By Paul Levin, PSP
In last week's issue I penned an article about schedules, trying to make the point that there are schedules that may not conform to best practices but still serve the purpose of helping a contractor to effectively plan and manage a project. While some people might call non-conforming schedules "bad," I would prefer to consider them as useful but still have room for improvement.
My friend John Livengood of Navigant Consulting posted a comment disagreeing, saying that there can be bad schedules, particularly ones that may hide crucial information from the very persons that develop them. Worse yet, according to John, there are too many schedules produced these days that are manipulated. This seems to be the same view of Stuart Ockman in an August 15 interview with Richard Korman at ENR.com. The interview in fact is titled "Not Enough Is Being Done to Stop Critical-Path Schedule Manipulation." In it, Ockman cites software as partly at fault by providing features that are easy to misuse, and lack of education. Those charged with development of construction schedules need to learn more than just the software, and they need to learn the importance of intellectual honesty.