Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling 1st Edition by Murray B. Woolf.
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Part 1 Keeping Your Eye on the Donut
1 The Allure of the Project Schedule
2 Understanding the Scheduling Theater
Part 2 Creating a Penchant for Change
5 The New Scheduling Practice Paradigm:
Specializations, Positions, Deliverables, and Roles
6 Introduction to Dilemma Control
7 Introduction to Momentology
8 Recap of New Concepts and Terminology
9 Scheduling Practice and Faster Projects
Part 3 Preserving Project Schedule Integrity
10 Anatomy of a Schedule
11 Working at Cross-Purposes
Part 4 Execution Scheduling
and Performance Control
12 Concerning Schedule Design
13 Concerning Schedule Development
14 Schedule Components
15 Performance Recording
16 Performance Control
Part 5 Epilogue
17 Creating Schedules They’ll Actually Want to Use!
Foreword: A little while back, I received a disturbing e-mail from Murray. To most anyone else, I suppose, the e-mail would have seemed innocent enough. He was asking me to write a Foreword for his new book, a book on project scheduling aimed at the intermediate scheduler. So why was this e-mail so disturbing to me? Because, in it, Murray was asking me a specific question1 and promising that my answer would be shared with all of the generations of project schedulers that have succeeded me. And while the assignment might have seemed a bit daunting to some, for me it was not the question so much that upset me; it was my discomfort with confronting the truth and implications of the answer. For, within myself, that answer would also disturb the peace I had managed to find in my senior years.
I began in the “scheduling business” even before it was a business, at a time when the very word scheduling meant different things to different people—when planning and scheduling were two distinctly different processes. Back in the early 1960s, the scheduling business was in its infancy. For practitioners of the time, the business was being created on the fly; we were winging it. We were developing impromptu processes in response to sudden needs as they arose. There were no manuals, textbooks, college courses, or software help screens to show us the way. In many respects, we were the early explorers of Frontier Scheduling.
Armed only with our wit, and a sharp number 2 pencil, we used our creativity and intuition to find a way to get from here to there. Speaking metaphorically, we would only build a bridge upon encountering an unexpected river, one blocking our path. Some ideas worked; some didn’t.
Mostly, we worked in isolation from one another. Schedulers rarely worked in large groups. No scheduling undertaking anywhere on the globe employed more than 1 percent of the world’s supply of schedulers. In other words, the scheduling business was being developed in parallel, independent pockets of concentrated effort. There was no unifying center for the scheduling business. Not surprisingly, solutions were popping up all over the place. As a result, it was not uncommon to find the same “discovery” appearing in completely unrelated thought centers around the globe, just as it was equally likely to find incompatible solutions in a competitor’s office across town.
But what all schedulers had in common—what all project managers had in common—was a desire for results, for benefit, for value. And it was this singular desire that became the great equalizer— and the great eliminator. Before long, certain processes emerged as “better,” while others shriveled up and died. Of course, the names we gave to processes, steps, components, and people remained inconsistent, but the general benefit of the underlying strategies in time began to crystallize. Before long, good or bad scheduling became like pornography. In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain “hard-core” pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it.” That’s how it was with good (or bad) scheduling. You just knew which was which. But that was a different time, back when scheduling was young and feisty and impatient, and there were no rules, per se. All of the labels were fresh, even the names we gave ourselves.
Planners and Schedulers were two such labels. One label that never stuck (thank God) was given to me by one of my first project managers: The Time Man. I would pull up to the jobsite and he would step out onto the rickety plywood porch of his trailer and shout across the dusty parking lot, “Hey, it’s the Time Man.”
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!
And that brings us full circle, doesn’t it? What we are doing today doesn’t seem to be working. What we did in the past embodied a combination of attractive and unattractive approaches.
Needed now, more than ever, is a revisiting of the entire matter, of determining the best of all generations, an amalgamation of thought and creativity leading to our best hope for scheduling excellence. Murray’s book is, in my opinion, “the real thing.” He has a profound understanding of what we are all about, what we are trying to accomplish, what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, where we seem to be headed, what course adjustments we need to make, and what re-engineering we need to impose upon ourselves as a discipline to get from the discouraging state we are in to the dynamic state to which all professional schedulers aspire.
