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Do projects really end late? On the shortcomings of the classical scheduling techniques

Ballesteros-Pérez, P., Larsen, G. D. and Gonzalez-Cruz, M. C. (2018) Do projects really end late? On the shortcomings of the classical scheduling techniques. Journal of Technology and Science Education, 8 (1). pp. 17-33. ISSN 2013-6374

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3926/jotse.303

Abstract/Summary

Many engineering projects fail to meet their planned completion dates in real practice. This is a recurrent topic in the project management literature, with poor planning and controlling practices frequently cited among the most significant causes of delays. Unfortunately, hardly any attention has been paid to the fact that the classical scheduling techniques—Gantt chart, Critical Path Method (CPM), and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)—may not be as fit for purpose as they seem. Arguably, because of their relative simplicity, these techniques are still almost the only ones taught nowadays in most introductory courses to scheduling in many engineering and management degrees. However, by utterly ignoring or inappropriately dealing with activity duration variability, these techniques provide optimistic completion dates, while suffering from other shortcomings. Through a series of simple case studies that can be developed with a few participants and common dice, a systematic critique of the classical scheduling techniques is offered. Discussion of the case studies results illustrate why limiting the contents of scheduling education and teaching can be detrimental, as the aforementioned classical scheduling techniques cannot not provide project managers with sufficient resources to effectively plan and control real projects.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Business Innovation in Construction
ID Code:76090
Publisher:Omnia Science

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