Evaluation of Expansion of Managerial Flexibilities of Critical Path Method Scheduling Under Uncertainty Through A Risk Simulation Model

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Scheduling of a construction project using an activity network can be done using the Critical Path Method (CPM). CPM scheduling, since it was first developed in the USA in 1950’s, has been widely applied in various sectors including the construction sector. CPM, however, is incapable of reflecting the influence of uncertainty on schedules and modelling the stochastic character of projects’ real-life conditions. In order to achieve success in complex, uncertain, and dynamic conditions, today’s construction projects do show a need for methods that are more flexible from a managerial point of view. Therefore, this study investigates the expansion of managerial flexibilities of CPM scheduling in case it would be integrated with Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) through a schedule risk analysis method called the Correlated Schedule Risk Analysis Model (CSRAM). For this purpose, firstly, the subject is discussed conceptually, and next an example application on a project is introduced to illustrate the potential of CSRAM in terms of flexibility. The flexibilities have been investigated at three levels, i.e. activity, path and project level. The results have revealed that it seems possible to expand the managerial flexibilities inherently present in CPM, in case risk analysis capability is incorporated. However, the level of expansion of managerial flexibilities could change in adverse or favourable direction depending on various factors such as the project phase, project size, project conditions, contract terms, and stakeholder requirements. These factors could be subject of further research. Other scheduling methods used in construction projects such as the Critical Chain Method, Line of Balance and Linear Scheduling Method could be investigated in the same manner to go one step further on the way towards more flexible project management in construction from the scheduling viewpoint.