The question: Where do you see the scheduling profession headed? My answer: If we continue down the paths indicated by recent trends—in pursuit of absolute control through greater minutia and greater expansion—scheduling, as we knew it and even as we know it, will cease to be. But if we take a restocking of our position and our tack, there is yet time to turn the field around. Murray’s book, at the very least, provides a launching ground for informed, educated, and passionate discussion of the issues. At its most hopeful, it may well contain the roadmap to our discipline’s complete makeover.
This is a book for Intermediate Schedulers, written by a Master Scheduler. Murray describes his audience this way: “This book . . . is not being written for the 20-year scheduling veteran. Rather, it is aimed at those tasked with creating a Project Schedule who have not had years of experience or training.”
I think Murray’s self-perception is too limited. For instance, I find that this book is full of ideas and concepts that are interesting and refreshing to me, a 44-year scheduling veteran, and
I would suggest that is an equally good set of guidelines for the “rookies.” It is also a must read for project owners, project directors, and project managers.
Murray contends that today’s scheduling terminology is woefully inadequate, so in this book he offers an entirely new set of key definitions. As but one example, he distinguishes between planning and scheduling in a way that appeals to my common sense. Key to my understanding his unique distinction of the two terms was when he associated planning with commitment and scheduling with execution.
Murray expresses some serious thoughts about scheduling and schedulers as a “profession,” per se. We (schedulers) would like our field to be a profession, but at present it isn’t one—at least not yet. I would like to set a context for Murray’s comments. When he became a scheduler in 1977, CPM was in its twentieth year. For the first ten of those years, which I remember well, CPM (as a promising methodology) was an uphill “sell.” By 1977, about the time when Murray was drawing his first logic diagram, CPM was already an accepted norm in the construction industry. In 1978, a Project Management Institute (PMI) survey listed 40 CPM computer software programs, including MSCS and Project 2. Primavera did not exist.
Both computer hardware (mainframe) and software (expensive and centralized in computer centers) had evolved considerably by 1977, but still shaped the role of the scheduler who had well-defined duties associated with the preparation and maintenance of the schedule. Murray notes that the arrival of the desktop computer had an immediate impact on scheduling, for now almost anyone could create a schedule (though not necessarily a good one). In his words, the role of the scheduler “began to implode,” and indeed it sure seemed that way.
After his early years of CPM scheduling, Murray says that he was “disillusioned.” CPM schedules did not seem to be as helpful to project management as he and many other schedulers of his day believed they should or could be. He notes that the monthly “snapshot” of project status was more of a function of recording past events than of projecting future events. Murray wanted the CPM Schedule to be a more dynamic tool, like a film instead of a snapshot, like a map to show the way to proceed, and he thought the CPM schedule should facilitate work-arounds whenever the unexpected was encountered. He shaped several theories to accomplish this. He initially tested these theories on 14 projects in the Northeast for which he was the Project Controls Manager.
Out of his early efforts, in the first half of the 1980s, came two significant developments, which I earnestly believe hold great promise for the future of both project scheduling and project management. For the latter, he developed a new Scheduling Practice Paradigm. Under this heading, Murray gives us a consolidated set of terminology that describes specialties, subspecialties, procedures, deliverables, and roles. Finally, someone has definitively clarified the meaning of Commitment Planner, Execution Scheduler, and Performance Controller.
But by far, the greater of the two contributions to our discipline is his identification of a “miles-per-hour” value for projects of all types. Called Performance Intensity, Murray succeeded in quantifying the invisible—by developing a way to measure, depict, and influence the rate at which work is performed. This invention alone I consider to be one of the greatest
breakthroughs in network scheduling since the invention of CPM itself.
Enveloping the Performance Intensity formula, Murray has crafted a complete science called Momentology, or (as I prefer) Momentum Management. Momentology is the applied science of Performance Intensity, along with a cluster of associated calculations, formulas, and variables that collectively combine to provide schedulers with a completely new and refreshing way to plan, schedule, and understand the dynamics of projects of any type.
