A project manager in the construction business should give consideration to using project management software, to computerizing timetables, and, in general, to the entire project’s timing. These things are based on certain, consistent and reliable rules, without which, nobody can trust the results these programs produce.
Timetable Computerization in Projects
The need for better management and control in large construction and engineering projects, resulted in exploring the potential that lies in implementing new management methods.
CPM – Critical Path Method timing
PERT – Program Evaluation and Review Technique (construction projects).
Later, a new type of network diagram was developed – a priority diagram.
Modern network analysis can be performed using diagrams and manual calculations. In addition, it was found out that by this method, optimal results were achieved combined with computers that handled the necessary computing. The computer performed the original timetable calculations, maintained the network analysis timetable and enabled the efficiency of the most complex projects. This new tool enabled its user to respond to unplanned events in the middle of the project, and also enabled the user to simultaneously analyze project postponements and their consequences.
Innovative systems for computerization of timetables and network analysis timing, brought about the concentration of all the activities required for achieving a specific goal under a logical network. This network should reflect a plan taking into consideration the resources’ physical limitations, priorities and obligations to a certain level of the resources.
The link between the plan and the logical network helps in calculating the time required for a specific action. By the time periods, it is possible to calculate the project’s critical path by counting the time periods of a few activity sequences, back and forth. In addition, one can calculate the individual activities and the connecting activities sequences having extra time or floating time. Floating time enables postponements of certain activities without affecting the project’s general deadline. Moreover, by updating the planned timetable so that they reflect real events, those activities become critical from the moment they have been updated. This creates an indication where the project was, where it is now and where it is heading to.
An intelligent use of these timetable computerization programs would enable the project manager maintain a follow-up of the timetables effectiveness, of the project’s location in relation to the timetables; it would also provide the project manager, the construction engineers and the contractors with better control.