Collection of schedule quality metrics and application to projects of the office of facilities planning and construction (OFPC)
Construction projects are costly, time-consuming, and complex so that a sound plan is essential to execute them successfully. Schedules play a key role as a roadmap that shows how and when a project delivers its products defined in the project scope (PMI 2007). In an effort to facilitate scheduling process, diverse scheduling software programs have been developed and used. Nevertheless, substantial knowledge, experience, and efforts are still required to create a quality schedule. As such, many government agencies and professional organizations have recommended a variety of important concepts, metrics, and thresholds to help contractors develop decent baseline schedules and help owners check their quality. The first objective of this research is to compile, select, and organize the recommended schedule quality metrics and thresholds as tools for checking and improving the quality of baseline schedules. The second objective is to apply these metrics to baseline schedules used for the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction (OFPC) projects on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin and analyze the evaluation findings to provide recommendations for future projects. Through an extensive literature review, 11 publications from 10 government agencies and professional organizations have been studied and 49 baseline schedule quality metrics and thresholds are compiled and selected. These metrics are divided into 9 groups; General, Milestone, Duration, Calendar, Logic, Constraint, Float, Lag, and Lead. Followed was the evaluation of the baseline schedules used for OFPC projects by these metrics and thresholds to provide recommendations for future projects. The evaluation results show that every project passed 27 metrics while at least one project failed to pass 22 metrics. The majority of projects, 7 out of 13, missed 11 tests. These tests are associated with maximum duration limit (30 work days), high total float (44 work days), maximum total float (total float on the longest path + 45 work days), ratio of detail tasks to milestones, percentage of tasks on the critical path, number of lags, unique task names, open ends, extreme total float (120 work days), relationship type, and milestones missing a predecessor or successor. With regards to recommendations for future OFPC projects, emphasis is placed on the metrics that the majority of projects failed to pass as well as that are regarded as crucial for reviewing schedules.