As a subset of Momentology, Murray introduces a new project management subsystem, which better prepares project managers to handle the unexpected, called Dilemma Control. He explains that whereas traditional Risk Management attempts, before the project, to develop plans for handling downstream major risks, Dilemma Forecasting provides realtime warnings, during the course of the project, about approaching small-scale dilemmas. With sufficient forewarning to allow project management the opportunity to develop appropriate reversing or mitigating responses, Dilemma Control appears more proactive and timely.
As almost an aside, Murray questions our allegiance to Earned Value Measurement (EVM) and Work Breakdown Structure, as well as our easy acceptance of emerging methodologies, such as Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), which he says poses a grave threat to the integrity of the schedule and contributes to the erosion of our craft.
From what I have described thus far, it might seem to you that Murray has used the guise of a book on scheduling as a soapbox for philosophical and theoretical musings. And while he does beseech us to think outside the box, during the latter two-thirds of the book Murray nonetheless delivers on his promise to provide expert guidance on how to create schedules that will lead to projects executed more efficiently, and thus to projects predisposed to completing sooner, as the book’s title promises. In five meaty chapters, Murray gets into the details of schedule design, development, construction, maintenance, analysis, and reporting.
Amidst the detailed discussions, he describes several additional rules, theories, and axioms that he developed to accomplish the basic building blocks of all schedules. He devotes an
entire chapter to project planning, a treatment I have felt for quite some time has been missing from the literary landscape.
preface: This text is the first in a set of books intended to ultimately present a brand-new project management concept called Momentum Management (Momentology). This first book is all about how to create Project Schedules that have credibility, because Applied Momentum is only as good as the Project Schedules upon which it is dependent.
Before I proceed any further, there is one more nuance I care to highlight right at the outset, even before I give a brief summary of what Momentology is all about. Writing about how to create better Project Schedules naturally requires making frequent references to how Scheduling Practices are currently performed. It also requires reference to commonly accepted terminology. The problem is that I take issue with both of these “standards”—the practices and the terminology. I happen to think that today’s scheduling terminology is in dire need of a complete overhaul, just as I think that the Scheduling Practice has lost sight of our prime customer, the project manager, and what he needs.
In reaction to these feelings, over the last few decades I have been working toward developing responses to these deficiencies. As a result, this book contains several new concepts that I wish to introduce to you. Namely:
• A new Scheduling Practice Paradigm, complete with three specialties, seven subspecialties, and an assortment of procedures, position titles, deliverables, and roles.
• A new set of definitions that, at last, distinguish a planner from a scheduler, a plan from a schedule, and planning from scheduling.
• A new project management system, called Dilemma Control, that better prepares project managers for the daily uncertainties that all projects experience.
• A new project management methodology, called Momentology, that allows project managers to be far more proactive and to foster true collaboration among project participants.
Because this book is simultaneously introducing new concepts and terminology while it attempts to suggest improvements to traditional Scheduling Practice, your job as reader will be made that much harder. You will have to remain open minded as I introduce new concepts.
Once you understand them, I will incorporate these new ideas into the context of mainstream functions that all Practitioners perform. What I can promise you is that, by the end of the book, you will surely know what you can do to improve the way you design, develop, maintain, and use your Project Schedules. I can promise you that your Execution Schedules will be desired and that your project managers will praise your efforts as the best Scheduling Practices they have ever experienced. Just keep an open mind! Now, back to where I was when I rudely interrupted myself . . .
In terms of book organization, I grappled with the question of when to introduce these innovative concepts. Should I introduce my foreign ideas first and possibly frustrate you by delaying the practical advice on mainstream Scheduling Practices you are expecting to find? Or should I introduce my ideas at the end of the book, perhaps as appendices, and possibly confuse the reader by referencing currently accepted terminology, concepts, and processes throughout the volume, even though, in the closing chapters, I end up repudiating them? Ultimately, I decided to introduce the new terminology and concepts before using them throughout the balance of the text. And so, Part 2, which introduces these new ideas, precedes the nuts and bolts subjects contained in subsequent chapters of Part 3 and beyond. I hope you approve.
