ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 3 - Issue: 2 - 01/10/2014

It’s About Time: The Importance of Network Analysis Scheduling

By Fredric L. Plotnick


Time is money. Only more so. Opening the store on Dec. 26 does not cut it. Being second to market with that next-generation video game or smart gadget does not cut it. Enterprise “schedule software” that tells senior management what went wrong in the past quarter is not the answer and may be becoming part of the problem.


Maximizing productivity without consideration about how this impacts timely project completion is like the old saw: “We’re making great speed, but not sure about in what direction we should be going.”


The projects upon which I am engaged are those with a large bonus for earlier completion and large damages (actual or liquidated) for missing a specified deadline. The trick for me is to work with the team to determine where we can intelligently spend a few dollars to speed up the project. We typically work with unlimited resources and then pare back to the minimum necessary to obtain the desired result. Oh -- we’re doing CPM planning and scheduling -- and not job-shop or resource allocation or critical-chain or agile or many other “best-productivity” (at the expense of “best timeliness”) methodologies.


The importance of distinguishing time-centric, network analysis scheduling from other resource-centric forms has been at the core of the Construction CPM Conference. Our fourth annual conference will be held Jan. 21-24, 2014, at the Swan & Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World, Fla. ( Featuring 80 sessions in seven tracks (including for Oracle, Deltek, Microsoft, Synchro, Trimble, other software products, BIM, Cost, EVM, Risk, Document Control and Litigation), this convention has something for everyone involved in scheduling and project controls.


We are accredited by PMI for up to 24 PDH and by the Florida Bar for up to 20 hours toward attorney construction law certification and 1.5 ethics credits. Entertainment and networking includes a Tuesday night Welcome Reception sponsored by Oracle, a Wednesday happy hour, and late evening “One Last Drink” on Disney’s Boardwalk both sponsored by Synchro, a Thursday happy hour and light dinner sponsored by DRMcNatty Associates, “Taste of EPCOT” and “Dessert & Fireworks” reception sponsored by Microsoft, and late-night “Smoke & Mirrors” cigar-and-a-drink networking event sponsored by Schedule Analyzer.


I hope to see you at my conference. Perhaps more important, I hope to hear your voices as to the need to support "best-time" and not just "best-productivity" software, training, and practices.


Fredric L. Plotnick is the co-author of "CPM Construction Manager" and producer of the "Construction CPM Conference." ConstructionPro Week is proud to be a media sponsor of the Construction CPM Conference."




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