shown above or below the schedule on the computer and in printed hard copies of the schedule

9 Title Here There are many computer scheduling programs, and all perform essentially the same principal task to assist in the development & management of schedules The scheduling capabilities, functions and features differ with each program

10 Scheduling Software Oracle s Primavera P6 Professional Project Management P6 can be used on virtually any project A maximum capacity of 100,000 activities on a single project Ability to group an unlimited number of projects, and add unlimited resources Oracle s Primavera SureTrak Allows a maximum of only 10,000 activities on a single project Allows projects to be grouped

11 Scheduling Software Microsoft Office Project Popularity is greatly attributed to its ease of use and similarity to other Microsoft Office programs Provides most of the functions and features as other, more expensive programs maximum 10,000 activities Allows for quickly determining factors affecting task dates and for tracing the source of impacts

12 Web-based Programs Several software companies offer computer scheduling capabilities via Web-based programs Primavera P6 Professional Project Manager Provides online integrated team communication and collaboration Coordinated, schedule based procurement Project planning and control Oracle Primavera Contractor A scaled-down online version of P6 with scheduling capabilities for projects with up to 2,000 activities

13 Creating A Schedule The modeling of network schedules on almost all programs is performed by the CPM The process of creating a schedule begins with inputting activities The Gantt chart will graphically show the sequence of the activities after the schedule calculations Most programs provide a task information form, or dialog box, for inputting activity information

14 Creating A Schedule Basic information for each activity is the activity name, duration, predecessors, and successors Each activity is given a unique ID number A base calendar must be specified for the project Programs typically provide a default base calendar Resource calendars are also created at this time These reflect the availability of project resources

15 Creating A Schedule Once the activity information and desired resource and cost data are input, schedule calculations can be performed Prior to the start of construction, the planned construction schedule is typically saved as a baseline schedule

16 Updating a Schedule Tasks may not start and finish exactly as calculated in the planned schedule Periodic schedule updating can be performed as soon as as-built information is acquired CPM calculations of the network are again performed The calculations are based on the current data date and include changes made to the schedule Revised start dates & float values are generated Comparison of the as-built and baseline schedules is generally shown using the Gantt chart

17 Presenting a Schedule Presenting the schedule in a clear, concise format is facilitated by the tremendous graphic capabilities of current computer scheduling software Gantt charts are the most commonly printed views because they are easy to read and understand Most programs also allow precedence diagrams to be plotted to assist in viewing the network logic Most programs offer the ability to create a report on any specific resource and for any time frame during the project

18 Useful Software Features Sorting, which groups the activities according to some common criteria, helps the user to focus on the schedule Color coding the grouped activities enhances the sorting feature Filtering provides for a greater level of focus on the schedule Global editing provides a quick and easy way to modify the information of many related activities

19 Useful Software Features Cash flow diagrams can typically be generated If cost information about resources utilized is entered Income revenue streams can be modeled across activity networks by more sophisticated programs

20 Useful Software Features Maximizing the effects of resource leveling requires performing both a backward and a forward pass through the network Some scheduling programs carry out only a backward pass more sophisticated scheduling programs perform both

21 Useful Software Features Summary tasks are an overall schedule view One not cluttered with many small activities Task tracing to identify schedule impacts allows project managers to effectively manage a project as a result of changes and unexpected events

22 Linking To Other Management Software Linking of estimating and scheduling software, allows for the efficient management of both time and money during the course of a project Integration of schedule information with the design documents provides additional benefits Owners, designers, construction managers and other parties to the project can exchange all sorts of information during the course of a project Facilitated by Web-based project management services

23 CHAPTER END

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