Keep your scheduling Lean with Oracle Prime


Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules have been ruling the world of projects for a long time. Considering the benefits of CPM, that is quite understandable, isn’t it?

They provide the bigger picture of the project and allow for scenario and what-if-analyses, risk analyses, delay analyses and critical path analyses. They are useful for assessing the resource needs, they provide the team with due dates for ordering long lead items and they allow to include contingencies for risks.

That’s all good news. But now you also want to know what’s wrong with it, I suppose. Well, in fact, you already do. CPM schedules are often very time-consuming to maintain, especially when they are used to develop detailed work plans.

And, probably, these schedules didn’t make site-people happy the last time you’ve produced your updated schedule and submitted it to them in pdf. In fact, they are never happy and always argue that what your schedule shows, isn’t realistic.

The right tool for the job
But does the problem lie with CPM? As long as you use techniques for what they are meant to be used, all is fine. CPM schedules where never intended to instruct people on site what to do, when and where. That is just too detailed to maintain in a CPM schedule. With this method, you are imposing a schedule top-down, it’s a push-planning. People feel micromanaged and not involved in the planning process. It will be difficult to obtain buy-in from the site team which may result to project failure. This is an example of stakeholders’ engagement failure.

So, at a certain point, you might want to consider alternative methods. One of the alternatives that has been trending is lean scheduling. In this method, weekly work plans are generated, often by using Post-it work plans.  These plans zoom in on just one week: the upcoming one, in which tasks are planned on a specific day or during a short period. Information comes from the people on site who commit to finishing a certain task on a certain day. Weekly work plans can include information such as the number of laborers and the required equipment.

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Tags: Planning , Lean
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