One of the leading manufacturers of critical path method (CPM) scheduling software, Primavera Systems Inc., has incorporated a new feature in one of its scheduling and risk-analysis programs that could help manage projects by showing schedule writers the reason why a restraint is shown between two activities.
Primavera incorporates a new feature in Pertmaster to make CPM schedules more accurate
Devised by Fredric Plotnick, an attorney and engineer, the new feature is called Relationship Diagramming Management. At the fifth annual meeting of the Project Management Institute’s College of Scheduling in early May in Chicago, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based Primavera announced its Pertmaster program is now “compliant” with relationship diagramming, or RD. According to Plotnick, RD will require the planner or scheduler to record whether the reason for a restraint is physical or resource-related. “Simply by recording this information, better schedules can be prepared by a contractor or enforced by an engineer,” Plotnick says.
Restraints and constraints in scheduling generally determine when a task can start or finish, and these restrictions must be balanced with others to finish the project on time. Plotnick uses the example of a superintendent who plans for roofing crews to go from one roof to another but can’t because a project manager forgot that walls must be finished for any of the roofs to be built. The new feature also should cut down on “fumbles” that may occur when work is passed from one sub to another, says Plotnick.
Primavera incorporated the feature in Pertmaster because that program “has a lot of high-end advanced functions” that are likely to be adopted at first by “hard-core schedulers,” says Richard Sappe, Primavera’s AEC industry manager.