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

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journal contribution
posted on 26.04.2018, 14:03 authored by Pablo Ballesteros-Perez, Graeme D. Larsen, M. Carmen Gonzalez-Cruz
© 2018, OmniaScience. 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.

Funding

This work was supported by the CIOB Bowen Jenkins Legacy Research Fund under Grant number BLJ2016/BJL.01 at the University of Reading (United Kingdom)

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Technology and Science Education

Volume

8

Issue

1

Pages

17 - 33

Citation

BALLESTEROS-PEREZ, 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.

Publisher

Omnia Science

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/11/2017

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Omnia Science under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

ISSN

2014-5349

eISSN

2013-6374

Language

en