LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the elements required to plan, manage, execute, and monitor a construction project using precedence diagrams and barcharts, Identify the techniques for estimating man-hours and material, establishing safety responsibilities, and closing out a project.
Good construction planning and estimating procedures are essential to the ability of the Naval Construction Force (NCF) to provide quality construction response to the fleet's operational requirements. This chapter contains information that you can use in planning, estimating, and scheduling construction projects normally undertaken by the Seabees.
After World War II, the construction industry experienced the same critical examination the manufacturing industry had experience 50 years before. Large construction projects came under the same pressures of time, resources, and cost that prompted studies in scientific management in the factories about the year 1900.
The emphasis, however, was not on actual building methods, but upon the management techniques of programming and scheduling. The only planning methods being used at that time were those developed for use in factories. Management tried to use these methods to control large construction projects. These techniques suffered from serious limitations. The need to overcome these limitations led to the development of network analysis techniques.
In the late 1950s, a new system of project planning, scheduling, and control came into widespread use in the construction industry. The critical path analysis (CPA), critical path method (CPM), and project evaluation and review technique (PERT) are 3 examples of about 50 different approaches, The basis for each of these approaches is the analysis of a network of events and activities. The generic title of the various networks is network analysis.
The network analysis approach is now the accepted method of construction planning in many organizations. Network analysis forms the core of project planning and control systems.
Construction management in the Seabees is based on the CPM. A major advantage to using the CPM method is training. CPM gives the new project supervisor exposure to the fundamentals of project management. These fundamentals can be broken down into the following steps:
1. Develop construction activities. After careful review of the plans and specs, your first step is to break the job down into discreet activities. Construction activities are generally less than 15 days in duration and require the same resources throughout the entire duration.
2. Estimate construction activity requirements. Evaluate the resource requirements for each construction activity. Identify and list all of the materials, tools, equipment (including safety- related items), and manpower requirements on the Construction Activity Summary (CAS) sheet.
3. Develop logic network. List the construction activities logically from the first activity to the last, showing relationships or dependencies between activities.
4. Schedule construction activities. Determine an estimated start and finish date for each activity based on the sequence and durations of construction activities. Identify the critical path. This will help focus management attention on those activities that cannot be delayed without delaying the project completion date.Continue Reading