CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractClassical scheduling techniques are well-known to underestimate the average project duration, yet they remain widely used in practice due to their simplicity. In this paper, the new Critical Duration Index (CDI) is proposed. This index indirectly allows anticipation for the probability of a project ending late, as well as the average project duration extension compared with a deterministic project duration estimate. The accuracy of two simple regression expressions that use the CDI was tested on two representative data sets of 4,100 artificial and 108 empirical (real) projects. Results show that these regression expressions outperformed the only alternative index found in the literature. Besides allowing enhanced forecasting possibilities, calculating the CDI only requires basic scheduling information that is available at the planning stage. It can thus be easily adopted by project managers to improve their project duration estimates over prior deterministic techniques.Practical ApplicationsClassical scheduling techniques like Gantt charts or the critical path method are known to underestimate the project duration. However, they remain widely used in practice due to their simplicity. In this paper, we have proposed the Critical Duration Index (CDI). This index allows anticipation for the probability of a project ending later than the estimate produced with a Gantt chart or the critical path method. It also allows an estimation for how much longer the project might take to be completed, that is, the extension of the delay. The accuracy of two simple regression expressions that use the CDI was tested on two representative artificial and real project data sets. Our results show that these regression expressions outperformed the only alternative index found in the literature. Besides allowing one to forecast the probability and extension of a project delay, calculating the CDI only requires basic scheduling information that is available at the planning stage. Hence, it can be easily adopted by project managers to improve their project duration estimates over other deterministic techniques.



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