Simulation has played an important role in project-management studies of the last decades, but in order for them to produce practical results, a realistic distribution model for activity durations is indispensable. The construction industry often has needed historical records of project executions, to serve as inputs to the distribution models, but a clearly outlined calibration procedure is not always readily available, nor are their results readily interpretable. This study seeks to illustrate how data from the construction industry can be used to derive realistic input distributions. Therefore, the Parkinson simulation model with a lognormal core is applied to a large empirical dataset from the literature and the results are described. From a discussion of these results, an empirical classification of project executions is presented. Three possible uses are presented for the calibration procedure and the classification in project management simulation studies. These were validated using a case study of a construction company.
When scheduling projects under resource constraints, assumptions are typically made with respect to the resource availability. In resource scheduling problems important assumptions are made with respect to the resource requirements. As projects are typically labour intensive, the underlying (personnel) resource scheduling problems tend to be complex due to different rules and regulations. In this paper, we aim to integrate these two interrelated scheduling problems to minimise the overall cost. For that purpose, we propose an exact algorithm for the project staffing with resource scheduling constraints. Detailed computational experiments are presented to evaluate different branching rules and pruning strategies and to compare the proposed procedure with other optimisation techniques.
This handbook is a unique, comprehensive resource for professional project managers and students in project management courses that focuses on the integration between baseline scheduling, schedule risk analysis and project control, also known as Dynamic Scheduling or Integrated Project Management and Control. It contains a set of more than 70 articles. Each individual article focuses on one particular topic and features links to other articles in this book, where appropriate. Almost all articles are accompanied with a set of questions, the answers to which are provided at the end of the book.
This paper explores the use of multivariate regression methods for project schedule control within a statistical project control framework. These multivariate regression methods monitor the activity level performance of an ongoing project from the earned value management/earned schedule (EVM/ES) observations that are made at a high level of the work breakdown structure (WBS). These estimates can be used to calculate the longest path in the project and to produce warning signals for project schedule control. The effort that is spent by the project manager is thereby reduced, since a drill-down of the WBS is no longer required for every review period. An extensive computational experiment was set up to test and compare four distinct multivariate regression methods on a database of project networks. The kernel principal component regression method, when used with a radial base function kernel, was found to outperform the other presented regression methods.
This paper presents five Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to predict the final duration of a project. A methodology that involves Monte Carlo simulation, Principal Component Analysis and cross-validation is proposed and can be applied by academics and practitioners. The performance of the AI methods is assessed by means of a large and topologically diverse dataset and is benchmarked against the best performing Earned Value Management/Earned Schedule (EVM/ES) methods. The results show that the AI methods outperform the EVM/ES methods if the training and test sets are at least similar to one another. Additionally, the AI methods report excellent early and mid-stage forecasting results. A robustness experiment gradually increases the discrepancy between the training and test sets and demonstrates the limitations of the newly proposed AI methods.
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