As for Momentum Management, it refers to a set of principles, theories, concepts, processes, procedures, technologies, and management practices that can be applied to time-sensitive projects. Momentum Management (also called Momentology) operates under the premise that a project’s time-performance objectives can be best ensured by constantly monitoring and influencing the project’s inherent Momentum. Momentum Management is based on rigid scientific principles and is manifested in practical yet immediately intuitive and useful project management products and services. It introduces an entirely fresh set of terms and concepts that are built upon traditional Critical Path Method (CPM) methodology.
This is an important point: Momentum Theory is not a replacement for conventional CPM— it is merely an enhancement of it. Momentum Theory does not challenge CPM basics. To the contrary, and quite unlike several recently surfaced methodologies purporting to be based upon the CPM model, Momentum Theory insists that Scheduling Practitioners return to the basics. That is precisely why this first book in the Momentum series is dedicated to ensuring that the Project Schedules underlying Momentum applications are sound.
Momentology is quite innovative in how it extracts vital information from the Execution Schedule, insights that have always been there but that we have been ignoring all along.
Momentology merely squeezes the Critical Path Method a bit tighter in order to get more juice from the fruit
ABOUT BUILDING BETTER PROJECT SCHEDULES
Other books in the Momentum set will follow, providing a complete treatment of Momentum Theory, Momentum Science, and Applied Momentum. Momentology is both a theoretic management science and an applicable set of management tools for the Scheduling Practitioner.
Because any project management methodology that depends on a Project Schedule can be no better than the Execution Schedule upon which it is predicated, I have dedicated this first book to building better Project Schedules.
The next book to be published will be an academic text, far more formidable and weighty. It will provide a complete treatment of all aspects of Momentology. So, as you read this text and encounter Momentum terminology or theory, please understand that this book is not meant to provide a full treatment of Momentology. Rather, it mentions Momentum concepts only when such mention is appropriate to the subject matter being discussed.
Following the Momentology book will be the third volume in the set, which will concentrate on an area of Execution Scheduling that has been grossly under-treated in both literary works and formal academic coursework: Performance Control. Sadly, the vast majority of schedule update cycles generate little more than hastily statused schedules and a routine set of superficially reviewed reports. The truth is that inherent in each Project Schedule is a treasure trove of insightful information as to how well the project is doing, how well the Project Schedule is performing in its intended roles, and more. To wet your whistle, this first book will also touch on some of these ideas.
Finally, I wish to note that during the course of the publication process, the title of this book changed. In many ways, the working title better describes the spirit and intent of the original manuscript: “How to Create Projects Schedules That They’ll Actually Want to Use!” Indeed, the main goal of this book is to help you develop better schedules, with “better” being confirmed when your project manager anxiously and willingly welcomes your scheduling efforts. Throughout this book you will see reference to schedules “they’ll actually want to use,” and that is because when I wrote the book, I had the earlier title (and intent) in mind
A COUPLE CAVEATS
Throughout this book I make frequent reference to projects within the construction industry. This is where I have acquired the majority of my project scheduling experience. The fact is that Schedule Management is now popularly applied in more than 20 major industries; construction is the oldest application environment but is no longer the largest. So, while this book is written specifically for the construction industry as its title indicates, I encourage readers from outside the construction industry to remember that basic Project Scheduling principles vary quite little from one industry to the next. You should be able to make the necessary conversions of thought in order to apply what is discussed herein to your particular industry. As for gender designations, I made another executive decision: to say “he” rather than “he/she.” Please know that this decision does not reflect any belief that one sex is better than another, more prevalent than the other, and so on.
Murray B. Woolf
Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling 1st Edition by Murray B. Woolf pdf.
⏩Author: Murray B. Woolf
⏩Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 10, 2007)
⏩Puplication Date: April 10, 2007
⏩Size: 2.90 MB
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