CCE Series - Learning About Single Projects
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About this Course
CCE Series - 8 Part Project Management Course
The purpose of this book is to give the reader a chance to develop the skills necessary to learn and apply scheduling techniques that are normally used for preparing a project baseline, to test the baseline for compliance as per contract documents and later use it for monitoring purposes. We will cover most of the scheduling methods (Bar Charts, CPM, PDM). Of all the methods described in this book, the user will find that the Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) is the best suited for handling any kind of project. PDM is event oriented and is an extension of the basic ideas of PERT and CPM but more powerful because it allows for effective use of lead/lag. Nowadays, because of the use of the computer, a network can be converted to a bar chart and a bar chart to a network.
This book is divided into 8 parts:
We begin Part I by explaining the definition of a project, with all its elements (scope, cost and time) and how these elements are used in order to prepare a schedule (Baseline Schedule). For planning the project schedule, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is discussed and how it can be applied in creating the schedule and later for monitoring the progress of the project during the course of the construction. A single home is used to derive and illustrate the use of the WBS in this book. Work Coordination, optimization and scheduling, and scheduling elements are also discussed. Analysis of this part will show that no scheduling can be done without proper planning, and that no monitoring can be done without proper layout of a detailed baseline schedule. We can also see that controls and evaluations are also dependant on monitoring. Therefore, we can see that planning is the most crucial part of the scheduling, because the quality of your planning will determine how accurate your baseline schedule will be.
Part II covers the Bar Charts invented by Henry L. Gantt, which are the first scheduling techniques ever developed. To develop the bar charts we use an activity table to plan our project. Before we start to plot any bar chart, we fill out all the items or elements of each particular activity. These items serve to give you an idea about the activity identification, description and duration.
Part III covers the Precedence Diagram Network (PDM) on a bar chart. Each bar ties the next bar through an arrow and then shows how it can be applied onto a bar chart technique by using the proper ties or interconnection to develop a Critical Path Method (CPM). The horizontal line that connects two (2) activities represents time. The vertical line that connects to the horizontal line and the successor or predecessor activity represent an instant of time. To develop the precedence diagram network we use a CPM activity table to plan our project. So before we start to plot any network, we fill out all the items or elements of each particular activity. This technique is very useful because it can be applied to any standard scheduling software currently available on the market.
Part IV is the pure Precedence Diagram Method (PDM). The method used is the same as described above with the exception that the network is not drawn on a time-scaled diagram. To develop the precedence diagram network we use a CPM activity table to plan our project. Before we start to plot any network, we fill out all the items or elements of each particular activity.
Part V deals with the Critical Path Method (CPM) and all the calculations done to derive the critical path on a project. This chapter also discusses how total floats and free floats are derived. The CPM determines the duration of a project. We will use the foundation work of a Commercial/Industrial Building to illustrate a detailed calculation of the critical path.
In Part VI, we define all the components of an activity and the types of activities. How to use each activity component is beyond the scope of this book and will be the subject of consideration for another book.
In Part VII we discuss the creation of a compliance analysis to test the baseline schedule and make sure that it has been prepared as per contract documents.
Part VIII has been developed to assist the Owner/Contractor in monitoring and evaluation of the project schedule, as it continues to evolve during the course of the construction.
In Part I and VI, we ask questions concerning the material covered in each section.
The answers to those questions are attached as an appendix at the end of this book and are labeled as G1 and G6 respectively.
In parts II through V, we give samples and develop activity tables that help organize single projects. For each of these parts there is a section for problem solving. As well as being found in our website, the solutions for these problems have been attached as an appendix at the end of this book and are labeled as G2 and continue into G5.
This book can be used as a refresher course for schedulers, and as an introduction course in scheduling or project management. We have created this book with the goal of helping users master bar charts, and all network scheduling techniques (PDM, ADM) described above. A lot of emphasis has been placed in the activity tables and CPM activity tables as the proper planning tools to ultimately arrive at the bar charts and CPM networks. Although all the network techniques are discussed in this book, it is important to point out that the Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) is the one that is used by most computer scheduling software programs.