A recent study commissioned by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) concludes that about half of construction projects today are behind schedule. I was interviewed recently about the study and agreed with this finding. As a result of this study, there is some finger pointing. However, it seems everyone has a piece of the fault.
Also, there is little gained from recriminations since, everyone wants the same thing: an on-time and on-budget project with safety and quality excellence. Additionally, each stakeholder in construction wants to do a great job personally and thus, be rewarded accordingly with more work at a higher margin. So, there is a great chance we can get a better result with a little focus. That is, a majority of all projects on schedule.
It is important to understand that a CPM schedule is a critical piece of information with which Contractors and Owners manage. However, the Critical Path Method is only as good as the quality of consecutive plans, forecasts and short horizon schedules over the life of the project. So, those use the CPM must proactively plan, forecast and schedule (short horizon) in great detail based on true and accurate information. To seek a greater knowledge into the process of these three processes is the first step of many. Today, it is doubly important to understand planning, forecasting and short term scheduling processes. Again, a major study has concluded that approximately half of today’s project schedules are in distress.